Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Personal and Family Protection Dogs with a "Switch"
UPDATE 11/19/14: Dutch animal behaviorist and author, Alexandra Semyonova responds to protection dogs with a "switch" after a 7-year old boy was killed by a protection trained rottweiler living at his family's home. She discusses why bringing an attack bred and trained dog into a home and hoping it will be a reliable family pet is a mistake. Enclosed below is Semyonova's short response. Semyonova also provided a long response that discusses many additional details.
Alexandra Semyonova (short response)The Long Response
Perhaps the most important thing this case should force us to realize is that you can’t take an attack bred and trained dog into a home and hope that it will be a reliable family pet. Both the breeding and the training that go into these dogs prohibit this. The dogs are bred in the first place for heightened reactivity, poor impulse control, low bite threshold, and unwillingness to back down in a conflict. The training they’re then subjected to amplifies these traits. The dogs are taught to attack on command, but also to make the decision to attack independent of any handler command. In attacking, the dogs are taught to bite with all their jaw strength, to grip and hold on no matter what the target does, and to release only when so commanded by their handler. This doesn’t mean that titled dogs can be relied on to release at the first command. Even at level 3 (the highest level), the IPO rules allow the handler to repeat the command three times. Only if the dog ignores the command a third time does the dog fail the trial.
The idea that the dogs will limit their attack behavior to the training field isn’t realistic. They are being trained to exhibit this behavior anywhere they’re accompanying their handler. If someone buys the dog as a ‘personal protection’ dog for in the home, the home becomes one of the places where the dog is expected to show the attack behavior – but of course only if a burglar comes in. However, many of the cues these dogs learn as a sign that it’s time for an independent, non-commanded attack are human actions the dogs will frequently encounter in the home with welcome guests and family members. Dogs can’t read our minds. There’s no magical way for the dog to understand who is welcome, who is not, or that the attack chain must never be initiated even if a family member does give one of the cues (for example, a child running at the dog with a stick in the child’s raised hand, or one spouse shouting at the other in a marital argument). Unless each and every one of the home’s occupants and every guest who is ever invited in is an experienced dog trainer, who also knows exactly what actions will trigger the dog to attack, and who never makes a mistake or has a moment of not paying attention, there will always be the risk that the dog does what it was trained to do.
There is no such thing as a ‘switch’ that will turn this off. Yes, you can ‘switch’ your IPO trained dog from tracking to attacking and back again if you know how and have the skills to do so, but you can’t flip a switch and turn the training off altogether. The video Vohne Liche so proudly posted of Ozzy behaving normally with strangers demonstrates, in my opinion, that Vohne Liche must know this. First of all there’s the very fact that a short episode of normal interaction with a few selected strangers is presented as an achievement to be proud of. This implies to me that Vohne Liche knows there are often problems with these dogs in family and neighborhood situations. Secondly, there’s the clear nervousness of Ozzy’s handler during this short video, the constant praising of the Rottweiler in a soothing voice, which strongly suggests the handler knew (or at least feared) that this Rottweiler had a not completely predictable or controllable hair trigger.
Dogs that have been bred and trained to attack may have a function in certain contexts. Some of us would question whether it’s fair to exploit dogs this way at all, but that is a question for another time and place. What this case makes clear is that clear boundaries should be imposed on commercial traffic in these dogs. A trained protection dog can command a price up to $15,000 or more on the international market. It seems foolish to allow the people who exploit these dogs for commercial reasons to work on expanding their market regardless of whether there is a reasonable or urgent need, and regardless of how much danger that puts families in.
On a final note, the following. The Dutch government’s Council on Animal Affairs acknowledges that this trade is becoming a serious problem. On August 15, 2014, it published a policy development paper, advising the government to take measures to prevent both failed and retired police dogs from being transferred into private hands as family pets. How sad that any such policy will now be too late to save the life of an American child who fell victim to this trade.
Semyonova's long response explains many aspects to readers more deeply including, bite threshold and bite inhibition, IPO bite training and protection dogs with a "switch." It also discusses several of the Alpha Dogs episodes featuring Vohne Liche Kennels and their clumsy training techniques. The long response addresses breeding and the international "protection dog industry" and offers insights into the Dutch rottweiler and Netherlands, Semyonova's native country.
Meanwhile, Platinum K9 Protection and their owners, Jessie and Tiffany Smith, are carrying on with business. The entity's Facebook page touts many new 5-star reviews for "expert" training since their own protection dog killed Tiffany's son, Logan Meyer, four weeks ago. Tiffany later told police, "Ozzy was Logan's favorite dog." The two might instead do well to read what behaviorist Semyonova has to say first. If they do not, then any prospective customers certainly should.
Alexandra Semyonova is an internationally acclaimed animal behaviorist and author. View additional DogsBite.org posts that Semyonova has provided commentary for in the past.
11/01/14: Protection Rottweiler Euthanized
The rottweiler that attacked and killed a 7-year old boy in Dodge County last Friday has been euthanized. Police reports gained by FDLreporter.com through an open records request show that Ozzy attacked Logan Meyer when he took the dog outside to go to the bathroom. The reports indicate that the dog was 3.5-years old, however, the March 2014 video states that the dog was 3.5-years old then, so presumably the rottweiler was 4-years old when it killed Logan last week.
