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Canaan Dog Breed Notes 2003
(As submitted by Ellen Minto to DOG WORLD and unedited)

Submitted 10th December 2003

A correction to my report on the Nordic show (thanks to Rob McLeod), the BP, Lorianna Sirius Star was not the lone puppy as the Cannon family's puppy, Babrees Rumour Has It, made has ring debut on the day. Apologies to all concerned.

As it is the last championship show of the year with classes for Canaan Dogs, BUBA usually attracts a good entry. This year was no exception with judge, Roy Metcalfe, attracting a record entry for that show of 21 Canaans with 4 absentees. Though he has judged the breed before in AVNSC, this was Mr Metcalfe's first opportunity to judge the breed in any large number and he told me after the judging that he thoroughly enjoyed his assignment, and both he and Mrs Metcalfe are quite taken with the breed. He had a very good approach with our dogs and even the most nervous of the youngster's stood reasonably well for him. BB & BOB was awarded to Lorna Hastings' Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna and BD & BOS went to our Anacan Ziggy. RBD was Pam O'Loughlin's Babrees Desert Orchid Via Caoilta and RBB was my Anacan Sheez The One. BP went to the Cannon's Babrees Rumour Has It, definitely the only puppy on the day. “Cain” as he is called, went on to make the cut in Puppy Group with Pam O'Loughlin handling for the Cannons.

With BUBA over it is now official that Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna is the Pedigree/Dog World overall Top Canaan Dog 2003, her second year running. Overall top male is our Anacan Ziggy with two open show group placements under his belt this year. Top Stud Dog for the second year running is my “Digger” (The Lion of Judah At Anacan), who is “Amber's” sire and the Top Brood Bitch award goes to Ian & Jill Terry's Layla Me Shaar Hagai (imp). Congratulations to all the winners!

Submitted 4th December 2003

I feel that The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's breed seminar on the 30th November, taught by Richard and I, can be deemed a success despite some technical difficulties (my laptop didn't want to “talk” to our projector). There were a few apologies due to winter colds, but there were still 15 in attendance – a number of whom are well-known judges. Most of those there, as they were leaving, told us how much they had learned about the Canaan Dog and how much they enjoyed the seminar. Much appreciation was given to our wonderful catering team of Barbara and Patrick Gold who provided everyone with a delicious hot lunch and spoiled us for choice with numerous puddings.

I had a chance to chat with new Canaan owner, Mike Cannon (a fellow American) who got his “Cain” from Jill Terry. We had a laugh when I discovered that his dog's registered name, Rumour Has It, other than the affix, was the same as that of my old Tibetan Spaniel, “Garth”. Mike and his family are trying their hand at showing their dog (the Nordic show was the ring debut both for them and “Cain”) and we wish them success.

As mentioned before in this column, I base my breeding programme on “Pariahunde”, the paper published by the breed's founder, Dr Menzel. I have a translation done by Bryna Comsky - a long-time (over 30 years) owner/exhibitor/breeder of Canaan Dogs in the USA – published in 1982. Bryna did a new print of this translation just this year and I have asked her to send some over with the people who are coming to Crufts. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact me.

Submitted 26th November 2003

I received some wonderful news from Michael and Judith Austwick. On the 14th of the month at Castle Court Dog Training Club, Thornbury, "Cody" (Anacan Hot Stuff) completed his Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold Award. The assessment included, amongst other activities, a road walk; walking free beside the handler; a 2-minute down stay; an examination of the dog; and questions on responsibility and care. The Austwicks said that they were especially pleased because "Cody" was still a bit off colour after his stomach upset which lasted all week and was, they think, down to some grass treatment Michael had just put on the lawn. I am thrilled as "Cody" is the first Canaan Dog to achieve this award. His family are first-time dog owners and "Cody" has a typical Canaan Dog temperament in the show ring, i.e. wary. This only goes to show that 'wariness' does not preclude a dog having a good temperament.

This year 'Discover Dogs' conflicted with the Nordic Show. As the Nordic was the first show to give our breed classes, we always do our best to support it, presenting us with a dilemma. So Richard ran up to Earl's Court straight from work on the Friday to decorate the Canaan Dog booth for the next day. Then while we were at the Nordic Show, Alison Byrne and her "Tali", along with Anne Barclay and Elisabeth de Boisgelin were on hand at the booth to talk about and promote the breed. On Sunday Richard and I, with our "Ziggy" and "Beulah", along with Patrick and Barbara Gold and their "Simba" and "Athtar" decorated the booth with our presence. There was a lot of interest on both days and we are very proud of the fact that we all can let children hug and stroke our Canaans without fear. I thought our four-legged "kids" were going to go home with a few bald spots in their coat from all the stroking they were getting.

The judge for this year's Canaan classes at the Nordic show was Mrs. Christine Owen. She drew a very nice entry of 17 Canaans with only 3 absent. Mrs. Owen had a very good approach with our dogs and gave each dog a thorough exam. Her choice for BOB was my 19-month old bitch, Anacan Sheez The One ("Honey"); making it the eighth year in a row that one of my dogs has won the Claywall Perpetual Shield, which was donated by Mrs. Zena Wallace in 1992. BP was the lone puppy, Lorna Hastings' Lorianna Sirius Star.

I have been contacted by a young woman named Marieke Alkema who has a 7-year old sand-coloured dog named "Rupert", who she is convinced is a Canaan Dog. Marieke rescued him from a charity 5 years ago after he had been brought back there for the second time. After he had been microchipped, they scanned him to make sure the chip was working and found two other chips! Marieke said the first owner was from Eastbourne and the second from Bristol. She will be sending me a photo to put into the Club newsletter. If anyone reading this can shed some light on "Rupert's" true identity, I would love to hear from you, as would Marieke.

Submitted 12th November 2003

The Canaan Dog Club of the UK held its 3rd annual single-breed open show on the 8th November at Tysoe Village Hall with Mr Bob Brampton officiating. There were 27 dogs entered for 43 entries, though there were a number of absentees. Lorna Hastings walked away with most of the trophy table as Mr Brampton awarded BD, BOB & BIS to her Nizzana Hadad For Lorianna. RBIS was Anacan Masterpiece, owned by myself and Barbara Gold. BB & BOS was Lorna's Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna. BPIS went to Lorna's Lorianna Sirius Star. Best Veteran was Richard & my Anacan Ziggy and Best Brace went to my Anacan Sheindela and her daughter, Anacan Sheez The One.

I wish to send our heartfelt sympathies to Pat & Steve Philips who recently lost their "Becks", (Anacan Wizard At Keltara) to a brain tumour. He was only 1-1/2 years old. This was followed by the tragic loss of their little Norwich Terrier bitch after a caesarean section. There was also some sad news from Cheryl Hennings in the USA. She wrote that about an hour before the Israel Canaan Dog Club of America specialty the 9-month old puppy bitch that she co-owned with Lorna Hastings, Cherrysh Sunshine In My Heart, got loose from Lorna inside the show building and ran out two doors, onto the street and was hit by a car and killed. Lorna was hoping to import Sunshine to the UK after she attained her American championship. Then less than a week later, on the 30th October, Cheryl suffered the passing of Barak me Shaar Hagai, whom she co-owned with Myrna Shiboleth. She said he had not been feeling well at the specialty, and had a bit of diarrhoea but she thought it was a bug going around. She took him to the emergency clinic on Saturday night after he vomited and they gave him IV fluids and took x-rays, which showed a blockage. The vet operated and removed a 12" piece of towel, along with 8" of damaged intestine. She brought him home Sunday morning and he died 4 days later. Barak was, I believe, 5 years old. Our condolences to all concerned.

On a happier note, Marlies Menge (Germany) wrote that her four puppies by Anacan Tikvah were exhibited at the Hanover show. The dog, Baschan, again was awarded an Excellent 1, CAC and CACIB. The bitch, Batya, which Marlies kept for herself was BOB. She said the judge was enthusiastic about her head, about her quiet and friendly behaviour, as well as her conformation. Another bitch from the litter, Bilha, got Excellent 2 and Bathseba, the third bitch, a Very good 3 as, Marlies said she is too overweight-- a real granddaughter of her dam, Menora.

To continue on from my last set of breed notes, I shall touch on temperament. It seems that some people confuse good training with good temperament and conversely, poor training with poor temperament. One can have a poorly trained dog with excellent temperament – I, myself, have a few. But a well-trained dog is not necessarily one with good temperament.

In her Judging Guidelines, written for the Israel KC, Myrna Shiboleth writes: …"The Canaan is not a dog that is outgoing and friendly to everyone and willing and happy to be approached and petted by all……This often results in the Canaan being a reluctant show dog – he does not like being outside of his own territory…..and he doesn't care to be handled by strangers. Intelligent and trainable, he will learn to put up with this, but he doesn't usually enjoy it. This may result in him being reluctant to put his tail up in the show ring, and to him at times backing away when approached by a strange judge….It is important for the judge to understand that this type of behavior is not indicative of a shy dog or a dog of bad character, but is rather the true nature of the Canaan." Richard and I try to make this point in our breed seminars and whenever talking to anyone about the breed, but some people won't have it. THE CANAAN DOG IS NOT PEOPLE AGGRESSIVE and one that is would be an aberration. Though wary, they are not fear biters, and confidence usually comes with age as long as they are properly approached.

Submitted 28th October 2003

Recently, as I do from time-to-time, I have been delving through the various materials I have pertaining to the Canaan Dog. Unfortunately, Dr Rudolphina Menzel, a noted authority on dogs and the breed's 'founder', put very little in writing. Other than her "Pariahhunde" and various letters she wrote to Connie Higgins (the person responsible for getting the breed recognised in the UK) we have only what we are told by the people who knew her and worked with her. I find it remarkable that a scientific person should not have written a more detailed manuscript on the breed itself.

In Israel Nature Reserves and National Parks Authority Report on the Canaan Dog, written by Dr. Tamar Ron, October 1999 the Canaan Dog is declared an endangered species in the wild. Dr Ron makes the following statement: "…Due to the difficulty of finding dogs of the original type, collection of Canaans {from the wild} has almost ceased. The last two dogs that were collected in the Negev were six years ago and two years ago. Most of the Canaans that lived in the open were destroyed in the framework of the fight against rabies, or became mixed with other breeds; even the majority of Bedouin dogs today are mixed with other breeds imported into the country. It is possible that there are still original Canaans among Bedouin tribes that still live the traditional nomadic life, and perhaps also in Egypt."

Are the dogs being collected from the wild today of the original type one might ask?

