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Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society shelter

Mark and dog

Mark and catwalk


After 11 months in cramped shelter, mutt primed for new home

By Dan Linehan
The Free Press

Kozy, a 3-year-old mutt, revels in the attention of his trainer, Mark Kozitza. Over the past three weeks, Kozy has gone from your average leash-pulling, jumping dog to a classy canine. (Hint, hint: He was available as of Wednesday night)

Kozy, a three-year-old mutt, is led on an obstacle course by his trainer, Mark Kozitza. The dog has spent the past 11 months in the Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society shelter. That’s many months too long, so the shelter decided to enroll Kozy in a 21-day program to make him more attractive to a prospective adopter.

John Cross / The Free Press

Click here to read full story on Kozy.


Gunnar vom Kozie


Hi Mark,

I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for breeding such a wonderful dog. This is Gunnar & he is now 2 &1/2 & is just exceptional in every way. His temperament is sound, he is absolutely gorgeous, LOVES kids. He is so easy in the house, we even took him on vacation with us last summer. He has such a level head & although he is very friendly with people, if there is suspicious activity of any kind, he is the best guard/watch dog. Since we brought him into our home on that very wintery night back in Dec, 2010 he has been a dream. We just couldn't imagine life without him. My vet always compliments us on our training & his beauty & temperament every time we go in. The thing she doesn't know, is Gunnar has been this perfect since the day we brought him home.

Thanks again, Jacki Underhill


Zoie vom Kozie

zoie and alli

In Memory of

our beautiful "Zo-bear"

She was the matriarch and gentle giant
of the Gunderson Gang. She established the rules and oversaw the pack with a
nurturing heart.

We couldn't of asked for a more wonderful dog. She had such a balanced disposition, determined and strong willed but a gentle touch. Devoted and loyal to the end.

She was our big girl.

Tom,Barb and Katie Gunderson

Blitz vom Kozie

hoss pup

Hi Mark,

We wanted to let you know how much we enjoy Blitz. He is a great companion, very alert, agile and both people and animal friendly. In fact, he is well known and liked in our neighborhood as well. We appreciate all of your help in answering our many questions and demonstrating techniques to use with Blitz.

Recently Blitz, who is now 16 months old, participated in a 3.1 mile run to benefit "Helping Paws". We would guess there were close to 200 dogs in the run. Our neighbor,
Jean, ran with him. Jean and Blitz came in 10th and they were 4th among women runners. That was so much fun. We will definitely do it again next year.

Thank you again for everything.

John and Kathy Bode

Hoss vom Kozie

hoss pup

kozie pup

Hi Mark,

I hope you are having a good week. Hoss, our 6 month old Aaron/Meg boy has been doing an AWESOME job with his new pinch collar. In fact, last Saturday a few hours after we got home from being at your facilty for training, I took Hoss for a walk with his new collar. About two blocks away from our house all was going well when all of a sudden we heard a bunch of loud banging noises. I quick looked behind me, only to find out that some young kids (who I saw driving by me very suspiciously with their windows open) had thrown a bunch of fire works off right near us! However, despite the fact that I was livid, Hoss did AMAZING! He flinched for a second since it caught us both of guard, but we both just stood there looking at the fire works go off. I couldn't believe it! He didn't get scared or anything. I saw the young kids about a block down watching us and all I could think of was how the joke was on them. They didn't scare me or the pup, which I am sure is what they wanted to do.

After about a minute or so Hoss did make a small whinning noise as we started walking again, but I didn't feed into this and just acted like nothing was wrong. He quickly stopped.

I thought I would share that story with you because I was pretty proud of him and his reaction. Once again, Hoss wouldn't be the pup he is without your help and support. You do such an amazing job with your dogs and we feel blessed to have Hoss.

See you soon :)

Nicole Snedden

Kane vom Kozie
K9 Kane vom Kozie


K-9 Kane and is handler Sgt Dave Struckman, began their working partnership in April 2010. Sgt Struckman has been a LeSueur County Officer since 1979. Sgt Struckman started his K-9 career in 1981, being LeSueur County’s first K-9 Handler/Trainer.

Kane is a patrol dog trained in obedience, agilty, building and area searches, tracking, drug detection, and criminal apprehension. Kane is known for his even temperament, great nose, and the love for children.

Isabella vom Kozie
Kozie's Germanshepherd pup


Just wanted to wish you and Amy a Merry Christmas. I am sending a few pictures of the puppy you sold me. She is the greatest! Smart as a whip and a joy to travel with. I named her Isabella after a Doberman our first dog I was in love with. You can see her learning to walk with my horses and in the next two you can see her trying tracking for the first time, then running to the truck after she was done!

I met a great lady in Idaho that has trained Shepherds to be service dogs and also titled several in tracking and obedience. She wanted to expose me and the pup to some of the things we might persue down the line. We are in California now and as I count my blessings during these special days of Christmas I think my sweet Isabella is number one and so I just had to thank you and wish you many blessings too!!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a New Year full of great things too!! Isabella and I will look forward to some sessions with you next summer when we get home.!!!