The Reporter points out that although early press releases by the Dodge County Sheriff's Office stated that the dog had severely "bitten" the boy, the police report refers to the incident as an "attack." This is an important difference in language.1 Officers also noted in the report that the boy had severe head and facial injuries. The boy's mother, Tiffany Smith, told investigators that Ozzy had been living with the family for 3-months and that the dog was trained in "personal property."
One can get much more specific than that. A December 6, 2013 post on the Vohne Liche Kennels Executive and Family Protection Facebook page -- the branch of Vohne Liche Kennels that Jessie Smith directed -- states: "If you have been searching for a Rottweiler for Personal Protection then your search is over...... Say Hello to Ozzy a three year old IPO2........ Yes thats a 2 and it's not a typo." We presume this means that Ozzy had received the Level 2 Schutzhund title, IPO 2.2
This video shows an unrelated rottweiler being evaluated on the IPO 2 Protection test.3 Additional examples from a variety of dog breeds include: IPO 2 Protection and Obedience test compilation 2013 (rottweiler), IPO 2 Champion Protection test 2012 (American bulldog) and IPO 2 Champion Protection test 2011 (cane corso). We have provided multiple video examples because some, if not all, of these Schutzhund trial videos may be removed or privatized by their "fearless" owners.
Smith told investigators she was in the kennel building preparing food dishes when Logan took Ozzy outside to go to the bathroom. She said Logan had been in the yard less than five minutes when Ozzy attacked him. Smith does not know what happened before the attack. "Ozzy was Logan's favorite dog and ... there had been no previous incidents or safety concerns regarding Ozzy with Logan or anyone else," Smith told investigators, according to the sheriff's report.
Vohne Liche Kennels has removed Jessie Smith's profile from their Personnel page on their corporate website. The Vohne Liche Kennels Executive and Family Protection Facebook page continues to stay online with Smith's contact information in the About section. There is also a VLK Executive and Family Protection Facebook page that appears to be abandoned. Lastly, in 2013, Vohne Liche Kennels announced the opening of their European kennel; it is located in Holland.
10/28/14: Watch the Video: Ozzy Meeting People
In the past 24-hours, news reports from Wisconsin media have surfaced stating that Ozzy, the "bite" trained rottweiler that fatally attacked a 7-year old boy, was being trained as a service dog. We have no other choice but to post the video removed by trainer Jessie Smith yesterday from his YouTube channel clearly indicating that Ozzy had done bite work. In other damning news, it appears that Ozzy was technically trained under the hood of megastar Vohne Liche Kennels.
If true, we are no longer talking about Smith's new business, Platinum K9 Protection, we are talking about a major industry leader in police dogs.In a September 3 Facebook post from Vohne Liche Kennels Executive and Family Protection -- the branch of Vohne Liche Kennels that Jessie Smith directed -- it states, "****** are some more photos of Ozzy the beautiful Rottweiler. For those of you that were interested in the videos I posted last week, please take a minute to tell Ozzy goodbye as he has found his forever home and his delivery will be set up over the coming days." The post displays multiple photos of Ozzy.4
This type of post is exceedingly bad for business, considering what has happened since, which is likely why it was removed from the Vohne Liche Kennels Executive and Family Protection Facebook page. We found it in Google Cache on Monday. Trainer extraordinaire Jessie Smith has been on constant "clean up" duty removing damning photographs and videos of Ozzy since his "bite" trained rottweiler suddenly "switched" and attacked Logan's face and neck killing him.
"We received a call from the mother who stated that he was bitten by the dog and when we arrived on scene it was a horrific scene,” said Dodge County Sheriff Patricia Ninmann.Service Dog and Sheriff's Chaplain Decoys
--- snip ---
[First responders] arrived on scene and he was in the pen wagging his tail being a nice dog -- allowed us to go up and pet him did not appear to be aggressive at all,” said Ninmann. - Fox 6 Now, October 27, 2014
We first noticed the "service dog" language from Fox 6 Now on Monday afternoon. We had thought it was a misunderstanding. We were wrong. Late Monday, WISN aired their segment propped up by the Dodge County Sheriff's Office Chaplain, who specifically stated: "I do know [the dog] was trained to be a service dog. He was not trained to be an attack dog or any of that stuff." The segment added that the dog also had a background in both military and police training.
Sounds a little confusing doesn't it? First off, Ozzy was indeed trained in bite and protection work -- aka attack dog training. The "Ozzy Meeting People" video clearly depicts this. Second, why is the chaplain of the Dodge County Sheriff's Office the spokesperson delivering this confusing message? From the get-go the Dodge County Sheriff's Department has placed a silencer on this fatal dog attack case or as the FDLreporter.com states, has erected "information roadblocks."
Protection and Attack Dogs as Service Dogs
Protection trained and bred dogs are poor service dog candidates (See paper by psychologist pertaining to PTSD: Disaster is not what a trauma victim needs). While the ADA does not explicitly forbid a person from doing protection training with their service dog, "it also does not protect their choice to do so, and businesses may legally exclude a protection trained dog from their premises even if it is also trained as a service dog, as a direct threat," according to Service Dog Central.