In the process of getting her "Shebaba", a wild-born desert dog from Damascus, definitely identified by Dr Menzel as a Canaan Dog, Connie Higgins had to send Menzel the dog's photos, hair clippings and nail clippings. Prof. Menzel replied saying that if 'Shebaba' were in Israel she would be accepted for registeration and qualified at least "Very Good" and of the "Collie type". In time Prof. Menzel sent Connie 'Tiron', a black and white Canaan Dog, to breed to 'Shebaba' and a test mating was done. It was on the strength of their progeny, along with letters sent to TKC by Prof. Menzel on 'Shebaba's' behalf, that TKC finally registered 'Tiron', 'Shebaba' and their offspring.

The first time she met Richard's "Bobby" (Minto's Libyan Jewel) Connie wept with emotion because "Bobby" looked so much like her beloved "Shebaba". However you don't see this type of Canaan coming out of Israel any longer. Rather you see mostly the more primitive, less-refined Dingo-type. I quote from an interview with Dr Menzel conducted by Dvora ben Shaul from an article called "The Modern Canaan" which appeared in Chevav Ha Celev (Dog Lovers Magazine) No. 18 Feb. 1972. Jerusalem.

"Dvora: What is the BEST type of Canaan, is there an ideal Canaan in your opinion?"

"Prof. Menzel: (She answered without the slightest hesitation): The Collie Canaan is the more highly developed type while the Dingo is a more primitive example of the breed. We have a rare and fascinating opportunity to witness two species of the same animal in two distinct stages of development and living side by side. Further, we must not forget that the Collie Canaan does not represent the last plateau of Canaan development. Due to the combined forces of man and nature acting upon them, other portions of this part of the family tree of dogs have indeed stopped developing. These dogs include the Saluki, Basenji, Australian Dingo and others. But the Canaan left alone to fend for itself by its own devices continues to develop."

In the same article:

"Dvora: And colour . . . a number of breeders refuse to recognize any Canaan that is tri-coloured."

"Prof. Menzel: To me all colours are acceptable if they are colors naturally found in the Canaan family. This omits grey which usually represents a mixing of the bloodline with some other breed. When grey appears on a Canaan one must be highly suspicious of its purity. In general, a tri-coloured colouring in a Canaan is definitely acceptable in my opinion." (Emphasis mine – Ellen)

On 1st October 2000 Myrna Shiboleth wrote a reply to my query about coat colour: "There has never been any question that black and tan (or tricolour when there is white as well) is a naturally occurring colour in the Canaans. However, Prof. Menzel herself told us that she didn't like the colour, that it wasn't distinctive enough and made the dogs look too much like mixed German Shepherds or such. As far as I know, she never kept or bred from black and tans or tricolours, and told us that the colour was not desirable."

Which is correct, Dvora ben Shaul's interview with Dr Menzel or Myrna's statement?

It is interesting that Dr Menzel contradicts herself in her interview as in PARIAHUNDE she states it is brindle, and not grey, that represents impure breeding. I quote: "Hair colour varies; sand colours, bright yellow to reddish brown, black, sometimes also black with sandy coloured legs. We even observed definite agouti colouration at one time. White markings occur frequently with all colours. Their size varies, Boston terrier markings are often found, but also definite plate-like markings; large fields of colour with mostly sharp but not jagged borders, forming a wavy boundary line, flecking - moderately large, regulated, more zigzag colour fields - and piebald colouration occur. The white markings on the legs are often ticked. Harlequin colouration can continue up to complete absence of flecking. White and coloured dogs often have black masks either suggested or pronounced. We have seen brindles, but only rarely and always where cross-breeding with European breeds is suspected." (Emphasis mine – Ellen)

In Myrna Shiboleth's book, THE ISRAEL CANAAN DOG, starting p. 28, paragraph 4, Myrna states: "Grey is a naturally occurring colour in the Canaan, sometimes a solid pewter grey and sometimes grey shadings on an other-coloured dog. It is quite common for cream-coloured adults to be born grey. There is a great deal of colour change in the Canaan from birth to adulthood; the adults of some of the most beautiful golden and red shades are usually born a muddy brown, often with a good deal of black shading, which fades away as the puppies grow. True grey, however, is undesirable, as is the mixture of black, white and sometimes brown hairs in the coat that gives a grey impression from a distance. (My emphasis - Ellen)

Most of the so-called black dogs in this country have grey showing through their coat. Are they "undesirable"? In my observation it is only the black dogs with the flatter-lying type coats that are truly black. Is there any wonder that there is so much confusion and controversy over what is acceptable or not acceptable as to colour and type in the breed?

People's memories sometimes fail them or can be coloured by their own prejudices. A friend of mine in Israel wrote: "For best of my knowledge German Shepherds were never used by Israeli Guides For the Blind, neither for Army/Police needs. Here in Israel there are too many people who survived the Holocaust and their memories prevent the government from using these dogs." Could this not also be the reason for the prejudice against the naturally occurring coat colour of black and tan? Is this, the GSD (as well as the other German war dogs) the "European breed" Menzel is referring to? If so, and I do believe it is the reason for the "undesirability" of certain coat colours, it is not, in this writer's opinion, a logical reason for banning this or any other coat colour, bar brindle, from the breed.


Submitted 21st October 2003

It's been a busy few weeks.  I had the pleasure of delivering one of my puppies to her new owners in Tampa, Florida and spending a few days with them.  Lori & Roger Monday and I had been corresponding by email for almost two years when they decided to add another Canaan to their household.  Little "Pandora" weathered the 9-1/2 hour flight remarkably well, not even soiling her crate.  She made herself at home in her new surroundings in quick order and was an old pro at using the doggy flap out to the back garden before the day was over.  Her new older, neutered "brother", Chai (not really related), was a bit bemused at first but was soon running around and playing with her.

The Mondays were warm and welcoming.  They kindly took me around to see some of the sights, including the Salvador Dali Museum (the largest collection of his paintings outside of Spain), and an exposition on the Titanic.  I enjoyed both, but especially the later, which I found fascinating.  I have an open invitation to return, next time with Richard, and I hope we can take it up in the not too distant future.

Thanks to Lorna Hastings for the following show results:

At Tongwynlais Canine Society Open Show, AV Utility Puppy judged by Mr Ralph Holmes - Best AV Utility Puppy & PG2 Lorianna Sirius Star ("Blaze). Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna ("Amber") was Best Veteran In Show, again under Mr Ralph Holmes. Both dogs are owned by Lorna.

  At Belfast Championship show Lorianna Magical Star, shown by eleven year old, James Rogerson flew the flag for Canaans. She received a reserve in AVNSC Junior Bitch under Mr Geoff Corish and third in the YKC Stakes under judge Mrs Liz Stannard.

City Of Bristol Canine Society Open Show had only two Canaans for Graham Cruz to judge as one of the exhibitors was unwell and many of us never received the show schedules.  Mr Cruz awarded BOB to Lorna's "Amber" and BP to her "Blaze".

Then Lorna was off to Germany where her "Simi" (Nizzana Hadad For Lorianna) was the only breed representative.  The judge, Mrs. Assenmacher-Feyel, awarded him Excellent and gave him the CACIB, CAC, VDH ChA, Budessieger 2003 title and BOB.  "Simi" now has two tickets towards his German Championship title.

  Lorna returned on Sunday, dropped "Simi" off at home and collected "Blaze" to attend the Gravesend & Medway Towns open Show.  "Blaze" was awarded Best AV Puppy Dog and was short-listed in the final seven for BPIS under judge, Mrs E Anne MacDonald.  While I am writing this, Lorna is on her way back to the USA to attend some shows over there.  I wish I had some of her time and energy!

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom single-breed open show will be held on Saturday, 8th November at Tysoe Village Hall.  Presiding over the ring will be international canine judge, Mr Bob Brampton.  The Show Secretary, Mrs. Norma Barnes, has informed me that he has 27 dogs entered under him for 43 entries.  It promises to be great fun and I, for one, am really looking forward to it.

Submitted 10th September 2003

A correction to my last set of breed notes, the German Canaan Dog, Bashan ben Noach, is owned by Mici and Matthias Taube and not as reported. Matthias recently sent me a photo of "Janus" (as they call him) and he is indeed a handsome boy. He will next be shown at the Hanover show with, hopefully, the same wonderful results.

Jill Terry wrote to me to let me know that she and hubby, Ian, went over to Switzerland for the Canaan Dog Fun Day held there on the 13th September. While there they enjoyed the warm hospitality of their hosts, Beat Mosimann and Marlies Germanier. Jill was asked to judge the Fun Match. Unfortunately the event clashed with the championship show in Leipzig, so all of her entries were pet Canaans (though several looked to be of show quality). Amongst the entries was a wild-born Tunisian dog, "Indi", who belongs to Nicole Beerman and whom Richard & I had the pleasure of meeting when visiting Kurt & Catherine Vogt in Switzerland a couple of years ago. Jill said the event went very well and she and Ian thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

I also had some photos from Myrna Shiboleth (Israel), taken by animal photographer Pardo Yigal, from the Fun Day held there, also on the 13th September. The photos were of the 4 wild-born Canaans that were collected over the last year or so, which included Pardo's own bitch, "Salima", a lovely jet-black bitch with white trim. These will be posted up for all to see on the Canaan Dog Club website, http://www.canaandogclub.co.uk

Richard and I had a lovely surprise. Two years ago Carol Ann Johnson took some photos of a litter we had at the time, along with some photos of "Ziggy", and said they were for an American book. Just the other day I received some information on a new Canaan Dog book and I asked for a review copy. The book was written by Joy Levine for The American Kennel Club and it turns out that Anacan Canaans, in particularly our "Ziggy", feature heavily. In fact, our "Ziggy" and "Tara" are on the front cover. There are a couple of photos of Rob & Jan MacLeod's "Abraham", some of one of Myrna Shiboleth's dogs, one of Lorna Hastings and her "Amber" and one of Pam O'Loughlin and her "Tzel". This is another feather in the cap of British Canaan Dogs.

Lorna Hastings has been leading the "jet set life" lately. She went over to the USA to visit a kennel owned by Cheryl & Jerry Hennings and to have look at a 7-month old red and white bitch, "Sunshine", that she will be importing. Lorna took in a couple of dog shows with Cheryl and even got a chance to get into the ring. She quite enjoyed herself, so much so that she intends to go back over there in a few weeks time to attend a few more shows.

Submitted 10th September 2003

After reading about the recent devastating hurricane that hit Bermuda, Richard and I phoned our friends in Hamilton, Christine and David Franklin, to make sure that they, their children and their 3 Canaan Dogs were all right. Fortunately, while many homes suffered severe damage, the Franklin's house suffered only the loss of a gutter. Additionally they, like most of the island, are without electricity. Christine told us that 'Branson' hates storms and had to be tranquillised, but the other two dogs, 'Hila' & 'Luke', took the whole thing in their stride. Sadly four people lost their lives after being swept off the island's bridge. The bridge was washed out, dividing the island in half. We're just grateful that our friends are safe and sound.

