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!
Dragon Run’s Cracker Jack THDD CGC owned by Beth Peterson of Dover, DE
Jack had been in and quickly out of five homes within just a couple of months when the Petersons took him in as a foster. “The shelter was unsure of what they were going to do with him,” Beth said. “The complaint: he was too active. We quickly found that Jack just needed direction. Once he was shown what to do, he did it in just a couple of tries!
“Jack is a natural therapy dog. He enjoys meeting new people and is terrific around other dogs. He has a wonderful, giving, personality, always quiet and peaceful. He’s so good with everyone; I involve him in my training as a neutral dog.”
Beginning his visiting career on his birthday in July 2009, Jack, now 10 years old, has logged more than 1,500 hours in his 9-year career as a therapy dog, visiting 15 locations, seeing thousands of people, appearing on television and in newspapers, and at the 2018 Delaware Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service ceremony.
Jack earned his AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD) title on New Year’s Eve – Dec. 31, 2017 – while visiting at Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover, DE.
Grieger’s Toby THDD owned by David Grieger of Frederick, MD
Toby was certified through Pet Partners in 2013. Since then, he and David have helped re-establish a pet therapy program at St Francis Hospital in Indianapolis, IN, in addition to working at Community Hospital in Greenwood, IN. Since moving to Frederick, MD, four years ago, Toby has become a R.E.A.D dog. He also provides therapy at Frederick Memorial Hospital and Hospice and nursing homes and takes part in Mental Health Days at four high schools.
Toby had lung cancer surgery in March 2017, but it has not slowed him down. “The nurses on the unit at the hospital now introduce him to their patients as the ‘can survive dog,’” David said. Toby earned his THDD on Aug. 18 while making a visit to a patient on the oncology unit at Frederick Memorial Hospital.
Pepper Cudsik THDD CGC owned by Beverly B. Cudsik of Erie, CO
In March 2013, Beverly rescued Pepper, who had been abandoned. “She was the calmest, sweetest, smartest well-behaved 7-month-old puppy,” Beverly said. “A week later she was diagnosed with parvovirus – she almost died. But thanks to the wonderful care she received, she survived, and she was happy to be alive.” Once Pepper was healthy, Beverly enrolled her in obedience classes. She was so smart and eager to learn that they continued training in agility and rally classes.
“I just knew when I brought Pepper home that she would make a wonderful therapy dog. She is so gentle and kind and eager to please. She enjoys being around people, especially kids. She loves making people happy.” In April 2015, Pepper and Beverly passed their evaluation and became a registered therapy team with Pet Partners.
Pepper was awarded her THDD on Sept. 11, 2018. Her qualification was based on her regularly scheduled visits to two hospitals and two courthouses (where she interacts with victims of domestic violence and with children and families involving dependency and neglect). Monthly she attends a cancer support group meeting at the hospital. Periodically she volunteers at college and high school de-stress events.
In her spare time, Pepper enjoys disc, playing with stuffed animals, and going for walks. “For fun, I enrolled her in scent work, and she has a nose for it,” she said.
Tara THDD CGC owned by Lynn Brown of Lorena, TX
Tara, a 6-year old 65-pound Australian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix, was adopted from Fuzzy Friends Rescue in Waco, TX, in September 2012. She was 19 months old and had been captured as a stray. In June 2013, she was evaluated, tested and registered within the national standards of Pet Partner Therapy Animal Teams.
She is an alumnus of the mentoring programs of Angel Paws of Waco and the Providence Healthcare systems for animal assisted therapy. Her specialties are presentations of dog safety and anti-bullying programs in public schools and facilitating the reading skills of elementary school age children. Tara has enjoyed contributing more than 700 volunteer hours, including regular visitation with health care facility patients and staff.
Congratulations also to these All-American Dogs who have earned the THDD:
- Bagel Chen THDD CGCA CGCU TKN owned by Grace Chen of Tustin, CA
- Cramer’s Bailey CD THDD CGCA owned by Sharon L. Cramer of Rock Island, IL
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 www.barnhunt.com for more information.
Congratulations to All-American Dogs who recently received recognition of their BHA titles:
Shameless Poc-Ket of Petunias CGC CAA BCAT BN CD TKP AX OAJ RM RATI RATCH owned by Kelly Castle of Clermont, FL
Kelly had stopped by Petco to pick up a few supplies, and an animal shelter was having an adoption fun day. “As I entered the building, I noticed this cute little black and white puppy standing on her hind legs screaming at the lure coursing going on in the field across from her. Most of the shelter volunteers were appalled by such behavior. I, on the other hand, was smitten! I sat down on the curb and just watched her. She didn’t miss a thing and she greeted everyone who stopped to pet her with a wiggly tail,” Kelly said. Her shelter name was Petunia and later that week, Kelly adopted her and gave her a new name: Zuri.
Kelly found that Zuri had many insecurities related to being a parvo survivor and spending a lot of time in the hospital. Shelter life was also hard on her. Obedience training started right away. It wasn’t until they started trick training that Kelly noticed Zuri’s love of showing off and performing. A year after Kelly adopted her, they returned to the same adoption fun day and won the trick dog contest — and they won it the next two years as well.
Zuri quickly took to any new sport she tried. She has earned titles in agility, obedience, rally, coursing, tricks and Barn Hunt.
“If Zuri has a calling in life, it’s Barn Hunt! I think she is most often referred to as a ‘circus dog’ by people that see her perform in any sport; she always keeps me on my toes and never has a dull moment in any ring. When we discovered Barn Hunt, she was in her element. She is accurate and loud when she finds her rats, and there is no doubt when she has done her job,” Kelly said. Zuri earned her Championship title in Barn Hunt (RATCH) in May 2018 at G2 in Ocala, FL. The pair is earning scores toward the RATCHX and hope to compete at the Barn Hunt nationals in 2019.
