AKC Canine Partners Turns 10 Years Old
AKC competition for mixed breed dogs launched on April 1, 2010, in agility, rally and obedience.
Since that date, nearly 400,000 dogs have enrolled in the program, and the number of sports and titling opportunities has more than tripled.
All American Dogs also now compete in tracking, coursing ability, Fast CAT, and scent work, plus earn titles in Trick Dog, Farm Dog, Canine Good Citizen- Advanced, Canine Good Citizen-Urban, Therapy Dog and more.
We want to honor some of the trailblazing All-American Dogs who were the first to earn top-level titles. We hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane:
1st Master Agility Championship:
MACH8 PACH Prince Doggie MXG2 MJC2 MXP3 MXPB MJP3 MJPB PAX NF T2B & Tacarra Andrade of Novi, MI
Tacarra had never heard of agility and did not know that much about dogs. But she knew she had her hands full with what she calls the “best birthday present” ever – an adorable ball of white fluff that she named Prince Doggie. Her boyfriend surprised her with the Bichon mix for her 24th birthday – the first dog she had ever owned.
Doing more with Prince than spoiling him never occurred to her until she saw an agility trial on television.
“With an over-abundance of energy as a young dog, Prince would get the zoomies and then make up mini-obstacle courses of his own around the house…One day, I was watching TV and came across an agility competition. After watching for a few seconds, I immediately knew that Prince Doggie would be a natural at agility and hoped that it would provide a safe outlet for his energy. “
She was right – Prince was a natural for agility and so was she.
Prince became the first All American Dog to earn the AKC Master Agility Championship (MACH) on Feb. 20, 2011, just 10 months after AKC Canine Partners started. Until his retirement, he was the most MACH titled mixed breed with eight championships, as well as the first to earn many lifetime achievement awards. He made the finals of the AKC Agility Invitational in 2012 and he won the 4-inch challengers round at the 2016 NAC and then placed second in the finals.
“At 14 years young, I feel amazingly blessed to still have Prince with me in great health and really enjoying life together.”
1st Preferred Agility Championship:
PACH Cooper Casey AX AXJ MXP3 MXPB MJP5 MJPS PAX OF XFP & Vicke Casey of Hydesville, CA
Rescue dog Cooper struggled in new situations after Vicke adopted him. She worked to try to lessen his stress and then one day someone recommended agility.
“I got involved in agility to help Cooper overcome his fear of people and build his self-confidence,” she said.
It worked and Cooper not only developed confidence, but also a love of the sport. It took him only a month to go from Novice to the most advanced level of Excellent. But at age 8, he suffered a back spasm that nearly ended his career.
But Vicke moved him to the Preferred program, which enabled him to jump one height lower. At just 10-inches high at his shoulder, Cooper jumped 8-inches in the Regular AKC Agility division. The Preferred class allowed him to jump half that, and in July 2010, he re-started his agility career in the 4-inch jump class.
The change was great for Cooper. In July 2011, the Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix became the first All American Dog to earn the Preferred Agility Championship!
First AKC Agility Grand Champion:
AGCH MACH4 PACH2 Greer’s Ellie MXB2 MJS2 MXP6 MXPS PADP MJP6 MJPS PJSP PAX2 MFB TQX MFPC TQXP T2B4 T2BP RATS CGC & Carol Greer of Mineral Bluff, GA
Carol had never heard of agility when an obedience instructor suggested that she enroll her mix, Luke, in a beginner agility course. “I quickly became hooked!” she said.
She began competing in the sport in other venues with both Luke and her other mix, Ellie, and they were ready to enter AKC trials when Canine Partners opened.
She remembers her first experience at an AKC event.
“I remember being a little nervous, wondering how other exhibitors would react to having mixed-breeds competing against their purebreds. But, for the most part, people were very welcoming. We were all there just to have some agility fun with our dogs and maybe earn a few titles along the way!”
Luke and Ellie did earn titles, and had much success with multiple championships.
When AKC announced the new Agility Grand Championship (AGCH) program would start in July 2016, Carol thought Ellie was in a good place to strive for it. The title rewards long-term success in the AKC overall program and requires 100 Master Standard, 100 Master Jumpers With Weaves, 75 T2B, 75 Master FAST, 50 Premier Standard and 50 Premier Jumpers legs
“Ellie had already earned her MACH4, T2B4, Master Bronze FAST, and Master Century Agility and JWW titles, and was well on her way to earning her first PACH. And so, the AGCH journey began!”