Just a reminder, the Nordic Show will be held on Saturday, 22nd November at The Sports Connexion. The Canaan Dog judge is Mrs Christine Owen. The Nordic was one of the first shows to offer classes for our breed so I encourage exhibiting Canaan Dog owners to show their gratitude by entering. Schedules can be obtained from Mrs Brenda Williams. Entries close 11th October.

Once again the issue of Canaan Dog temperament has been raised by Neil Ewart's recent report on the Canaan Dog temperament assessment he performed at the request of the club. I sometimes despair as we have worked so hard to get both the public and judges to understand and accept the Canaan Dog's wariness and then a person, who admittedly knows little about our breed, publishes a report like this undoing a lot of our efforts. While people seem happy to accept aggression in other breeds, as long as they "show well", many refuse to understand or accept our breed's behaviour, even some Canaan Dog owners.

At our breed seminars we go into the breed character and temperament in depth. Contrary to what some people seem to believe, we do promote extensive socialisation and we are not promoting a nervy, fearful dog. The Canaan Dog, just like every other breed, goes through a fear period that usually starts around 10 months of age. The length of this fear period will vary from dog to dog, dependent in part on the owner's reaction to the dog's behaviour at this time. I reiterate, ours is not the only breed, which goes through this phase, we just talk about it. Myrna Shiboleth in Israel told us that she seldom shows a dog before it is 3 years old unless it is exceptionally outgoing for the breed. Why do we show our dogs when they are going through this fear period, you may ask? The answer is twofold - How else do you get a dog use to the show ring if you leave it at home? And secondly, the relatively small numbers of Canaan Dogs being exhibited in this country would be even smaller still if we left our adolescents at home.

The very friendly, outgoing Canaan Dogs are not the norm, nor even the desired temperament for the breed. In addition to the personal observations of Canaan Dog owners, we have videos of Canaans being shown in Israel; at World Shows and in the US proving that excessive wariness in young (up to 3 years of age) Canaan Dogs is commonplace and not the result of a few selected breeding programmes. However, confidence should come with age and exposure and this excessive wariness will become modified to an acceptable level, i.e. the dog will stand for exam, though may not look overjoyed about it. Our Ziggy is a case in point that a number of Canaan judges are familiar with. As a young dog he was extremely nervous, to the extent that he would just lie down in the ring, literally cringing, when the judge went to examine him. It was Terry Thorn who said to us that "I've never seen a dog this nervous not offer to bite. There is nothing wrong with his temperament, you just need to play rough with him so that he learns hands are nothing to be afraid of." In 1999 Ziggy was the Pedigree Top Canaan Dog and in 2002 he won an open show BIS. Many of Ziggy's critiques say of him "steady" and "confident". Time does make a difference.

I must disagree when Mr Ewart states that the Canaan Dog temperament is unsuitable for modern domestic life. We can, and do, at every Discover Dogs event put strange children in the pen with our dogs without having to worry that the child will be bitten. This has been a big selling point of the breed to people with children. That and the fact that while their wariness makes them excellent watchdogs, the Canaan is not a guard, or attack dog by nature. I think this makes them more suitable for modern domestic life than many other breeds often used for this purpose. Additionally, 'wariness' (caution, guardedness) is, in my opinion, a highly advantageous attribute for both people and dogs in modern society. While I don't walk around unfamiliar streets in the city having a nervous breakdown, I am always aware of my surroundings. 'Keeping one's wits about them" is smart. Why should the Canaan Dog be criticised for doing just this?

Submitted 27th August 2003

Richard & I and my father-in-law. Peter ("Jock") Minto, returned on Sunday from a week's holiday in Scotland. Jock, who is now 84, had not been back home to Scotland in 19 years, and he expressed a desire to see the Edinburgh Tattoo. The Tattoo was truly a wonderful spectacle, well worth the visit. During the week we went from Edinburgh to Inverness, to Loch Ness and then on to Stirling. From Stirling we drove to Fort William and then on to Glasgow and finally back to Edinburgh just in time to catch a bit of the SKC show while killing time waiting for our flight back home. I was very happy to get back to our four-legged family. Though it's nice to have a holiday, I really miss the dogs when I'm away from them.

Amongst the 800 (yes 800) emails I had waiting for me on my return, mostly Spam, was one from Lorna Hastings who wrote to tell me that her Amber (Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna) & Blaze (Lorianna Sirius Star) competed as part of the Dover & Deal Club team in their annual match against Kent County Canine Society.  Blaze was a reserve, but not required in the Puppy Match as there were more than enough puppies.  Amber was in the Veteran Match where she won all her heats and became Best Veteran In Match. Then at the SKC Ch Show, Lorna entered her Canaans in AVNSC, which was judged by Mrs Ann Horan. Simi (Nizzana Hadad For Lorianna) was awarded BD and BOS and Blaze was RBD and BP.  Ernie Paterson was judging AV Rare Breeds and Amber was awarded BB and Best AV Rare Breed. Well done all from the proud 'grandmother'.

Submitted 17th August 2003

Apologies for the lack of breed notes the last couple of weeks, but l have been very busy with a new litter of puppies followed by a weekend at a health spa with my friend, Barbara Gold - a birthday gift from my husband, Richard. It was a really lovely, relaxing weekend in a beautiful spot in Berkshire and very appreciated.

Richard had a difficult time booking the surprise spa weekend as he had to find one that he was free to take care of the dogs, as he does shift work, one that Barbara would be free, and also one that there were no dog shows we were going to. The weekend he chose conflicted with the character assessment Mary MacPhail had organised for our breed with Neil Ewart of the Guide Dogs for the Blind. Neither Barbara nor I could go to it. Lorna Hastings planned to be there with 3 of her Canaans, but her air conditioner broke down on her way and she ended up having to turn around as her dogs were becoming distressed by the terrible heat. Only 3 Canaans in all made it to the assessment -- one owned by Jill Terry, one owned by Pam O'Loughlin and Doug & Jane Bateman's 'Sheba'. Neil will be writing a report on the three as apparently they all reacted similarly to the tests. I let you know more when I get a copy of the report.

This terrible heat wave caused a problem with my puppies that I've never encountered before - overheating. Whereas I've always worried about keeping newborns warm enough, my puppies were crying because of the heat even though the room they are in has venetian blinds covering the window and the windows were wide open. Richard came up with the solution of putting one of our space blankets in the window to reflect the heat away; a fan blowing the hot air out of the window; and some blue cool packs wrapped in a towel put into the whelping box with the puppies. The crying stopped, the puppies were happy and disaster averted.

On the eve of the AKC Agility National's, which this year will be in Long Beach, CA the first week of December, the AKC holds a banquet honouring every breed that competes in AKC Agility. At the banquet the special "Top Dog" representing each breed is introduced and honoured. Alan Gersman sent an email saying that Briel's Isabel P Tiger Pooh, CD, MX, and MXJ will be honored as the 2002 Canaan Dog "Top Dog." Isabel will be 11 years old in a few weeks, and sort of semi-retired, but has qualified for her 4th AKC Agility National and will be at the National's to compete and receive her award. Well done!

I also heard from Inna Blayvas in Jerusalem. During July she and her homebred Canaan Dog 'Rick'(Arie Yerushalaim Shel Zahav) took a two week trip to the Baltic Countries and the trip was more than succesful. Not only did 'Rick'add the titles of Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian & Baltic Champion to his name, but he was also placed as Best In Group at the three shows! Then, to boot, at the two of them (Ukmerge, Lithuania & Valmiera, Latvia) he was placed Best In Show - 4!! Inna is over the moon and deservedly so. Congratulations!

Mary MacPhail judged Canaan Dogs in the sweltering heat at Bournemouth. I think the dogs stood up to it better than their owners did. It was Lorna Hastings' day as Mrs MacPhail awarded BD & BOS to her 'Simi' (Nizzana Hadad For Lorianna), BB & BOB to her 7-year old 'Amber' (Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna) and BP to her 'Blaze' (Lorianna Sirius Star). RBD went to Rob & Jan McLeod's 'Jacob' (Anacan Call Me Ishmael For Dunline) and RBB went to my 'Lyndsay' (Anacan Glory Bound).

At Welsh KC, Vanessa Williams presided over the Canaan ring and found her BD & BOB in our Anacan Ziggy. Lorna Hastings Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna was BB & BOS. RBD was Pam O'Loughlin's Babrees Desert Orchid Via Caoilta, and RBB was my Anacan Glory Bound.

The number of shows that give classes to Canaan Dogs has increased dramatically since I first started showing here and that is due to a lot of hard work by a number of people. So it is important to support these hard-earned classes when given in order to thank the clubs for supporting our breed.

Submitted 23rd July 2003

I forgot to mention in my last set of notes that Lorna Hastings's puppy, 'Blaze', earned his Good Citizen Bronze Award at the Windsor show, and passed with flying colours. It is really great that we now have several Canaans who have earned this award, and one who has earned his silver. Well done all!

I had another birthday on the 14th of July. They seem to roll around too quickly now. Richard really surprised me this year with a gift of a long weekend at a health spa in Berkshire. My good friend, Barbara Gold, will be accompanying me for a weekend of pampering and relaxation and I am really looking forward to it. It has been a trying year so far and I know a little rest will do me a lot of good.

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom held its annual 'Fun Day' on the grounds of the Peacock Inn in Tysoe on the 20th July and, once again, had a beautiful, sunny day on which to do so. It is the one event that all the non-show people can come and have a good time whilst admiring each other's dogs. It gives members, and non-members alike, the chance to renew old acquaintances and strike up new friendships. Tysoe resident, Meg Harris, sorted out the venue and arranged for some very good publicity for the breed in the local papers. The day's events were this year organised by Patrick & Barbara Gold, who added several new games to the usual list. One of the new games involved running a race with your dog while holding a water balloon between your legs. Of course my balloon burst and I got a soaking. Thank goodness for the warm sun as I quickly dried out. There were small prizes for the winners of each game and they were pretty well distributed as no one human and dog team dominated the games. The raffle table would put many to shame for its sheer size and for the quality of the items to be won. The highlight each year is the fancy dress class for the dogs, with optional fancy dress for the owners and is always good for a laugh. This year's theme was the 'Lord of the Rings'. Mrs Connie Higgins (the person responsible for getting the breed recognised in the UK) judged the entries and her winner was the Golds' Athtar, dressed as an Ent, with Patrick disguised as Gandolph. It's amazing what these dogs will put up with!

I've been advised that the judging guidelines for the Israeli Kennel Club are being distributed to various judges. While these guidelines are of interest, they pertain only to the FCI breed standard. I would like to remind people that only those guidelines distributed by The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom should be used in relation to judging Canaan Dogs in the UK.

