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Canaan Dog Breed Notes 2008
(As submitted by Ellen Minto to DOG WORLD and unedited.

Submitted 30th December 2008

I'm afraid I must start off this column with some sad news. After a battle of several years, David Hutchinson succumbed to mesothelioma (a lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust) shortly before Christmas. He died peacefully at home with his lovely wife, Ann, by his side. David and Ann came to be interested in Canaan Dogs after having owned a Nigerian street dog that was very Canaan-like in appearance and behaviour and was their late son's best friend. It was over 12 years ago that 'Siri' (Anacan Sheeza Delight) joined their household and gave them, and is still giving Ann, much pleasure and company. Our deepest sympathies go out to Ann in this sad time.

There were two Canaans entered at the Eukanuba Invitational. Judge, Mrs Jean Fournier, awarded BOB to AKC Ch Mad River Cool Breeze Blowing, a two-year old bitch owned by Rosette Davila-Sargent & Charles H Sargent MD. BOS went to AKC Ch Pleasant Hill What's the Buzz OA OAJ OAP OJP, an 8-year old dog owned by Trudi Kimm. I understand that “Breeze” and her handler, Linda Clark, made the cut in the Herding Group under judge Steve Gladstone. Well done!

It seems that there are two groups of people involved with Canaan Dogs. The first are those who are most interested in producing a dog that will shine in the show ring and is easily saleable, whether or not the dog remains true to natural breed character. Then there are those of us, like myself, who wish to preserve the integrity of the natural Canaan Dog type and temperament and teach both judges and the public to appreciate the breed as it is. Following on from that, there is no reason why a good Canaan Dog will not do well in the show ring, as they have done under those judges who have undertaken to understand the breed -- something they should do with all breeds they judge. And while it would be nice if there were more suitable homes available in order that more breeding could take place, as ours is such a numerically small breed, there would be no point in breeding more dogs if they are going to be just like every other breed. The Canaan Dog is unique and should remain that way. In the present anti-pedigree dog climate, I honestly believe the preservation of the natural Canaan Dog, rather than trying to change it to suit fashion, is our best option to ensure the future of the breed as we are able to present to the public, and the critics of pedigree dogs, a healthy, unexaggerated and versatile breed just as it is.

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's 2009 Judges' List has been compiled and is available to show secretaries by contacting myself.

I wish all of you a happy, healthy, successful New Year despite the credit crunch and despite attacks from the anti-dog brigade. There is strength in unity! Remember, to see the rainbow, you have to look through the rain.

Submitted 11th December 2008

David Close (Arikara) had 6 Canaans entered under him with 3 absentees. BOB was awarded to Patrick and Barbara Gold's Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia ('Rosie').

At BUBA, Mrs Pearl Chadwick (Pearlian) had an entry of 9 with 1 absentee. BB & BOB went to Christine (Goldspink) Powley's Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven ('Summer'), who was also BB at the Canaan Dog Club of the UK's Open Show in October. RBB was my 'Ruby' (Anacan Sheeza Gem). BD was awarded to Lorianna Light My Fire, owned by James Rogerson and Lorna Hastings, and RBD was Anacan Masterpiece ('Remy'), owned by Richard & Ellen Minto.

It is a shame that there has been such a high incidence of absentees this year. In the 'old' days, when we were campaigning hard to raise the breed's profile, we never had absentees. It is just so important for the breed to be seen. But I believe it's just a sign of the times, as absenteeism seems to be up in all breeds. Hopefully things will improve in the New Year and we'll see a full complement of entries at every show.

Myrna Shiboleth (Israel) sent me an email to let me know that she has a new book out entitled Tails of Sha'ar Hagai: A Wild Life With Wildlife published by Sephirot Press. I've not yet obtained a copy, but it is on my wish list as Myrna has led quite an interesting life, to say the least.

With the year soon drawing to a close and 2009 looming ahead, I would like to encourage my readers to send me their news and comments, even when, and perhaps even more so, if you do not share the same views as me. A little debate is good to stimulate thinking and ideas.

Submitted 26th November 2008

My new Swedish import bitch, Chancos Charmani At Anacan (Ami), has arrived safe and sound. She is a lovely and sweet little girl and is settling in nicely. I look forward to the opportunity of showing her.

At its recent SGM, the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom voted to petition TKC to make a revision to the clause on TAIL. They would like to add the words in bold italics, “Set high, thick brush, may be carried curled over back when trotting or excited.”

The rationale for this is that in fact not all Canaan Dogs carry their tail curled over their back on the move, and the show ring is probably the least likely place for them to do so. If Canaans did, indeed, carry their tails over their backs as a matter of course, why do exhibitors worldwide hold the tail over the dog's back when stacking them? Obviously, because the dogs don't curl their tails over their backs of their own accord. Yet because of the way the standard is presently worded, there are judges who will only put up the dogs who carry their tail over their back on the move even when they are not the best dogs in the ring on the day. TKC has rejected previous petitions to rewrite the interim standard, but hopefully they will allow this revision.

I believe a lot of confusion has been caused because the Canaan Dog is said to be of the spitz dog family, and everyone expects a spitz to carry its tail tightly curled over its back all the time. The Canaan Dog is a pariah dog, from the southern group of Asiatic dogs, and in my recent research, spurred on by queries made by a club member, I can find no other pariah dog referring to themselves to being of the spitz dog family. My understanding is that the word “family”, when referring to family of breeds, refers more to overall shape of the dog. However, when looking up the definition of spitz on the Internet I found the following on Choosing the Right Dog for You - “The spitz type is sometimes called "primitive" because it is close to the original body form of the domestic dog. Spitz breeds are characterized by an overall wolf like appearance with the modification of a tail carried tightly erect and curled over the back. Tail carriage is an important element of canid social communication, with a high carried tail normally signalling dominant status. The early appearance of a congenitally high carried tail must have made social interaction between early domestic dogs and wild wolves very difficult. Perhaps this helped to differentiate the early domestic dog population from that of the local wolves. It also helped any person who saw a canid at a distance differentiate between a domestic dog and a wolf.” “Spitz breeds are characterized by erect ears, square build and high curled tails.” If this is correct, then is the Canaan a spitz breed?

Submitted 13th November 2008

It is with a very sad heart that I have to break the news that we had to release from this life our wonderful "Digger" (The Lion of Judah At Anacan) on the 7th November. Digger, who would have been 15 years old on the 19th December, never fully recuperated from a mild stroke he had last year, and the ravages of time were taking their toll. You could see in his eyes that he was no longer enjoying life. It was a terrible decision to take, but we knew it was time to let him go.

Digger's contributions to the breed are undeniable. He was shown the first time on his 6-month birthday at a local exemption show -- and won Best in Show! Digger was also very popular in the local park where he and his mother, Bobby, would run on a daily basis with a number of other dogs we got to know. He was beautiful and sweet and everyone loved him. When he first began his show career in earnest, it was only the Nordic open show that had classes for the breed. We were shown in at every other show, including Crufts. The breed had no credibility and were often targeted with sarky remarks at the shows by other exhibitors, like "what's that mutt doing here?" But Digger's beauty and incredible movement soon won him an army of admirers who would say, "Look, it's that Lion dog", and slowly, very slowly the breed's credibility began to grow as he placed over champions in other breeds in the AVNSC classes.

