Ellen Minto began her involvement with the Canaan Dog in 1984 in her home
country, the USA, with the purchase of an 18-month old Canaan bitch, Beth Din's
Tabatha Beruriah ("Xena"), from Hinda Bergman, the then president of the Canaan Dog Club of America. "Xena" was followed six months later by "Ariel" (Ariel Shin Ha'Aretz of Briel) whom she purchased from Bryna
Comsky. "Ariel", a super black and white of excellent quality and type, won
Best Puppy at the first National Specialty he attended at 7-months of age under
judge, Maxwell Riddle. He then went on to win Best of Breed at the next (and
only) four National Specialties in which he was entered- - - one under Israeli
judge, Mr Avi Marshak.
Ellen whelped her first litter of Canaan Dogs in 1985 and bred a number of high- quality Canaan puppies under her former kennel name of Briel Kennels. A puppy from her first litter, Briel's Adiv Ben Ariel, won Best Puppy In Match his first time out at the then prestigious and large (over 700 dogs) Hudson Valley Rare Breed Show. Ellen imported three Canaan Dogs to the USA from Shaar Hagai Kennels in Israel to help expand the genepool over there. However, when she moved to England, due to the quarantine restrictions Ellen took only one of these dogs with her, Gvir Me Shaar Hagai. At one time Ellen sat on the board of the Canaan Dog Club of America, Inc and she was one of the founders and the first President of the Israel Canaan Dog Club of America, Inc. She has also been the Secretary and newsletter editor for The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom since 1996.
Richard and Ellen met through their mutual admiration and love of the Canaan Dog while attending the first International Canaan Dog Show in Netanya, Israel, as spectators, in November 1993. While he was working in Tunisia, Richard was gifted with a semi-wild born* Canaan bitch by a member of a Bedouin clan who, along with the pack of dogs, had originated in Jordan. Richard subsequently took "Bobby" (Minto's Libyan Jewel) back to England with him when he returned. She was bred to a registered Israeli import, Sivan Me Shaar Hagai, and produced six beautiful puppies on 19th December 1993. Both "Bobby" and her litter were registered by the Israel Kennel Club under what they call "miun". Under this system the dog must be judged by a licensed judge of the breed (in this case Myrna Shiboleth) as being at least "very good" according to the breed standard. The dog must then be bred to a fully pedigreed and proven Canaan, and the offspring are then judged for their apparent purity and conformity to type at a minimum of 9 months of age. "Bobby's" puppies were judged at 4 months and again at one year of age. They were then registered by the Israel Kennel Club and subsequently by The Kennel Club in England. One of these puppies, The Lion of Judah At Anacan (call name 'Digger') grew into a beautiful show dog whose movement was unexcelled. He also sired some excellent, typey puppies for the Mintos. 'Digger' was probably the most influential Canaan Dog in the UK in terms of bringing credibility to the breed in the eyes of show judges. The registration of Bobby and her litter by The Kennel Club gave England, and the world, some important new bloodlines. Her children and grandchildren can now be found in seven countries! Richard is currently Chairman of The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom.
(*The pack was following this particular Bedouin clan rather than living in the wilderness. The dogs in the pack still remained "wild" as they were never domesticated by the Bedouins.)
Anacan Canaan Dogs are bred for the correct "collie type" (Type III) of Canaan Dog** and believe that our efforts have culminated in producing Canaan Dogs with the noble elegance that makes it differ from the coarser Type II, or Dingo-type pariahs. The success of the Mintos small breeding programme can be verified by the photos of their dogs within this site and their recorded successes in the show ring. Yet the Minto's commitment to trying to preserve the Canaan's natural character and temperament, as well as all the coat colours found naturally in the wild, has met with opposition from those who are trying to change the breed character so it can (theoretically) become more saleable and a more successful show dog. With over 200 pedigree breeds recognised by the Kennel Club we feel people should acquire a breed that is already what they want rather than trying to change such a unique and wonderfully natural breed into another generic show dog.
(**Read Drs R & R Menzel's "Observations On The Pariah Dog" for a full explanation of Canaan Dog "type".)
Ellen spent the 7 years prior to her move to England working as the office manager/veterinary nurse for a small veterinary clinic in upstate New York to enable her to learn more about caring for her own dogs. She also attended a course in canine reproduction and attended breeder seminars at Cornell University -- New York State's veterianary school. She, at one time, owned her own horse and enjoyed trail riding. In addition to exhibiting and breeding purebred dogs Ellen enjoys reading (when she gets the time), writing, playing with her computer, and used to play darts and enjoy travel. Spare time is very scarce nowadays as Ellen is running the boarding kennel & cattery which the Mintos purchased at the end of November 2004.