On Oct. 22, 2017, Ellie, at age 9, finished the AGCH title, becoming the first mixed-breed and the 22nd dog of all breeds to reach the milestone.
“To me, it’s all about having a lifetime of fun with your canine partner and making memories that will live on long after your fur-kid is gone,” Greer said.
1st AKC Obedience Trial Champion:
OTCH Twister UDX4 OM6 VER & Pat Mann of Lakeland, FL
When Pat brought Twister home as a puppy, her main goal was for the Border Collie mix to become a fast member of her flyball team.
“At the time I looked for a puppy, being able to compete in AKC events was not even a distant consideration for mixed-breeds,” Pat said. “But Twister proved to be much more than an outstanding flyball dog. He excelled at anything I asked of him – disc, agility, and obedience.”
When the AKC opened the door to mixed-breeds, Twister was primed and ready to make his entry into the obedience ring. He hit the ground running and was the first All American Dog to be awarded the AKC Companion Dog Excellent, Utility Dog, Obedience Master 1, and Obedience Trial Champion titles. He also was one of the two first All Americans to qualify for the AKC National Obedience Invitational.
“Twister was the first in the AKC at many levels in obedience, my once in a lifetime dog,” Pat said. “His many High Combined and High in Trial ribbons and various trophies are displayed on my walls as a proud reminder of a spectacular devoted dog.”
First AKC Rally Advanced Excellent:
Woodacre’s Court Jester UD RAE RDC TKN & Jackie Phillips of San Leandro, CA
Dino is truly a success story as he was surrendered to a shelter by his family at about 9 months of age because they had “too many kids and not enough time for the dog.” The shelter scheduled him for euthanasia after labeling him as “out of control and untrainable.”
Luckily, Grateful Dog Rescue of San Francisco did not believe the shelter and took Dino into its care. Jackie Phillips adopted him when he was about a year old and immediately set out to prove the shelter wrong by training Dino – with great success.
Dino earned the highest title in AKC Rally at that time – the Rally Advanced Excellent – on Dec. 29, 2010. He ended that year as the top scoring mixed breed in AKC Rally by the Front & Finish ranking system. In May 2011, he became the second All American to earn the Utility Dog title.
But Dino had many other achievements, including that he is trained to track. He worked has a pet detective, tracking down many lost pets and enabling them to return to their homes. This skill earned him two Honorable Mention awards in the AKC Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE).
He also was the first mixed breed to earn many drafting titles through several parent clubs’ programs. He received drafting novice and advanced level titles through the AKC national breed clubs of the Bernese Mountain Dog, St. Bernard, Bouvier, and Rottweiler.
1st AKC Rally Champion:
RACH Chloe Wild Child UDX OM1 BN VER RM3 RAE3 SWN SCNE SCA SIA SEA THD CGC TKA & Nancy Nelson of Manorville, NY
A rescue group rescued Chloe from a kill shelter as a puppy.
“When I adopted her, she was 6 months old and her rescue foster mom told me that Chloe wanted a job,” Nancy said. “Now, look at all those titles. Her rescue mom was right!
“Chloe is an amazing, intelligent dog who loves the challenge of new things to do. The first time we tried those side by side circles in Rally Master, she looked at me and said, ‘Huh?’ But in no time at all and with a little food lure in practice, she said ‘I got this!’ We love doing them – it’s like we are dancing together.”
Chloe became the first mixed-breed to earn the AKC Rally Championship (RACH) on July 20, 2018, at the Susque-Nango Kennel Club trial in Binghamton, NY.
Nancy added that Chloe is quite the entertaining character when it comes to training and trialing.
“She always works with that sparkle in her eye, so I never know what she may surprise me with! Every time we pass that finish sign, her head goes up high and her ‘woo woo woo’ starts – and the more the judge, stewards, or spectators chuckle, the more she’ll ‘woo woo woo.,’” she said. “She is just telling them she knows she is done, and a jackpot is waiting back at the crate.
“Chloe, you have given me so much besides all those titles… you’ve taught me to relax, enjoy the ride and be in the moment. Chloe, you are my joy and my treasure.”
1st AKC Champion Tracker:
CT Griffin Fielding & Maureen Fielding of N. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Griffin came into being through an accidental mating between a black German Shepherd female and a German Short-haired Pointer male.
“He is a fine hunting dog with a strong work ethic, making him an excellent tracking dog,” Maureen said.
Griffin started wilderness tracking as a puppy, followed by urban and field tracking; he earned his first Tracking Dog title with the Mixed Breed Dog Club of America (MBDCA) in 2012, followed by the MBDCA TDX in 2013.