Digger had an enviable show career. He was the Pedigree/Dog World Top Canaan Dog 1996, '97, 98, 2000 and 2001, and the only dog I know of in any breed that had a critique in which the judge (Mr Keith Nathan) said that he "was the blueprint for the breed". But Digger's biggest contribution was in the wonderful puppies he sired. Though he produced only three litters, he was Top Stud Dog in 2002 & 2003. Anacan Forever Amber and Anacan Sheindela were two gorgeous bitches out of his first litter with our Jasmine. "Shandy" went on to be a star in the litter box and "Amber" in the show ring. "Amber" won Best of Breed at Crufts in 2002 over an international champion and Best In Show at the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's Open Show in November the same year. Digger had two sons from his second litter out of our Beulah who also made their mark on the breed. Anacan The Israelite At Dunline ("Abraham", owned by Rob & Jan McLeod, was the first Canaan Dog in the UK to win a Best In Show. His litter brother, Remy (Anacan Masterpiece), who lives with us, won Best of Breed at Crufts in 2004 and was Best In Show at the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's Open Show in 2004, under Mrs Zena Wallace and again in 2007 under Mrs Helen Lightfoot, BA, DC, MMCA. Digger's son out of his last litter out of our Lottie, Anacan Call Me Ishmael At Dunline ("Jacob"), also owned by Rob & Jan McLeod, was Best of Breed at Crufts in 2007 under Mr Keith Nathan and at the Darlington Champion Show in September 2008 he became the first Canaan Dog to win 3rd in Utility Veteran under Mr Denys Simpson. Digger has many winning grandchildren in this country, including AKC & Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star, and several winning great grandchildren in the USA.

Despite our pride in Digger's wins and the wonderful Canaans that have descended from him, he will most be remembered as a treasured part of the family. He has left a big hole in our lives and we will never forget him.

Discover Dogs has once again come and gone. I was unable to attend, but Richard and our 'Ruby' helped man the Canaan Dog booth on both days. On the Saturday, Martin Moulding and his 'Manny' came along to help answer the public's questions, as did Liz de Boisgelin; while on the Sunday, Patrick & Barbara Gold were there with their 3 Canaans, 'Simba', 'Athtar' and 'Rosie'. Richard said he thought attendance was down a bit, but that there was still quite a large crowd both days. There were a number of people showing serious interest in our breed, including two Israelis, one of whom had owned a Canaan Dog while living in Israel. There was the breed health statement on display along with a photo of a semi-wild Canaan Dog, taken by Israeli photographer Pardo Yigal, and some domestic Canaans (photo taken by Ilan Schonewald) which clearly showed that unlike many other breeds, we have not changed the breed from the original model still found in the wild today. People were impressed with that, as they should be.

Recently on an American Canaan chat list I belong to there was what became a heated discussion on Canaan Dog temperament after someone new to the list suggested that breeders tried to change the Canaan Dog temperament to be more outgoing and docile. The upshot of the two-week discussion was that the vast majority are proud to own a pariah dog and are happy with the temperament just the way it is -- this coming from people who have put conformation, agility, herding and obedience titles on their Canaans.

Submitted 29th October 2008

Alan Gersman (USA) writes that his Minnie (MACH Mazel Tov Prtmjl Minnie Pooh) earned her Master Agility Championship (MACH) last weekend. Fortunately, the rain held off until after Minnie had her runs. Alan said that Minnie is his 2nd MACH Canaan Dog, and the 2nd true Canaan Dog to achieve that title, as in the USA dogs can be registered on a limited showing registry (ILP) if they look like a breed. Most so-called Canaans on the ILP list are not. Alan added that “the work, the training and the practice over the last 4 years, the close relationship and bond Minnie and he has resulted in achieving this special title.” Only less then 1/2 of 1% of all the dogs that do agility has achieved this title. Well done and congratulations to Alan and Minnie!

Those of us involved with numerically small breeds in the UK have always had a tough time ensuring we had a diversified genepool. As it becomes more difficult for people like myself to keep large numbers of dogs, due to anti-dog laws as well as financial considerations, it will become even more difficult. It is of the utmost importance that people in numerically small breeds, such as the Canaan Dog, put aside any personal differences and work together for the good of the breed. This year Alison Byrne, Ivan Kaye and Anne Barclay pooled together to bring in a new bitch from France and I am in the process of bringing in a bitch from Sweden this year and a dog from the USA and one from Sweden (bred in France) in the spring of next year. These dogs will add significantly to the breed's genepool, but fresh bloodlines must keep coming in to ensure genetic diversity. How will we accomplish this with so few breeders and with financial constraints? Will these lines be shared for the good of the breed? Can TKC do anything to help our breed, as well as other numerically small breeds, go from strength-to-strength, or do we have to struggle on our own? I don't have the answer to these questions, I can only encourage all Canaan owners to work together as more can be accomplished by the many then by the few.

A very belated congratulations to Andy and Tina Mackay on the birth of their new daughter, Erin Elizabeth, on the 26th August, who weighed in at 7 lbs 11 ozs. Erin joins her two brothers, Shay and Connor, who were ecstatic to have a new sister. Canaan Dog, Baz, was also delighted to have a new playmate added to the household. Best wishes for a happy life little Erin.

Submitted 15th October 2008

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom held a very successful 8th annual single-breed open show on the 12th October. The breed was fortunate enough to gain the services of Mr Rodney Oldham (Towmena) as judge for the day. Mr Oldham drew an entry of 21 and made his awards as follows: BD & BIS - Julie Hughes' Anacan Future Legend; RBD, RBIS & BV - Richard & Ellen Minto's Anacan Ziggy; BB & BOS - Christine Powley's Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven (littermate to BIS dog); and RBB - Ellen Minto's Anacan Kefira. Hopefully a full write-up on the show will appear elsewhere in this paper.

Those of you who read The Kennel Club Gazette must now be aware that TKC is considering making some changes to its regulations regarding the selection of judges for rare breed classes (see October issue, page 4). In response to request for feedback, the official stance of the Canaan Dog Club of the UK is as follows:

Way back at the time of the judges working committee we were pressured to do the same thing, that is put group judges on our B-List without them having to attend a breed seminar and fulfilling all our criteria.  At the time we felt this was not the right thing to do as very few judges had ever seen a Canaan Dog, so we, as a club, felt they were not qualified to judge Canaans without some education on the breed no matter how far up the judging ladder they were. 

In today's climate when pedigree dogs are under attack, we think it is even more important that those judging our breed are very knowledgeable about the Canaan Dog. We wish to keep our breed the healthy, natural, and unexaggerated breed it is. If Canaans are put up in the show ring by people who are not well acquainted with the breed, it could tend to change the breed and destroy what we have been working for all these decades.

  The committee agrees that there is no reason to change our policy of requiring all judges to attend a breed seminar as part of the criteria to get onto our judges' list and fulfilling all the criteria we have with no exceptions.

I would be interested in hearing from Canaan Dog and other rare breed owners as to their feelings on this issue.

The Canaan Dog Club of the UK will be holding an SGM on Sunday 16th November to discuss making changes to a few sections of the current interim standard. This will be followed by lunch and then a breed seminar. If you have not received an invitation to the seminar and would like to attend, please contact me and I will see that a registration form is sent to you.

8 Is A Lucky Number For The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's Club Show
By Ellen Minto
(This article was never published by DOG WORLD.)

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom held its 8th annual single-breed open show on Sunday 12th October at the Stanground Community Centre. Chris Quantrill, Show Secretary, with the assistance of his lovely bride, Janet, ran a tight ship and, thanks to them, all was in order for a well-run show. The club's luck with the weather held out once again as it was an sunny and warm, Indian summer's day -- a great day for a drive to the show, and one that made it very easy to keep all the freshly bathed dogs sparkling for the show ring. In spite of its small size, the club has a fantastic trophy table, due to the generosity of its members, that would be the envy of many a larger breed club.

The raffle table was overflowing with goodies, and Mr Stuart Mallard very kindly donated a beautiful print of a hedgehog for the club to auction on the day to raise funds, for which the members are very grateful. TKC's field representative was very complimentary on both the venue and the show as the atmosphere was very friendly. Janet Quantrill ran the snack bar and I can tell you she makes the best coffee ever! Sandwich rolls, Danish pastries and the biggest, tastiest muffins I've ever seen helped to keep up the exhibitors energy levels.

Mr Rodney Oldham (Towmena) accepted the honours of presiding over the ring and drew a very respectable entry of 21 Canaans. With several novice owners and dogs going into the ring for the first time, Mr Oldham's excellent approach to the dogs and his ability in making the exhibitors feel comfortable and relaxed added much to the enjoyment of the day.

