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56 thoughts on “2020 Dog Bite Fatality: 14-Year Old Boy Fatally Bitten by Dog at Otter Tail County Breeder; Dog was Imported from Poland

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  1. What is there to investigate? An unpredictably dangerous canine that suddenly, unpredictably became dangerous. Because that is what it is.

  2. I think people seriously need to be more wary of german sheperds. I always hear people speak so highly of them despite the fact that they are involved in many dog attacks. Reading this breaks my heart. I couldn’t imagine sending my child out to feed a dog only for them to be killed by said dog.

    • I’d like to extend that warning to all dogs. I just don’t trust them anymore. My personal protection policy is to stay as far away from them as possible.

  3. I guess you’re saying it was a GSD from a Polish breeder. She apparently wanted to save some money by buying a dog from the still mostly impoverished former East Bloc instead of Western Europe where the standards would generally be higher.

    • It’s not just about saving money. By the time the dog is flown out and the taxes, extra vet checks etc–it often isn’t cheaper. I looked into it as the Bouviers here are getting more substandard by the month.

      It has to do with healthy stock which, due to chronic inbreeding in UK/US/CAD lines has weakened their lines plus, the breeding contracts that breeders in these countries that protect their profits on their inbred dogs and monopolises dog breeding outside of puppy mills.

      Again, all this goes back to dogs for profit and the money machine that has completely rocketed off the rails resulting in a massive surge of pitbulls instead of cheap/free healthy mongrels and reasonably-priced, purebreds from good stock.

      If nothing else, buying a dog from certain countries that specialise in those breeds–is often the ticket to a healthier bloodline and superior breeding stock to those available in the US/UK etc.

      Everyone wanted all this dog neutering. While I agree in many cases–it has also resulted in a dearth of decent mongrels for families as on the other side–the Pet Industry has been shilling the joys of pet ownership to increase their profits.

      Yes, even dogs have gone the way of predatory capitalism run amok.

      • We did want all of this dog neutering 40 years ago when shelters kept a shopping cart to load and roll the litters of 8-12 unwanted puppies into the shelter for processing.
        At “my” shelter the local Gordon Setter breeder dumped his “leftover” purebred puppies at 16 weeks as did one of the Doberman Pincher breeders in the area.
        At the time of my retirement these events didn’t happen anymore. There were very few puppies surrendered, those that were given up were usually the result of people having no idea what they were getting into when they bought a puppy and then realizing how much work a puppy actually is to raise.
        I agree there is a place in our society for a healthy mixed breed dog with nary a whiff of Pitbull Terrier, Rottweiler, or any other mastiff type dog in their breeding. Just a good average size companion animal with hybrid vigor.
        I stopped banging the “neuter every dog” drum when it became obvious that the only people still breeding backyard dogs were the Pitbull owners. Those dogs, and their mixes, fill that shelter now and the current employees engage in creative breed identification. In my opinion, unsolicited, disturbing and disgusting behavior.

        • Isn’t it amazing how it changed? And yet there has not been one instant of actual appreciation for what an amazing accomplishment that was for both the sheltering people and for the citizens who agreed to speuter. The pit bull people have filled the gap with endless litters, and the achievement was just obliterated.

          • Has nothing to do with spay and neutering, but everything to do with people’s mindset and responsibility.
            I’m a 52 year old retired veterinary technician of 28 years and have never neutered any of my male dogs, but I also don’t allow them to roam and breed, same with my female dogs.
            It’s actually unhealthy for a animal to be altered.
            It’s a HUGE MANEY MAKING MASHINE for clinics…nothing more.
            I’m myself am not ” fixed ” and never had an ” unwanted pregnancy “. ,
            This backwards practice is actually been outlaws in Europe.
            Many countries now BAN the practice of unnecessary alteration of pets unless there is a PROVEN MEDICAL ISSUE that warrants this ” medical intervention ” .
            Other unnecessary procedures such as dewclaw removal, ear and tail cropping is also been outlawed , and its way overdue here …..
            As far as doing it for ” health reasons ” that’s also a lie to get you to submit, having a intact pet is no more unhealthy for the animal as having a Son that isn’t circumcised .

  4. A family member often told a so-called “funny” story: he walked down his hallway in the dark one night, when his female German Shepherd (raised from puppyhood) silently leaped for his throat. He realized what was happening just in time, called her name, and she fell in submission. This was a 100% family dog, never trained in protection or aggression.

    I always found the story extremely disturbing. A dog has keen senses other than sight that would inform her that her owner was walking in the dark. A dog that would knowingly lunge for her owner’s throat is a dog that should not be in a home, particularly in a home with young children (as this dog was).

