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Jan and

HRD K-9 Curse



Jan Harkner-Abbs

CEO/Chief Training Officer

A dog trainer since the late 1960s, Jan began training in Search and Rescue in 1993. In 1997, she began her career as a volunteer firefighter, rescue diver, safety officer and emergency medical technician. Through all these areas, Jan brings a wide variety of skills and experience to ISART.


She trained and certified two dogs for FEMA as a member of IN TF-1, served as the Chief of Training for the Orange Township/Rome City Fire Department, and worked as an advanced EMT.  She has run search dogs for Northern Indiana Search and Rescue, Orange Twp. Fire Department, and now Indiana Search and Response Team and IDHS District 3 Task Force K-9 Team. She is also a National Association of Search and Rescue SAR Tech II Lead Instructor/Evaluator.


Jan trains dogs in the SAR disciplines of wilderness air scent/live-find, disaster, human remains detection and trailing. Her current dogs are Curse (human remains detection, trailing in-training), Rock (human remains detection), Jin (live-find) and Fig (trailing in-training).  She has also trained and handled an accelerant K-9.

She also trains and competes in the dog sport of Schutzhund, serving as the training director of Michiana Working Dog Association. The sport involves high-level obedience, tracking, and protection.  Her private training business helps area dog owners train their own pets, specializing in solving problem behaviors.


She and her husband, Jim, live in rural Noble County, with their 40-acre property and large training center serving as ISART's training base.

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