Mr Oldham's consistency in judging was very obvious with his final line-up of winners with BD and BIS awarded to Anacan Future Legend ('Tiras'), owned by Julie Hughes and BB and BOS going to Tiras' littermate, Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven ('Summer'), owned by Christine (Goldspink) Powley. RBD, RBIS and BV went to Anacan Ziggy owned by Richard and Ellen Minto, and RBB was Anacan Kefira, owned by Ellen Minto. What tied in this winner's package all the more is the fact that Ziggy is the grandsire, on their dam's side, to Tiras, Summer and Kefira.

Full results of the classes follow:

VETERAN DOG OR BITCH (4 entries; 2 absent)
1st - Anacan Ziggy, 12-1/2 years old, bred by Ellen Minto, owned by Richard & Ellen Minto.  Sire: Gvir me Shaar Hagai at Anacan, Dam: Minto's Libyan Jewel
2nd - Anacan Whole Lotta Class, 10 years old, breeder/owner - Ellen Minto.  Sire: Anacan Ziggy, Dam: Anacan Sheindela

  PUPPY DOG OR BITCH (0 entries)


1st - Anacan Sheeza Gem, breeder/owner - Ellen Minto.  Sire: Anacan Ziggy, Dam: Anacan Sheez The One
2nd - Anacan Genesis, bred by Ellen Minto, owned by Mr & Mrs Roy Abbott (littermate to 1)
3rd - Miri-Beautiful Promise, bred by Ellen Minto, owned by Zara Posenor (littermate to 1 & 2)

1st - Miri-Beautiful Promise (as above)

1st - Anacan Kefira, breeder/owner - Ellen Minto.  Sire: Anacan Masterpiece, Dam: Anacan Whole Lotta Class

1st - Anacan Genesis (as above)

  LIMIT DOG (2 entries, 1 absent)
1st - Anacan Future Legend, bred by Ellen Minto, owned by Mrs Julie Hughes. Sire: Sheleg Harishon At Danehaven, Dam: Anacan Glory Bound

  OPEN DOG (3 entries)
1st: Anacan Masterpiece, bred by Ellen Minto, owned by Richard & Ellen Minto. Sire: The Lion of Judah At Anacan, Dam: Kibutzer Kween In Kofyn

  POST GRADUATE BITCH (4 entries, 1 absent)
1st - Anacan Glory Bea, breeder/owner - Ellen Minto. Sire: Sheleg Harishon At Danehaven, Dam: Anacan Glory Bound
2nd - Anacan Akilah, bred by Ellen Minto, owned by Kim Morton.  Sire: Sheleg Harishon At Danehaven, Dam: Anacan Simply Irresistible
3rd - Miri-Beautiful Promise (as above)

  LIMIT BITCH (3 entries)
1st - Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven, bred by Ellen Minto, owned by Christine Powley.  Sire: Sheleg Harishon At Danehaven, Dam: Anacan Glory Bound
2nd - Anacan Glory Bound, breeder/owner - Ellen Minto. Sire: Anacan Ziggy, Dam: Anacan Sheindela
3rd - Anacan Akilah (as above)

  OPEN BITCH (4 entries)
1st - Anacan Sheer Elegance, bred by Ellen Minto, owned by Christine Powley & Ellen Minto.  Sire: Anacan Masterpiece, Dam: Anacan Whole Lotta Class
2nd - Anacan Simply Irresistible, breeder/owner - Ellen Minto. Sire: Anacan Ziggy, Dam: Anacan Sheindela
3rd - Lorianna I Will Survive, bred by Lorna Hastings, owned by Mrs Sue Coombes & Lorna Hastings.  Sire: Ger Ch Nizzana Hadad For Lorianna, Dam: Lorianna Lucky Star
4th - Anacan Akilah (as above)

1st - Sheleg Harishon At Danehaven
2nd - Anacan Ziggy

1st - Anacan Glory Bound & Anacan Glory Bea, owned by Ellen Minto
2nd - Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven & Anacan Sheer Elegance, owned by Christine Powley

Submitted 1st October 2008

The Canaan Dog Club of America held its national specialty on September 25th at Sampson State Park, Romulus, New York, in conjunction with the lovely Wine Country Circuit, which was always one of my favourite show circuits when I lived over there. The results of the specialty, and the following supported entries follow, courtesy of the specialty chair, Amanda Pough.

Puppy Sweepstakes:- Judge: Christina Miller, River Rock Canaan Dogs
Best Junior Puppy in Sweepstakes: Cherrysh Burning Desire, Breeder/Owner: Cheryl Hennings
Best of Opposite Sex to Best Junior Puppy in Sweepstakes: Cherrysh Keep The Fire Burning, Breeder/Owner: Cheryl Hennings
Best Senior Puppy in Sweepstakes: Cherrysh Seventh Heaven, Breeder/Owner: Cheryl Hennings
Best in Sweepstakes: Cherrysh Seventh Heaven
Best of Opposite Sex to Best in Sweepstakes: Cherrysh Keep The Fire Burning
Breeder of Best in Puppy Sweepstakes: Cheryl Hennings

Veteran Sweepstakes
Best in Veteran Sweepstakes: CH Pleasant Hill Hinda M Rosendog CD, Owner: Judy March Rosenthal
Breeder of Best in Veteran Sweepstakes: Donna Dodson

Rally Classes, Judge: Miss H. A. Penny Haynes
Rally Novice A
Q - score 92 - Cherrysh Hosea Prince Rock. Breeder/Owner: Cheryl Hennings.

Regular Conformation Classes, Judge: Lester M Mapes
Winners Dog: Gemari's 1st Chance, Gemari's 1st Chance. Breeder/Owner: Michael Banister and Melvin Larsen - New Champion!
Reserve Winners Dog: Naturally Noahs At Eastland, Owner: Annette Israel
Winners Bitch: Renegade Melanchollie Air, Owner: Amy Preston - New Champion!
Reserve Winners Bitch: Orela Me Shaar Hagai, Owner: Julie and Daniel Haddy
Best of Breed - CH Renegade Camber, Breeder/Owner: Renee & Evan Kent
Best of Winners: Renegade Melanchollie Air
Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed: CH Cherrysh Sing So Into You RN, Owner: M Banister & M Larsen
Award of Merit: CH Mad River Cool Breeze Blowing, Owner: Rosette Davila Sargent & Charles Sargent MD
Best Puppy: Orela Mr Shaar Hagai
Best Bred By Exhibitor: Cherrysh Seventh Heaven
Breeder of Best of Breed: Renee & Evan Kent.

Congratulations to all the winners!

With regard to the attack on pedigree dogs by that BBC show, I am proud to be an owner of a breed that is probably the closest to the natural dog than any other breed on these shores. Our club has tried on three occasions now to amend the current interim standard, which was never approved by the club members, in order to keep the breed as close to the natural, healthy breed that Dr Menzel plucked from the desert as is humanly possible. For one thing, we had wanted in the clause on General Appearance the phrase, “It should be emphasised that a Canaan Dog should look like it has potential for survival in the desert.” If TKC had adopted that revision, the breed's health would be well protected as only the healthiest, non-exaggerated breed could possibly survive in the areas where wild Canaan Dogs are still found. We don't want another generic show dog - we want the natural healthy breed we fell in love with.

With a view to keeping our breed healthy and expanding the genepool, I am pleased to inform you that I will be bringing in a new bitch, Chanco Charmni (Ami), from Sweden in November and a dog from America, AKC Ch Ha'Aretz Hayyim (Hayyim), and another dog from Sweden, Swedish Ch Solemel´s Arye (Dhole) in March of next year.

Submitted 17th September 2008

The conditions of the grounds at Darlington were abysmal, to say the least -- and this was on the first day! After wading through mud from the car park to the entrance, we were greeted by extremely muddy showgrounds. Canaan Dogs were lucky in that they were exhibited inside one of the main marquees, off the mud, but it was a job to clean them up prior to showing them. There were 8 entries, with 2 absentees for Mrs Roberta Wright who was the judge on the day. Mrs Wright did a splendid job as she had a very good approach and gentle hands on our dogs and they responded well to her. She found her BOB & BV in Rob & Jan McLeod's 'Jacob' (Anacan Call Me Ishmael At Dunline). RBB was Julie Hughes' young male, Anacan Future Legend ('Tiras'). BB was Christine (Goldspink) Powley's 'Summer' (Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven) with RBB going to my young girl, 'Ruby' (Anacan Sheeza Gem). We join the McLeods in celebrating 'Jacob' being awarded 3rd in Utility Veteran under Mr Denys Simpson. He did a great job in flying the flag for the breed.