    I know that many German Shepherds are wonderful, loyal pets…but some are not. What a sad circumstance for the 14 yo boy who was showing responsibility and helping his father. Perhaps his situation was similar: the dog silently lunged for his throat. Only it met its target. Very tragic.

  5. Holy crap. A breeder’s stud dog involved in a DBF. Terrifying. Now I too am wondering just how many puppies this monster sired that are now out on the streets. A dog the breeder thought was so sweet and loving. Probably like 10+ puppies in each litter. This is horrifying.

    Prayers for this family in the loss of their son. I hope they’ll do the right thing and warn the buyers of their puppies that this happened, but considering they yanked the stud’s page after it killed their son, I doubt it.

      • Hi Denny, yes I am the woman whose ear had a chunk bit out from one of Jennifer Bush’s puppies. I’ve owned/raised 3 other GSDs from different breeders prior & never experienced that behavior. There was something VERY wrong with that dog. And even worse, she is a horrid, mentally I’ll abusive woman that slandered me & verbally abused me after she read my review on her fb business page. She made angry & laughing emojis then calling me a liar (despite pics of my ear). She was very aware of Ullys aggression & is trying to cover it, but her multiple stories arent adding up. Shes getting caught up in her lies & I pray justice will be served. She is responsible for her son’s death; directly or indirectly. Btw, there were others that had horrible experiences w her but she blocked them & removed her business pg that allowed for reviews – creating a new one that DOESN’T allow for reviews. Huge red flag. And she never returned my deposit. I may still take her to small claims court, especially after this incident. She is a tragic human being with no conscience. God bless her other children & husband who lost their brother & son. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Jessica Simonet

        • Jennifer S, thank you for your post. When I saw your review and her response, I was sickened. I agree, she needs a legal consequence for what happened to her poor son. I too have had Shepherds and never had one rip off an ear.

  6. Hi Colleen, I know this is a little off topic, but you really should block @Pitwiztroldman1 on Twitter. He responds to almost everyone who replies to your posts, with pitnutter rhetoric and hate towards victims.

  7. I saw this breeder’s website first but I was surprised how many GSD breeders there were in this community. Apparently, they are the breed of choice there. I can’t imagine what this was like for the bedridden father who may have heard something or what he must have been feeling when he came to the realization that something may have happened with the dogs attacking his son.

    Does OSHA get involved in these situations? (Does OSHA get involved when there is a death on a family farm?) The breeder appears to be running this as a business and even has pet food/supplement sponsors on her website.

  8. I love how these people talk about how loving, funny and well tempered their ” new family member ” is , when in reality….they know nothing about it.
    I can imagine the horror of what they’re going through
    and right before Christmas.

  9. It’s not unusual to import large, protection breeds nowadays. It’s been common practise in working lines for the past 3 decades.

    This is due to the horrific show breeding that in North America and the UK where formerly powerful guarding breeds are bred crippled from hip dysplasia, roach backs, genetic heart conditions, etc.

    In other countries, unfit dogs can be culled as puppies before they can breed. That is no longer legal in the UK or America/Canada. Plus, the costs of studs/dams in these countries has shot through the roof outside of puppy mill breeding making good stock, too expensive for breeders and protection trainers to acquire.

    It’s big business for less affluent nations to breed and sell these dogs.

    These dogs can be bought as puppies, or with protection training. The problem in the protection trained ones is that if they turn out to be unstable or poorly trained–it’s nearly impossible to sue the trainers for breach of contract.

    As I’ve often said–protection dogs are NOT pets. They should never be bought with the idea that they will ever be pets. They have a job to do and they are not suitable as companion dogs. They are born, bred, raised and trained for that job–not to be a companionable fluffykins for someone who has no idea how to dog handle a protection dog.

    Kennels that sell this bill of goods that protection dogs are pets are lying for profit.

    • I’m not opposed to protection trained dogs. I had a GSD that I trained and titled in AKC utility and then worked him in protection. He was always 100% trustworthy. He put up with abuse inflicted by a stranger’s three year old deaf child and didn’t bite the brat. (The child was running a battery powered Jeep up and down his muzzle.)

      The issue with roachy backed GSDs originated in Germany.
      Roachy backed GSDs are unlikely to win in AKC conformation classes.

      Hip dysplasia is found in most breeds of dogs. GSD hips are actually far better than the hips of many breeds. Hip dysplasia and roached backs are not genetically related.