What we are talking about is a dog that has been trained by deliberately stimulating his prey drive to elicit aggressive behavior for guard or protection purposes. Some call it "attack training," others refer to it as "protection training." Such a dog is likely to do what it was selected and trained to do when he feels or perceives threat. The experience of threat is innate in all creatures. However, individuals with PTSD have a pervasive heightened arousal and exaggerated perception of threat. They also have problems with anger control and are more likely than others to become engaged in interpersonal conflicts. How will these emotions impact the protection dog? I believe it will increase the likelihood of aggression towards innocent people or other dogs. The use of protection dogs by individuals with PTSD places the general population at risk for harm.October Surprise at the Sheriff's Office?
- Disaster is not what a trauma victim needs: Risks and negative consequences of protection dogs for individuals with post traumatic stress disorder by Natalie Sachs-Ericsson, PhD
After the Dodge County Sheriff's Department placed a "silencer" on this case, we immediately looked at the most obvious public office to see if there was a cantankerous election race at hand. Indeed there is in Dodge County (You can read about the nastiness here). Sitting Dodge County Sheriff Pat Ninmann was appointed by Governor Scott Walker in 2013. She lost the primary election by a modest number of votes to Sgt. Dale Schmidt. Ninmann is now a write-in candidate.
The Monday news report by FDLreporter.com goes deeper into the political ramifications of a fatal dog mauling in this jurisdiction -- specifically involving a police and military K9 trainer from a celebrity kennel and a "bite" trained dog -- just before the November 4 election. Sheriff Ninmann is vilified for erecting "information roadblocks" to the media in this case, which she is dutifully guilty of doing. But would Schmidt have behaved differently as the sheriff, given the parties involved?
While Sgt. Dale Schmidt would not comment on the dog bite incident, the sheriff-elect said roadblocks with the media will be lifted when he officially takes office in January. Schmidt defeated Ninmann by a margin of 300 votes in the Republican primary election in August. However, Ninmann has launched a write-in campaign for Nov. 4.Social Protection Dogs with a Switch
"The employees here are aware of (Ninmann's withholding of information)," said Schmidt. "(Former Sheriff Todd Nehls) had a very good relationship in working with the media, and I plan to go back to doing some of the same things he did when he ran the sheriff's office." - A politician just days before an election
At the end of the day, social protection dogs with a switch have their drawbacks don't they? This is why DogsBite.org continues to write about this case. It is misguided to believe that expert training in protection and bite work can produce a "switch" in certain dog breeds from a gentle babysitter of children to the instant attack of a stranger. In the business of "switching" aggression on and off at whim, a rottweiler is a terrible choice. In this area, breed is an excellent predictor of danger.
10/27/14: Mauling Victim Identified
The 7-year old boy who was mauled to death by a dog Friday has been identified. Logan Thomas Meyer was pronounced dead at the scene after a rottweiler owned by his family viciously attacked him, according to Sheriff Patricia Ninmann. Media outlets continue to stay mute about the overwhelmingly important background of the dog's owner. Meet Ozzy, the professionally "bite" trained rottweiler from Holland "being social and friendly," seven months before killing the child.
But you can't meet Ozzy can you? Jessie Smith removed this video from his YouTube channel just today. We made a copy last night just in case.The March 2014 video talks about Ozzy possibly going to a doctor in Arizona that has three small children. This screenshot, however, taken on October 25 of the Platinum K9 Protection Facebook page, indicates that Ozzy was going to a military officer. All images of Ozzy were removed from the Platinum K9 Protection Facebook page sometime after the night of October 25. It was the only rottweiler in the group's photo album. Currently, Ozzy is apparently still being held in quarantine.
Video Transcript Excerpts: "Ozzy Meeting People"
Handler: Going inside the building to meet some people. Good boy. Good boy Oz.
[Approaches one man sitting at a desk, the man starts to pet him.]
Handler: Good boy. Good boy.
Handler: Come on, let's go meet some more people.
[Approaches different man who kneels down, the man starts to pet him.]
Man: How old?
Handler: He is 3-and-a-half. Here Oz!
Man: Where are you from? [Asks the man looking at the dog]
Handler: He's from Holland.
Man: Nice and heavy on the bite?
Handler: Yeah, he bites really nice ... [can't decipher language]5 ... Making a little short video of how social he is and just real friendly. There is a doctor in Arizona looking at him and he's got three small kids. He wants to make sure he is going to be a good fit for his family...
10/26/14: Trainer at Celebrity Kennel
In the wake of uncovering Platinum K9 Protection as the new owner of Country Kennels Bed & Biscuit business Saturday night, more bad news follows. To start, the motto of Platinum K9 Protection is, "Social Protection Dogs with a Switch." Go ahead and consider how unrealistic this goal is? According to the public Facebook pages of the owners of Platinum K9 Protection, the family arrived in Wisconsin with five dogs, presumably four malinois' and one rottweiler.