This is not a promotion, but I found out that there is a new book by Brad Metzler, a mystery thriller, called THE BOOK OF LIES that has a Canaan Dog as one of the characters. I quote from Brad Metzler's website - “Just as Cayn, Kenite, and Cayin are names associated with Cain, “Benoni” is one of the many rumoured names for the dog that eventually belonged to Cain. Interestingly, Cain was not Benoni's first master. Originally, the dog belonged Cain's brother, Abel. And as a sheepherder, Abel's dog was much more than a simple pet. But it wasn't until Abel was killed that the dog was given to Cain. Known as a Canaan Dog, this line of man's original best friend still exists today.” I don't know if the book is any good, but I will have to try and get hold of a copy as it is quite rare to have a Canaan Dog referenced in literature.

Submitted 4th September 2008

Miss Mary Deats (Aradet) presided over the Canaan Dog ring at the Welsh KC and had an entry of 5 Canaan Dogs with 1 absentee. BD & BOB was awarded to Rob & Jan McLeod's Anacan Call Me Ishmael At Dunline ('Jacob'), with RBD going to Julie Hughes' (formerly Nichols) Anacan Future Legend ('Tiras'). BB went to Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia ('Rosie'), owned by Patrick & Barbara Gold and RBB was Chaniah De Solemel Avec Nizzana (imp) owned by Ivan Kaye, Alison Byrne & Anne Barclay.

It is a shame that the numbers of Canaans being exhibited has gone down to such a degree this year. Due to personal circumstances, Richard and I have only been able to get to a few shows, but there are a lot of other Canaan Dogs out there that could be shown. It doesn't help, though, that SKC awarded only BOB -- no BD, no BB, no BP -- when people had to travel a great distance and pay for hotels to be there. This is the first time that SKC did this, so no one knew that was to be the case. With the cost of going to a show rising, along with everyone's household expenses, the shows have to give the exhibitors a reason to go. While not everyone is going to win, there should be a full schedule of awards, along with an atmosphere conducive to having an enjoyable day. We'll all have to put on our thinking caps and come up with some ideas along that line. Perhaps there could be a ring in which different breeds are 'spotlighted' throughout the day, with short -- say 15 minutes -- talks about the breed being 'spotlighted' given.

Julie Hughes reports that her agility club has an annual barbecue with some friendly competitions for the club members. She was ever so pleased when her 'Tiras' won his first ever agility rosette when he ran the course in the fastest time to beat all the other dogs. She was so shocked, she demanded a re-count, but it was true -- Tiras won! Well done Julie to both you and Tiras. Now there is no excuse for not competing in agility for real.

Submitted 18th August 2008

I received some correspondence from a woman who, along with her husband, is ex-military, telling me that they have a dog they rescued from Kuwait. Some locals had killed the dog's mother with a shovel and a woman who runs the equivalent of a local RSPCA rescued her, a tiny puppy at the time. Having met Kimberley's husband, she convinced him to adopt the puppy, which he named 'Babe'. The dog accompanied them around Kuwait and they decided they couldn't leave her behind when they returned to England. Kimberley wanted to know if 'Babe' was any particular breed and after reading about the Canaan Dog on the Internet, Kimberley could not believe how similar in appearance and character her 'Babe' was to a Canaan. She sent me some photos of the dog and when we discovered that she lives only a half hour away from me, we arranged a visit so I could meet Babe and so she could meet some Canaan Dogs. 'Babe' is indeed very Canaan-like in appearance, and certainly in behaviour. It would not be a surprise if she has descended from relatives of the Canaan Dog. Kimberley was totally won over by our Canaans and she and her husband are now eagerly waiting to add one to their family.

Jill Terry emailed me with regard to the British Canaan Dog Society's (Proposed) 5th annual August Rally held at her and hubby, Ian's, home. The society was very lucky with the weather, which stayed dry and sunny and not too hot until after the event was over. Then the heavens opened up and there was torrential rain and a cracking thunderstorm. This year Mr David Matthews, of the Valindale Keeshonds, was in the judge's seat for the match. Jill said that Mr Matthews has had an interest in the Canaan Dogs for some time and has judged them before. The match was open to all breeds, and Mr Matthews had a good entry of 12 Canaan Dogs, plus a large variety of other breeds to go over. For the first time since the BCDS has been holding the match, a Canaan Dog won Best in Match. The honour went to Jana and Richard's (last name not reported) 'Maddie' (Lorianna Call Me Madam). Reserve Best Canaan Dog went to Jill and Ian's Benji (Babrees Benjamin D'Israeli), who is now 10 years old. The Special Yearling award went to Chaniah De Solemel Avec Nizzana ('Megan'), who is owned by Alison Byrne, Ivan Kaye & Anne Barclay. She was recently imported from France, and just 1 day out of puppy. Apparently there were lots of great prizes given out, as well as some gorgeous rosettes and trophies for the overall winners. The match was topped off with a barbeque and a super raffle table with Prof. Peter Bedford was on hand to do the eye testing. Jill said that overall the rally was great fun.

Schedules for the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's Single Breed Open Show are now available and have been sent out to club members and known Canaan Dog exhibitors. It will be held on Sunday, 12th October at Stanground Community Centre, Whittlesey Road, Peterborough PE2 8QS, with judging commencing at 12 noon. This year the well-known Mr Rodney Oldham (Towmena) will be presiding over the ring. Pedigree is kindly sponsoring the show and have given prizes of their products for BIS, RBIS and BPIS. Spectators are very welcome. There will be a snack bar serving beverages and food and a well-endowed raffle table. If you have not received a judging schedule and would like one, please contact the Show Secretary, Mr Chris Quantrill.

Submitted 31st July 2008

I first met Marlies Menge, of Berlin, Germany, in 1993 when we both attended the first International Canan Dog show in Netanya, Israel. Marlies was a journalist, now long retired, and we struck up a friendship that has lasted until this day. Marlies emailed me to let me know she had been to the World Show in Sweden as a spectator and sent me a report on both the show and a Canaan Dog meeting which was held in Stockholm the same weekend. The theme of the meeting was “the character of the Canaan Dog”. David Selin (who with wife, Maria, is a trained animal psychologist and cynologist) gave a report on studies about the different behaviours of western (mainly European) breeds and Asiatic dogs, such as the Thai Ridgeback, in comparison to the Canaan Dog. Marlies reported that interestingly the Canaan Dog shows much less aggressiveness than the representatives of the two other groups. The Canaan Dog also surpasses both groups in their readiness to escape, or run, from a bad situation. The foremost expert on the breed, Myrna Shiboleth of Israel, also spoke. She explained that one must be a consistently alpha with a Canaan, but that no one can make a Canaan submit to unreasonable (in their minds) demands. Her humorous example of this is the story of a man standing with a German Shepherd on an cliff. He gives the command to the dog “Jump!” and the German Shepherd jumps. Another man is standing on a cliff with a Canaan Dog and he gives the command “Jump!” and the Canaan says, “You first”. I must agree that this is so true. My Richard often tells this story about his first Canaan, Bobby, to demonstrate the fact. He said he would throw a stick for her to fetch and she would get it and bring it back. He threw it the second time, and again she retrieved it. The third time he threw it Bobby just sat there looking at him as if to say, “I got it twice for you already. If you're stupid enough to keep throwing it away, go get it yourself.”

