Michiana Working Dog Association


Our Members

Jan Harkner-Abbs is the training director for Michiana Working Dog Association.  She has been training in Schutzhund since 1983, dogs in general since 1968 and has titled multiple dogs through Schutzhund 1,2 and 3.  Jan and Jim own and operate a kennel and training grounds on 34 acres.  Jan trains in the area of search and detection work with different types of dogs. Jan is the K9 coordinator and a K9 handler for Orange Twp Fire Department search and rescue team, Executive Director of the Indiana Search and Response Team and the training coordinator of the State of Indiana District 3 SAR K9 team and Training Director for the Michiana Working Dog Association.  She is a special education consultant for the 4 county area.   

Kelly Landers is a search and rescue dog handler and also competes in the sport of schutzhund.  She has titled her first german shepherd to a SAR certification, BH, obedience 1 and tracking 1!  Kelly has just completed a Schutzhund 1 with Cayra, her second dog in the sport. Kelly also has two retired certified search and accelerant dogs who are chocolate labs.  Kelly is a dispatcher for Lagrange County Sheriff Department and a K9 handler and Chief for Johnson Twp Fire Department.  Kelly is the secretary for the Michiana Working Dog Association

Jim Abbs has been in the sport for 20 years as a helper and retired in 2011.  He owns a cattle dog but does not train in the sport.  We were lucky to have a dedicated helper like Jim for our dogs!  Thank you for all your past work!  Jim is married to Jan and is the Chief Attorney for the Public Defenders Office of Noble County, IN.

Amber Taylor is new to the sport of Schutzhund and is learning the basics with her dog Sparrow who now has a BH and it working toward more obedience titles.. She now has a new pup Verry who she has begun training.

Laurie and Brad Binz are beginning the sport of schutzhund and are training a German shepherd puppy Diesel.  Diesel has completed his BH and has passed credentialing through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security as a Live Find Search dog. Brad is also beginning his helper training and has completed his first helper seminar!  Brad also now has Romi who is his new adventure in both Schutzhund and SAR!

Mark and Sara Zimmerman are beginning with their new German Shepherd puppy.  Mark is also beginning his work as a helper and has completed his first seminar.

Gale St. John is a search and rescue handler who handle Border Collies.  in 2013, she certified her first dog, Simon at the national level through the International Police Work Dog Assn.  She has two others in training and is very much enjoying the work!

Rebecca Knight is training Helo, her Cattle dog for search and rescue live find.  This is there first year and they are gaining a lot of experience!

Karen Karrer is a search and rescue handler with many years experience particularly in the trailing of bloodhounds.  She also has a Cattle dog that is crossed trained in live find and HRD.  Karen has certified her dogs at the national level.

Jason Fuhrman is another search and rescue handler who has returned to SAR after a long sabbatical.  He recently state certified his German Shepherd in live find area search.  We look forward to Jason's return to training.

Bruce Bickley is a career firefighter who came to us during a search that he was assisting in.  He expressed an interest in learning about search and rescue and dog training.  He has been handling one of Jan's certified dogs and doing very well!  He serves as a back up support handler as well as a K9 handler for JP if needed.

Ed Ralston is a dispatcher for Steuben County and handles a Bloodhound in Search and Rescue.  He nationally certified Sampson in trailing in 2013.  He's been training with us for 2 years.

Brooke Norton is a the Police Chief in Orland, IN.  She began training with us 3 years ago and Nationally certified her Bloodhound Beck 2 years ago.  Brooke has used Beck in many successful searches and is doing a great job!

Saundra Timperley came to the team this year.  Saundra came to us with strong training as a support person in search and rescue and looks forward to someday being a K9 handler in SAR. 

Her current dog Cheyenne is working on obedience skills and training. 

Nancy Vida  came to us in 2014 with a certified Belgian Terv.  She is certified in man trailing and now learning more about search and rescue!  

Charlie Heflin is the EMA Director for Whitley County.  He is beginning his training as a back up and as as search K9 handler with his new Dutch Shepherd Aurora.

Skip Folds is a new handler beginning training and learning with his dog Duke in the area of Live Find Detection.

Maugh Vail is handlers with years of experience in Schutzhund, Lab Field Trial work and SAR. She has come back to train a new Airdale puppy and is enjoying the sport of IPO and dog sports again.

Nigel Trice Sr. has just recently joined our organization in 2015.  He is learning helper work and had been doing helper work for about 1 year.  He shows great potential in the sport and is beginning work on his young dog for IPO.

Cathy (CJ) Stoltz  is training her second dog Auhzee and has obtained a Schutzhund 2.  She has also titled her German Shepherd Casey to a Schutzhund 1.  She is active in police reserve and has completed some detection training work for drug K9.




MWDA Current Members

Jan and Bodo, IPO 3, AD, KK1 life, IPWDA Advanced Human Remains Detection Dog.

Jan Harkner-Abbs and Curse.  IPO 1, International Police Work Dog Assn. Advanced Human Remains Detection Certified.

Jan Harkner-Abbs and JP.  IDHS Credentialed Live Find K9.

Jim Abbs, Semi-retired helper of 25 years experience.

Brad Binz and Romi.  HRD K9 in training. IPO BH in training. Certified basic trial helper and training helper in-training.

Nigel Trice Sr.  and Luke.  IPO BH in training.  Helper in training.

Kelly Landers and Cayra.  HRD dog in training.  IPO 1.

Kelly Landers and Crimson.  Certified through Abbs Canine Training Center  for Human Remains Detection.  IPO Tracking 1 and Obedience 1.

Amber Taylor and Sparrow.  BH.

Amber Taylor and Veery.  BH in training.

Cathy (CJ) Stoltz and Auhzee, IPO 2.

Laurie Binz and Diesel.  Credentialed IDHS Live Find K9.  BH complete and IPO 1 in training.

Maugh Vail and York.  BH in training.

Jason Fuhrman and Tick. Credentialed Indiana Department Homeland Security Live Find K9.

Gale St. John and Simon.  Certified International Police Work Dog Assn. as Basic Human Remains Detection K9.

Gale St. John and Kimber.  HRD in training.

Karen Karrer with Ellie Mae and Emma. Certified Man Trailing and Human Remains.

Ed Ralston and Sampson, Man Trailing Certified, AMPWDA

Brooke Norton and Beck.  Certified AMPWDA Man Trailing team.

Rebecca Knight and Helo.  LIve Find K9 in training.

Charlie Heflin and Aurora.  LIve Find K9 in training.

Saundra Timperley and Cheyenne.  Obedience in training.

Bob Newton and Issac.  Man Trailing team in training.

Frank Baldwin and Noah.  Certified AMPWDA Man Trailing Team.

Nancy Vida and Monnaie.  Certified AMPWDA Man Trailing Team.


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Sunday, Aug 2 at 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Monday, Aug 3 at 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Wednesday, Aug 5 at 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Thursday, Aug 6 at 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

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