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The AKC 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); the North American Flyball Association (NAFA); and now UpDog Challenge disc organization. For more information on how to apply for AKC recognition of these titles, go to: 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!

Molly Diver THDD owned by Elaine J. Diver of Denton, TX 

Molly was running in the streets when she was rescued by Elaine’s daughter who spotted the little white dog on her way to work.

The small dog was skinny, matted, and had no collar or other identification.

Elaine had recently lost her senior Yorkshire Terrier and she agreed to take Molly when no one came forward to claim her.

“As well as fleas, she had bad ears, bad teeth (they estimated her age as between 2 and 3), and they thought she was either just going into heat or coming out of it. She had had puppies as well,” Elaine said. “She only weighed 6.7 pounds at the first vet visit, and she is now 11.5 pounds and eats everything I give her – now we have to restrict her diet!”

Elaine enrolled her in training classes just to learn some manners and Molly did so well that she continued and started her in therapy dog classes.

“Our first visit was on June 1, 2016, and she handled it pretty well. At first, she was a little intimidated, but soon she loved giving the hospital patients kisses and love and being a comfort to them as they ran their fingers through her fur. She now visits Denton’s Juvenile Facility regularly, some nursing homes, and school reading programs.”

Molly now has 484 therapy visits to her credit.

“It was meant to be that Molly came into my life, and I can now help others feel better, giving back some of the love she has shown me,” Elaine said.

Countryside’s Ellie AX AXJ MJP OF SWA SCE SIE SEE THDD CGC owned by Cabell West of Richmond, VA

Cabell rescued Ellie from a family after she ate the bushes in their front yard and their sprinkler system.

“She was a naughty puppy,” Cabell said.

But in three months, Cabell trained her to be a Therapy Dog. In three years, Ellie has made more than 400 visits to VCU Medical Center, Glenburnie Rehab and Nursing Center, and The Virginia Home.

“Ellie loves people and people love her. When she meets people, she immediately rolls over so they can rub her tummy. Ellie loves to wear different hats or costumes for our visits. Everyone wants to see her.”

Besides being a therapy dog, Ellie competes at the Master’s level in Agility and Scent Work. “She is a caring, loveable dog and my companion. Ellie is invaluable to me,” Cabell said.

Bella Jessie Rose Wulff THDD CGCA owned by Terry Wulff of Oklahoma City, OK 

Bella made her 400th visit to Southwest Integris Medical Center’s Hispanic Initiative/Third Life Center on Nov. 5, 2019. She finished 2019 with 1,067 total logged visits!

She was all of 4 pounds and 7 weeks old when Terry adopted her on Sept. 9, 2017. A month later, Bella and Terry began training, and Bella was certified with Therapy Dogs International (TDI) on Oct. 18, 2018. She has been awarded TDI’s highest title of TDIG (Gold) for 500-plus visits.

Bella’s community involvement includes but is not limited to being on call 24/7 for hospital staff, patients and visitors of Integris Southwest Medical Center, Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital, Integris Southwest Cancer Center, Integris Southwest Neuromuscular Center and Muscular Dystrophy Association, James R. Daniels Stroke Center, Integris Southwest Surgical Hospital, Oklahoma City Veterans Hospital, Alliance Midwest City Hospital and the Norman Regional Hospital. She also visits Toby Keith’s Oklahoma City Kids Corral, health fairs, nursing homes, and assisted living centers.

When Bella is not volunteering, she shows off her training and tricks as an Ambassador for PetSmart training, rides the Wheeler Park Ferris Wheel, and enjoys just being a playful dog.

Helton’s Judy THDD owned by William “Bill” Helton of Foyil, OK

Bill is a sheriff’s reserve deputy and a retired schoolteacher, who still substitute teaches. He and Judy, also known as “Judge Judy,” visit Justus Tiawah’s North Campus, where Bill reads to children at the school’s library.

He and Judy have participated in the National Education Association’s Read Across America project.