I have mentioned on several occasions, how numerically small a breed the Canaan Dog is, not only in the UK, but also worldwide. Even so, I was surprised to learn that in the USA, where there are far more Canaans, breeders and exhibitors than in the UK, according to the AKC statistics in 2006 - the last published data available online at AKC - only 13 litters were born in the U.S. with only 66 Canaani registered. There are some breeds that average a registration of almost that many puppies in a day! Don't you think that with such a rare and unique breed that breeders have the responsibility of preserving the characteristics of the breed rather than trying to change them into some kind of generic show dog? Canaan Dogs are the thinking man's breed.

Richard Minto reports that the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom Fun Day was successful in both being an enjoyable day for the Canaans and their owners, and it raising funds for the club mostly through a plant sale with plants donated by Ceri Collen-Boot, who specialises in raising carnivorous plants.

Submitted 24th July 2008

The Israel Canaan Dog Club of America held its national specialty on Friday 18th July 2008 under the auspices of the United Kennel Club, which is the second largest kennel club in America. Under UKC rules the Canaan Dog is shown in the Sighthound & Pariah group. The judge, Sandra Drake, made the following awards:
  • Best Junior Handler - Kaitlyn Carlson with Blessed-Be Cherrysh Patriot - owners Kaitlyn Carlson, Cheryl Hennings & Laura Lashley
  • Best Male - Hatikva Johnny Appleseed, owner - Alla Geretz
  • Reserve Best Male - Cherrysh Keep The Fire Burning, owner - Cheryl Hennings
  • Best Female & Best of Winners - Cherrysh Day Star Diamond, owner- Cheryl Hennings
  • Champion of Champions - U-CH D&J Ha'aretz I'm the Buzz Baby, owners - Donna & Jackie Davison
  • Reserve Champion of Champions - U-CH Harei Selah Keisha of Sundowner HC, owner - Cathy Dunn
  • Grand Champion, Best of Breed - GR-CH Cherrysh Crown of Jewels HC, owner - Cheryl Hennings
Cheryl Hennings also had the thrill of getting an agility title on her Ch. Cherrysh Hearts On Fire HC on Saturday, 19th July, so she truly had a super weekend.

When people express interest in owning a Canaan Dog, Richard and I always encourage them to see as many Canaans as possible because being told all about their temperament and character is not the same as meeting one and experiencing it for oneself. We have numerous visitors each year, some of whom end up with a Canaan and some who do not, as we let them meet all of our Canaans so they can see for themselves the various degrees of wariness one might expect. We explain that all Canaan Dogs will go through a fear period at adolescence (usually about 10 months of age), but the degree can be modified by extensive socialisation when younger and by the way the dog is handled when going through the fear period. Yet despite this, we still get people who become upset when their Canaan suddenly reaches this period and various trainers tell them that the dog is too nervous to do anything with. Despite us emphasising that the Canaan Dog is unlike any other breed and trainers should not be so quick to judge their behaviour against that of other breeds, they novice owner (and sometimes the not-so-novice owner) is quick to believe the trainer instead of the people who know the breed. Perhaps if we charged a fee they would be quicker to take our word.

The word 'wary' (—Synonyms - alert, vigilant, guarded, circumspect, prudent, mistrustful) is often misused and applied to dogs that are fearful and show fear aggression. At one of our breed seminars we have successfully demonstrated the difference with a bitch of ours who wasn't well socialised and is very wary. We led her into the seminar room on lead and asked a judge to go over her. The bitch leant as far back as she could, and was obviously not happy to be touched. We then asked the judges to all remain seated and to just chat amongst themselves while we let her off the lead and allowed her to wander around the room. Within 10 minutes, or less, she was approaching people and sniffing them. We then put her back on lead and had the judges go over her while she stood. They were all amazed -- but that is the difference between a dog that is shy or fearful and one that is wary. A shy or fearful dog will remain that way. A wary dog, once they have satisfied themselves that there is no danger, will no longer show wariness, though they will not necessarily act thrilled to be there.

Another thing that annoys me to no end and when judges say that a dog 'doesn't look happy' in the ring. Where in the standard does it say that a Canaan, or any other breed for that matter, has to 'look happy'? If it stands for the judge and moves well, what is the problem? The Canaan Dog is a natural breed. Its 'founder', Dr Rudolphina Menzel, said its survival instinct was its strongest drive. Wariness is a big part of that instinct, so why should the breed be penalised for being a Canaan Dog?

Submitted 10th July 2008

Due to his recent illness, Mr Robert Dore was replaced by Mrs Margarette Mulholland as Canaan Dog judge at South Wales Kennel Association. There were 10 entries with 1 absentee. We were lucky with the weather on the day, I believe the only one on which it didn't rain! I was pleased to hear that there was a new French import bitch entered, Chaniah Solemel Avec Nizzana (Imp), owned by Anne Barclay, Alison Byrne and Ivan Kaye, as it is important that we continue to expand the breed's gene pool in this country. Mrs Mulholland awarded BD & BOB to James Rogerson & Lorna Hastings' Lorianna Light My Fire. RBD was Anacan Future Legend, owned by Julie Hughes. BB went to Lorianna I Will Survive, owned by Sue Coombes & Lorna Hastings, and BP & RBB went to my Anacan Sheeza Gem, shown for me by husband, Richard, as I was unable to be there

. I had really wanted to go as a spectator to the World Show in Sweden, but unfortunately it wasn't to be. There were 20 Canaan Dogs entered under Israeli judge, Agnes Kertes Gnammi, whom I had the pleasure of meeting when I attended the first international Canaan Dog show in Netanya, Israel in 1993. Mrs Gnammi awarded BOB, WW 08 and CACIB to Myrna Shiboleth's dog, Fr, Lux Ch Zik, who had been living in France with Laurence Aries for a time so she could attain his Fr & Lux championships for Myrna. Zik has now gone back to Israel with his owner. The dog CAC went to Chancos Trumbler, owned by Rolf Karlsson of Sweden. BOS, WW 08, CAC & CACIB was Verde Bokere de Solemel, owned by Laurence Aries of France. JWW 08 & RCAC was Inna Blayvas' Bat Yerushalaim Shel Zahv from Israel. Congratulations to all the winners.

I understand that there is some talk of the AKC making possible group realignments because of the increase of the number of breeds that are now recognised by them. The only change they have previously made was when the split the then very large Working group into Working and Herding. The Canaan Dog Club of America, was given the choice as to which of the groups they wished to be put in upon recognition (they were not yet fully recognised by the AKC at the time), and the club chose the Herding group, where they are currently shown in the States. It is interesting that the breed is shown in different groups in the various countries in which it is recognised. In the UK, of course, it is in the Utility Group. In the FCI countries, Canaans are shown in Spitz and Primitive breeds. In Canada they are in the Working Group and they are in Herding in the USA. I personally feel that they belong in Spitz and Primitive breeds and I think judges would look at them in a different light if they were shown with the breeds of similar character and type -- but that is just my opinion.

Anne Barclay, emailed me with the following information. The British Canaan Dog Society (proposed) is holding its Annual Rally and Match on Sunday 3rd August 2008 at Willowdale Farm, Moyses Bank, Marshland St. James, Norfolk. It will be run in conjunction with eye testing with Prof. Peter Bedford. Eye testing commences at 10.00am; Rally at 11.00am and the Match at 12.30pm. There will be a BAR-B-Q, raffle and competitions. All breeds are welcome not just Canaan Dogs. On September 7th there is an informal walk at Lightwater Country Park (just of junction 3 of the M3), all breeds welcome but especially Canaan Dogs. Car parking is free, just bring a packed lunch. And on October 5th Neil Ewart (Guide Dogs for the Blind Association) will be holding temperament assessments in Leamington Spa (again for all breeds). For more information on any of the foregoing, or to book eye appointments, please contact Anne Barclay (Secretary) on 01303 259739 or alternatively by email: bcds-sec@thecanaandog.co.uk.

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom will be holding a breed seminar on Sunday the 16th November, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Stanground Community Centre, Whittlesey Road, Peterborough PE2 8QS. Lunch will precede the seminar at 12:00 noon. The cost is £10, including lunch. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the Canaan Dog and is open to both people wishing to judge the breed, as well as those who just wish to further their knowledge of the breed. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Ellen Minto on 01754 811232; E-mail: cdc@anacan.demon.co.uk.

