The AKC has been doing a good job of keeping up with offering titles that reflect not only what our various breeds were created to do (earth dog, field trials, herding, barn hunt, farm dog, Coonhound Field world, gundog, hunter, coursing, scent and water work), but what they can do, namely, therapy work, dock diving, flyball, obedience and agility, tricks, FAST CAT, and being a Canine Good Citizen. We’re still waiting for a title that recognizes excellence in begging.
An additional title the AKC offers is the Search and Rescue title, or SAR. The title is offered for FEMA certified Urban Search and Rescue dogs, as well as Wilderness Search and Rescue dogs (a title that was added in 2013). These canines can mean the difference between life and death for people who are missing or lost, or who are impacted by a natural disaster or a mass casualty event.
The first dog and handler team to receive the title was “Juno,” an English Springer Spaniel, and her handler, Beckie Stanevich who, at the time of their recognition, served on FEMA’s Ohio Task Force One to work federal disaster locations. They were honored at the September 2012 AKC Delegates meeting.
Other dogs honored in addition to “Juno,” were “Kaiser,” a German Shepherd Dog, “Bretagne,” a Golden Retriever, and “Morgan,” an English Springer Spaniel. “Kaiser” and “Bretagne” worked at the World Trade Center following the attacks of 9/11, while “Morgan” searched for human remains at the Staten Island Landfill.
Photo from the AKC website shared with consent