Debbie Zappia is a World Champion who has been a trainer/competitor in Schutzhund for over 30 years with 9 world team showings.
In 2004, Debbie and her dog Escobar Adelrik, placed second at the WUSV IPO World Championships in the Netherlands.
In 2015, Debbie and her dog Iron von den Wolfen “Eros” represented the United States as USA1 at the World Championships in Finland and made history when she became the first American to win the WUSV IPO World Championships.
Debbie has also won National, Regional and other Working Dog Championships with different GSDs. She has titled a plethora of dogs that include several different working breeds.





Marco is a retired Arizona Sheriff’s Deputy who specialized in Interstate interdiction of narcotic and dangerous drugs.

Marco has titled multiple dogs to Schutzhund 1-3 and was a European competitor who trialed at regional and national events in Germany.

Competitor Experience:”
BSP 1998
29th place Baunatal, Germany.
VDH Bundes Qualification 1998 9th place Hermeskeil, Germany.
SV FCI Bundes Qualification 1998 9th place, Parderborn, Germany.
7-Landerwettkampf 1998
6th place, Reutte, Austria.

LGA 1997
6th Place LG Baden.
BSP 1997
Ludwigshafen, Germany.
LGA 1999
11th place, Bayern-Sud.

Breeder accomplishments/ Dogs from DLS kennel:
Zar De Lupus Saevus, IGP3
2021 GSDCA IGP3 Vice Champion
Zatan De Lupus Saevus, PSA1
2020 PSA National competitor
V-Hamon De Lupus Saevus, SchH3, KKL1
2008 Universal Sieger CAN
Hektor De Lupus, SchH3
2010 CAN #1 SchH3 Dog
Dino De Lupus Saevus, SchH3
2005 SW Regional Champion
Elgos De Lupus Saevus, SchH3
2006 SW Regional Champion
Felix De Lupus Saevus, SchH3
2008 CAN Regional Champion
Innes De Lupus Saevus, SchH3
2007 CAN Regional Champion
Joy De Lupus Saevus, SchH1
2010 Universal Champion Trinidad




Carla entered the USCA judge’s program in 1996 and became a licensed judge in 1998. In addition, Carla held a SV Judge’s license. Carla has judged over 250 club trials in the USA and Canada and 20 Regional and National events. Carla has successfully titled and competed with many dogs.




Kevin is a Police Canine Handler, Instructor, Judge (Psp, DPO, WPO Utah POST) and is a Police Canine Certifying Official (Detection, and Patrol) for the National Police Canine Association.

Kevin is also the Training Director for New Mexico Hundesport and has been for 20 plus years. He is a frequent lecturer at Police K-9 conferences around the US and has taught in other countries such as Germany, Colombia, and China. Kevin has successfully titled and competed with many dogs in multiple venues.




Jan is a Certified Master Trainer of Patrol and Narcotics Detection and is highly experienced with the latest training techniques from Norwegian Customs, KNPV, and the Dutch National Police. Jan continues to train worldwide with top working canine trainers. Jan is also a certified police K9 judge and has judged multiple police canine competitions throughout California. Jan has successfully titled and competed with many dogs in multiple venues.



In addition to heading up the American Schutzhund helper certification program, Joeri Veth has also been added to our team of judges.  Joeri is a very Experienced and talented trainer/competitor with multiple World Championship achievements.  Joeri competed with 3 dogs on a National and International level and titled an additional 8 dogs.
Competitor Experience:
Onta von Karthago – 33 x IPO3
2012 Regional Champion South of Holland
2nd Place
2011 WUSV IPO World Championships
75-96-97 (HIGH STADIUM)
2012 WUSV IPO World Championships
9th place
93-94- 95
Fido von der Hagenmuhle
2015 WUSV World Championships
26th place
84-92- 92 (only passing dog in flight for Phase A)
2016 WUSV Universal Sieger World Championships. National Champion of Norway
#1 in show and #3 overall

Ace von der Herzen Haus
2018 USCA Mid Eastern Regional Championship
1st Place
GSDCA National Championships 2nd Place
USCA WUSV IPO World Team Qualification Trial
11th Place



Katlyn Schwarzwaelder has experience with and has worked extensively with police, border patrol, service, and hunting dogs. Since 2010, she has been the owner and head trainer of Von Schwarz Doberman Kennel. Von Schwarz Doberman Kennel, is a very well known and respected breeding kennel. Since 2017, Katlyn has also been the owner and head trainer of The Northern Border K9 Athlete Center, LLC. Northern Boarder is a prominent board and train facility that provides agility, dock diving and the hosting of multiple K9 events.

