We are proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the AKC Canine Partners program. Beginning in 2010 as an enrollment program for mixed breeds and other dogs not eligible for AKC Purebred Registration, the program has since enrolled hundreds of thousands of canines.
- The total number of enrollments is over 420,000 as of June 2020
- There were 85,000 enrollments in 2019 alone
- All-American Dogs have earned more than 21,000 titles in the AKC companion events and programs
- In the past year approximately 10% of participants in AKC Companion Events were Canine Partners
Many of these dogs have found great success in AKC sports and activities and have gone on to earn titles and compete at the national level.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of AKC Canine Partners, the program has rebranded its design to reflect the modern dog and emphasize “all dogs belong here.” Any dog can be enrolled and enjoy the benefits of the program, including the ability to participate in AKC sports.
We look back at some of the highlights from the past decade. Meet 10 amazing mixed breed dogs who went above and beyond in 10 different AKC sports and programs.
Agility – “Prince Doggie”
MACH8 PACH Prince Doggie MXG2 MJC2 MXP3 MXPB MJP3 MJPB PAX NF T2B owned by Taccara Andrade of Novi, MI
The first All-American Dog to earn the AKC Master Agility Championship was Prince Doggie, owned by Tacarra Andrade and Michael Marshall of Novi, Mich.
Prince achieved this feat on February 20, 2011, at the age of five years old.
What made the feat even more impressive is that Prince is the first dog that Tacarra has owned, and she had never heard of agility until she viewed a competition on television.
“As soon as I saw it, I knew that this is what Prince Doggie was meant for. He was so rambunctious and would often make up his own little obstacle courses around the house…I thought he would eventually hurt himself,” she said. “Agility seemed like the perfect activity for Prince to be able to use all of the energy he had, but in a more controlled and safe way.”
In addition to being an agility dog, Prince Doggie is also a certified therapy dog. He provides pet-assisted therapy to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities around the metro-Detroit area.
Obedience – “Barrett”
Earnestly Being Barrett UDX OM1 VER RE AXP AJP owned by Susan Moore of Clarkston, GA
When the judges announced first place in the Utility B class at the Lawrenceville Kennel Club trial, the winner burst into tears. It was a long emotional ride that Georgia resident Susan Moore had with her All-American Dog, Barrett, who was saved from a shelter in 2011. Today, Barrett is a top-performing competition Obedience dog who has earned the advanced-level AKC Utility Dog (UD) title.
In December 2011, Barrett was picked up as a stray by animal control when he was about six months old. He had been in the shelter for about two months when a friend shared his photo on Susan’s Facebook page.
“When we had raised enough money to cover his care, I went pulled him from the shelter for a rescue group, intending to foster him,” Susan says. “After about three months, I realized I couldn’t part with him.”
Training Barrett was definitely starting from scratch. But once he learned how to learn, his progress was rapid. He earned his AKC Obedience Novice and Open titles each in three straight shows and earned the honor to enter the AKC Obedience Classic in 2014 and 2015.
Barrett earned his Utility title with a win out of Utility B at the Lawrenceville Kennel Club show in Atlanta, GA, on Aug. 27, 2016.
“When the judge called our number for first place, I burst into tears,” Susan says. “It has been an emotional journey with my special boy; he has overcome so much. Now he is a happy, confident dog. I couldn’t be more proud!”
Rally – “Uggie”
PACH Uggie Bug Jones CDX RM RAE FDC AX AXJ MXP7 MXPG MJP7 MJPS PAX2 OF MFPB T2BP2 SIN SEN SBN CGCA CGCU TKP owned by Shannon Jones of Cary NC
Shannon Jones was surveying potential damage from an ice storm in her yard when her eye caught the gas grill.
Something looked odd.
Closer inspection revealed the bulge under the grill cover was a tiny trembling puppy.
“She was somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks old and very sick,” Jones says, a resident of Cary, NC.
Jones took the puppy to her veterinarian and started nursing her back to health but she had no intention of keeping her. She already owned a dog – a Doberman Pinscher named Jessie – and her schedule was filled with agility, obedience, and other dog sports events.
There was no time for another dog, she felt.
But it turned out Jessie really liked the new arrival, and the feeling was mutual.
“She got along so nicely with my other dog that she stayed,” Jones said.
Christened with the name Uggie, the black and tan mixed-breed soon demonstrated that she needed a job.
“She was very tenacious and needed something to do from the get-go. I decided to keep her after having her for about a month and began training her in obedience immediately,” Jones said.
By 13 years old, Uggie had more than 240 titles in agility, obedience, rally, herding, freestyle, nose work, barn hunt, and drafting. She was the first mixed-breed dog in the country to earn the AKC Rally Masters title, which she achieved in December 2017 at age 15.