Submitted 17th July 2003

The new venue for the SWKA show was just lovely and the light breeze and occasional cloud cover made the warm weather far more tolerable than it was in most places on the day. I've not seen more spacious rings anywhere and there was fantastic aisle space enabling those of us with multiple entries to set up crates outside the ring and not be in anyone's way. It was superb! The only complaint, which the Committee addressed on the day, was the distance from the car park to the show grounds. Very little to grumble about really.

Sadly Alison Byrne and her mum, Monica Mills, and sister, Anne Barclay, were not able to attend with their three Canaans as they had received a phone call the evening before the show telling them that Monica's sister had a stroke and was not expected live. We send our sympathies to the family. Mrs Zena Wallace presided over the Canaan Dog ring and found her BB & BOB in Lorna Hasting's Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna. BD & BOS went to Anacan Masterpiece ('Remy') owned by Barbara Gold and myself. Amber & Remy were both sired by my 'Digger' (The Lion of Judah At Anacan). RBD & BP was Lorna's Lorianna Sirius Star ('Blaze') with Res BB going to his litter sister, Lorianna Magical Star ('Zena') co-owned by Lorna and the Rogersons and handled by young James Rogerson.

I had a phone call from Lorna Hastings on her way home from East of England where AVNSC Utility is made up solely of Canaan Dogs. She informed me that judge, Ellis Hulme awarded BD & BAVNSC to Pam O'Loughlin's 'Dezi' (Babrees Desert Orchid Via Caoilta), RBD & BP to Lorna's 'Blaze', BB to Lorna's 'Star' (Lorianna Lucky Star) and RBB to Ian & Jill Terry's Babrees Bethea Batyam. I only recently found out from the DW show reports that 'Dezi' had won the Puppy Stakes at Three Counties and that the judge, Peter Radley, gave him a glowing critique. A belated well done!

I had an email from my German friend, Marlies Menge, telling me that she lost her beloved 'Menora' last month, age 12. I met Marlies and 'Menora' when I went to Israel in 1993. She was a lovely Canaan and a very much-loved family member. Marlies, and the Canaan community, is fortunate to have both a daughter and granddaughter of 'Menora' to remember her by and carry on her lines. We send you our heartfelt condolences Marlies.

Submitted 25th June 2003

I've heard from Anne Hutchinson (owner of one of my pet Canaans, “Siri”) that her husband, David, has suffered a mild heart attack. David was a pilot before he retired and has always been in the peak of health. It was quite a scare, but he is fine now. We send our good thoughts, and prayers, that he remains that way.

If you recall I mentioned the rabies epidemic in Israel and how a group of Canaan fanciers over there were trying to get a meeting with the Deputy Director of Veterinary Services to see if a vaccination programme for the wild Canaans could be set up. Ed Saloner has written to say that with Israel in a catastrophic depression and political turmoil, the hoped for help from government agencies with regard to this and the collection of wild Canaan puppies has not been forthcoming. They have still not had a date fixed to meet with all the relevant agencies. This was as I expected, as I didn't really hold out much hope that dogs would be given high priority in light of all that is going on in the Middle East. Despite this disappointment, some more pups were recently collected from the wild. I will keep you posted, as I am kept posted.

Myrna Shiboleth sent me an email informing me of a Canaan Dog Fun Day they will be holding in Israel on September 13th of this year. They are hoping that many Canaan owners will come to participate with their dogs. She also said that the following week, on September 20th, there would be a CAC show as well. The organizers will also be happy to arrange a trip to the desert to the Bedouin for all foreign visitors so they can see wild and semi-wild Canaan Dogs. Richard & I haven't been back to Israel since we met there at the first International Canaan Dog Show in 1993. As much as I would like to go back, I think, in light of the political climate and the rabies epidemic, we will have to give it a miss.

Dennis Coxall was the Canaan Dog judge at Paignton this year. Richard & I and Lorna Hastings were the only exhibitors to turn up, and it was Lorna's day. Mr Coxall awarded BOB to her “Simi” and BOS to her “Amber” with RBD going to our “Ziggy” and RBB to our “Tara”. Mr Coxall also judged Breeders Stakes and our Anacan family group won the Utility Breeders Stakes (over the Poodles to my amazement!), so we were delighted with that.

Interest in the breed has taken quite an upturn in the last year. I am getting enquiries by email and telephone at least a few times a week now. At one time you were lucky to get that many enquiries over the course of a year! The important thing is attracting those people who are right for the breed, and vice versa. We still need people who are willing to take “the Canaan challenge” and to commit themselves to the breed and its welfare. We need people who are able and willing to set up quality breeding programmes and people who can help bring in the new bloodlines we need to keep the British Canaan Dog healthy, and of the quality and type people have come to expect of us. If you think you might be one of those people, please contact me.

Submitted 25th June 2003

I heard today from Elisabeth de Boisgelin that she recently had a frightening experience. She was walking her Canaan, “Kookie” (Anacan Dreamweaver) in her local park in Hackney when she saw approaching a man with a pit bull type dog on a flexi lead. “Kookie” ran ahead to check out what was making “mother” nervous and the man let the flex lead out and his dog ran up and took hold of “Kookie's” shoulder. Elisabeth ran over and tried to make the pit bull release his grip when the man thumped her on the cheek. She again attempted to release the grip and the man thumped her again in her back. Realising what his game was, Elisabeth than took her lead and wrapped it around the pit bull's throat which finally caused him to release “Kookie”. She quickly snapped the lead onto her dog and ran off and reported it to the police, but nothing came of it. Fortunately neither Elisabeth or “Kookie” suffered any serious injuries, but this just brings home the fact that not all dog people are nice.

Thames Valley Canine Society put on classes for the breed for the first time this year. His first time judging our breed Mr Dave Robbins awarded top honours to Lorna Hasting's puppy, Lorianna Sirius Star (“Blaze”).

Ms Juliette Cunliffe presided over the Canaan Dog ring at Newmarket & District and found her BOB in our Anacan Ziggy. Res BOB & BP went to Lorna's “Blaze”. Then in Utility Group, with 19 dogs present, Mr Norman Butcher awarded “Ziggy” a Group 3, while in the Utility Puppy Group with 7 dogs present, Mr Butcher gave Lorna's “Blaze” the nod for Group 2. What a great day for the Canaan Dog!

I've been thinking about my mortality and the fate of my dogs and all the information, photos and Canaan memorabilia I have collected over the years when I no longer here. I have decided to look for a partner/protégé to take over my work when I can no longer continue. It's not easy to concede that there is less time in front of you than behind you, but I believe I have a responsibility both to the breed and to my dogs to make sure they are well looked after and continue to contribute to the genepool long after my departure from this world. I know this may be a bit premature, but you have no guarantees in this life and you must be prepared!

Submitted 3rd June 2003

Lorna Hastings rung me from the World Winners Show in Dortmund, Germany with the wonderful news that Swedish judge, Annika Ultveit-Moe, had awarded her 'Simi' (Nizzana Hadad For Lorianna) 1st in the Open Dog class. She gave 'Simi' a rating of “Excellent” and then in the challenge awarded him VDH Ch., FCI World Winner 2003, CACIB & CAC! As proud 'grandmother' I was second in line to 'Simi's' proud breeders, Alison Byrne & Ivan Kaye, to get a call from Lorna. This was a wonderful accomplishment for a UK-bred and owned Canaan for the short time we've realistically been able to compete abroad. BOB came from the Champion Bitch class, Isabella Zirri's Velikaya's Shenef, VDH Ch., FCI World Winner 2003, CACIB & CAC.

Myrna Shiboleth emailed me to let me know that on 2nd June she had to say goodbye to Shachmat, (International, Israel CH, World Winner Shachmat Me Shaar Hagai), who had turned 15 years old on the 17th May. Shachmat's legacy is the tremendous influence he has had on the breed through his many outstanding descendents.  He was the sire of my 'Gvir' and the grandsire of both my 'Digger' and 'Ziggy'. We offer our sincere condolences to Myrna.

The Canaan Dog Club of America held its National Specialty on the 24th May and the judge was Ms Neena L VanCamp. Ms VanCamp chose for her BOB CH Mad River Ain't Misbehavin (“Tootsie”), owned by Sandra Sailer & Cynthia Grupp. BOS was CH Yashar Ha'Aretz Machseh, owned by Chris Miller & Susan Gragg; Best of Winners & Winners Dog: Mad River Black Bart, owned by Cynthia & Leal Grupp; Winners Bitch: Renegade's Riker, owned by Victor & Wendy Sanchez. Reserve Winners Dog & Best Puppy went to Sally J Armstrong-Barnhardt's Cando Bobesox N Saddleshoes; and Donna Dodson's Pleasant Hill September was Reserve Winners Bitch. Best Bred By was Renegade's Mojo Risin, owned by Renee Donaher & Evan Jackowitz; Best Stud Dog was Donna Dodson's CH Pleasant Hill Jordan; and Best Brood Bitch went to CH Dayspring Bereriah Ha'Aretz, owned by Christina Miller. Congratulations to all! I have been told by the people concerned that we will be seeing several of these dogs at Crufts next year. It should make for an interesting Crufts.

I have a small brag of my own. About 5 weeks ago we had a litter sister to our Anacan Glory Bound returned to us because the child in the family had developed allergies. So we took 'Tara' (Anacan Simply Irresistible) to Southern Counties for her very first show and judge, Ms Elina Haapaniemi (Finland) awarded her BOS in AVNSC Utility, telling us how much she liked her. Tara's dad, our Ziggy, was also a 'return', so we can only hope she follows in his pawprints.

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom holds an annual Fun Day, open to all club members and to any people interested in seeing the breed in a relaxed atmosphere. This year the Fun Day will be held on Sunday, 20th July on the grounds of the Peacock Inn, Tysoe (wet weather venue – Tysoe Village Hall). The Canaan Dog fancy dress competition is always the highlight of the event and the theme for this year's fancy dress is 'The Lord of the Rings'. For more information, please contact the organisers, Barbara & Patrick Gold.

The Club's third annual single-breed open show will be held on Saturday, 8th November at Tysoe Village Hall. Presiding over the ring will be Mr Bob Brampton, International Championship Canine Judge and President of the Kennel Union of Latvia. If you are not a member of the club, but have a Canaan Dog and would like to be sent a schedule, please contact me.

Submitted 27th May 2003

In my last set of breed notes I told you about the rabies epidemic in Israel which is putting the fate of the wild and semi-wild Canaan Dogs in jeopardy. I also told you about the efforts of a group in Israel to have the dogs vaccinated. Shortly after writing those notes, Ed Saloner informed us that as a result of the appeal made to the Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture by Canaan lovers, a meeting of the group he belongs to (which includes Israeli breeder, Myrna Shiboleth) is being set up with the Deputy Director of Veterinary Services. This meeting will include regional vets, high-ranking people from the Nature Authority and a top nature biologist. In a preliminary discussion with a group member, Yossi Romano, the Veterinary Director proved not only knowledgeable about the Canaan Dog, Bedouin tribes and Canaani packs, but was personally enthused about the survival and collection of the Canaan Dog and is insistent that this be discussed as well as the rabies threat. I will let you know more as I receive the information.