      As far as protection training is concerned, good protection work requires a lot of time and excellent training. Too many trainers are delighted to show a protection dog will bite. However, they do not consider control very important. Some trainers put dogs up on unstable tables with nooses around their necks and agitate them. This teaches defensive aggression. Dogs treated this way are apt to bite out of fear.

      Some of these folks claim to be able to train a dog in protection work in as little as two weeks and charge thousands of dollars.

      People should not get involved in protection dogs unless the dogs are mentally stable and properly trained. To do otherwise is foolish.

      Our protection dogs were required to allow the agitator to pet them at the end of class to the command, “friend”. In other words, they were taught that they had to allow petting and could not bite for any reason with a “friend” command.

      • I know this Rachel. I had them, lived with them, trained them and went to work with them where they kept myself and my co-workers alive which is why I have the utmost respect for their working capabilities.

        While some dogs are protection trained and stable, most aren’t, nor are the people unless they are working in security/police (and that’s not a guarantee, either)–hence my warning. Also, most people do not have the years of experience to handle them and that includes most of the people who own them.

        Most won’t spend years, and I mean years, understanding the minds of dogs and dog training. In fact, most won’t even dedicate themselves daily for 6 weeks or so to prove they can handle an offlead dog, properly.

        I reversed your training style, in a sense. The dogs were not permitted to turn ON until they had a perfect OFF whether I said anything, or not after the “out” was done.

        Even then, it is *always* a calculated risk, as some articles on this site have pointed out with the amount of maulings both on and off the job, committed by so-called Police/Security Dogs.

        You’re right about the speed. It takes six weeks just to obedience train a dog properly including recall and a perfect drop on recall because it must be 100% muscle memory for a “safe” dog. To have a trustworthy dog, these must be perfected before any protection training starts IMO. Most people are not experienced or dedicated enough to get that far, never mind the dedication required to dog handle a shutzhund or mondio dog. Most won’t even practise standard household management for protection-trained dogs.

        That makes it an expensive proposition in handling hours for the trainers and owners/handlers which is why, I wouldn’t trust protection-trained dogs in most cases. Are there good trainers? Absolutely. But they are costly and demand great dedication from the dog owner.

        It takes a dedication that there’s absolutely no reason a family who needs a companion dog–would need to invest. Nor are most willing or experienced enough to choke out or hang a dog if it becomes necessary in an emergency. I never had to do it with a trained dog, but I did know how, if the need, arose.

        It’s easy enough to train a friendly, companionable big dog to “watch” (bark on command) which is generally enough for most circumstances and far less risky or time/money-consuming.

        • It’s pure foolishness for anyone to have an uncontrollable protection dog. Actually it’s pure foolishness to have any uncontrollable biting dog in the house. When a workman comes over to fix something in the house, a biting dog must be put up somewhere, and it is of no value in protection sitting in the backyard or in a crate.

          By the way, if I read correctly, I think the sire of this killer dog was a bundesieger. This is a dog that has gotten top position at the country’s national annual show. Dogs that win this have to be tough and bite hard. It’s a big honor to win this, and his puppies are likely very expensive.

          • I’m not talking about putting the dog in a crate or backyard in that case. I’m talking about a 100% proofed “place” or “down” command.

            In the case of house guarding, there are more efficient methods than a dog anyway. They’re relatively easy for a robber to disable compared to a high-tech security system.

            In the case of a business, cage-release is useful but again…probably more efficient methods out there which is why it’s not commonly done much, any more.

            Sometimes dogs are just nuts. Or go nuts, just like people. Unless they do an autopsy, it’s hard to tell. Also, some dogs are great until they hit maturity or are better handled by different kinds of people.

            I understand folks that are into the sport of shutzhund or mondio. Same way I understand those that are into agility or competition obedience or sheep herding. There’s admiration for a person-dog team that’s hard to quantify and the trust between dog-handler is absolute. Most people will never understand that depth of relationship with a dog.

            Sadly, that’s not most protection dog owners. It’s also not who most of these companies, are selling to or there wouldn’t be so many people getting attacked.

            They’re selling a dream…that can turn into a nightmare.

  10. The information regarding the incident is not accurate. Jennifer (the breeder) is the mother of the boy who was mauled. She did not hide it. She literally posted the day it happened that Ully killed her son. This is a terrible tragedy.

  11. The recent killing of an infant was at the jaws of a Shepard mix. (No pit in the mix.) The trusted family pet attacked the baby while it slept next to the parents. Truly horrifying case. People can’t seem to understand these are animals, not fur-covered humans. I’ve trusted every dog I’ve owned but I never underestimated their ability to kill. I can’t imagine bringing any kind of protection or fighting breed into my home…especially where there are children.