“I like to describe Zuri as naughty, cuddly, driven, relentless, mischievous, protective, bossy, physical and brilliant but mostly endearing. Everyone who meets her loves her for a different reason; she just wins people over with her fun attitude. I believe in kismet – that I was meant to see her that day and that she was meant to be with me. She is one of the biggest joys in my life. She has been my best overall performance dog and has made me so proud to call her mine, even when her wicked sense of humor shows up.”
- MACH2 PACH3 Boots II FDC MXS MJS MXP7 MXPS MJP8 MJPG PAX3 T2BP RATCHX CGC TKN owned by Bari and Scott Boersma of Winchester, CA
- J. Streeter AX AXJ RATCHX CGC owned by Katie and Brandyn Streeter of Huntley, IL
- MACH PACH Bradley’s Brandy RN FDC MXG MJS MXP6 MXPS MJP5 MJPS PAX2 OF XFP T2B2 T2BP RATCHX8 CZ8P DN CGCA CGCU TKI owned by Alison Joyce and Kevin Bradley of Fayetteville, AR
- K9 Magic Otter BN RI RATM CZ8S CGCA TKN owned by Mary Chadwick of Reno, NV
- Bfd’s Josie RATM TKA owned by Heidi Dulac of Plantsville, CT
- High Cotton’s Roodie NJP RATM CGC owned by Sandra Madison of Ocala, FL
- K9 Magic Otter BN RI RATM CZ8S CGCA TKN owned by Mary Chadwick of Reno, NV
- Teddy Roosevelt RATM CGC TKA owned by Martha Ellen Coltrane of Asheboro, NC
- Bacon Bits BCAT RATN DEA owned by Nancy Christensen of Dallas, TX
- Charlottes Little Piper CD BN RN RATN owned by Charlotte Prichard of Tehama, CA
- Coach Crazy Horse CD RM RAE MX MXJ OF BCAT RATN CGCA TKA owned by Lynn Kathryn Wesselmann of St. Louis, MO
- Cubby of Pemberville Rd. BN RA FDC ACT2 THDN RATN CGCU TKI owned by Sarah Ann Matteau of Millbury, OH
- Fonzie Flying Rocket Cow RATN owned by Pam L. Wall of Spring, TX
- Hatfield’s Rocket Man RATN owned by Kristi Hatfield of Scottsdale, AZ
- Lil Orphan Annie Comes Home CD RE MX MXJ XF T2B RATN CGCA CGCU TKP owned by Linda Scannell of West Richland, WA
- Nell The Southern Belle RN RATN CGC TKA owned by Kathy Piecara of Ridgewood NY
- Bodhi XIII RATO CGC TKN owned by Uschi Gerschner of Salt Lake City, UT
- Leia Pawlowski SEN SBN RATS TKI owned by Lenore Pawlowski and Darlene Ward of Buffalo, NY
- PACH Shortstop FDC MXP4 MXPB MJP4 MJPB PAX RATS CGC TKN owned by Bari and Scott Boersma of Winchester, CA
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 www.northamericadivingdogs.com
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:
Caiman De La Cocaina DE DS CGC TKI owned by Alexandria Goodin of Weirsdale, FL
Caiman, 2 years, received his DE on June 17, 2018. He trains and competes in several different canine sports and “is, of course, a part of our family,” Alexandria said. “He was unexpectedly given to us in the parking lot of a dock diving competition. When I heard his story, I couldn’t turn him away. He has grown to become a very large part of our life, and we are thankful for the AKC’s Canine Partners program that allows us to participate in great family friendly activities.”
DJ (Dock Junior)
- Feiertag’s Sweetie Pie RN CA DJ CGC owned by LeeAnn and Jim Feiertag of Tallahassee, FL
- Christopher CA BCAT DJ CGC owned by Georganna L Acord of Frazeysburg, OH
- Piper Riley DJ DN owned by Carla Jenkins of Lawrenceville, GA
DM (Dock Master)
- Ready, Willing and Mabel OA OAJ OF DM CGC TKA owned by Tory and Michael Waxman of Solon, OH
- Turbo of Ciw RE MX MXJ MJB NF DM DS TKN owned by Pamela McKinney of Mont Vernon, NH
AM (Air retrieve master)
- Leapin Levi Call Me Batdog FDC CA BCAT RATO DE DMX AM AS CGC TKA owned by Stephanie Getter of Winston-Salem, NC
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 www.flyball.org
Congratulations to this All-American Dog for earning the FDCH:
Missjiff.gif BCAT FDCH TKN owned by Maureen R Setter of Orange Park, FL
Gif is from a litter with names that had a Christmas theme. The puppy that Maureen got was called “Gift.” After seeing a picture of her and then a video, “I realized that the picture was a jpg and the video a gif. A light bulb went off, and I realized that I had just named my new puppy – Gif! All I had to do was take the ‘t’ off her puppy name,” Maureen said.
Flyball came naturally to Gif. She races on the All Rev’d Up flyball team out of Tampa/St Petersburg, FL. She earned her NAFA FDCH title on June 10 at Celtic Mayhem’s tournament in St Petersburg about a month after she started racing. In start position, she consistently runs under 4 seconds, and her fastest time in the pack (so far) is 4.08 seconds. Gif practices with the Jumpin’ Jax flyball team in Jacksonville, FL.
In addition to flyball, Gif competes in FAST CAT. Her best time (so far) is 6.66 seconds. “What is next for Gif? “She is looking forward to her first CAT competition,” Maureen said. Gif loves to race, cuddle and bury under the blankets.
Photo credit – Irene Cotter