Bath Championship Show saw a large increase in entries from last year with 13 Canaans being entered under judge, Mrs Christine Hughes. Mrs Hughes awarded BD & BOB to our Anacan Ziggy and BB & BOS to Lorna Hastings' Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna. RBD was Lorna's Nizzana Hadad For Lorianna and RBB went to my yearling, Anacan Sheez The One (“Honey”).

Lorna was heading off to the World Show in Dortmund with her “Amber”, “Simi” and “Star” to fly the flag for the UK. We send all our positive thoughts and best wishes with her and I should have a report for you in my next set of notes.

Myrna Shiboleth emailed me to let me know that at the Spitz Breed Specialty Show, May 24, 2003 under Judge, Avi Marshak, her open bitch, Timnat Sarah, was given Exc.1, CAC to make her up to an Israeli champion. Then Best of Breed and BEST IN SHOW went to Myrna's Ch. Velikaya's Shuvi HaBayta. Myrna was ecstatic. Well done! This is another small victory for the Canaan Dog breed.

Submitted 20th May 2003

Ed Saloner, Israel, sent to the Canaani-L Canaan Dog chat list the disturbing news that rabies has broken out in the Negev desert and that a Bedouin woman has died from it and another is hospitalised. This has resulted in the panic poisoning of wild animals. Of course the semi-wild Canaan are unvaccinated and are at risk to both the disease and to poisoning.

Ed reports that some months ago a group was formed for the promotion of Canaans in Israel, as well as the collecting of wild and semi-wild Canaans. Ed, Yossi Romano, Inna Blayvas, Myrna Shiboleth, and others formed the group. Extremely concerned about the plight of the wild Canaans, this group has petitioned the Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture of Israel, and will be meeting with the Director of Veterinary Services and Director of the Nature Authority, to ask for veterinary teams to accompany them to known Canaan tribes to vaccinate them. They hope this will give the Canaans exemption from being poisoned, as well as protecting them from rabies. Ed said it would be very helpful for all those concerned to write The Israel Minister of Agriculture, Beit Dagon, Israel. The group is also looking for fund-raising ideas to support the project.

Over the past year Myrna Shiboleth and friends have collected 8 Canaan Dogs from the Bedouins in the hopes of expanding our genepool. However, this new threat of rabies may prevent any more Canaans being taken from the Negev, and with all that is going on in the Middle East one can only wonder how high a priority the authorities will give to our breed. All we can do is for the time is write letters, help with the funding and keep our fingers crossed.

There were only 6 Canaans exhibited under judge, Keith Nathan at The Scottish Kennel Club. Unfortunately for SKC and Mr Nathan, we have very few Canaans north of Birmingham, and Scotland is a long haul for most of us. BOB was awarded to Lorna Hastings' Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna. Lorna is fortunate in that she can combine the SKC with a visit to her parents. BD & BP went to Pam O'Loughlin's Babrees Desert Orchid Via Caoilta ('Dezi'). RBB was Ian & Jill Terry's Babrees Desert Song ('Sandy') and RBB was Lorna's 'Simi' (Nizzana Hadad For Lorianna). Mel Vincent & partner, Malcolm Presland, were at ringside and Malcolm made a surprise appearance in the Canaan ring with the Terrys' puppy. Being true to her Canaan nature, 'Sandy' did not want this stranger handling her and pulled back so hard that she slipped her collar and ran back to friend, Pam. Pam took 'Sandy' and handed 'Dezi' over to Malcolm and 'Dezi' almost did the same thing as his sister. We do tell attendees at our seminars that almost all young Canaans go through this stage and that confidence comes with maturity….and we're talking 3 years of age or more. Anyone who knew our 'Ziggy' when he was a youngster can testify to this.

The president of The Canaan Dog Club of America, Cindy Grupp, has been corresponding with me to find out the details of how the American Canaans can qualify for Crufts and about Pet Passports. I think we will see a fair few American Canaans coming to Crufts when they can. I found it quite amusing though when Cindy told me that the AKC told her that Canaans were not eligible for registration in the UK when, of course, they were recognised by TKC in 1970, which is 26 years before, the AKC recognised the breed!

Submitted 11th May 2003

Richard and I had a brilliant time at the National Dog Show the 8th May. First of all we had just picked up our new van the evening before so were able to travel in comfort and safety. Hopefully this is the end of all the car trouble we've had over the past few years. Then we had a lovely, sunny day….the first for this show in two or three years. We, miraculously, managed to not become involved in the traffic caused by the terrible accidents on the M1 and the M6, and didn't, for a change, have a conflict between the Tibetan Spaniel ring and the Canaan Dog ring. Then the icing on the cake was having our Anacan Ziggy go WD and BOB under judge, Miss Mary Deats! The judging of Canaans had not been completed before the Utility Group was called into the ring, but Ruth Barbour came over to assure us that the BOB would be allowed into the group ring, and escorted 'Ziggy' and I to the Group ring when our judging was over. I was impressed and grateful for the courtesy extended, but I have always felt this show is the epitome of organisation and hospitality.

Other results on the day: RBD and BP went to Pam O'Loughlin's Babrees Desert Orchid Via Caoilta. BB was Ziggy's niece, (out of his litter sister Anacan Divine Brown for Babrees) Babrees Bethea Batyam, owned by Ian & Jill Terry. RBB was 'Ziggy's' daughter, JWW 20002 - Anacan Glory Bound, owned by me.

You can always tell when a judge has been to one of the Canaan Dog breed seminars by the way they approach the dogs. Kudos to Miss Deats for taking on board what is suggested at the seminars as to how to properly approach a Canaan. Miss Deats also asked that I extend her apologies to the exhibitors for wearing a billowing skirt, but she had been under the impression that judging was to have taken place indoors.

I was very complimented to be invited to judge Canaans at the Scottish KC show May 2004, my first invitation to judge at a championship show. However, I decided to decline the invitation as I feel quite strongly that at this time it is not for the best interest of the breed for any of the few breeders we have, or any of the major exhibitors, to take a championship show judging assignment because of the impact it has on the entries. With TKC ruling that one cannot show a dog under its breeder (a rule I wholeheartedly agree with) if I judged it would right away eliminate half the Canaans being shown. The same holds true for the other main breeder. In some ways it is a shame in that those who should be best be able to judge a Canaan cannot do so without cutting down on the entries significantly, but one does have to make choices. For Richard and I the promotion of the breed comes first.

As you may know, last year Pat and Steve Phillips, and Richard and I went in halves on importing 'Topi' (Fin & Est Ch Kirifix King of Hearts for Anacan, who is a 'Ziggy' grandson. We had warned the Phillips' that it often takes up to a year for a re-homed Canaan to adjust. What we didn't know until after he arrived was that the year before we got him, two male Great Danes had attacked “Topi”. We only found out when we questioned the previous owner about a broken tooth and bite scars we found on 'Topi'. We also discovered, from a chiropractor, that the attack had caused problems in 'Topi's' neck, which they were able to put right with manipulation. “Topi” is just starting to emerge from his shell and hopefully it will not be too long that he will be back on form and showing like the champion he is. However, this goes to show that there are no guarantees on the condition of a dog when you import, even from someone you know. Some of the early imports into the UK during the days of quarantine were expensive disasters that set the breed back here for a number of years. At least that is not the case with 'Topi', but it has been a pricier and more difficult experience than bargained for.

Saying that, though shown sparingly to-date, 'Topi' still has not done too badly in the show ring due to his excellent structure and sound movement. Pat was quite chuffed to report that he was 1st OD in a class of 11 AVNSC at Eastwood Kennel Association Open Show under judge, Juliette Cunliffe.

Submitted 28th April 2003

We are lucky to be blessed with a very healthy breed. This is due in large part to the fact that the Canaan Dog was designed by nature, rather than man, with no exaggerations that help lead to problems. However saying that, individual dogs can, and do have health issues…some hereditary and some not. A noted authority had told me that certain problems in the breed did not exist outside of the US. But just a week ago it came to light that several Canaans bred in Europe of Israeli lines have had seizures. The breeder of these Canaans reported 4 cases in a public forum, and another case has just being reported to me today by a different source. Whether or not these are cases of epilepsy or whether the seizures were caused by other problems has yet to be determined. One is thought to have been a reaction to worming medicine, and it might well be so. But in other cases, the affected dogs are out of the same, unaffected dam whose litter sister had seized once, making one speculate that there may be some hereditary link in those cases.

In December 2001 a breeder contacted me because a puppy she had produced turned out to have patella luxation and she wanted to know where it came from. I, knowing of only a few cases that occurred in Holland a number of years ago, contacted Myrna Shiboleth, the primary breeder in Israel. She said that in the past she did have a few puppies that appeared to have luxation, and the parents were not used further. (This was back in the eighties.) She said that out of the large number of puppies that they had over the years, the problem was very rare, so they didn't think it was a great cause for concern. She said they also had two luxated puppies a few years ago (one out of the great-grand-dam of the puppy I was contacted about) and then from another litter. Last week I heard of two more cases in Europe, both littermates.

Myrna still does not think that the above is any cause for panic and feels the breed is still a healthy one. I believe she is correct, as long as there are not a lot more cases of serious health problems that people have not been forthcoming about. Problems become problems in a breed when people are not open and honest about them when they first occur, thus allowing breeders to make the right choices when choosing the dogs to breed from.

One of the main aims of the International Working Party (which The Canaan Dog Club of the UK tried to get off the ground) was to disseminate information about health problems as and when they occurred. Had it received more support, perhaps some of these new problems could have been avoided. And contrary to one suggestion, outcrossing to “get rid of a problem” really does not work. All it does is mask the problem and when it shows up several generations down the road, the unlucky person to get it may have no idea where it came from.

No one knowingly breeds for a health problem and neither they, nor their dogs, should be condemned when one crops up. Rather it is at these times that the Canaan community should rally round and work together to find causes and solutions and help each other make sure that the Canaan Dog remains a naturally healthy, long-lived dog.

Submitted 16th April 2003

The Contest of Champions on the 5th April was its usual enjoyable, well-run affair. Kudos to Glynn Payne and Canaan Dog Club Hon Patron, Karina Le Mare, for all their hard work in making it all happen. Lorna Hasting's Anacan Forever Amber was this year's Canaan Dog representative and she showed beautifully and did the breed proud. Richard and I, Patrick and Barbara Gold and Richard Kinsey were all on hand to cheer her on. Despite the fact that she didn't get through the first round, we all had a great time. The next day, after a late night, Lorna and 'Amber' were at Tunbridge Wells & District where judge, Terry Medlow awarded her BAVNSC and then a Utility Group 1. So all and all it was a fantastic weekend for 'Amber'.