Jessie Smith, the owner and trainer of Platinum K9 Protection, was formerly the Director of Executive and Family Protection at Vohne Liche Kennels. The kennel gained national attention in 2013 for starring in Alpha Dogs, a National Geographic Wild television series (See: related March, 2013 USA Today article). Five months after the USA Today article, Vohne Liche Kennels was not featured so prominently in the news after 10 dogs died while being transported to El Paso.
Ten dogs arrived in El Paso already dead, according to Maj. Joe Buccino, a Fort Bliss spokesman. The Canine Center is on post.Though not reported by KVIA until December, Jessie Smith posted a video to YouTube on August 23, 2013, which depicts Vohne Liche owner, Ken Licklider, commenting on the "horrible event in Texas." Licklider said that the dogs did not die on the road; they died at the hotel early in the morning. There were seven surviving dogs. "We are sickened over what happened, please understand," Licklider states. Both trainers that made the bad judgment call were fired.
Vohne Liche owner, Ken Licklider said the air conditioner in the vehicle carrying the dogs malfunctioned. He said the kennel driver is supposed to check on the dogs during the 22-hour drive. - December 2013, KVIA.com
Alpha Dogs was canceled at the end of its 2013 season, according to the Futon Critic website.
10/25/14: Critical New Information6
It was confirmed Saturday evening (in the video only) that the fatal dog attack occurred at Country Kennels Bed & Biscuit, a dog boarding facility, which is actually located in Iron Ridge. Neither family nor friends would speak to CBS 58 on camera. They did learn, however, that the family had just moved into the property with a kennel facility only a week or two ago. The family bought the home and kennel with plans of running the same type of business, according to neighbors.
Dodge County Sheriff's deputies still will not confirm the name of the deceased child or whether it was a family dog or name the breed of dog involved in the attack that killed a 7-year old boy. Lieutenant Brian Loos did say, "It was not just some dog that was running loose, I can confirm that, but I cannot confirm whether or not it was the family's dog." Dodge County Sheriff's investigators do not anticipate filing criminal charges. That is as far as the CBS 58 report went Saturday night.
Our own subsequent investigation showed that the arriving family renamed the business to, "Platinum K9 Protection, LLC."State of Wisconsin business filings and a Facebook page chock full of images from Platinum K9 Protection, showing the same property address and kennel facility as Country Kennels Bed & Biscuit, was uncovered Saturday night by DogsBite.org and our vital researchers. The Facebook page shows the logo of the entity -- note the parents and child in the logo -- along with two K9 protection dogs, a malinois and rottweiler, the latter described as "all muscle" by one commenter.7
Seems pretty clear now why the Dodge County Sheriff's Department has been so tight lipped.8
10/24/14: Child Mauled to Death by Dog
Hustisford, WI - In a developing story, a 7-year old child was attacked and killed by a dog Friday evening. The Dodge County Sheriff's Office said the attack occurred in the Town of Hustisford. Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call at about 5:20 pm reporting the boy was bleeding profusely. "Numerous first-responding agencies responded," Dodge County Sheriff's Office Lt. Brian Loos said. Despite the many emergency responders, they were unable to save the boy's life.
"Paramedics were trying for several hours to save the boy." - WISN.comLoos said the dog was known to the family, but would not confirm if it was a family pet or the dog's breed. Few other details are being released at this time. The animal was seized and transported to the local humane society to be placed into quarantine. Loos said the boy's death is devastating to the emergency responders who worked so hard to save his life. "Children are always the worst ones for our first responders to deal with. It's very difficult for them to deal with this," he said.9
Responding agencies included: Dodge County Sheriff's Dept. and chaplain, Dodge County Medical Examiner, Neosho/Rubicon/Ashippun Police Depts., Hustisford Fire and First Responders, Hartford EMS, Lebanon EMS, Iron Ridge Fire Dept. and Woodland Fire Dept.
2010 Dog Bite Fatality
In 2010, 4-year old Taylor Becker of Hustisford (population 1,380) was mauled to death by a dog while visiting family friends in Hubbard Township (population 1,640), also located in Dodge County. The two towns are about 7-miles apart. The little girl's parents had been visiting the home of Steven and Stefanie Beauprey when the lethal attack occurred. The 5-year old dog had only been with the Beaupreys for 3 to 4 months before killing Taylor. The Beaupreys were breeding the dog.
2Level 3 is the highest. We really wanted to link readers to a basic, general web page about the three Schutzhund levels, but could not locate one that does not also promote a trainer or kennel. Even the Wikipedia page gave up.
3There are 3 phases that must be passed to gain the IPO 2 title. This technical document explains them in detail. Also, you can see the same unrelated rottweiler performing tests in IPO 2 Obedience and IPO 2 Tracking.
4The most recent post of Ozzy that we could locate was posted to the Platinum K9 Protection Facebook page on October 20. At that time, a commenter states: "He looks great. Looking forward to getting him with his new partner." We previously posted this image on our October 27 update. While we do not know the significance of the name "Ozzy," or even if there is one, we do know from the March 2013 USA Today article that it was Jack Osbourne, the son of heavy-metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne, that convinced Vohne Liche Kennels to do the reality TV show. Jack Osbourne was the show's executive producer.