All the best,
Helena Espinosa

Lilly vom Kozie
Lilly vom Kozie


This has taken me way too long but I just wanted to tell you how happy we are to have Lilly be part of our family. She was born in 2008, an Ava-Ringo girl and has been such a joy!

I have lived with dogs for most of my life and can honestly say I have never had a dog so smart, attentive and intuitive. She seems to know what we all think before we know ourselves. Since she came to you for imprinting and then training, she has been amazingly well behaved. She is the best companion!

Thank you so much!

Veronique and family,
Rochester MN


Axel vom Kozie

Axel vom Kozie


Just wanted to give you an update on Axel's pheasant hunting skills. He is doing very well with his nose, tail and birdie skills. You can tell when he smells a bird; his tail is wagging and he is jumping through the tall grass. When he is right on a bird his tail is twirling like a helicopter.

Saturday while walking in tall slue grass he started to birdie, ran and flushed a roaster. I shot and it landed in the corn field. Axel retrieved it to me.

Yesterday while hunting with a group in South Dakota all went well. When arriving at the field one guy asked if we were going after drugs in the field. At the end of the hunt he said Axel did what any good pheasant dog should do. That guy saw Axel birdie, flush, he shot a bird and Axel retrieved the bird. I told him who need drugs when you got pheasants.

Keith Bos

Phoenix vom Kozie
Phoenix Training


This is Scott Wall and things are going great for Phoenix and the family; we couldn’t have ever imagined how much a part of the family he would become.  The imprinting has been coming along pretty well, but he gets so excited to work it is hard to get him to lie down.  Sit and Come are great.  

We were wondering if we could setup a training period for him in August.  I am currently traveling for work and located in New Orleans making trips back every couple weeks while Steph and Megan are at home working with Phoenix.  Could you let us know what time would be good for you to take Phoenix for the three week training we talked about?  The end of August would work out the best for us and pick him up before Labor Day, but let us know what will work for you.  I am attaching a few pictures of Phoenix so far, he really is a big part of our family and we get compliments every where we go with him.

Thanks again for the great pup, he is a great addition to our family.

 Scott E. Wall

Cooper Training

Hi Mark,

Just wanted to let you know that Cooper is doing GREAT! He comes right away when we say HERE. (even if he is under the bed...he has NEVER come out from under the bed without being dragged!) He heels without a leash (we practice all the time) and in general seems calmer and more content.

Also, it's so much more fun to play fetch, as he actually brings the ball back and drops it on command. I continue to walk him with the pinch collar which is working very well.  (Hope to switch to a flat buckle collar by this summer..)

I am so glad that we sent him to stay with you. It was well worth it.

Thank you so much!

Diane Monson

Quazar vom Kozie "Wyatt"
Wyatt vom Kozie

Hi Mark,

I just wanted to share some pictures and let you know how Wyatt is doing. We have had him for a year this month already. He is still very verbal and always "talking" about everything. Our Golden Retriever, Aspen, fell in love with him instantly and they have been buddies ever since.

He loves to play with everything and goes nonstop. He can even get the barn cat and the horses to play with him occasionally. When he finally tires out he cuddles right up to us and goes to sleep. But if your up, he's up right behind you. Our nephew is almost 2 and Wyatt finds him fascinating, following him everywhere.

He just has a wonderful fun loving disposition. He is a bit exuberant for some people so we have to be a little selective when choosing pet sitters, but that personality is so much of what we love about him. He is also very intelligent and alert. He gets excited to do training, thrives on stimulation, and really makes eye contact. The entire family really enjoys him.

Eric, Desirri, & Damon Arneson

MacKenzie vom Kozie

I purchased MacKenzie from Kozies in the summer of 2008, and brought her home at 9 weeks old. She is from a Brax/Fida breeding. She is an amazing dog! She has tons of energy and is incredibly alert and attentive to her surroundings, nothing gets past her. I've been around dogs all my life and can also say that she's one of the smartest dogs I've ever owned or worked with.

She's also just a stunning dog as far as looks. Absolutely gorgeous! There have been a few people who've pulled their cars over and gotten out to come talk to me about her when we're out for walks. And she is not even full grown yet!

I'd recommend Kozies to anyone looking for a high quality, incredibly smart, driven and loving German Shepherd. I spent about a year researching and looking for a breeder before I decided on Kozies and I was always so impressed whenever I would talk to Mark about his dogs. When I said I was still looking around he encouraged me to see what was out there before I decided. And when I came to visit his kennels and see his dogs in person I was sold. He has always been available to talk with me about Mackenzie and help me out with any questions I've had and it's obvious he is passionate and knowledgeable about what he does and the dogs he sells.

Kimberly Balega

Gilly vom Kozie
JR Police K-9

Gilly is a Kozie male out of a breeding from Rommel- Lydia.