Judy also serves as a child support advocate during Rogers County courtroom proceedings.

Joy Van Dusen THDD CGCA CGCU TKP owned by Debra J. Van Dusen of Lincoln, NE

Joy’s mother was found in a ditch in rural South Dakota, where she had lain for days, heavily pregnant, almost lifeless and covered in ticks. A rescue group picked her up, and she gave birth to eight puppies less than 24 hours later.

The rescue, Hearts United for Animals, raised the puppies, and Debra adopted Joy when she was 3 months old.

Now 4 years old, Joy has earned her CGC, CGCA, CGCU, TKP, and Distinguished Therapy Dog titles. She made her 400th therapy dog visit on May 6, 2019, to the Lancaster Rehabilitation Center to complete the AKC THDD title.

Joy became a therapy dog with Pet Partners in 2016 and is now a certified therapy dog with Healing Heart Therapy Dogs. She is also a certified R.E.A.D. dog.

Joy makes weekly visits to a nursing home/rehabilitation center, the ortho/trauma and rehabilitation units at a hospital, and to an elementary school where students read to her.

She also visits a retirement living facility every other month and attends events (such as finals week at universities and colleges and stress-free days at community events).

Joy is an active dog who loves going to doggie daycare and playing with two other dogs in her household: a 14-year old Border Collie/heeler mix named Star and a 5-month old lab mix named Toby.

Angel Kowal THDD CGCA owned by Anne Kowal of West Deptford, NJ

“Angel joined my family in May 2013,” Anne said. “She was a special puppy right from the beginning, very calm, loving and eager to make everyone happy.”

Angel and Anne joined FURever As Friends Pet Therapy group in Woolwich Twp., NJ in fall 2013. They started visiting libraries where children would read to Angel and then added visits to schools.

“Those who cannot read visit with Angel, brushing her and feeding treats, which she loves,” Anne said.

She also is a volunteer at Nemours Pediatrics, where she greets patients. Her happy face helps to ease their stress, she said.

Other visits are to assisted living and Alzheimer patients and a funeral home to comfort people attending a bereavement group meeting. She also has been a Compassionate Care dog at funerals.

“Angel is always excited to go out and visit with all her friends and is normally out four days a week,” Anne said. “In her spare time, she likes to chase the squirrels in our yard; that’s how she keeps her girlish figure,” Anne added.

Ruby Hoose THDD CGCA owned by Richard and Pamela Hoose of Pinckney, MI

Five-year-old Ruby was adopted by the Hoose’s in June 2015 with the plan for her to become a therapy dog already in place.

The couple had an Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD) Certified Therapy Dog – Josephine — so Ruby was raised to be a therapy dog. The dogs were named for Pam’s father (Joseph) and Rich’s mother (Ruby).

Ruby has been an ATD Certified Therapy Dog since April 2016, shortly after her first birthday. She was unofficially doing therapy dog work by having elementary school kids reading to her since she was seven months old.

Rich and Pam make weekly visits with Ruby to the Veterans Affairs Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Hospitals, and Wellbridge of Pinckney, a senior facility. They also make seasonal visits to visit students at the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College. This summer will mark Ruby’s fifth year for a summer reading program at the Pinckney Community Public Library. Ruby logged her 414th visit in September 2019 to earn the THDD title.

Pamela and Richard are certified ATD therapy dog handlers, and Richard is also an ATD Tester/Observer for therapy dog certification.

Congratulations also to these dogs who have earned the THDD:

  • Teagan Aaley Anderson THDD CGCA CGCU owned by Karen and Daniel Anderson of Flemington, WV 
  • Duffy XV THDD CGC owned by Allison Pankey of Whittier, CA
  • Chewie Humphries THDD CGC owned by Ronald T. Humphries of Laurel, MD
  • Tessa Mae Hammett THDD CGCA CGCU owned by Beverly Hammett of Starkville, MS 

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:

Barn Hunt Champion (RATCH)

Leo Grabski FDC CA RATCH CZ8S DN CGC owned by Margaret and Mikayla Grabski of Sterling Heights, MI

“Leo loves his rats (and basically anything else that he can chase),” Mikayla said.