Submitted 18th June 2008

I received an email today from Paul Lawless with the following information. “Navan Dog Show takes place on Saturday the 16th of August at the Irish Kennel Club Showgrounds in Dublin. This show is a Group 1, 2 & 5 Championship show and takes place on the eve of the Munster Circuit of shows, offering exhibitors the opportunity to compete for another Green Star and with a number of Breed Specialities taking place in conjunction with Navan Dog Show, some breeds even have the opportunity of competing for 2 Green Stars on the same day and 6 sets of Green Stars in one week in Ireland (hopefully a sunny week!). The judge for Canaan Dogs at Navan Dog Show is the popular Irish Judge, Wes McCrum. For further details of the show contact show secretary Paul Lawless navandogshow@eircom.net or Tel: 00 353 45 482160 and you can enter online at www.dogshowentry.ie Entries close 11th July (postmark) or online at midnight 21st July.”

I had an enquiry from Anneka Burek that said “I'm looking to find out if you know of any herding trainers in the UK which will happily train a herding breed other than a border collie. I personally do not have a Canaan Dog, but I have a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. I've asked all the people in my breed, but no one seems to do herding with cardigans and so I thought I'd see if any other breeds knew herding trainers. The trials in England seem to be all sheepdog trials, aimed at border collies. I would love to see my dog doing what she was bred for. I live in Cheshire.” I also had a phone call from a gentleman interested in acquiring a Canaan Dog as a companion who wanted to know if the CD could be trained to help him herd the few sheep and cattle he owned. While Canaan Dogs are not a herding breed as such, many show excellent herding instinct and a number of Canaan Dog owners in the USA have done very well with their dogs in herding trials. It would be wonderful if we could have the opportunity over here to train some Canaans for herding as well. If anyone can suggest a trainer for Anneka's Corgi and one who would be willing to work with Canaan Dogs, would you kindly let me know.

I have been working to help promote the Canaan Dog breed since 1984. Two years after I moved to England, the breed acquired championship status in the US, so I never got to benefit from the work I did there. Without a miracle, the breed has a long way to go before acquiring championship status in this country as breed promotion here has been is an uphill battle with one step forward and 2 backward for those of us who had dedicated ourselves to this wonderful dog. It is not a breed that will ever suffer from over popularity -- a blessing -- but that also makes it difficult to find appropriate homes for puppies. And then when you do find good homes, very very few are interested in breeding or exhibiting. This is understandable, but it is a Catch 22. Without the breeding and exhibiting, TKC (and judges) will never look at the Canaan Dog seriously, but due to the economy and anti-dog legislation, it is becoming more and more difficult for people to keep a number of dogs of any breed. But then it is not good for a breed when you have only a few breeders because if one has to stop, for any reason, it sets the breed back. We have had one breeder stop breeding all together, and since Richard and I have been unable to attend many shows the past few years, entries have dropped because we usually entered 4 dogs. Hopefully we'll be out and about again by year's end, but it is not good for the breed if the absence of one exhibitor can impact entries significantly, or the loss of one breeder can lower numbers significantly. One positive thing happening is the importing of several new dogs into the country this year, which can only benefit the breed. Any suggestions from people in breeds in similar circumstances would be welcome.

Submitted 12th June 2008

Our Ziggy celebrated his 12th birthday on the 9th of this month. His age is starting to show a bit, though he is still very playful, moves out well and enjoys excellent health. He had a few special treats to celebrate the day, along with extra cuddles. Richard and I look forward to enjoying his companionship for several more years.

I had a very nice email from Vanessa Williams-Wegmann advising me of her name change following her marriage to long-time partner, Peter on the 4th May. If I remember correctly, Vanessa judged Canaan Dogs for the first time 9 years ago and has always taken an interest in the breed. She also kindly sent me a link to Carol Ann Johnson's website where I could see both her wedding photos and her gorgeous son's, Henry, christening photos. Carol Ann did her usual superb job of capturing both days. Vanessa's wedding gown was lovely and glittery, and she was a 'vision in pink' for Henry's christening. If you have Internet access and would like to see the photos for yourself, go to www.carolannjohnson.com and click on the 'Shows' link.

If any other Canaan Dog judge has had something to celebrate -- a birthday, anniversary, new child or grandchild -- please let me know so we can all celebrate with you!

Submitted 5th June 2008

French Canaan Dog breeder, Laurence Aries recently had a litter of 12 puppies -- 7 boys and 5 girls! I am sure this is a record breaker for litter size in our breed as, up until now, a few litters of 9 were the largest to be whelped. Of course, a litter of Canaans this size is a mixed blessing as it is difficult enough to find good homes for the average-sized litter.

When I first got involved with Canaan Dogs in 1984, many of the bitches still only came into season once every 12-18 months, as they were still only a generation or two from the wild. Of course, with better nutrition and living conditions given them with domestication, over time most of the breed started cycling on a twice-yearly basis. Average litter size was 5, and in general, this still seems to hold true. I remember Myrna Shiboleth, the primary breeder in Israel, telling us that one year none of her bitches conceived when bred. That year they had a drought in Israel. There were no puppies that year because the conditions in nature were not going to be conducive to rearing a litter, as lack of water would also mean a decline in the Canaans' natural prey as well. It's amazing how nature can take care of its own when left to do so.

If you have not yet started on your Canaan's fancy dress outfit for the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's annual Fun Day on the 19th July, I suggest you do so as the day will soon be here. To remind you, this year's theme is Famous People From History.

Submitted 29th May 2008

Mrs Christine Hughes (Rosendale) had 5 entries with 1 absentee at Bath Championship Show. BD & BOB was Lorna Hastings' AKC & Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star. There was no RBD. BB & BOS was Powley & Minto's Anacan Sheer Elegance and RBB was Coombes & Hastings' Lorianna I Will Survive. It was a shame that Richard & I could not attend and that Patrick & Barbara Gold and Julie Hughes were away on holiday and also could not attend as Mrs Hughes, and the Bath committee, deserved a bigger entry than they got. Hopefully we can rectify the situation next year.

Cheryl Hennings (Cherrysh) in Iowa, USA had quite a lucky near miss when a tornado went through about 5 miles south of her house. Cheryl said it first hit the ground about 20miles east of Waterloo the town of Parkersburg, where the tornado did the most damage - over 220 houses completely levelled and a total of 400 destroyed. The tornado was labelled as an EF5, the strongest and biggest in Iowa in over 30 years. It was about a mile wide in Parkersburg! We're happy to hear that Cheryl and her family and Canaans are all safe and sound. It makes you realise we have no reason to complain about the weather at the moment.

Submitted 15th May 2008

Rob McLeod has kindly informed me of a change of judge for Canaan Dogs at the upcoming SWKA show. Following hospital treatment Mr Robert Dore has withdrawn and is to be replaced by Mrs M. Mullholland. We send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Mr Dore.

Christine Goldspink phoned with the sad news that Anne & Ilan Schonewald had to have their Holit Ein Hod put to sleep yesterday after she had a stroke. Holit was nearly 16 years old. She was brought over to this country from Israel, along with 2 other Canaan Dogs, Sivan Me Shaar Hagai and Petra Havar Bakar Eliad, when Anne & Ilan moved to this country. Unfortunately, Holit was never bred from, but she was a very much-loved family pet and had a good, long life. Our condolences to the Schonewald family who will miss their friend greatly.

Sheila Jakeman judged Canaan Dogs for the first time at The National and had 7 entries with no absentees. BD & BOB was Lorna Hastings AKC & Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star. RBD went to Rob & Jan McLeod's Anacan Call Me Ishmael At Dunline. BB was Lorianna I Will Survive, co-owed by Sue Coombes and Lorna Hastings, and RBB was Christine (Goldspink) Powley & Ellen Minto's Anacan Sheer Elegance.