Myrna Shiboleth wrote that at the Maayan Harod International Show, April 5th her Isr. Ch. Velikaya's Shuvi HaBayta (Pandora) was BOB, CACIB. American CDC member, Cheryl Hennings has had Myrna Shiboleth's, Barak me Shaar Hagai for almost a year now and he has been doing quite well in the show ring in the USA. On the 12th April he won a Group 2 at the shows in Apple Valley, Minnesota. On this side of the pond Pam O'Loughlin's 'Dezi' was Best AVNSC Puppy and then went on to win a Puppy Group 2 at Isle of Ely Canine Society under Miss Sue Bird. Well done all!

I feel that the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's breed seminar on the 12th April, given by Richard & I, was also a success. Those attending seemed to enjoy themselves while they learned about our wonderful breed and several said they now had a different (better) opinion of the Canaan Dog. A lot of hours and hard work go into the planning of one of these seminars, as well as the preparation of all the handouts, but it well worth it if people learn something and gain a greater appreciation of the breed. The next seminar will be held on the 30th November 2003 at Baginton Village Hall, near Coventry and there are still places open.

Though I do my research, if you don't send me your news it may not make it to my breed notes.

Submitted 25th March 2003

Long-time breed aficionado, Dr Sarah Hemstock, judged Canaan classes at the BUBA open show. BOB was awarded to Anacan Ziggy, owned by Richard & myself and BP was Pam O'Loughlin's Babrees Desert Orchid Via Caoilta (NAF). “Ziggy” then went on to do the breed proud by winning 3rd BIS under judge, Mr Ray Oldham! We were delighted and wish to thank everyone who congratulated “Ziggy”.

Inna Blayvas (Jerusalem) wrote to tell me that they had a show the weekend of the 16th judged by an Italian judge. Her bitch, “Kineret” (aka “Kira”), was shown in OB and was awarded Excellent-1, CW, and CAC. She then exhibited her male, Arie Yerushalaim Shel Zahav (“Rick”) in Champion Class Dog and he was awarded BOB! BOS went to Myrna Shiboleth's bitch, Velikaya's Shuvi Habayta (“Pandora”). Inna's Canaans also won 2nd in Brace class, and since it was a Purim Show there was a Costume Competition and “Kira”, dressed as a deer, won the first prize. Well done!! It was nice that they could have a bit a fun, along with the competition.

I had an email from Myrna Shiboleth today in which she said photographer Yigal Pardo had forwarded to her my article on judging the Canaan and said it was an excellent article! Thank you Myrna. By the way, Yigal Pardo has taken probably hundreds of photos of wild Canaan Dogs over the years and has shared many of them with us. A sampling of them can be viewed on the Canaan Dog Club website.

There was a National Geographic special broadcasted in the US on the 11th March called “Search for the First Dog”. It was a film about the origins of the dog, filmed in part in Israel and showing Canaans in the desert and at Myrna Shiboleth's Shaar Hagai Kennels. I am hoping to be able to get a copy of it.

I had sent to me a schedule for Langstone & District CS. They are offering two classes for Canaan Dogs at their 5th May show. The scheduled judge is Mrs Shirley Ellis-Jones.

Submitted 13th March 2003

It was interesting to be a ringside observer at the Canaan Dog ring at Crufts There were actually more exhibitors spectating this year then were exhibiting, 8 to be exact, which was very difficult for all of us when we had worked so hard to qualify our dogs. Each of the three entries in Special Yearling backed away from the judge, one nearly slipping its collar in the process. I also found it interesting that the eventual BOB, who was also BP, was entered in Open Dog rather than Special Yearling.

Our Discover Dogs booth was very busy all 4 days of the show. The only downside was the placement this year of Discover Dogs next to the main events ring. The noise from that ring made it difficult to hear people and for them to hear us. Otherwise it was an excellent event, as always. A representative from TKC did come around on the last day to get our views on the event, and as this was a recurring complaint she said she would try to do something about it for the future. One of the perks of manning the booth for me is meeting people from back home, as well as from other countries abroad. We had one lady from Germany who had visited us about 3 years ago. We all recognised her and she recognised the dogs. Great fun!

I got my new Kennel Gazette yesterday and was pleased to see a photo of Ethan Miller and his Canaan Dog in there. Ethan's mum and dad, Chris & Allan, are justifiably proud of their young handler who, last June at 6 years of age, handled his parents' Canaan, Ch. Dayspring Beriah Ha'artz, CD, CDCA-HC, CGC to BOB.

I understand that on the 2nd March Pam O'Loughlin took her puppy, Babrees Desert Orchid to the Sheffield & District KA Open show where he was awarded 1st AV Puppy Dog under Finnish judge, Mr Johan Juslin. As the show season is now really getting underway, I should have lots more to report in upcoming notes.

I forgot to mention several things with regard to The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom AGM in my last notes, which were a bit hurried. One of them was that they had a speaker named David Howells who is a practitioner of the Bowen technique. As part of his talk he demonstrated on 4 of us who had various problems: me with a shoulder problem, Doug Bateman for a problem with his arm, Steve Phillips for a neck problem and Alison Byrne with a neck and should problem. Even though he gave us what he said were not full-on proper treatments due to the constraints of time, each of us found our pain to be much alleviated, with no reoccurrence of my long-standing shoulder problem since he “treated” me. It was amazing!
Submitted 3rd March 2003

I have received word that a number of people on the “I Judge Dogs” website have been sent, via email, guidelines to judging a Canaan Dog. This mailing was not done under the auspices of The Canaan Dog Club, as one recipient believed, nor have the documents concerned been given to the club or any member of its committee for review. If you wish to learn how to judge a Canaan Dog, I encourage you to attend one of the club's breed seminars either on the 12th April at St Mary's Parish Hall in Sunbury-On-Thames or on the 30th November at Baginton Village Hall.

The Canaan Dog Club tries to encourage the novice exhibitor to get out and show their dogs and has several perpetual trophies on offer each year towards this end. These are presented at the club's AGM. The 2002 winner of both the “Shebaba Trophy”, for the dog accumulating the most club points, as well as the “Golda Trophy”, for the junior up to 24-months accumulating the most club points, was Michael & Judith Austwick's Anacan Hot Stuff (“Cody”). The Austwick's young daughter, Jennifer, handles “Cody” in the ring but unfortunately there is no junior handler award on offer. There was, for the first time, a tie for the “Tiron Trophy”, awarded to the dog with the second most club points. The joint winners were Monica Mills' Anacan Nick Nack (“Smudge”) and Ivan Kaye's & Alison Byrne's Talither Bat Me Babrees (“Tali”). Congratulations all!

Submitted 26th February 2003

The standard can be more than a bit confusing when it comes to the section on Canaan Dog coat colour.  Canaans can be what is classified as "solid-coloured" in shades of sand to red-brown, white or black. The Canaan can also be white with patches of any of the aforementioned colours.  Both patterns, i.e. solid or patched, can be with or without a mask. A black mask is permissible on all colours. Any mask should be symmetrical. White markings are permissible on all colours.  Most other Canaan standards around the world use the term "Boston Terrier markings" as being permitted on all colours.

Now I will skip down a bit into this section of the standard to show where the confusion comes in.  The standard says tricolour is undesirable.  One of the questions on our club's judge's test refers to definition of tricolour with one of the wrong answers being "a solid dog with a black mask and white markings".  It is quite understandable how one would consider, let's say a sand-coloured dog with a black mask and white markings to be tri-coloured. But remember, a black mask is permissible on all colours as are white markings.  In her book "The Israel Canaan Dog", author, Myrna Shiboleth, says tricolour refers to the true black, brown and white pattern as in a beagle.

To add further to the confusion, Prof Menzel (the "founder" of the Canaan Dog breed) said in an interview with D'vora Ben Shaul (which was printed in a set of my breed notes last year) that tricolour was an acceptable colour to her.  So why was changed to an undesirable colour in later years? I can't answer that.  Black and tan, while a natural-occuring colour in the breed and found in all lines, was deemed undesirable as it "made the Canaan look to much like other European breeds" (i.e. the German Shepherd).  However the first AKC champion Canaan was black and tan; her merits more than compensating for the fact that she was an undesirable colour. Grey is also undesirable.  Again in Mrs Shiboleth's book, page 29, she says "any mixture of black and white hairs which give the dog a grey appearance from a distance is undesirable".  However, when I questioned her on this as most "black" Canaans actually have this mixture of black and white hairs which gives them a greyish appearance in areas, Mrs Shiboleth said she meant grey as in the pewter colour of a Weimaraner.  That is not what is printed in her book, and so adds to the confusion.  Brindle is also an unacceptable colour, but as this coat pattern appears in very few breeds and, to my knowledge, has never appeared in a Canaan Dog, it would very likely mean some impure blood in any dog with that coat pattern.

So what does one do when confronted with a Canaan of "undesirable colour"? The colour is only one fault, no more, and an aesthetic one at that as there are no known genetic problems associated with any of these "undesirable colours".  Therefore, in my opinion, a wrong colour is a minor fault, and certainly should not be counted as seriously as poor type, incorrect movement, poor muscle tone, or a bad front or rear.  If you have two dogs of equal merit in every other way and one is the "wrong colour" give the award to the other.  But just as you shouldn't put up tail carriage alone, don't put up colour alone.

Height and weight is pretty self-explanatory with height being 50-60 cm (20-24 inches) and weight 18-25 kg (40-55 lbs) The standard does not make a height or weight differentiation between dogs and bitches, but, as mentioned in my previous set of notes, dogs should look masculine and bitches feminine.  If they are well balanced and correct in every other area, a dog or bitch at either end of the spectrum of height and weight is not too small, nor too big.  However, if the dog looks leggy, or conversely short-in-leg or rectangular instead of square, or too bulky, something is not right.

The Canaan Dog's gait should be a quick, light, energetic natural trot.  The gait should demonstrate marked agility and stamina.  The movement should look effortless and the Canaan should cover ground more quickly than you would expect.  The exaggerated movement of an over-angulated dog or the hackney movement of one with too straight shoulders may look showy, but it is incorrect.  Correct movement is essential in the breed.