They got into barn hunt in the middle of winter as a way to get out of the house and have something fun to do. Soon they became a team and wanted to do more. Leo earned his RATCH in just over a year. In his down time, Leo keeps a watch on the bees that Margaret raises.

“For Leo’s day job, he’s a beekeeper!” she said. “He watches over his girls almost all day and keeps pesky animals from trying to get into the bee boxes. He’s everything you could want in a dog and more.”

Mylie Ohms RATCH CZ8P CGC TKN owned by Sarah and Kent Ohms of Des Moines, IA

Eight years ago, Mylie was picked up as a stray and brought to a shelter. “Black dogs in shelters sometimes face long odds in getting noticed, but Mylie got lucky,” Sarah said. “After getting adopted and enjoying the easy-going life of a companion dog, four years ago she made it to a barn hunt fun test and has been hunting, tunneling and climbing as an enthusiastic competitor most weekends since. She loves the climbing aspect of the sport so much that each run she has to make it to the top of the highest point on the tunnel structure and look at all her friends.”

In July 2019, Mylie’s home club, The Rat Pack, hosted a trial in Boone, IA. Mylie needed two qualifying runs to earn her RATCH. While Sarah watched from the gallery during a nerve-wracking run with Kent, they successfully cleared the course. That same weekend, she also accumulated enough points to complete her Crazy 8’s Platinum (CZ8P) title.

The 10-year-old Corgi/Lab mix has also earned the AKC Canine Good Citizen and AKC Trick Dog Novice titles and looks forward to trying her first FAST CAT this spring. When not competing, she loves hiking with her Redbone Coonhound sister Caydence and battling her feline sister Cotton.


  • Addie Divet RATCHX CZ8P DS AS DDB CGCA TKPowned by Nikki and Dan Schimpf of Aurora, IL
  • Mylie Ohms RATCH CZ8P CGC TKN owned by Sarah and Kent Ohms of Des Moines, IA


  • Leo Grabski FDC CA RATCH CZ8S DN CGC owned by Margaret and Mikayla Grabski of Sterling Heights, MI
  • Emberly RN OA OAJ XF CAA FCAT SWN SCA RATM CZ8S DMA owned by Kathryn Tyler Smiley of Fall Branch, TN


  • Pari Darwina Hope VCD1 BN RAE OA AXJ NFP SWA RATCHX CZ8B CGCA TKP owned by Mary Ann Igoe of Blackfoot, ID
  • Addie Divet RATCHX CZ8P DS AS DDB CGCA TKPowned by Nikki and Dan Schimpf of Aurora, IL 


  • Mulcahy’s Hang On Little Tomato DCAT RATM CGC TKN owned by Lisa Miller of Bethesda, MD


  • Willie Of Sawkill RA AXP AJP OFP RATN TKN owned by Susan L. Sedlak of Kingston, NY
  • Alexi’s Lily Grace RA RATN CGCA CGCU TKI owned by Diane Alexander of Maggie Valley, NC
  • Monte Valian RN RATN TKA owned by Gail Valian of Kent, WA
  • Johnny Cash The Man In Black NA NAP NJP NF NFP CA BCAT SCN SEN SBN SHDN RATN DS CGC TKN owned by Heather and Lori Signs of El Cajon, CA
  • Come A-Waltzing Matilda CA BCAT RATN DM DSA AM AS owned by Sarah Leatherman of Apple Valley, CA
  • Piper Lil Witch RATN owned by Michael Crain and Denise Dilosa of Metairie, LA
  • Jemma Of Wakulla Beach BCAT RATN CGC owned by Kathy A. Greenwood of Crawfordville, FL
  • Houdini’s Historic Hypernym RATN TKN owned by Linda Gregg of Minden, LA
  • Anglen’s Dakota FDC RATN CGCowned by David and Jenny Anglen N of Bosque, NM
  • Gg Jester of The Lions Den RI RATN CGCA TKI owned by Michelle L Welik Cyr of New Durham, NH
  • Aotearoa’s Suki Awa Tere Po Rangi FDC ACT1 RATN CGC TKN owned by Lisa Miller and Erika Balderson of Las Vegas, NV