5After learning more about this case in subsequent updates, this language is clear now. Smith states, "Yeah, he bites really nice, he is IPO 2."
6The original CBS 58 video, posted on 10/25, was removed and combined with a 10/27 update.
7Links with images appearing on a black background indicate that Platinum K9 Protection removed these images from their Facebook page sometime after 10:45pm October 25, 2014. These images have been replaced with screenshots taken by DogsBite.org prior to publishing this update at 10:45 pm on October 25.
8It is never "acceptable" when a trained K9 kills an innocent child.
9Fox6 News initially reported that the attack occurred at Country Kennels Bed and Biscuit then later removed this information.
05/04/14: Fatal Rottweiler Attacks - The Archival Record
07/26/13: Beyond the Interview: Essay of a Fatal Pit Bull Mauling
12/05/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Yadkin County Infant Mauled to Death by Family Dog
02/11/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: 'Visiting' Child Killed by PTSD Service Dog in Kentucky
08/27/10: 2010 Dog Bite Fatality: Dog Kills Visiting 4-Year Old Girl in Dodge County
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| 10/25/2014 7:22 PM |
This definitely appears to be the kennel company first named by Fox 6. Still not calling it by name.
Michelle says the couple who ran the kennel were always kind and friendly to her and her husband Matt. "We’ve never had an incident there,” recalls Krahn. “They're great. We've always heard such great things about them. My heart goes out to the family of the child and the owners of the kennel.”
| 10/25/2014 7:46 PM |
It is important to note the most recent article stating, "My heart goes out to the family of the child and the owners of the kennel." As in they are two separate entities. The child may have been visiting the kennel with his mother when the fatal attack occurred. In the last "kennel" fatality, the breed of dog was not released until several weeks later. That case involved a "champion" rottweiler and kennel owner. The longer the sheriff's department holds back information, the more rumors will take shape and spread.
| 10/26/2014 11:52 AM |
Oh perfect. The motto for Platinum K9 Protection is "Social Protection Dogs with a Switch" according to their public Facebook page.
| 10/26/2014 12:48 PM |
Maybe the kennel was training dogs for those sheriffs?
I am tired of seeing all the hate thrown towards those that guessed it was a pit bull. Maybe it wasn't in this case, but its a pretty safe bet in general.
Question- if this was an attack trained dog, does this mean it will not go into the dogs bite stats? Or is that designation for events like a police K( attacking a criminal on command?
| 10/26/2014 1:08 PM |
They did have other dogs there getting trained, not just GSDs, Malinois, or Rotties. I do find it doubtful there were any pits though, at this type of place. I would think they would know better than to have pits there. It looks like they are shepherd people.
GSDs and their relatives have been pretty quiet lately, especially compared to the bulldogs, but that doesn't make them safe for small kids.
What a tragedy; that poor kid, and his family must be devastated! IF the owners weren't negligent, it sucks for them too, imagine having a DBRF in your first 2 weeks open? Of course, If they were negligent, well, then they deserve to lose everything.
| 10/26/2014 1:29 PM |
"Has the pic of the Rott disappeared from their FB page?" -- Yes, Platinum K9 Protection removed them sometime after this post was updated at 10:45 pm October 25. We have replaced them with screenshots of their public Facebook page taken before updating this post.
| 10/26/2014 11:25 PM |
Whoops, killing 10 dogs in transit sounds pretty bad. I could take this as an accident, but with this death a year later? They either have really bad luck (not as bad as that kid), or they are negligent in a some way.
I wonder how many of their dogs that sheriff has?
I also wonder if this will tank them, or if they will just change their name and location once again. They already had a few for training, one was a lab the other a GSD (plus their own dogs). I am betting on the rottie as the killer.
I think it's totally reasonable to train dogs for police and military work. But to expect them to be perfect family dogs, able to attack on command? Maybe as a guard dog, but as a house pet? Yikes.
| 10/26/2014 11:40 PM |
There is a transcript of Jessie online 4/29/2013 (http://bit.ly/1t7Jlsz)
Yong: What specific breeds of dogs do you work with?
Jessie: We used a wide, wide range of dogs, our top three are obviously the German Shepherd the Belgian Malinois and the Dutch Shepherd but we have specific contracts that let us use labs, golden retrievers, Brittany spaniels, cocker spaniels and some pit mixes in some cases. Any type of sporting dog, the bird dog type we can use, especially for our military contracts that are off leash, because there they have that capability anyways. We are just hawing the skew towards a specific task.
Yong: Are there certain breeds that are better suited for certain tasks?