“When the opportunity arose to track with the AKC, we had to jump on it, as Griffin aspired to attain the Champion Tracker (CT) status.”
The team achieved the CT title on April 5, 2015, when Griffin passed his AKC Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) title in Boise, ID, with the Idaho Capital City Kennel Club.
“Griffin has successfully tracked two lost dogs and has attained local media coverage for his tracking and search and rescue abilities. He is sociable, very athletic, agile, muscularly fit, and strong so he also enjoys hiking, swimming and a fast game of Frisbee,” Maureen said.
1st AKC Coursing Ability Excellent:
Creek Ridge Found In A Pickle CD BN RE FDC CAX3 FCAT ACT1 THD CGCA CGCU TKN & Terry Lane of Peachtree City, GA
Pickle was just a small puppy sitting in the middle of a road when Terry spotted him, stopped and saved his life.
“He was ugly and had adolescent mange.A friend of ours saw the puppy and said, ‘Boy you are in a pickle.’ The name stuck,” he said.
The name may have stuck, but not his appearance. Pickle grew into “a very handsome, smart and loving dog.” His greatest love in life was coursing, Terry said.
Pickle becomes the first All-American Dog to earn the Coursing Ability Excellent (CAX) title for passing the test 25 times on April 15, 2012, at a Coursing Ability Test hosted by the Greyhound Club of North Georgia in Perry, GA. He also was one of the first dogs of any breed to take home the honor.
First All-American Dog to Earn Fast CAT Title:
Koda Dane Lincoln Mo Rausch CAX FCAT2 RATM CGC TKN & Jeanette Rausch of Mount Juliet, TN
Koda was the first All-American Dog to earn the first level AKC Fast CAT title of BCAT on May 14, 2016, at the Blue Grass Coursing Club test in Radcliff, KY, and he also was the first to earn the highest-level title of FCAT on Oct. 30, 2016!
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.
Koda is a Labrador Retriever mix.
“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,” Jeanette said. “When I visited the clinic in January 2014, the clinic asked if I would consider adopting 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.”
1st AKC Masters Scent Work Dog:
Reba’s Fancy Red Heart BN RI FDC CA FCAT ACT2 SWAE SWM SCME SIME SEME SHDE THDN CGCA CGCU TKI & Barbara Bumcrots of Maumee, OH
When Barbara adopted Reba, she was 8 months old and already had two homes. They began working together right away in agility.
“Reba likes agility in class but not as much in a competition setting (no treats!)” Barbara said.
The team began to work in other sports, and Reba earned titles in rally, obedience, barn hunt, therapy dog, trick dog, coursing ability and Fast CAT.
“Then I started to dabble in scent work,” Barbara said. “I found something that she excels in.”
On Nov. 11, 2018, Reba became the first All American Dog to earn the AKC Scent Work Masters title, and only the third dog of all breeds to finish the top-level title. It only took her 13 months to earn it.
Reba is Barbara’s first rescue dog and came from the Golden Retriever Rescue Resource in Toledo, OH.
“Apparently, her father was a golden, but her mother must have been a Toller,” she said.
Barbara said she has always had a “soft spot” for a red-colored Golden Retriever, and Reba fit the bill and her smaller size was a plus.
1sts Versatile Companion Dog:
Rodger Rowbinawitz VCD3 PUTD GO VER RAE MXP NF OFP CA FDCH & Sue Kotlarek of Romulus, MI
The AKC Versatile Companion Dog program honors multi-talented dogs that earn titles in Obedience, Agility and Tracking – and a little dog named Rodger was the first All American Dog to earn levels one through three of the VCD titles!
The rescue dog achieved the first two levels on Oct. 26, 2014, when he earned the AKC Tracking Dog (TD) title. Then, on May 6, 2018, he became the first mixed breed to earn the VCD Level 3 title when he finished the AKC Tracking Dog Excellent title.
Rodger not only holds upper level titles in AKC Obedience, Rally and Agility, as well as the TDX, he also has titled in AKC Coursing Ability and NAFA Flyball!
Rodger was rescued from the Hurricane Katrina floods and adopted by Sue and her husband, Jeff, who already shared life with their All-American Dog, Jasmine. Rodger is an Italian Greyhound mix, while Jasmine is a Staffie Bull mix.
”The most amazing thing about Rodger is when he was brought to our home by the rescue organization, he and Jazz bonded instantly and immediately began to play. He was not shy or intimidated by big sister Jazz. They are an inseparable pair,” Sue said. “Rodger is a big dog in a little dog’s body.”