In addition, Katlyn Schwarzwaelder is currently the President of Vita Nova Doberman, Vita Nova Schutzhund, and Vita Nova AS Sport Dog Clubs, as well as The Northern Border, LLC CPE and USDAA Agility Clubs. To date, Vita Nova Doberman Club has hosted 2 National Championships, and Vita Nova Schutzhund Club (USCA) has hosted Nationals, Regionals, and Conformation Shows.

Katlyn Schwarzwaelder is also a very successful Schutzhund competitor.
She has titled over 20 Dobermans in IGP (IGP1-3) and 3 German Shepherd Dogs (IGP1-2).
The following is a list of her accomplishments:

2018 UDC IGP3 National Champion with Ferro vom Bergkönig
2019 UDC IGP3 National Champion with Ferro vom Bergkönig
2019 USA- 01 IDC World Championship Team in Hungary with Ferro vom Bergkönig

From 2020 – 2022, dogs from
Katlyn’s breeding and training program have won the UDC IGP3 National Championships and Fall Classic Championships (Ender von der Schwarz IGP3 and Jarro von der Schwarz IGP3)

MER Working Dog Championship IPO3 4th Place and High Tracking (All Breed, USCA) with Ferro vom Bergkönig
FH1 with 92 points under SV Judge Adolf Glasser
Kata Leistungsblut von der Schwarz 3rd place at the UDC IGP3 Fall Classic Championship, and the first Doberman in history to achieve an AS1!
Ender von der Schwarz IGP3 (a dog Katlyn owns, bred, and trained along side Vita Nova) won first place with a cash price of $7,500 at the first American Schutzhund all working breed Protection Tournament.

In addition to Katlyn’s outstanding achievements, she is also a certified IGP Helper who has worked the front and back half at 3 trials.



Ben Lepinski is a working dog trainer by trade. Ben began his dog training career with Tarheel Canine where he trained hundreds of police k9s for different departments all across the country. To date, Ben now owns his own business, Lepinski K9 Services.

As a teenager, Ben began competing in hunt tests and field trials with retrievers. Then, he found the world of Malinois and the ProtEction Sports Association (PSA).

Ben was certified as a PSA decoy in 2015, later becoming a senior decoy. Ben has since worked over 100 trials, including 4 regionals, and 2 national championships. After several years as a PSA competitor and a senior decoy, Ben achieved a judging assignment with PSA as well.

In addition, Ben has been involved with American Schutzhund since the organization’s first helper certification where he successfully certified under the AS Director of Helpers, Joeri Veth. To date, Ben is a certified AS helper and a scent detection instructor.

Listed are Ben’s competitor accomplishments:

Second place PSA1 2017.
First place PSA2, high obedience and high in trial 2018.
PSA 2 national champion, 2018.
First place PSA 3, 2021.
First place PSA 3 second leg 2021, making them the 28th team to achieve PSA 3.
In 2022 Ben and Fury accomplished their BT all the way through AS3 in 11 months and became the AS3 national champion.



Tim is a former Marine Corps IED Detection Dog Handler, one of American Schutzhund’s first certified helpers, AS certified detection instructor, judge for AKC and NACSW scentwork sports, and has been training under Deb Zappia since 2014. He also attended the 2023 AS judge’s conference with Dr. Helmut Raiser

 Throughout his training in Schutzhund, Tim has been fortunate to have access to some of the best trainers in the world. This training has afforded him the ability to understand and recognize dog behavior through many different lenses. The diversity in training that Tim has received gives him an objective outlook on the natural dog and trained behaviors.

 Tim has taken his dog, Nero, from a BT through AS3 and showed at the first AS nationals in 2021. Tim and Nero also competed in the first protection tournament at the 2022 AS nationals.


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