Jessie: Yes, obviously when we were talking about a dog that is going to be a bite dog, it’s going to have aggression issues or be aggressive towards humans. We are not going to convince a lab or a cocker spaniel that it can fight a man. Those are specifically wind up being regulated to the German shepherd, the malinois and the Dutch shepherd. Any of the dual purpose police dogs that is normally the three categories it falls in. Every once in a while we will see a Rottweiler mix or a Great Dane mix of some sort. 99.5 % are going to be from those three breeds.
| 10/27/2014 12:13 AM |
Dogs Bite Decatur blog has posted the training videos from the group. Be sure to check out the Ozzy videos: http://checkoutthelatest.com/0119tiffany
| 10/27/2014 12:28 AM |
when I made these comments, we did not know that the facility had changed hands. I was still under the impression that Jackie and Greg still owned the kennel. We did not know the kennel was planning to train security dogs.
| 10/27/2014 12:30 AM |
as I indicated in a previous comment, we were unaware that the kennel had changed hands. I was still under the understanding that Jackie and Greg still on the kennel. We were not aware that security dog training was occurring.
| 10/27/2014 12:46 AM |
Michelle, the business appears to have been 2-pronged. They were going to continue boarding dogs under the same name, Country Kennels Bed & Biscuit, and also have the K9 protection business at their location.
| 10/27/2014 1:05 AM |
CLASSIC videos of the "social" rottweiler that "switched" from the owner's YouTube channel.
Ozzy on the floor (March 2014)
Ozzy meeting people (March 2014)
Person petting: Where's he from?
Person petting: Is he nice and heavy on the bite?
Owner: Yeah, he's three bites … [can't decipher language] … Making a little short video about how social he is and just real friendly. There is a doctor in Arizona that is looking at him and he's got three small kids. Wants to make sure it is going to be a good fit for his family.
The doctor made the right choice. Ozzy is the believed killer in this case.
| 10/27/2014 2:59 AM |
August 6, 2004 - Lt. Jessie Smith forgot Will, his highly trained drug sniffing belgian malinois in a car parked out side the drug unit office when the outside temperature was in the lower 90s in Georgia and the dog died of heat exhaustion.
| 10/27/2014 2:08 PM |
There is a saying, I believe it was coined by Sue Sternberg...that a dangerous dog can be perfectly fine 95% of the time. The public imagines a dangerous dog to be an out of control, raging, lunging, snarling animal. That's most often not the case. Dogs that have killed people may have been perfectly calm and docile and tolerated petting even moments before they attacked. There are numerous accounts of dogs that "slept in the bed" with their owners, cuddled with people, etc., who then have gone on to maul someone else to death.
People should be very skeptical of supposed "dog experts" who deal with power breeds and are involved in protection work when they claim that these dogs will make great pets for families with kids. The genetics and the type of training that most of these dogs go through represent the antithesis of what you should look for in a family pet.
| 10/27/2014 2:17 PM |
I would like to state an observation about this dog mauling in Wisconsin. From the beginning when it was reported that they spent hours (2,3 or 4 hours???)trying to stabilize this child before they could med-flight him to a hospital, I immediately thought of Zainabou. I have just watched the videos and read all the coverage of little Zainabou Drame's incredible and horrific pit bull attack once again. We all watched the video as the officers arrived and began working on her. One officer held on to her neck with his hand to stop the bleeding all the way to the hospital we were told. Of all the attacks that have been recorded on dogsbite.org, I don't remember seeing one incident where first responders waited around for hours. Stabilization starts occurring the moment the first responders arrive..as they are getting the victim on a stretcher and moving them to the ambulance or helicopter. These medical vehicles have live-saving devices on board. There is communication between the vehicle and the doctors at the hospital.....unless the child is already dead... I have a scenario in my mind as to what I think really happened to this little boy.
| 10/27/2014 6:48 PM |
I"m gonna be sick. The newest report out says the dog was being trained as a service dog! If the dog is indeed Ozzie, then it was trained for protection! And i believe the dog is from Dutch working lines - meaning bred to be good for protection work! That's not service dog material
Also, so glad Branwyne Finch brought that up! It is very important to note. I saw that video before it was taken down and that dog would have passed any and all temperament tests - but they discussed it also having a great bite!
| 10/27/2014 9:01 PM |
Things are opening up. This article even addresses the somewhat nasty Sheriff's election that is happening.
| 10/27/2014 10:10 PM |
Am I the only one who's questioning the morality, need, propriety of the gofundme thing? I really don't know which word is right, but to ask people for money to bury a child that was killed by your own negligence (stupidity)just seems wrong. Especially since these people don't look like they are in any pain financially. Though maybe they will be, or not. People who will pay for killer dogs might pay more to get one from a place where a person was killed. I guess they have as much right as the next person to beg for money, and I have as much right to judge them.
They were in the business of putting these dogs out into the general public. Now they have the audacity to ask for money. THAT'S what bothers me.
| 10/28/2014 11:42 PM |
Some recent comments about today's update from the related DogsBite Facebook post:
Laurie Anne - There are valid reasons for protection dogs, police dogs, and military dogs. It used to be that people recognized that these were dogs with a serious job, and being the kids' pet was not one of them. Jesse Smith sincerely believed that a molosser dog could be both a wigglebutt for the kids to use as a pillow, and an effective protection, i.e. attack dog, and that he trained them to have a "switch." That's what his business was based on. Sounds like some kind of Manchurian Candidate thing. How can dogs be split in this way, by training? Unclear if Vonhe Liche Kennels promoted this, or whether this is Jesse Smith's innovation, and I suspect it is not based in genetics and facts, but recent wishful thinking that molossers are lovable clowns, but will maul anyone who threatens the family. Ozzy presumably had an impeccable pedigree and world class protection training. What, if anything, caused him to misfire, or is this an extremely valuable case study of a good natured, well trained and cared for family pet, trusted to be absolutely safe and reliable, that attacked and fatally mauled, out of nowhere, because it was a molosser?
