Search Menu

AKC Title Recognition Fall 2018

AKC Title Recognition Fall 2018

The AKC now works with several non-AKC service and sports organizations to recognize the titles that AKC-registered dogs earn in their programs. This includes the AKC Therapy Dog titling program and the AKC Search & Rescue title program. AKC also recognizes titles of the Barn Hunt Association (BHA); North American Diving Dogs (NADD); and the North American Flyball Association (NAFA). For more information on how to apply for AKC recognition of these titles, go here.  Read on to meet some of the All-American Dogs who are recent achievers in these sports.

AKC Therapy Dog Title

The AKC Therapy Dog Title program offers titles based on the amount of service that a therapy team has volunteered, giving more dogs the opportunity to earn the honor. Dogs also must be certified by an AKC-recognized therapy dog organization. The titles are:

  • AKC Therapy Dog Novice (THDN). Must have completed 10 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog (THD). Must have completed 50 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog Advanced (THDA). Must have completed 100 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog Excellent (THDX). Must have completed 200 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD). Must have completed 400 visits.

We salute these All-Americans who are recent recipients of the THDD title for 400 or more visits!

DUKE WILSON THDD and Duchess THDD owned by Abigail Wilson of Mansfield, TX
Duke, a Golden Retriever, was taken in by Abigail after he was found and taken to her vet. He was 2 years old. They worked on obedience training and socializing for his life as a therapy dog. He was registered with Pet Partners therapy program in September 2012.

Duchess is a Border Collie mix who joined the family in January 2013 when she was 1 ½ years old. She was adopted her from a foster home after she had a litter of seven puppies. After training, she was registered with Pet Partners therapy program in August 2013.

Duke and Duchess visit many places, including the University of Texas-Arlington for the Paws for Finals in December and May. They visit Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Texas Health-HEB Hospital, a number of memory care facilities, nursing homes and special events. During the school year, they visit schools for the Read with Me program as well as special needs students. The two dogs take turns going to places with Abigail as a requirement of Pet Partners.

Duke and Duchess

Maurice Henry Iwamoto THDD CGCU TKI owned by Kristie Amber Iwamoto of San Pablo, CA
Maurice was awarded his THDD on May 3, 2018. He is a proud and enthusiastic volunteer at three therapy dog organizations: Alliance of Therapy Dogs, HALO Angel Ears Reading Education Assistance Program, and Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. He visits two assisted living facilities, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, Contra Costa County libraries, elementary schools, and programs for children with disabilities. He also participates in welcome home parties for veterans returning from overseas.

Maurice loves children, and Kristie said his success as a therapy dog lies in his calm personality and his ability to connect with people. In his spare time, he is a member of Dog Scouts of America. He also enjoys dog beaches, off-leash trails, and tiny toys with squeakers.


Christy’s My Fair Sadie CD BN RAE MXP AJP NFP THDD CGC TKA owned by Cheryl Christy of Brookfield, OH
In January 2007, Sadie had been housed at an animal shelter for three weeks during which time she had been adopted and returned after four days. She was a very active 5-month-old Border Collie mix.

“Upon meeting her, it was love at first sight,” Cheryl said. “At the advice of a dog trainer friend, I enrolled her in a beginner obedience class. My hope was that one day she would become a certified therapy dog. It turned out that all she needed were activities to keep her busy, opportunities to learn new things, and help in learning obedience skills. She already had great people skills and especially loved children.”

In September 2008, Sadie passed her CGC and therapy dog tests and became a certified therapy dog. Since then she has visited nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and libraries on a regular basis. She has participated in “Prevent a Bite” programs at a Head Start preschool, visited vacation bible school, fourth grade classes for Career Day,  and entertained senior citizens at the Salvation Army. She has participated in “The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival,” a medieval pageant.

Sadie has taken various training classes throughout her life and still attends agility classes (She holds MXP, AJP, and NFP titles in this sport). She has earned her BN and CD titles in obedience, her RAE title in rally, and her TKA tricks title. She has received the AKC Achiever Dog Award.

On May 10, 2018, Sadie visited The Ridgewood at Shenango Valley in Hermitage, PA – it was her 400th visit as a therapy dog and she earned her THDD title. She continues to be a wonderful example of what a shelter dog can accomplish if given the opportunity, Cheryl said.


Wonka THDD CGC owned by Henry H Dorton Jr. of Alexandria, VA
Wonka, a Cocker mix, was born on Aug. 28, 2003. He was a rescue being fostered by OBG Cocker Rescue Inc. when the Dortons adopted him in 2005. He began the process of becoming a therapy dog in 2010 and was certified by People Animals Love (P.A.L.) based in Washington, D.C.

Wonka was awarded AKC’s THDD title on May 14, 2018. His qualification was based on his regularly scheduled visits to three nursing homes and two libraries in Alexandria, VA. He also volunteers at hospitals, elementary and special needs schools and helps exam-stressed students at high school and medical schools and stressed-out passengers and crews at airports. In addition to his therapy dog duties, Wonka performs year-round community service as an un-official mascot at American Legion events and helping the Alexandria Salvation Army with its annual “Red Kettle” fund-raising campaign.