She also was the fourth mixed-breed dog to earn the AKC Rally title of Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE). And, in 2016, Uggie finished one of the top prizes in AKC Agility – the Preferred Agility Championship (PACH).
Shannon said she was very excited when she first heard that AKC was opening events to mixed-breed dogs back in 2010. It meant that she could show her pure-bred Doberman Pinschers and Uggie at the same events, and it opened more opportunities for owners of All-American Dogs to get involved in training and events.
“This opened another venue up that all dogs can compete and earn titles in,” Jones said. “I am extremely excited for those mixed breeds living in areas where only AKC is active. This allows them to earn titles where there was never the opportunity before.”
Coursing Ability – “Kai”
Iyong Tapat Kaibigan FDC CAX16 DCAR DN owned by Stephanie Markgraf of Pittsburg, PA
Kai continues his reign as the top mixed-breed dog in Coursing Ability Tests with 400 clean runs. He earned his CAX16 at the Winter Wonderland Cluster in Perry, GA, over the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday, running at the tests sponsored by the Greyhound Association of Northern Georgia.
“That’s a wrap for the 2019 season,” Stephanie says. “After a short break, Kai will hit the bunny trail next year for his eighth year participating in Coursing Ability Tests. Although approaching 10 years old, he still loves to chase the lure. He may be a little slower since becoming a veteran, but he’s still trying to catch that bunny!”
Kai again thanks the AKC for creating the Canine Partner program that allows him to compete in performance sports. He also has run in the sport of Fast CAT and loves chasing the bunnies there as well!
FastCAT – Koda
Koda Dane Lincoln Mo Rausch CAX FCAT2 RATM CGC TKN owned by Jeanette Rausch of Mount Juliet, TN
Koda Dane Lincoln Mo Rausch CA BCAT RATM CGC was the first All-American Dog to earn the AKC Fast CAT title on May 14, 2016, at the Blue Grass Coursing Club test in Radcliff, KY.
Fast CAT is a timed 100-yard dash for dogs. Dogs run singularly and in a straight line, chasing the lure, usually a white trash bag attached to a pulley system. The dog’s time to complete the 100-yard dash is converted into MPHs, and the dogs earn points towards titles, based on their time.
“He was a parvo puppy handed over to my veterinarian clinic to be euthanized. Instead, they treated him, housed him in the kennel, and used him as a blood donor,” said his owner Jeanette Rausch of Mount Juliet, TN.
“When I visited the clinic in January 2014, the clinic asked if I would consider rescuing him. He was 13 months old when I brought him home to join our family that included me and four other dogs. He has accomplished a lot more since then, besides saving the lives of other dogs, including becoming the first Canine Partner to earn the BCAT title.”
Tracking – “Harlie”
CT Sype’s Harlie CD BN RE TDU2 FDC SWN SCE SIA THDA CGCA CGCU TKA owned by Gail and George Sype of Rossford, OH
His owners describe Harlie as a very loving, happy “mooch pooch.”
“We love our boy beyond words,” Gail said. “The previous owners said he was untrainable. They never gave him a chance. We grabbed that opportunity and ran for it.”
Harlie started track training with George before AKC allowed All-American Dogs to enter this event. Once Tracking opened to Canine Partners in 2014, Harlie, George, and Gail all had to overcame serious health issues on the way to earning the prestigious Champion Tracker title on Nov. 4, 2018, through the Obedience Training Center of Greater Lansing.
“Our journey was long, but well worth it. We had a great tracking trainer. We met a lot of new friends and continue to keep in touch. The clubs where we attended events were beyond fantastic – Fort Wayne, Thorn Creek, Marshbanks, and Lansing,” Gail said.
Harlie also became a therapy dog about a year after being adopted. He loves doing tricks and putting smiles on the faces of patients and caregivers.
Scent Work – “Reba”
Reba’s Fancy Red Heart BN RI FDC CA FCAT ACT2 SWAE SWM SCME SIME SEME SHDE THDN CGCA CGCU TKI owned by Barbara Bumcrots of Maumee, OH
Reba, Barbara’s first rescue dog, came from the Golden Retriever Rescue Resource of Toledo, OH.
When Barbara got Reba, she was 8 months old and had already had two homes. They began working together right away in agility, a sport that her previous dog enjoyed.
“Reba likes it in class but not as much in a competition setting (no treats!)” Barbara said. Reba began her over-achieving ways by earning titles in AKC Rally, Obedience, Barn Hunt, Therapy Dog, AKC Trick Dog, Coursing Ability, and Fast CAT. “We have played with some dock diving – we don’t compete, but she loves the water and swimming.”