So many people are quick to malign the Canaan Dog's character, (usually people who have their own character defects I might add).  The Canaan is a very alert dog, quick to react, distrustful (or wary) of strangers.  I have owned, and still have, other breeds, and have friends in a number of other breeds as well, and most admit that their dogs go through a shy stage when they reach adolescence.  However, this stage is more pronounced in the Canaan because their survival instinct is its strongest drive.  But unlike other breeds who are nervous, the Canaan is not a fear biter.  I do know that in years past there were literally one or two Canaans with people-aggressive temperaments, but that is not the case now.  I know if I were judging a wary dog I would far rather go over one that will back off of me than one that would bite me.  Age usually brings more confidence and while most Canaans never lose their wariness, they will not react in such a nervous manner once mature (4 - 5 years of age).

The Canaan is strongly defensive of its territory, which is why, after being benched for a period of time, it will start to "guard" their benching area, as it has become "their" territory.   The Canaan Dog is also extraordinarily devoted and amenable to training.  The first time I went to show our "Bobby" , who was wild-born and almost 5 years old by then, Richard was sure she wouldn't show for me.  However, "Bobby" did what I asked and the judge couldn't believe she had never been in a show ring before.  The truth was, she had hardly ever even been on a lead before!  She did what I asked of her because she had become devoted to me and she trusted me.  The Canaan is also a very loving breed and will extend a happy welcome to anyone they have come to accept as "friends".

I will emphasise that when judging a Canaan Dog you should first look at the dog and say to yourself, "does it look as if it has potential for survival in the desert?"  All faults should be weighted against this ideal and the seriousness of the fault should be judged in exact proportion to its degree.

Submitted 19th February 2003

There were 10 Canaan Dogs entered under judge, Ian Prentice at the City of Bristol Open Show. BOB was my Anacan Ziggy. Richard took “Ziggy” into the group ring, as I had also taken BOB with my Tibetan Spaniel, Souska Love Pains For Anacan. We were doubly delighted when judge, Sheila Thompson gave “Ziggy” a Group 3 and my Tibbie a Group 2!

Continuing with my explanation of the breed standard we come to feet, which are to be “strong, round and cat-like with hard pads”. I remember being queried a few years back as to why the Canaan, a 'desert dog' would have cat-like feet with hard pads, instead of being hare-footed. The Canaan Dog does not live in the interior desert, as there is nothing much there to eat. Rather they live on the outskirts where the terrain is rocky and gritty. (My old video camera still has some grit in it from the time I visited Israel and was filming dogs around the Bedouin camp.) The dogs need to be able to climb, run and hunt in this environment in which a cat-like paw is most advantageous. Again hard pads are needed to prevent cuts on the sharp rocks. However, you will see a lot of Canaans with incorrect feet---long and/or splayed. This is a fault, but please, do not judge on feet alone as one judge we had did.

The tail is always a bone of contention (pardon the pun). The Canaan should have a high-set tail. This is not only an aesthetic, but also because a dog with a low tail-set will have poor drive, usually a too-sloping croup and often a poor topline. The tail itself should have a thick brush. In a sandstorm the Canaan will curl up with its tail over its nose and the bushy tail will act as a filter, keeping the sand and grit out of the dog's nose and eyes.

The tail is carried curled over the back when excited or alert. I know TKC standard says “when trotting or excited”, but this is not correct. I have video footage of Canaans, some champions, at several World Shows and at the first International Canaan Dog show and as many, if not more, carry their tails down with an upward swirl, when in the show ring as do up over their back. Yet these same dogs, when facing off with another dog or running loose in the fields or their back garden will have their tails curled well over their back. The show ring is not a natural environment for a Canaan and rather than making them “excited or alert” and makes them wary. Here they are on a ground with thousands of other dogs, some of which are quite dominant, and the Canaan Dog's natural reaction to such a situation would be 'fight or flight'. Since they cannot fight all the dogs on the show ground (nor would you want them to) nor can they run, being on an end of a lead, they are naturally going to feel wary. Therefore, though it is aesthetically pleasing if they do so, many of them are not going to run around with their tail up over their back. What is important is tail set rather than tail carriage. Again, we have had judges that put dogs up on tail carriage even when the dog has structural and movement faults. If you have two Canaans of equal merit in every way, but one carries their tail over the back, you can use that as the 'tie-breaker' so to speak. But an aesthetic fault should not be weighted as heavily as a structural fault.

The Canaan's outer coat should be dense, harsh and straight, of short to medium length, i.e. ½” to 1½” in length. The undercoat should be close and profuse, according to season. People have queried why the Canaan needs a dense undercoat if they are desert dogs. Those who have lived in the desert can tell you that it gets very cold at night. The undercoat also helps insulate the dogs from the heat and protect their bodies against the sandstorms. Though the standard calls for one type of coat, the coat appearance will vary depending upon the length of the outer coat and the density of the undercoat. Those dogs with a longer guard hair and dense undercoat have a more “sticky out” looking coat, not unlike some of the Nordic Spitz breeds, though not quite so profuse. Other Canaans appear to have a flat-lying coat, but upon inspection still have a dense undercoat. BOTH ARE CORRECT. What is not correct is lack of undercoat, a short coat similar to that of a Dalmatian, or a true rough coat, similar to that of a Rough Collie -- all faults that have been seen in the breed. Of course during the moulting season the Canaan will be lacking in undercoat, but you should be in no doubt that they are moulting. It's at this time people realise just how much undercoat a Canaan actually carries.

Submitted 12th February 2003

There were 2 Canaan Dogs entered in AVNSC at Manchester, Lorna Hasting's Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna and Nizzana Hadad for Lorianna. Judge, Doug Kitchener, who gave BIS to “Amber” at The Canaan Dog Club's open show last November, awarded her BB and Best AVNSC to Lorna's delight. “Simi” also did the breed proud by going ResBD.

The Westminster KC show is held each February at Madison Square Garden in New York City and, while only a fraction of the size of Crufts, is the closest show, in prestige, that the US has to offer. This year Canaans, which are classified in the Herding Group in the US, were judged on Tuesday, February 11th. BOB was Sandra Sailer & Cynthia Grupp's Ch. Mad River Ain't Misbehavin (“Tootsie”) with BOS going to Nancy Milos' Ch. Yashar Ha'Aretz GQ Ezekiel (“Zeke”). Congratulations! I understand that as “Tootsie” went around the ring the announcer said of the Canaan Dog “it is an athletic breed from Israel which had been 'saved' from the desert where it herded goats.” Who writes this stuff? The worst part is, people believe it.

The Canaan Dog Club's next breed seminar will be held on Saturday, 12th April at St. Mary's Church Hall in Sunbury-On-Thames (junction 1 of the M3). The cost is £12.50 per person, which includes lunch. For more information, contact me.

Continuing on with my explanation of the breed standard I will start this week with the neck. The Canaan Dog neck should be muscular and of medium length. It should be long enough to give an elegant appearance to the dog, but not tend to the sight-hound type neck. A long neck can look very showy, and my American brethren are breeding some Canaans with very long necks. This is incorrect and throws the dog out of balance. The neck should also be muscular but not thickset, and should be free of throatiness.

The body of the Canaan should be square in appearance. A rangy or leggy looking appearance is faulty. The Canaan should never be a heavy, or massive animal, but neither should it be overly fine. Being overly heavy would work against them in the wild as it would be difficult for such a dog to find enough food to maintain itself in the desert, and it would not be agile enough to catch it if it did find it. An overly fine dog will start tending towards the look of a sight-hound. The Canaan should have a look of elegance, strength, compactness and athletic agility.

Withers are well developed, the back level, loins muscular, chest of moderate breadth and ribs well sprung. The Canaan has a very deep, but not overly broad chest, giving it plenty of lung and heart space. Their belly is well tucked-up, with this tuck-up being more pronounced in the youngsters. A young dog may appear leggy and lacking in substance, but bear in mind that this is a very slow-maturing breed, which doesn't finish maturing and filling out until it is 4 or 5 years of age. You cannot fairly compare a young Canaan to an adult, so do bear the dog's age in mind. Angulation should be moderate. An over-angulated dog, while quite showy, will not have the same effortless, energy-conserving movement of one that has moderate angulation and in a square dog, will result in over-reaching. Balance is essential! Mother Nature did a great job in designing the original dog type so please don't mess with it!!

The Canaan's shoulder should be oblique and muscular with elbows close to the body Forelegs should be perfectly straight. The hindquarters should be powerful, with strong buttocks (a sign of a well-conditioned dog), which are lightly feathered. Stifles should be well-bent but not over-angulated and hocks should be well let-down.

We will finish the standard next week.

Submitted 5th February 2003

There has been a flurry of show activity in recent weeks with the following results. On 25th January Pam O'Loughlin's new puppy, Babrees Desert Orchid, was awarded Best AVNSC Puppy by judge Mike Stockman in what I understand was a large entry. Then on the 2nd February Lorna Hasting's 'Simi' won BOB and then a Utility Group 3 under Margaret Bunce at East Kent Canine Society. Congratulations to both dogs and owners!

I have suffered from a bad back from a number of years, but it has begun to greatly affect my mobility over the past 18 months, playing havoc with my showing ability. X-rays revealed that I have spinal degeneration. However I have just started treatment with a chiropractor who helped sort out my employer's back when he broke it by falling off a roof several years ago. The chiropractor feels confident that he can return me to a pain-free state and I am hopeful that before the year is over I will be able to do my dogs some credit in the ring once again.

Last week I began an explanation of the breed standard and I will continue today with the head. A dog's head type is one of the main identifying features of a breed. The Canaan Dog head should be a well-proportioned, blunt wedge-shape of medium length, appearing broader due to low-set ears. There should be no appearance of cheekiness. Picture in your mind's eye a wedge of cheese or pie. The skull is somewhat flattened. I have heard some judges comment on a puppy or a female that their head was too narrow. This is a somewhat understandable mistake as the Canaan is considered part of the Spitz family and comparisons are often made to the Akita, and other members of the Spitz breeds. However the Canaan is a Southern Spitz, not a Nordic Spitz, and there are differences. In my opinion a classification of the Canaan as a Primitive Breed rather than a Spitz would help prevent judges from making incorrect comparisons. There should be no exaggeration in a Canaan with everything being in proportion to the dog's overall size. A puppy's head will broaden with age. Therefore, a puppy with an adult-sized skull will coarsen with maturity. While some width is allowed in powerful male heads, a bitch should look feminine. To acquire an eye for a correct head, one should familiarise themselves with the breed and look at as many photos and live specimens as one can.