Lucy Muir - This was all being hidden - they talked about the dog being first just a pet and then a service dog when it was bred to excel at bite work. Genuine service dogs are bred to be passive to other stimuli and stay focused on their work and their handler. Someone who truly needs a service dog is left helpless if the dog becomes reactive just when they might need them the most.
And the video shows that the dog's temperament really does seem friendly, but it couldn't escape its breeding. RIP Logan.
The truth has to be told to save other people from Logan's fate and this practice must end.
| 11/20/2014 1:39 AM |
On November 19, there was a significant update to this blog post. I wanted to alert previous commenters to this. Dutch animal behaviorist, Alexandra Semyonova, responds to protection dogs with a "switch."
| 11/21/2014 12:15 PM |
Another brilliant article by Alexandra Semyonova.
She seems to be the only "behaviorist" with any sense.
These Personal Protection dogs are chosen for training because of their breeding and drive to attack. How could anyone with half a brain think this kind of dog could be a suitable family pet.
I wonder if the "Dr in Arizona" who was interested in Ozzy has any idea how his family dodged a tragedy.
In watching the "Ozzy being friendly" video that was made to show the Dr that the dog would be suitable to have around small children (though I saw no children in the video) I wondered if the woman "Tiffany" who is shown at the end of the clip is the same Tiffany that is Logans mother. I presume it is.
The Facebook page bothers me because it seems like its business as usual with pictures of their "dogs with a switch" being shown, as well as all those positive reviews. How could anyone give a positive review to a trainer who not only trained this dog but allowed it to live like a family pet and cause the death of a child.
Farmer Jane the Go Fund Me page also disturbs me. I see that the fundraising goal has been raised-
"I have raised the goal because I have recently come across the news that because they were starting up the new business and moving they were in between insurance... Please Help my Family!!!". Wow. Some way to build a business.
| 11/21/2014 6:04 PM |
This entire incident is terrible and unfortunately no words or details that I could give will change that. Hopefully someday people will allow me to discuss this incident without throwing around more hate. Our family is already dealing with alot right now. As far as your personal pet and the operation of the boarding business had nothing to do with the incident. I hope that you can come visit or call and we can discuss further
| 11/21/2014 6:09 PM |
All my comments will be used against me I'm sure. This entire incident has torn our family to shreds. We are heart broken and the only thing that we read is hate. I hope someday that someone will reach out to me and allow us to have an open conversation without the hate my wife has to read. As sad as this incident is it has nothing to do with the quality of care for the personal pets or the security measures we have taken to ensure this never happens again.
| 11/22/2014 3:47 AM |
Jessie, when I first read about this, I hoped that this would be a wake up call for you and your wife. Someone or some people have led you down the wrong path, and no matter what they keep telling you, wrong is wrong.
This wasn't an accident. It was inevitable, because you are playing with fire. I know that the rewards seem tempting, but there's a right and there's a wrong, and this is wrong.
I hear you complaining about you and your wife, but I don't hear one word about that boy, and what you both were doing did this to him. If you keep doing this, it will happen again to another child.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
| 11/23/2014 4:49 AM |
There are a lot of us out here who -- rightfully -- get angry when yet another child becomes the victim of parental vanity and hubris involving the keeping of aggressive bred and/or aggression-trained dogs. Some are fools who simply believe the propaganda put out by people who claim to be expert. Others are, as in this case, claiming to be the 'experts' themselves.
If this really is Jesse Smith commenting here, I say this: You aren't the first who failed to exercise due diligence and invest the effort to really understand what you were doing. You aren't the first to get caught up in a culture of vanity and hubris, or in the pompously macho culture of both inherently aggressive and attack-trained dogs.
I don't know whether people deserve contempt for making honest mistakes -- for believing others who presented themselves as 'experts' at a time when they were too unknowing to discern who was and wasn't really an 'expert'. I understand that it's not always easy to exercise due diligence in a culture where the chest-thumping publication of self-serving nonsense dominates, and real information is not easy to find. Whether they deserve contempt depends, in my opinion, on how they react when their ignorance proves – incontrovertibly – to be harmful.
Jess Smith (if it's really you), maybe you did honestly believe that you had become an expert. But in that case, I wonder why you never took the trouble to learn basic behavioral science, in this case the correct sequence in training behavior chains, the effects of harsh punishment on behavior, the impossibility of limiting where conditioned responses will occur if the cues are presented. I wonder why you were never puzzled about how hard it was so hard to get your dogs to instantly and reliably 'out' on the first command, nor why they so often bit their handler when a handler physically intervened. Why didn’t this make you doubt the training skills you had learned? I wonder why you never investigated the breeding and testing practices regarding the Dutch Rottweiler. I wonder many things -- due diligence when playing a dangerous game.