  • Ethel Grace Davies RATO CGCA TKI owned by Shanna Davies of Wenatchee, WA
  • What Dreams May Come Kaycee NAP OJP OFP THDN RATO TKI owned by Felicia Wynn of Nottingham, MD
  • Lil Orphan Annie Comes Home CD RE MX MXJ XF T2B RATO CGCA CGCU TKP owned by Linda Scannell of West Richland, WA
  • Matzke’s Kronk RM RATO DS CGC TKA owned by Roger Matzke of Penndel, PA
  • Sallie O Mallie RATS CGCA CGCU TKN owned by Bonnie Cook of Corrales, NM


  • You Make Me Dizzy Miss Lizzy RATS CGC owned by Nancy Kwain of Orland Park, IL
  • Freitag’s Duke Of Hales Corners CD BN RE MXP AJP CAX SWA RATS CGCA CGCU TKI ATT owned by Nancy and Mark Freitag of Hales Corners, WI
  • Kipbomb’s Little Miss Violet RN SWN RATS owned by Jeanne and Roger Lagesse of Hampton, VA
  • Sallie O Mallie RATS CGCA CGCU TKN owned by Bonnie Cook of Corrales, NM

UpDog Challenge Disc 

Disc Dog is an exciting, fast-pacedsport that all dogs and people can enjoy. UpDog has taken the basic game of fetch with a flying disc and expanded it into 10 fun games. Dogs of any breed, type, size or shape can play and be successful. If your dog can fetch, your dog can play UpDog. Dogs get points in every game and cumulative points earn UpDog Achievements (called “UPs”). Once you have earned aUP in at least three games, you can apply for the AKC Disc Dog titles.

For more information about UpDog and getting involved in yourarea, visit UpDog Challenge. There you can learn more about events in your area, UpDog games, and more!

Congratulations to this dog for earning the highest title, the Disc Dog Unobtainium (DDU):

Bentley Kayganiewicz RN CAX BCAT DDU DDGE CGCA CGCU TKP owned by Kristyn Kay and D.J. Cyganiewicz of Lexington, KY

Bentley, a 6-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix, was adopted from the Lexington Humane Society as a puppy. Kristyn and DJ had been searching for an ACD or ACD mix to add to their home and begin training as a disc dog. Bentley’s intelligence and athleticism were apparent from the start. In 2015 at a disc dog clinic, DJ learned about UpDog Challenge events, and they began looking for a competition.

In 2017, Kristyn and DJ took Bentley to his first event and did well, receiving first place in Four Way Play. “That year, Bentley attended two more events with DJ, and they were hooked. Of all his talents, Bentley has chosen disc as his favorite,” Kristyn said.

Bentley continued to compete and excel. He received his first Unobtanium in Four Way Play at Prime K9 in Winchester, KY, on July 27, 2019. He received his second at Mule Town Disc Dogs in Columbia, TN, on Sept. 27, 2019. His final Unobtainium to earn his DDU was received at Cross Creek Farm Canine Sports on Oct. 26, 2019.

Bentley also is a successful lure courser and trick dog and has received his AKC Canine Good Citizen-Advanced and AKC Canine Good Citizen Urban. A natural performer, Bentley loves to take his trick dog show on the road to schools, nursing homes and dog exhibitions.