    • I cannot understand why it is acceptable for parents with young children to go to a shelter and bring home a dog when there is really no way to predict that dog’s behavior around children.

      • Excellent point, Rachel.

        Decades ago, people did this all the time because if it looked like a mostly beagle puppy, it likely was a mostly beagle, puppy. Also, the local pounds used to euthanize all dogs that even growled or were hard-to-handle because they were inundated with perfectly good dogs.

        I know our local Humane will not place dogs in homes with children under 10 and for older ones, generally they’ll only place small dogs.

        Nowadays it’s just too risky.

        • I am glad your local shelter has a brain. If HSUS finds out they will be in trouble. We will never empty the shelters of unwanted pits and reach “No Kill” status if shelters are choosey about what homes they will place large aggressive dogs into. So many shelters have decided that pits are “the best” dogs for young families. They claim kids can ride on them & pull their tails and they will just Keep On Nannying. I am not sure how they explain pits are the number 1 killer of people of any age or kids in particular but I am sure we have heard it before.

          • Dr Duke, we have BSL here. The Humane here isn’t part of the American HSUS and they get partial city funding so due to liability, they are still euthanizing dangerous dogs.

            I still see pitbulls and pitbull mixes but there’s fewer of them than the infestation other places have.

      • These pit-packed shelters try to mitigate the unknown history even though they notice aggression within the facility. They say things like, not suitable for a home with children or not good with other pets. What about the relative who brings a child into your home? Or the person walking their small dog near yours? How are you going to keep your “rescue” in a bubble so no one gets hurt? Many of these shelter pits are labeled “stray.” Not long ago, a mother in Yakima WA, picked up a stray pit off the road and it promptly attacked her son the same day. I think people often want a story to go along with their shelter dog, even if they have to make one up.

  12. The only glimmer of good news is the murdering beast is already dead. In so many of the cases the mauler is kept alive for months. or even years. I am glad someone realized “the 10 day hold” doesn’t keep you from putting a killer down. I know some people insist “the dog must be kept for evidence!” I maintain that is much easier to do when the dog is dead. Anytime there is a preponderance of the evidence that a dog is a killer it should be put down. Reasonable doubt is for people. Dog’s are property.


    • Exactly, Dr Duke. Dogs are human NOT siblings or children. Or “fur babies.”

      They are dogs. Predatory carnivores. Nothing more, nothing less.

  13. I heard yesterday that a man found a badly injured pit bull that was clearly a “bait dog”. He carried the dog in his arms a mile to his home and nursed him back to health. I wonder how he determined the dog was a “bait dog” and not simply a dog that liked to fight. At any rate, he now knows he has a dog killing dog and thinks the dog learned to fight because he was a “bait dog”. Do most dogs of other breeds become dog killers because they were chewed up by pit bulls? Wouldn’t they also have been used as bait by pit bulls?
    I personally think breed matters. The woman who told me this tale has a pit bull which is the mother of her two pit bull/boxer mixes. One of the pit/boxer mixes is far too dangerous to let it around her other two dogs, but she absolutely loves pit bulls. She also owned the boxer sire.

  14. I remember seeing the ad for this dog on the classified section of the german shepherd dog pedigree database. The as is still there, for the same dog, for sale. I wondered why they were selling a recently imported dog, my guess was health or temperament problems, or both. This is not the first time I’ve heard of an imported adult GSD being so aggressive that the owner needs to sell it. Poland has many breeders of good quality long coat german shepherds, the long coats are their niche, so to speak, and are generally show dogs and not “working ” dogs, so are usually more docile and less aggressive. But its a gamble to import an adult of any breed, you never know how it was raised. Such a shame and senseless loss of life.

    • Doesn’t the pedigree on that dog show its father as being a bundesieger? That award is given to the high scoring Schutzhund dog at the national. Dogs winning that are tough biting dogs.

      • Makes sense Rachel. Also that Ully was 3…coming into full drive maturity with owners who may not have understood the full complexities of that?

        Also, CS, I’ve seen a few of these dogs in the past years, around and some seem to be quite drive-y. They are certainly intelligent, agile and good-looking from what I’ve seen.

        Truth is, if we’re honest, that 90% of dogs, we don’t know a lot about their history and what we see presented, may not be the actual truth of their daily lives as puppies or dogs–even from breeders unless they’re personal friends.

        It’s why my preference is to buy dogs 10-12 months. By then I have a pretty good idea of what temperament they have when I work them, their size, what they’re mixed with etc.