But that's the past. If you are now willing to consider that maybe your 'expertise' isn't as broad as you thought, to read what Semyonova has written for this site, and to consider that your whole claim to be a dog trainer needs an overhaul, then you are worthy and unusual -- and if you sincerely do this, you deserve some forgiveness. Just as many bereaved parents we know who unknowingly exposed their child to a pit bull type dog find only forgiveness and support among us when they abandon all foolishness and lies and work with us to save the lives of future children.
If, however, your wish for some conversation is only to self-justify without any real self-reflection, and to explain why it’s perfectly okay to continue as you were, then I don’t think you have a right to forgiveness or support. “Security measures” aren’t enough. You need to reconsider the whole of what you’re doing. If you don’t, despite the death of a child who was in your care, then I personally wouldn’t write you hate mail, but I fully understand why most of the world would stay angry at you.
If the death of a child entrusted to you doesn't make you willing to wake up, that fact would tell us this about you: you don't deserve support and certainly won't find it in this community.
| 11/23/2014 11:14 PM |
It was really me. And I have never called myself an expert or referred to as an expert.
I can also assure you that no amount of money, fame, or person could have lead me down this path had this ending known. Of course that goes for anyone or any situation.
My wife and I are living our lives with the rest of our kids one hour at a time. I didn't see the point to express our feeling or remorse because I'm sure everyone on here can understand. I also didn't answer for forgiveness or understanding. Only my savior Jesus Christ sitting at the right hand of God can do those things.
It is however sad that some people question my level of training without knowing the professional classes that I have taken. But honestly it doesn't matter how many classes or seminars or lectures I sat through because I'm still living this nightmare.
I will close with this the most unbearable and undesirable thing happened to us and our son loss his life because of it....... Blame me, blame whomever you want it doesn't hurt anymore than living with it every second of every day. Without the love of our family, friends, clients, and the community that we had just moved into we would be even more lost.
It's hard to get a real grasp of someone's feeling in a text or letter so I'm available for phone calls if you desire.
| 11/24/2014 11:46 PM |
How strange to be selling attack-trained dogs to families, assuring them that these dogs are safe with their children, but at the same time saying you weren't presenting yourself as an expert.
I'm questioning your level of training -- of your whole crowd's level of training -- based on results. Based also on wide experience with the IPO and schutzhund crowd. As I said, I understand that it's not easy to find out who's selling dangerous nonsense in such dog trainer circles. I get it that if the types of dogs they use are the only dogs you interact with, you could come to believe that all dogs are like that. You could even start to believe that dogs that aren't like that are lesser creatures, curs rather than 'real dogs'. I get it that it's tempting to go along with that crowd's self-serving routine of blaming the results of their own mistakes and ignorance on the dogs. And I understand that questioning anything they tell you leads to ridicule and ostracism.
Our examination of this tragedy isn't personally against you any more than our examination of the many pit bull killings are personal against those bereaved parents. It's not about blaming people who made honest mistakes, believed nicely packaged lies, and were led down the road to disaster. The point is to stop the harm that's being done.
You'll find that most of us won't participate if (or when) Vohne Liche and the rest of the IPO crowd come out saying it was just you, that you were apparently their only incompetent trainer, or that you made mistakes the rest of them don't make. But we won't go along with it either if they try to comfort you by saying 'aw, it was just a freak accident', or 'it was just that one dog'. The problem is the entire IPO and schutzhund scene, and even more so their recent attempts to expand their market to civilian families.
The information published here will be crucial to preventing another tragedy like yours and the loss of more children's lives. I respect your grief, but I'm frankly less concerned with honoring that than with protecting future children from the lies we adults tell and our vanities and failures. That seems to me the best way to honor all children's lives, including your boy's.
I hope that at some point you'll be able to see our activities not as a personal attack (though it may feel that way right now), but as a invitation to become, in time, a force for positive change within the IPO and schutzhund scene. That will take real courage, it would be putting your grief to good use, and it would be the biggest honor you could possibly pay to all children. A lot of us have found that that is the greatest comfort after a devastating loss for which there is no other real comfort.
| 12/23/2014 8:04 PM |
I've seen people recently get dogs which are obviously (in their mind) for protection and I'm not a fan of this. Dogs can and DO go off on their own; unlike a gun. I saw a older couple, obviously nearing their senior years, in Petsmaul with two large Cane Corso puppies. Neither one of them is going to be able to hold ONE of those dogs back if it decides to kill someone or something.
| 5/05/2015 9:40 PM |
Wow. Jessie Smith and his wife Tiffany Smith simply renamed their protection dog training business to "Jessiffany" and continue down the same path, like nothing ever happened. Like a dog they trained never even killed one of their own children. Jessie even writes a review "of his own business" on the Facebook page and gives himself a 5 star rating.
Jessie Smith — 5 star
Tiffany and I have been blessed to further our skills and training at our own kennel located here in Iron Ridge Wisconsin. This boarding facility is top notch and honestly the cleanest, superior built kennel I have ever been inside. The 32 run kennel will give us the ability to maintain the top notch pet boarding, to continue to provide both facility and services dogs to the organizations that we have partnered with, and continue training the finest protection dog available.
January 13, 2015 · 8 Reviews
They launched the "rebranded" business just 2 months after Logan was buried.