  • Pie In The Sky OA NAJ OF CA DJ DDB TKA owned by Sara Beth Pinson of Atlanta, GA
  • Emma Written In The Stars Mecklenburg ACT1 RATO DJ DDB CGC TKN owned by Roberta Mecklenburg of Elk Grove Village, IL
  • Addie Divet RATCHX CZ8P DS AS DDB CGCA TKP owned by Nikki and Dan Schimpf of Aurora, IL


  • Mecklenburg’s Jake ACT2 RATO DDG DDBE CGC TKN owned by Roberta Mecklenburg of Elk Grove Village, IL
  • On Target’s Land Shark BCAT FDCH DDBE owned by Penny Leigh and Dale McElrath of Graham, NC


  • Mecklenburg’s Jake ACT2 RATO DDG DDBE CGC TKN owned by Roberta Mecklenburg of Elk Grove Village, IL


  • Bentley Kayganiewicz RN CAX BCAT DDU DDGE CGCA CGCU TKPowned by Kristyn and D.J. Cyganiewicz of Lexington, KY


  • Frenzy DDP owned by Laura O’Neillof Bear, DE


  • Banquo’s Thunder Struck DEA AM DDS owned by Penny Leigh and Dale McElrath of Graham, NC 

North American 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 these All-American Dogs for receiving AKC recognition of the top-level Dock Elite (DE) title for making five jumps over 23 feet:

Hutson’s Clear the Way DE owned by Christy Lynne Hutson of Moyock, NC

Christy’s son, an Army Combat Engineer, gave her dog the call name of Sapper – a term for “clear the way.”

“Sapper is living up to the name by clearing the way to winning dock diving events,” Christy said. “She readily took to the water and chasing a toy or ball into the pool at a very young age.”

In August 2019, at 8 months old, she was entered in her first NADD event, Shipp’s Corner Beach Bash. She jumped 20-feet-8-inches and by the end of the weekend her longest jump was 26-feet-2-inches. She finished in sixth place overall.

Sapper continued to jump far and earned a NADD Nationals Invite at 11 months old and having entered only three events during the season.

“Sapper loves to jump; she gets so excited at events and we think she has a bright future ahead of her,” Christy said.

She lives with Christy and her three dog siblings: Vail, a 13-year old American Staffordshire; Dice, a 7-year-old American Bulldog; and Rook, a 2-year-old Mastiff.

Rockin Kr Houdini FDC SCN SIN SEN DE CGCA CGCU TKI owned by Danny and Susan Venegas of Wellington, FL

Houdini is a 3 ½ year-old McNab Shepherd who has been dock diving for approximately 18 months.

In 2019 he earned his Elite Dock Diving Title and a coveted invitation to the NADD/AKC National Championship in Orlando.

His final qualifying jump was 27 feet, 11 inches, at the Paw Prints in the Sand event in July at the South Florida Fairgrounds, hosted by the Boca Raton Dog Club. In addition to dock diving, Houdini travels the country competing in scent work and disc competitions. Houdini is also a Therapy Dog International member, providing therapy work for the West Palm Beach community.

Congratulations also to this dog for earning the DE:

  • Syn DE AM CGC owned by Tatum Trivyzas of West Jordan, UT


  • Tobias’ Isabell BN RN DSA DJ AE AMA CGC owned by Mona Marie Tobias of Rockport, TX


  • Come A-Waltzing Matilda CA BCAT RATN DM DSA AM AS owned by Sarah Leatherman of Apple Valley, CA
  • Syn DE AM CGC owned by Tatum Trivyzas of West Jordan, UT
  • Tobias’ Isabell BN RN DSA DJ AE AMA CGC owned by Mona Marie Tobias of Rockport, TX
  • Syn DE AM CGC owned by Tatum Trivyzas of West Jordan, UT


  • Tobias’ Isabell BN RN DSA DJ AE AMA CGC owned by Mona Marie Tobias of Rockport, TX


  • Daddy’s Amazing Angel DS DJA AN CGC owned by Brian and Denise Pleat Cuyahoga Falls, OH