Richard had quite an exciting life before meeting Ellen. (It's still exciting, but in a different way now!) Richard at one time owned his own boat, enjoyed canoeing, skiing and motor racing. Alas, he no longer has the money to pursue those hobbies. Richard has always enjoyed travelling and hopes to one day be again able to do a lot more of it.
About our affix (and a bit of bragging)
The Kennel Club disallowed the use of Ellen's former kennel name, Briel, as it was considered to be too close to an affix that was already registered with them. So after some thought she came up with ANACAN, which is an anagram for CANAAN, and began breeding Canaan Dogs under that name. She is a member of the Kennel Club Assured Breeders Scheme and has recently been inspected for the second time and meets UKAS standards.
Ellen began to show the dogs in the UK May 1995, with Richard acting as chauffeur and also helping show the dogs as needed and the ANACAN affix soon became well known around the world. At that time there were only two shows which offered classes for Canaan Dogs, so our Canaans were always shown in AVNSC (Any Variety Not Separately Classified) and the Leonbergers were still in the Utility group. We often had classes of 15 or more and were up against the Manorguard Leonbergers, but "Digger" held his own, winning a number of Best AVNSC's -- even going over a champion Chow and a champion Wired-Hair Vizla in two instances.
In 1999 we 'did the double' at Crufts when our "Digger" won Best of Breed and our "Jasmine" won Best of Opposite Sex. We repeated the win in March 2000 when our "Beulah" took Best of Breed and our "Gvir" won Best of Opposite Sex. In 2004 Our "Remy" won Crufts' Best of Breed, with our "Ziggy" taking Reserve Best Dog and our "Tara" taking Reserve Best Bitch!
Canaan Dogs of Anacan has been home of the Dog World overall Top Canaan Dog in the UK from the time we began showing our Canaans in the UK until we bought our boarding kennel in 2004 and had to cut back on showing. (We were able to get back into showing on a more frequent basis and to once again have had the Top Canaan Dog from 2012 thru 2016.) The first one of our Canaans to win this title was our "Jasmine" (Mornavega The Chosen One of Anacan) in 1995. In '96,'97, '98, 2000, and again in 2001 The Lion of Judah At Anacan ("Digger") was the winner. 1999 saw our Anacan Ziggy ("Digger's half-brother) win the title, breaking "Digger's" perfect record. Top Canaan Dog 2002 & 2003 was Digger and Jasmine's daughter, Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna, owned by Lorna Hastings. Once we were able to get back to showing, our dogs were back on top. For a full list of our achievements, see our Achievements page.
"Digger" was shortlisted in the group at the Bournemouth Championship show on 12th August 2000.....the first time ever for a Canaan Dog in the UK! He was the top-winning Canaan in the UK for many years and the sire of the first Canaan to win a Best in Show at all-breed open shows in the UK --- Anacan The Israelite At Dunline (owned by Rob & Jan McLeod) He also was the breed Top Stud Dog 2002 & 2003. As the Canaan Dog is not yet a CC breed here, our dogs cannot earn the title of champion. But if they could, "Digger" would have been a record CC winner in the breed as well. You can read about our other Canaans and their successes by clicking on the "Our Canaans" link below.
Ellen & Richard have worked hard for their success, sacrificing much in the way of time and finances in the promotion of the breed and the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom. Their success has not come easy or overnight. They have also given freely of their time and knowledge to help others to get a start in the breed, with some being grateful and with others allowing envy to get the better of them. They wish to express their gratitude to those breeders who have helped them build a good foundation, in particular Gina Pointing - from whom we got our Jasmine; Myrna Shiboleth - who helped us get Bobby registered with the Israel KC and from whom Ellen acquired her Gvir; and Bryna Comsky - from whom Ellen acquired her wonderful Ariel and now his great-grandson, Hayyim, and who has freely given of her knowlege and experience.
Richard Minto has organised and manned the Canaan Dog breed booth at all the Kennel Club's Discover Dogs events since 1996 and has also done so for the London Pet Show and the National Pet Show, along with other dedicated members of The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom, in order to educate people about our breed and allow them to meet some in the flesh. The Mintos will continue to do their best to safeguard the breed they love as long as they are physically able and continuously endeavour to persuade others to help work towards that goal and will welcome with open arms anyone willing to do so.
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