K-9 Gilly and his handler, Officer Eric Bullen, began their K-9 careers together in the fall of 2006. K-9 Gilly is a male German Shepherd and was born in June, 2005. Officer Bullen has been a Minneapolis Police Officer since 1996. K-9 Gilly is a patrol dog and is trained in criminal apprehension, building searches, area searches, article/evidence searches, tracking, obedience and agility.

Kato vom Kozie

I couldn’t be happier with my experience with Kozies Kennel.  Being a 1st time GSD buyer, I was admittedly a bit nervous when bringing home my new pup, but Mark and Amy Kozitza have guided me through the whole process from day one.

Mark is always willing and able to answer any questions or concerns that I might have.  It’s very reassuring to know that I have an expert of this breed available to me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

My pup Kato ( Josie / Ringo 07) is honestly the best dog I could ever hope for.  His temperament is loving with family, playful with children and tolerant of strangers.  Training has been a breeze; it only takes a few sessions for him to learn a new command because his ball / prey drive is off the charts.  He apparently is becoming quite a handsome young man as well! I can’t take him anywhere without someone stopping us and telling him how gorgeous he is! (I hope he doesn’t get a big head!) 

I will never buy another dog from anyone else.

Brian Keefe

Zorro and Tasha vom Kozie

Tasha Vom Kozie

Zorro Vom Kozie


Mark- Zorro and Tasha (Sully and Pearl breeding) were 8 years old on July 12th, 2008. They are solid dogs, trainable, sweet, and loving. They both carry advanced agility and tracking titles, and have become responsible members of our 5 dog pack.

Tasha is our pack “police dog” in that she keeps the pack stable and behaved. She will intervene when the younger members become too rowdy and with a short low growl puts a damper on excessive play, but she allows less aggressive play. Zorro is a very benevolent pack leader and has been very tolerant of our newest, highly active Border Collie puppy. It always surprises me how much he will put up with, but when he puts his foot (paw) down that’s it.

They are very people friendly, and are good with children. In fact, Tasha has a Therapy Dog Certification

Stephen P Glasser MD

Griz vom Kozie
Griz Vom Kozie

I wasn’t looking for a dog. I wasn’t even thinking about looking for a dog. But while I was camping Memorial Week I met Ranger, a 4 ½ month old Kozie Shepherd, a son of Ringo and Lydia. I was amazed! For a pup he was calm and friendly. His owner sang his praises. I wanted one!

When I got home I looked at Mark’s website. He had puppies! I read everything on the site. Right away I was impressed with his entire operation! That positive feeling only increased when I met Mark and he introduced the parents Ringo and Josie. Here was not only a highly professional dog breeder/trainer but a man who loves his dogs and they him.

Now, I have my Griz! He’s my boy! As I watch him grow and see him move, I can see the best traits of his parents shining through! He’s a joy. I love him. My 6-year-old daughter loves him. The neighbors love him. The cats – well, did I mention the neighbors love him?

I’m making the drive from the Metro to Kozie’s once a month for individual training because I want the best for my dog. When he’s old enough Griz will attend Mark’s 3 week training course for the same reason.

Never before have I had such an all around great experience with a pet! It all started at Kozie’s Shepherds!

Bill Way

Arlo vom Kozie
Arlo Vom Kozie

Mark- Thought you'd get a kick out of hearing that just about 2 weeks ago, Blayn was out walking the dogs on Sunday morning and was stopped by a woman who was also walking. She just absolutely gushed over Dozer, and when he told her that Dozer was almost 8 years old, she about fainted. She told him that she has an 8 year old shepherd at home, that's so "old" he can't go on walks with her anymore. She couldn't believe how healthy he is, how white his teeth are and generally what a great dog he is.

I had him at the vet on Monday, just for a check up and a general once-over, and even though the vet is leery of shepherds she couldn't help but telling me what a wonderful dog Dozer is and how much she really likes him. She said he's about the most handsome shepherd she's ever met. She proclaimed him to be very healthy and couldn't believe that we aren't having any arthritis or "old age" issues with him.

He's a wonderful dog. I'm thinking that I might have to start discussions about a puppy with you soon.

Roseanne Carbone

Rosko vom Kozie

We purchased our dog Rosko in June of 2006 when he was 2 months old, from Kozies. Rosko is from a Ringo/Lydia breeding. He has been a wonderful addition to our family of 6. He has very good temperament and is great with adults, children and other pets. We couldn't have asked for a better dog.

Kozies has a wonderful training program. Rosko has been brought back to Kozies for several training sessions with excellent results! Mark is very knowledgeable and passionate about all dogs. We would highly recommend Kozies to anyone who is thinking about purchasing a dog or is in need of training for their existing dog.

Jim and Stacy Elmore

Demi vom Kozie


Mark, I just wanted to thank you for such a great girl. She is everything you said, great drives, yet calm when we need her too be. You have always been available for any questions or concerns we have had over the years, and there have been a few. I know when the time is right we will be getting another puppy from Kozies.

Thanks again,

Corinne Olson


Kozies German Shepherds
Mark & Amy Kozitza
41573 490 St Mankato, MN 56003
Phone: (507) 317-8746
E-mail: mark@koziesshepherds.com

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