Submitted 7th May 2008

Meg Harris, a charter member of the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom, an honorary life-time member, and one-time business partner with Club president, Gina Pointing, as well as a personal friend of mine, passed away on 22nd April -- on what I believe was her 82nd birthday.  She spent the last year or so in a care home and passed away after a long illness.  Meg was always very supportive of the breed, with her time and her funds, and requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Canaan Dog Rescue. Meg's funeral was held at the South Chapel at Oakley Wood Crematorium near Warwick on the 1st May.  I couldn't attend because of my business, but Richard attended on our behalf. If any of you would like to make donations to Canaan Dog Rescue in Meg's memory, please send your donations to the club Treasurer, Mrs Christine Goldspink, Danehaven, Court Green Lane, Foulsham, Dereham, Norfolk NR20 5PS. Please mark the back of the cheques “Canaan Dog Rescue”.

From the USA comes the news that on the 28th April, in Grove, Oklahoma, Ch. Mad River Cool Breeze Blowing ("Breeze") handled by Linda Clarke, became the third Canaan Dog to be awarded Best in Show at an AKC championship show. The group judge was Lydia Hutchinson and the best in show judge was Pat Hastings. Bred by Cynthia Grupp, Breeze's proud, and excited, owners are Rosette and Charlie Sargent. Congratulations on this wonderful achievement!

Several weeks ago Adrian Wilks informed me of the loss of his beloved K-bay (Babrees Barnabas Of Benyas) to an aggressive form of cancer. Adrian actually collected an 8-week old K-bay from the breeder at my old house in Feltham as I lived very close to Adrian then and the breeder was a friend of mine. Because of this, Adrian has kept in touch with me over the years. Happily Adrian has been able to find another Canaan to ease the pain. He was able to adopt a year-old male named Louie (Lorianna Desert Knight) that needed re-homing and his new friend is bringing him lots of happiness. Mazel tov!

Submitted 17th April 2008

I don't know about you, but our house is a bit manic at the moment with moulting dogs and bitches coming into season, one following the other. Oh the joys of spring!

I had an email from Julie Hughes with some rather nice news. She took her Tiras (Anacan Future Legend) to a Companion Dog Show at Frettenham, Norfolk in aid of Hemsby Inshore Lifeboat and Animal Care, Swanton Abboton on Sunday 13th April. There were apparently 175 dogs entered - a really good turn out. The average class size was about 15-20 dogs. There were classes for pedigree and non-pedigree dogs.Tiras came first in 'non-sporting', first again in 'open', and third in 'handsomest dog'. But best of all, Tiras then went on to win Best in Show! The majority of the show was held outside which Tiras, as most Canaans, always prefers, apart from when the hail started and the thunder and lightning began and then they moved inside for the last few classes. The judge was Carolyn Durn (Fujiyama) and Julie said that she was very complimentary about Tiras. Ms Durn said she was especially impressed by his temperament. As one could expect, Julie was thrilled, and the win was a lovely present for Tiras on his second birthday.

Submitted 10th April 2008

I had some sad news from Chris Miller, who has recently returned to the US after a year's sojourn in Australia. Chris wrote that on the 1st April, a week after her return, her “Pocket” (AKC Ch. Yashar Ha'Aretz Machseh, CDCA HCX) succumbed to hemangiosarcoma. We had the pleasure of meeting Chris and “Pocket” when she exhibited him at Crufts in 2004. “Pocket” had many outstanding wins in the US, and had multi-group placements. Although Chris has a number of other Canaan Dogs, “Pocket” was, in her words, “my bestest boy”, whom she loved deeply. We send Chris our deepest sympathies.

On a brighter note, Christine Goldspink rung to let me know that her 'Ellie' (Anacan Sheer Elegance) was 2nd in AVNSC (behind a Standard Poodle) under Brenda Smith at Retford Open Show. Ms Smith told Christine that 'Ellie' was the best Canaan Dog she'd ever seen, so it was “too bad she was up against the glitz”. It is so difficult for an 'honest' breed to beat the glamorous ones. Barbara Gold texted me to let me know that her 'Rosie' (Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia) was 2nd in AVNSC under Bob Brampton at Wadebridge, Cornwall. Well done to both handlers and their lovely Canaans!

With the show season now in full swing, I thought I should talk a bit about judging the Canaan Dog. In the Canaan Dog judges should be looking for type, soundness and a dog that looks like it has the potential for survival in the desert. All three things are equally important and without all three you do not have a good Canaan. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) the Canaan Dog will not make the greatest show dog under today's judging system as most of them (there will, of course, be exceptions) will not have the "sparkle" a lot of judges require. Most Canaans would rather be running around a field than in a show ring. Then why show them? Because, like it or not, it is one of the best ways of acquainting the public with the breed. Secondly, I think it's important for judges to be reminded what dog shows should be about. They would be hard put to find a sounder breed or a breed that fits its standard as well as a Canaan does. I wrote following information on how best to judge a Canaan Dog, and I am pleased to say that Myrna Shiboleth, known as the world's foremost authority on the breed, told me she thought it excellent.

It is difficult for some people to come into the show ring to judge a breed other than their own and to leave behind the prejudices they have developed in their breed. It has happened on more than one occasion that a person judging Canaan Dogs will say, "But they don't have feet like a .....", or "They don't carry their tail like a ...." Coat colour prejudice can be another issue where a certain coat colour is preferred (or disliked) in their breed and they allow that to affect the way they judge Canaans.

When a breed standard calls for something that would be considered a fault in most breeds, such as an undershot bite or a bowed front, judges will accept that in the standard. They will allow for a show of feistiness in a terrier, but they will not tolerate wariness when shown in our breed and will argue with other points in the standard as well. We have had judges say that they disagree with our standard and refuse to judge by it! They would never do so with another breed. Understandably, it can be difficult to not allow preconceived notions and prejudices affect the way one judges any dog, but one shouldn't be judging if they are unable to do so.

Breeders and judges alike should take a share in the responsibility of preserving this amazing breed the way nature intended it to be by breeding and judging properly

Judging - This is an overview and not a point-by-point breed standard illustration. For that, please attend a Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom breed seminar.

. The Canaan Dog is a medium-sized dog of the pariah dog type. It should be well balanced, with moderate angulation and most importantly, should look like it has the potential for survival in the desert. Males should look masculine and bitches should look feminine.

This should bring a definite picture of the type of dog you are looking for. When the dogs enter the ring, the judge should look at them with this picture in mind. Are there any dogs in the class that can be eliminated from top honours because they do not fit this picture? Any dog that is overly large or heavy, or conversely, has too little substance in proportion to its overall size would not be the best candidate for survival on its own.

In all of the animal kingdom males and females are generally easy to tell apart. For example, it is the lion that carries the heavy mane; a stallion looks physically quite different from a mare; and it is usually the male bird that carries the brightly coloured plummage. You should be able to tell with ease which Canaan is a male and which is a female. Even a larger female can be very feminine (not weak or snipey) in the head and a smaller male, quite masculine without coarseness.

You've had your first overall impression and now you ask the dogs to be moved. The Canaan Dog should move with a brisk natural trot which demonstrates agility and stamina. Are any of the dogs exhibiting hackney movement indicative of a straight shoulder? Are any overextending and striking their forelegs with their hind indicative of more angulation in the rear than in front (not well-balanced) or being too shortly coupled? Remember correct movement is essential in the Canaan Dog. Correct movement is indicative of correct structure. There are far too many judges who do not seem to be able to recognise correct movement. If this is a problem for you, attend another KC conformation and movement seminar and really pay attention this time around.

Now it is time to examine each dog individually and correct approach will make all the difference in the world. Anyone judging dogs should know not to wear perfume or aftershaves, which often contain oils and pheromones which are offensive to the dog. Dangling jewellery is also a no-no, as are billowing skirts and overcoats. I have seen judges who should have known better wearing dresses in the ring that billowed right over the dog's head! This is all commonsense and applies to judging any breed of dog, but surprisingly, some people just don't think about these things before going into the ring. Oh, a smile would not go amiss either. Too often you see judges in the ring looking like they are carrying out some kind of punishment. If you don't enjoy what you are doing, please don't do it!