The Canaan Dog's stop is shallow but defined, again unlike the steeper stop of most of the Nordic Spitz breeds or the lack of definition in some Collies. The muzzle is sturdy, of moderate length and breadth with an approximate ratio of 1:1 to the skull, with a slightly longer muzzle being preferable to more length in the skull. Jaws should be strong and lips tight. The nose should ideally be black. A snow nose is not uncommon in the lighter, sand-coloured dogs, and while not the ideal, should not be faulted anywhere as highly as a structural fault. A judge should not weight aesthetics to the same degree as structure and movement. Canaans should have full dentition with scissors or level bite. Missing premolars will, in time, cause a change to the shape of a muzzle and is therefore, a serious fault, though one not often seen in our breed. Originally the level or 'pliers' bite was the preferred bite as this type of bite enables the Canaan to groom itself and remove ticks far more efficiently than a scissors bite. However, the stress of domestication causes the jaws of domestic animals, including the dog, to change, according to Juliet Clutton-Brock. Therefore, chances are you might never see a Canaan with a level bite, but if you do, be advised that this bite is also correct.

The Canaan Dog's ears are erect, medium in size and broad, slightly rounded at the tip and set low. Drop, or 'button' ears should not be penalised in a dog less than 12 months of age as it can take that long for the ears to become fully erect. Eyes should be dark brown, slightly slanted, and almond-shaped. Dark rims are essential. The eye colour and shape are not just aesthetics as they help to protect the Canaan's eyes from the glare of the sun, as do the dark rims. Think of how you tend to squint when outside on a bright day. The Canaan Dog's eye shape has a function, and therefore round eyes should be penalised.

Submitted 29th January 2003

I've heard from Stan & Connie Higgins with regard to the Canaan, “Shadrach”, the rescue Canaan that I wrote about in my last set of breed notes. Apparently “Shadrach” was one out of the first litter of 5 Canaan pups born in the UK (all dogs) from Connie's “Tiron” and “Shebaba” before they were registered by TKC. The other pups in that litter were “Samuel”, “Samson”, “Simeon” and “Soloman”. The 'lady who ran a rescue kennels near Hereford' was, and still is, Connie & Stan's best friend, Ida Heywood. She was then Housekeeper of Hereford Training College, and stayed on as a Housekeeper of the Royal National College for the blind when they took it over, until she retired. Ida used to be the Chief Assistant Trainer at the Malvern & District Dog Training Club, which Connie Higgins founded and ran. As Stan did not have a car at the time, Ida used to come over from Hereford every Friday, take Connie and the dogs to the Training Club, bring them back, and usually stay the night before returning to Hereford the next day. Connie admits her memory of these distant events are not as good as it might be and suggested I get directly in touch with Ida to see if I can get more details about “Shadrach” and the other dogs. I will do so and report back to all of you if I learn anything more of interest.

Myrna Shiboleth (Israel) wrote that she acquired two new desert pups the first week in January from an area called Yerucham, a place from which they have never acquired Canaans before. They are a female and a male, about seven or eight weeks old, brown and white spotted. Myrna said they are very typical in appearance, with lovely temperaments. She sent some photos, which unfortunately I cannot show you here. I will let you know more as I know more.

I don't know about you, but I find it galling when someone gets involved with a breed with the idea of changing it. Many of these people were never successful in the more popular breeds, so searched for one in which they could be the proverbial 'big fish in a small pond'. Over the 19 years I've been 'in Canaans' I've known people in various countries who wished to change the breed in order to make it more saleable (let's make it smaller, more friendly, less hairy). And there are others who wish to change the breed to make it more successful in the show ring (just love those rosettes). And it doesn't help when you have judges who encourage them by agreeing that they should work to change the breed. I wish these people would just go into a breed that is showier, and/or sells well and stop trying to ruin a perfectly designed, wonderful dog. And those judges, well perhaps they can get a job on Pop Idol.

As promised I will begin delving into the breed standard. Whether one is aspiring to judge the Canaan Dog, or is interested in becoming a breeder and/or exhibitor, or is interested in just owning one and wants to know how to choose their puppy, they should, of course, be very familiar with the breed standard. However, we know that if you were handed a breed standard and had never seen that particular breed before, what you envisage in your mind's eye might not be anything like the real McCoy. Breed standards are blueprints, but even blueprints must be fleshed out, and that is what I will attempt to do.

Your first impression of a dog is formed by its general appearance or type. The Canaan is a medium-sized, well-balanced, strong and square dog of the pariah dog type. This should immediately evoke a picture in your mind of a natural dog along the lines of, but not exactly like, the Dingo, Carolina Dog and New Guinea Singing Dog. If the dog gives the impression of being big or coarse, or too fine in proportion to its body size, it is not correct no matter what it measures in height or what it weighs. Remember balance is essential. There should be a strong distinction between the sexes. As redundant as it may sound, males should look masculine and bitches should look feminine. This is not always the case and I've seen doggy-looking bitches, and bitchy-looking dogs being put up -- usually because they were showy. Perhaps most importantly, the Canaan should look like it has the potential for survival in the desert. Remember these dogs are still found in the wild and there are very few Canaans in the UK that are more than 3-4 generations removed from the wild. Their survival instinct is, and should be, very strong. As a matter of fact, it is the breed's strongest drive. This is not something that should be viewed negatively. Rather I feel it is something the breed can brag about.

I will continue with my explanation of the breed standard next week, but in the meantime please send your news and views.

Submitted 15th January 2003

Apologies for the lack of breed notes these past few weeks. I had hoped to start off the year with a jolly New Year's greeting to all my readers, but I haven't had the heart to do so. This past holiday season has been a very sad one for a number of Canaan people and I have the sad duty to report the following. Pat Phillips lost one of her favourite old Norwich Terrier bitches early in December, just before Richard & I lost our “Bobby”. Julie Carter rang me to tell me that she has also lost her gorgeous 7-year-old Tibetan Spaniel, Ch Inglespan Razzmatazz for Langshi ("Paddington") -- a terrible loss for Julie and for the breed.

Steve Phillips' mother passed away two days before Christmas, which must have been just dreadful for the family. My Richard lost his mum, Gwen, on the 6th January. Gwen was like a mother to me and I loved her dearly. It was a great upset for the whole family, but even more so for Richard's dad as he and Gwen had been happily married for 52 years. Their Canaan, “Jake”, is also truly in mourning as he and Gwen were very close. Then I received another shock when Norma Barnes rang me to let me know that her Brian had died unexpectedly two days after my mother-in-law did. Brian, as many of you may know, had been a supporter of the breed for the last 7 years and served the club faithfully and well as a committee member for the last 6 years. He was also a dear friend and will be missed by a great many people.

While one cannot compare the loss of a pet to the loss of a parent or spouse, it is still painful. I send my sincere condolences on their bereavements to all concerned.

On a happier note I heard from Judith Austwick that on the 29th November their Anacan Hot Stuff ('Cody') earned his KC silver award. I am almost certain that this is a first-time achievement for a Canaan Dog. Congratulations and well done! Lorna Hastings reports that her puppies out of her 'Star' by her 'Simi' are doing well and will be leaving for their new homes in a couple of weeks. I plan to go see them this coming Saturday and look forward to doing so as I can use some cheering up.

Lorna tells me that on New Years day she went to a lunch party and met a family who had returned after having lived in Israel for two years. He was a sergeant in the Israeli army and was out in the deserts on various missions. He told Lorna about the packs of Canaans (or Canaani as he called them) that are roaming freely around the south Negev in the Tsukei Haoovda and Shifta regions. He told here that they were normally found in packs of anywhere between 4-6 dogs, but not more than 6, and that they are primarily of sand and red colour.

The gentleman recounted a touching story about another mission between Maake Ephraimto and Patsael, which is in the Judean desert/Jordan Valley, - not a safe place to go. He had a platoon of tanks ready to open fire on a target when they spotted a pack of 6 Canaani in the firing line. As a dog lover, and also because it is illegal to shoot Canaani as there is a preservation order on the dogs, he sent out a jeep with two men to drive the Canaani out of the firing line and into safety.

Lorna also received a phone call from a lady named Beryl who is the manager of a newsagent. One of her customers orders DOG WORLD every weeks and Beryl spotted Lorna's ad on the front page of DW, and then read our memoriam to our “Bobby” in the same issue. She realised that there had been a number of Canaans bred since she had owned a black and white Canaan named “Shadrack”, before they were registered in the UK. That's over 30 years ago! She had acquired him from a lady that ran a rescue kennels near Hereford. This lady had heard that the dog was being badly treated by his then owner, an ex-army person, so she went and got him out of the house and handed him over to Beryl, who lived with her parents. This was about 1969. Beryl said “Shadrack” was an absolutely loyal and wonderful companion, but would not allow any one into the house without making his presence felt. He was fiercely protective of his owners and would go for visitors if allowed took particularly men. She put this down to the bad treatment he had received form his previous owner. “Shadrack” lived happily until 1982 when he was put down for health reasons. He was about 14 years old.

It is surprising how many people you bump into, or who see a Canaan website, or an article in DW, who have had experiences or have owned Canaans in the past. And it is so interesting to hear their stories.

A Canaan owner sent the following to both dog papers, but it has not appeared in either one so he asked me to print it in my breed notes.

Help Not Hindrance

Rare breeds and import register breeds need help and encouragement in order to grow and get established. This help and encouragement should come from:

1. The Kennel Club

TKC should appoint a member of staff to act as rare/import breed liaison so club secretaries can get advice from someone experienced with rare/import breeds. At the moment, you cannot even get a list of the rare/import breeds from TKC.

2. Group Societies

Group societies should provide help and support to the rare/import breeds within its group. Putting on a group show is not the same is giving support.

3. Championship Shows

Secretaries of championship shows should liaison with the breed club to insure that the classifications they give will ensure that they get the best entry possible. For example, rare/import breeds do not necessarily have litters born every year and so a puppy class is not always one that can be filled. Additionally, these shows should use judges from the clubs judges' lists.

4. Judges

Judges should only accept judging assignments if they have a real interest in the breed and not just to notch up another breed on their CV.

An example of where all four of the above have let down a rare breed (The Canaan Dog) - For the last four years The Canaan Dog has had six classes at Crufts. Despite the fact that their entries have gone up every year, for Crufts 2003 their classes have been slashed to 3 to allow a Judge, who is not on the clubs judging list, to judge them. This is despite the fact that the judge is not an experience championship judge, and as far as I can ascertain has never judged any breed with or without CC at a championship show. Even when this fact was pointed out to the Crufts committee, they have insisted in using this judge. And the Group Society to which The CDC belongs would give us no support or help. Rare/import breeds = third class citizens in the eyes of TKC.

I have to agree with the above.

Last but not least I have heard from Heather Head, Finnish Lapphunds. She was going to try and reinstitute the Inter-Club Rare Breed Match the Canaan Dog Club once hosted, a suggestion the CDC was enthusiastic about. However Heather received replies to only two of the 15 letters she sent out so her club has tabled the match for the minute. This is the same indifferent response the CDC used to receive and which led to the Rare Breed Match's demise. I know in most cases it is not because the club members are not interested, it's because they never even hear about it! Whatever complaints people may have about the CDC, its members are kept informed.
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Last updated on the 4th March 2006