“Then I started to dabble in Scent Work,” Barbara said. “I found a thing that she excels in.” It only took her 13 months to earn the AKC Scent Work Master Level title. She was the third dog of all breeds to earn this distinction and the first All American Dog to do so! “She has racked up tons (34) of Scent Work titles to date. We are now working on the Detective class.”
Therapy Dog – “Coconut”
Coconut SCN SIN THDD CGCA TKA owned by Dr. Elizabeth Lynch of Greenwich, CT
Coconut spent his first three years of life in a basement until his owner turned him over to a shelter. Elizabeth saw something special in Coco and took him home.
“I was looking for my next therapy dog, and I thought that I saw something good in his face,” Elizabeth said. “He was completely untrained, missing a lot a hair, bow-legged, and wild.”
The pair trained in the Family Manners Obedience classes at Port Chester Obedience Training Club in White Plains, NY, an AKC affiliate club. “We repeated many classes but managed to advance slowly through the sequence,” Elizabeth said. “With exercise and care, his legs straightened out, and his hair grew back in, revealing a small golden heart on his chest. It was a sign!”
One year after Elizabeth brought him home, Coconut passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test and went on to be registered as a therapy dog with the Good Dog Foundation and Pet Partners (previously the Delta Society). Today he visits in two hospitals, including intensive care, cardiology, and a cancer center, as well as several schools as a reading therapy dog.
Once he caught on to clicker training, he was a joy to train and enjoys dancing to the beat in canine freestyle, participating in rally freestyle, and learning new tricks. He also competes in AKC Scent Work.
“I was so lucky to find Coco, and he is happy making other people happy,” Elizabeth said. “What a great job to have in life.”
Trick Dog – “Boone”
Boone of the Big House BN RE CGC TKE owned by Sandra Muench of Plant City, FL
Found wandering in Georgia, Boone, a 14-month-old mixed breed dog, was emaciated with evidence that showed he had been tied outside. He was fostered through a Florida rescue group. After seeing his online photo and bio Sandra knew Boone was destined to become part of her family and she rescued him in November of 2016. “When I went to pick him up,” Sandra says, “his foster told me that in the three months Boone lived with her family, he gained 30 pounds!”
Following basic obedience class at DogSense Obedience in Lakeland, they took more advanced classes as well as Rally. Somewhat aloof at the beginning, Boone’s natural personality has emerged into that of a loving, happy and very energetic clown. When Debbi Snyder, the owner/trainer, added Tricks classes, they were one of the first students to enroll. Training alongside his buddy Amos, a Border Collie, Boone earned the Novice title in August 2017 and completed his Elite Performer performance in October 2018 in front of an audience at DogSense Obedience. AKC awarded the TKE title on November 1, 2018.
Boone has participated in a tricks expo at the open house of a local veterinarian office, performed tricks live on morning TV in a segment about DogSense for FOX13’s Charlie’s World, enjoys being a demo dog in tricks class, and loves to show off his moves whenever asked. Currently, Boone has a repertoire of 50+ tricks with his favorites being limping, sitting pretty, saluting, and taking a bow. “Boone competes in Rally, Obedience, has been training in Agility and Dock Diving, and loves pulling his cart. He is my All American partner!”
Diving Dogs – “Bacon Bits”
Bacon Bits NA NAJ OF CA DCAT RATN DEX11 TKI owned by Nancy Christensen of Dallas, TX
With one look at his sweet face, Nancy saw all kinds of potential in the homeless dog. “As it turns out, everybody loves Bacon,” said Nancy.
At the start, Bacon challenged Nancy with his mischievous energy and curiosity. But his confidence when experiencing new people and places got their relationship cooking. Nancy observed that he easily learned skills that made life fun and active, as their bond grew stronger.
Nancy introduced Bacon to Dock Diving to help him burn some energy. In less than a year, on June 24, 2018, he earned his Dock Elite Advanced title in the lap dog division at the birthplace of the sport in Midlothian, TX at Dallas Air Dogs. With that accomplishment, the 3-year-old also earned an invitation to the 2019 Nationals in Orlando. Flyball, Barn Hunt, Fast CAT, Agility, and Trick Dog are the other many flavors of fun Bacon savors. Nancy loves “Bits” to pieces and is enjoying the journey this unique foundling is taking her on.
Ready to Get Your Dog Started in AKC Sports and Activities?
Any mixed breed dog or dog ineligible for AKC purebred registration can enroll in Canine Partners. By registering, your dog will be able to compete in nearly all AKC sports and earn AKC titles.