Because of his years of library visits and other volunteering, Wonka is well-known in Alexandria. “When we take him out for downtown walks, it’s not uncommon for children and adults to call out ‘That’s Wonka!’,” Henry said.

Although he will be “15-years young in a couple of weeks,” Henry said Wonka is still an active therapy dog.


Barn Hunt Association

The BHA enables all dogs to participate in the sport of hunting for vermin. Dogs track rats safely enclosed in sturdy tubes that are hidden among hay bales. The titles range from Novice level to Champion to Champion Excellent, and since March, Crazy 8s. Go to for more information.

Congratulations to All-American Dogs who recently received recognition of their BHA titles:


Congratulations to this dog for earning her first Barn Hunt Championship (RATCH):

Addie Divet RATCH CZ8B DS AS CGCA TKP owned by Nikki and Dan Schimpf of Aurora, IL
Addie earned her RATCH and CZ8B on Feb. 24, 2018, at the Yorkville Paws and Claws trial in Yorkville, IL. When she achieved these honors, she had been competing in barn hunt for less than a year and had over an 80% “Q” rate.

Addie was adopted from the Iowa City Animal Shelter when she was estimated to be 13 months old. She started barn hunt at 9 years old as her “retirement sport.” Throughout her life, she also participated in coursing and disc and earned titles in agility, tricks, and dock diving (in addition to her CGC and CGCA).


Multiple RATCH titles

  • RATCHX6 MACH PACH Bradley’s Brandy RN FDC MXG MJS MXP6 MXPS MJP5 MJPS PAX2 OF XFP T2B2 T2BP RATCHX6 CZ8P CGCA CGCU TKI owned by Alison and Kevin Bradley of Fayetteville, AR 

CZ8P (Crazy Eight Platinum)

  • MACH PACH Bradley’s Brandy RN FDC MXG MJS MXP6 MXPS MJP5 MJPS PAX2 OF XFP T2B2 T2BP RATCHX6 CZ8P CGCA CGCU TKI owned by Alison and Kevin Bradley of Fayetteville, AR

Rat Novice – RATN

  • Anglen’s Ada FDC RATN owned by David and Jenny Anglen of Bosque, NM
  • Anthracite Leo’s Deep Fire RATN CGCA TKA owned by Jane Graham of Danville, PA
  • Harley Girl Harris OA AXJ NF RATN CGCA owned by Arica and Wayne Harris of Corona, CA
  • Smores West CD PCD BN RA FDC RATN CGCA CGCU TKP owned by Rhonda Marie West of Binghamton, NY
  • Mandy Pandi CDX BN RE FDC RATN CGCA CGCU TKP owned by Linda and Charles Cornell of Wheeling, WV

Rat Open – RATO

  • Teddy Roosevelt RATS CGC TKA owned by Martha Ellen Coltrane of Asheboro, NC

Rat Senior – RATS

  • Teddy Roosevelt RATS CGC TKA owned by Martha Ellen Coltrane of Asheboro, NC
  • MACH Juneau Chrysler Thomas MXB MJB RATS CGC TKN owned Jennifer and Charles Thomas of North Chesterfield, VA

North America Diving Dogs

NADD offers titles in both distance dock jumping and air retrieve for all dogs. Dogs receive titles based on how far they jump and only compete in the same division with dogs that jump similar distances. For more information go to

Congratulations to this All-American Dog for receiving AKC recognition of the top-level Dock Elite (DE) title for making five jumps over 23 feet:

Bacon Bits BCAT DE owned by Nancy Christensen of Dallas, TX
The story begins with a vet and his wife returning a borrowed crate and on the way spying a scared, skinny, dirty little dog running down a rural road outside of Austin, TX. “Here’s your crate,” he told its owner upon their arrival. “It’s all filled up with your next rescue dog.” The crate owner had a history of rescuing German Shepherd Dogs, and this diminutive stray looked like the breed in “fun size.” The task of finding a home for this feral critter began and with one look at his sweet face, Nancy saw all kinds of potential – and so did all her friends. As it turns out, everybody loves “Bacon.”

At the start, “raw” Bacon challenged Nancy with his “Dennis the Menace”-style energy and curiosity. But he had confidence when experiencing new people and places. Nancy observed that he easily learned skills that made life fun and active, as the bond between them grew stronger.

Nancy first started dock diving with Bacon to help him burn some energy. In less than a year, he earned his Dock Elite Advanced title in the Lap Dog division on June 24, 2018. With that accomplishment, the 3-year-old also earned an invitation to the 2018 NADD Championships in Orlando, FL. Flyball, Barn Hunt, Fast CA., Agility, and Trick Dog are the other many flavors of fun Bacon savors. Nancy said she loves Bits to pieces and is enjoying the journey with this unique foundling.


Congratulations to these All-American Dogs for receiving AKC recognition of the Dock Junior (DJ) title for making five jumps over 10 feet:

  • Finn von Carolina DJ owned by Garrison Browne Hodges of Bluffton, SC
  • Tiki Of Seventh Street DJ TKN owned by Jennifer M. Towers of Bohemia, NY