  • Banquo’s Thunder Struck DEA AM DDS owned by Penny Leigh and Dale McElrath of Graham, NC 


  • Bailey’s He’s All the Rhage DJ owned by Emma Brown of Houston, TX
  • Groves Turbo FDC THDN DJ DN CGCA CGCU TKA owned by Pam Sisler and Tom Groves of Barnesville, OH
  • Pie In The Sky OA NAJ OF CA DJ DDB TKA owned by Saray Beth Pinson of Atlanta, GA
  • Edward Francis Roy DJ owned by Sophia Alanna Roy of Greensburg, PA
  • Bouncing Bandit Lux DJ TKP owned by Nikki Luxenberg of Leander, TX


  • Daddy’s Amazing Angel DS DJA AN CGC owned by Brian and Denise Pleat Cuyahoga Falls, OH


  • July’s Flying Cricket DM CGC owned by Rebecca Holcomb of Winter Park, FL
  • Pr Wild Fire Out Of Control BCAT DM CGCU owned by MargieDavid, and Stefanie Kelly of Jupiter, FL
  • Ranger Reggie Wilcut DM DS owned by Eddie E. Wilcut of Round Rock, TX
  • Come A-Waltzing Matilda CA BCAT RATN DM DSA AM AS owned by Sarah Leatherman of Apple Valley, CA
  • Dixie Rich CD DM CGC TKA owned by Jillian and Casey Rich of Bloomington, IN


  • Durr’s Desert Treasure RN DN CGCA TKN owned by Meredith and Corey Durr of Las Cruces, NM
  • Davey Jones Hilbert DN CGC owned by Jennifer R. Hilbert of Hickory, NC
  • Leo Grabski FDC CA RATCH CZ8S DN CGC owned by Margaret and Mikayla Grabski of Sterling Heights, MI
  • Princess Lulu Lemon FDC BCAT DN CGC owned by Mikayla Grabski of Sterling Heights, MI


  • Dunbar DB Cooper Jumping For The Money DNA owned by Tara Santangelo of York, PA


  • Ranger Reggie Wilcut DM DS owned by Eddie E. Wilcut of Round Rock, TX
  • Plutonium Laser CA BCAT DS owned by Erin Cunningham of Clarkton, NC
  • T&S Ain’T She Sweet DS owned by Skadi Rygaard of Blackwood, NJ
  • Matzke’s Kronk RM RATO DS CGC TKA owned by Roger Matzke of Penndel, PA
  • Hakuna Matata RE DS CGCA owned by Danielle Fredrickson of LaCrosse, WI
  • Cpr’s Teddie Says She’s Ready RN OA AXJ NF DS TKI owned by Bunnie Hunter of Tallahassee, FL
  • Sues Sugar Magnolia DS CGC owned by Susan Whitaker Smith of Lewisburg, OH


  • Tobias’ Isabell BN RN DSA DJ AE AMA CGC owned by Mona Marie Tobias of Rockport, TX
  • Eko BCAT DSA owned by Tatum Renee Trivyzas of West Jordan, UT

North American Flyball Association

 AKC recognizes three titles of NAFA competitors – the Flyball Dog Champion (FDCh) for 500 points; Flyball Master (FM) for 5,000 points; and the Onyx award for 20,000 points. For more information on NAFA and how to get involved go to

Congratulations to this All-American Dog for earning the FDCH and FM:

Flying Puck’s Dodge This NA NAJ BCAT FM CGC owned by Erin Rakosky of Asheboro, NC 
Six-year-old Trinity is an amazing companion and competitor, Erin said. She has helped her flyball team, Fur Fun, win the title of World Champions at the 2018 Flyball Open World Championships in Gravelines, France. Outside of flyball, Trinity’s favorite pastime is hiking and finding a good mudhole to roll in!


  • Offspring Eat Your Heart Out ONYX owned by Benjamin Hill of Asheboro, NC 
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