      • Actually, bundessieger means winner at a national conformation, (ie: beauty contest.)show, any breed , golden retrievers, poodles, etc, can be a bundessieger.
        German shepherd dogs must have a minimum SCH 1, to be a national champion, I believe.

  15. The dog was found to be infertile (3 failed breeding attempts) and the owner/breeder was in the process of trying to sell him. No litters were had by him, at least in the U.S. that I am aware of.

      • Yes, I was speaking with her about an upcoming Ully litter expected. She said there was an ultrasound done and the pregnancy did not take. Said he was bred with 3 females and none took and that everything had checkout normal “blood work, semen, etc.”. When the ultrasound confirmed not pregnant, she put Ully up for sale. She said he had adapted well and had zero issues adjusting. She told me he had just turned 4 years old. She said he wasn’t overly dominant or submissive and that he “isn’t aggressive”. She said he played “a bit rough” with their Chihuahua. She said he was in show training and bite work in Poland and “he can get a little mouthy when over excited”. I considered purchasing him, but her comments made my husband nervous. I am heartbroken for her loss but also very concerned that she tried to sell him to us or any other family. It seems her site has been removed of all content and her FB page has been changed to “blog”. I am hoping she provides deposits back to all families considering buying upcoming puppies from her.

        • I’m rather curious as to why Ully was sold in the first place if the original breeder/owner kept him for three years. Any info on that, Lynn?

          Then the second owner/breeder tried to dump him before he attacked their child.

          I find all of this rather odd.

  16. Was semen actually checked on this dog? Missed pregnancies on bitches may reflect a timing issue or that they had reproductive issues themselves.

    A dog can be fertile at one year and sterile at two years. A friend had a black male GSD sire a nice sized litter at one year of age. That was his only litter. He was sterile at two years and never sired another litter although not neutered or vasectomized. His semen was checked.

    Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Poland knowingly shipped a very infertile dog, I don’t see proof of that. Germany sold a hemophiliac male to an American in the 1990’s for $10,000 and refused to allow its return.

    Also the dog that wins the beauty contest at the national show is the Sieger. The dog outscoring all the other Schutzhund dogs in the national show is the Bundessieger. That is a working contest, not a beauty contest.

  17. Jennifer Bush is some kind of special. Giving her business 5 stars, she wrote a nasty counter Yelp review that you can see by scrolling down on Yelp past the two verified reviews. You will then see “3 other reviews that are not currently recommended” and this means Yelp flagged them. She called out the buyer by her full name and went on to say awful things about her seeing a therapist. She then claims the Sheriff and AG are on her side. One month later, she imported Ully. Ten months later, Ully kills her son.

  18. Has anyone checked to see what the requirements are in Minnesota for when a breeder needs a commercial breeders’ license? It varies from state to state and county to county. Sometimes it is related to the number of dogs. For example, in Indiana, it’s necessary if one has over 20 intact females over one year old. Then that breeder must meet USDA requirements. If one has twenty or fewer intact females over one year old, no commercial breeders’ license is required. One also has to meet USDA requirements if one owns more than four breeding females and ships puppies. Breeders selling to brokers and pet shops must be USDA. Brokers selling more than 500 dogs per year must be USDA.

    This breeder may not have been required to have a commercial breeders’ license.
    How many dogs did she actually have?

  19. In response to 21. Christy, yes Jennifer is unhinged. Yes, she made fun of me for seeing a pet loss grief counselor after losing middle aged soul dog very unexpectedly and tragically. What human with a soul does that? Let alone a supposedly loving dog breeder? She’s a malignant narcissistic sociopath. She is getting caught up in her lies and all she has sowed. She also was mocking other clients of hers on her fb business page (clients who clearly had issues as well), but she blocked them. What business owner mocks their clients publicly besides narcissistic individuals. And in regard to the sheriff and attorney general – they were not on her side. Disordered individuals are pathological liars. The attorney general’s office called me personally to apologize for her “inhumane” behavior. He was genuinely sorry for my tragic loss & felt even worse I was bit by one of her dogs on top of being harrassed by her. I noticed some very strange behaviors by Jennifer – she was very passive aggressive/hostile, not a professional business owner by any means.

  20. The publication has been updated. Allegedly Dion had his femoral artery punctured by one tooth. I’m no medical expert but isn’t that deep within the leg? As in it takes some digging and serious biting to get to that artery?

  21. It takes a lot more than just a nip to puncture a major artery.

    It is unknown if they are even registered with the AKC. I cannot tell if they are registered with the GSDCA.

    Lakeview.shepherds on instagram is still being updated and they just had more puppies in May 2021. They are still an active breeder with akc registration.

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