Canaan Dogs, as with several other breeds, do not like prolonged direct eye contact. This is a very dominant gesture and can unnerve even the seasoned show Canaan. Perhaps surprisingly to some, acting hesitant can also be unnerving, as the Canaan will feel that there must be something wrong if you are acting in a way they perceive as fearful.

A very young Canaan Dog starting its show career will, in all probability, be quite outgoing. However, though the timing may vary, it is usually around the ten-month of age mark that a Canaan will start to go through their adolescent fear period and will start to back off from the judge. A mistake many well-intentioned judges make is to ask the handler to restack their dog when this happens, but with each attempted approach by the judge, the dog will back off again. It is far better if the judge allows the young dog to sit, then runs their hand over the dog, and then ask the handler to restack the dog. In better than 90% of the time, the dog will then stand (albeit still a bit apprehensively). It is the initial approach that unnerves the youngster, as they don't know whether or not the judge poses a threat to them. Given time, the Canaan will become more confident. But this can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years depending on the owner's reaction to the dog's behaviour as well as the judges'. I have yet to meet a Canaan in the UK that would pose a threat of biting even when displaying nervousness (and if there is one they should not be in the show ring or in anyone's breeding programme), so please don't be afraid to approach a nervous Canaan. Your understanding approach can make or break this youngster's future show career.

An adult Canaan should be willing to stand for the judge. Though you do get the exceptions, most Canaans may not seem overjoyed about allowing a stranger to go over them, often looking right through the judge as though he/she doesn't exist. A slight drawing back of the head on initial approach should not be faulted. You start with the head, checking for the proper wedge-shape the breadth of which should be in balance with the dog's overall proportions. You also check for the correct low ear-set and correct ear shape. The eyes should be dark and slightly almond-shaped. Not only does a round eye spoil the looks of the dog, but also the almond eye has a function, reducing glare just as squinting your own eyes in the bright sun does for you. Though a black nose is preferred, allowances are made, even in the motherland, for a snow nose on a light-coloured dog. A true snow nose usually darkens with exposure to the sun and lightens during the winter months. Next the Canaan should have full dentition with a scissor or level bite.

Going down you look at the dog's front. The Canaan should have a deep, but not overly broad chest. There are far more fronts in the breed that are too narrow rather than too broad, though I have seen one or two of the later. The dog's forelegs should be straight with feet facing forward, the shoulders oblique and muscular with elbows close to the body. The feet should be catlike with hard pads. A note here, Canaan Dogs' nails do tend to grow quickly as in their natural environment they would be digging in hard ground. Therefore their nails are generally longer than in other breeds.

As you move over the dog you feel the shoulders, and then examine the coat for correct texture and undercoat. Though the standard calls for a coat that is straight, harsh and medium length, there are, to all appearances, two types of coat. The reason for the difference is that the coat is allowed to be anywhere from 1”-2" in length. The shorter coat will appear to be flatter-lying while the longer coat, combined with a dense, woolly undercoat will stick out, not unlike a husky. Because of the undercoat, these coats will also feel different. Both coats are correct. What is not correct is lack of undercoat. Obviously undercoat will vary according to season and will not be as thick in a dog that is moulting or just finished moulting.

The topline should be level and firm with the tail set on high. Correct tail set is far more important that tail carriage. Too often judges have judged our breed on tail carriage alone. We have video footage of World Shows to demonstrate that not all Canaans (including some international champions) will carry their tail over their back when in a show ring. We show these videos at our seminars to prove that it is not just true of English Canaans, but of Canaans from around the world. Granted the Canaan on the move looks very good with the tail curled over its back, and if you have two dogs of equal merit in every way, by all means give the top honours to the dog with the happy tail carriage. But all we ask is that you do not judge on tail carriage alone. We have had judges admit that they put up on dog for that reason only. You must look at the entire dog and aesthetics should not weigh as heavily in your judgement as construction and movement.

You now look at the rear. The stifles should be well bent, hocks well let down and the buttocks should be lightly feathered. Are the dog's front and rear in balance?

It is now time to move the dog. Most of you will call for the dog to move in a triangle and then straight up and down. It is essential that you watch the dog as it moves away from you and comes back towards you. Good side movement is in itself not enough. I have seen dogs with nice side movement that actually crossed in the rear and paddled in the front. Remember, correct movement is essential.

You've gone over each dog and now it's time to make your final evaluation. Don't hesitate to check that shoulder again or to move a dog again to make sure you get it right. Remember to weight all faults against the idea that the dog should look like it has potential to survive in the desert. Now make your placements confident that, at least in your opinion, you have done the right thing.

Submitted 27th March 2008

It was quite entertaining watching our Canaans frolic in the snow -- the first time some of them have seen any. They absolutely loved it. While they were in the house, Richard built a sort-of snowman, his first believe it or not, and then let the two youngsters out. Their hackles went up and the circled and barked at the intruder, but after just a few moments they gradually went closer and closer to the snowman, until they were touching it with their noses. After that, they ignored it and went about their usual play. This demonstrated beautifully what is meant by 'wariness' in the breed. It is not the same as shyness. A shy dog, or person for that matter, is always shy. A wary dog is mistrustful of a stranger until they have had the opportunity to check them out to their satisfaction and feel that the stranger does not pose a threat to them -- a survival instinct and not a temperament flaw.

I had an email from Anne Barclay informing me that The British Canaan Dog Society (proposed) held their Annual General Meeting at the Guide Dogs for the Blind, Bishops Tachbrook on Sunday 16th March 2008. The Officers and Committee for 2008 were elected as follows: Chairman: Mrs Jill Terry; Secretary: Miss Anne Barclay; Treasurer: Mr Ivan Kaye; Committee: - Ms. Elisabeth de Boisgelin, Mr David Braddock, Mrs Hazel Braddock and Mrs Mary Macphail.

It is a shame that Jill Terry is no longer breeding Canaan Dogs as she has produced some lovely dogs over the years. It must have been a bittersweet experience for her to watch a dog she bred win BOB at Crufts this year for his 4th time. It is hoped that Jill is just taking a break and that she will eventually return to breeding, as there are too few breeders in this country as it is. This is why the report in the paper several weeks ago saying that there must be at least 300 puppies produced yearly to keep a breed healthy is just unachievable for Canaans, and probably other numerically small breeds as well. Even if you had the breeders and dogs to produce this many puppies, the proper homes are not available. I feel it is more important to breed wisely rather than to go for quantity. Going for numbers has been to the detriment of many breeds rather than the betterment.

The KC-recognised parent club for the breed, The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom, will be holding its annual Fun Day on Saturday, 19th July 2008 at Christine Goldspink's premises in Foulsham. In addition to the usual games, barbeque and raffle, there will also be an opportunity for a hands-on assessment for those people already on the club's C-List. The Secretary will contact them with details. The theme for this year's always eagerly anticipated and entertaining fancy dress competition is 'Famous Characters From History', so start sewing those costumes for your Canaans!

Submitted 13th March 2008

In my last set of breed notes I said you never know whom you might bump into at Crufts. Well to my delight a friend of mine from the USA, Anita Rosen, showed up at our bench. She had come over with two friends, mainly to see the Tibetan Spaniels and Papillions. It was so wonderful to see her, as it has been about six years since she and her husband, Herb, were over for a visit. Then sitting at ringside I spotted a man that looked familiar. It was Avi Goldberg, Chairman of the Israel KC. Richard and I met Avi when we went to the first International Canaan Dog Show in Israel back in 1993, which is where Richard and I met. Avi was so kind to all of us and took us touring around to some incredible sights. We met up again at the World Show in Milan, but Avi said he hadn't been to England since 2001 and had just decided to come to Crufts 3 days before. I was pleased when unprompted Avi said that we had some very nice Canaans in England. There was quite a bit of interest in the Canaans both around the breed benching area and Discover Dogs. We met a judge from Australia who had just been given the group in which Canaans are shown there, but she had never seen a Canaan Dog before. She asked a lot of questions and took a number of photos of the dogs. I give her a lot of credit for trying to educate herself on the breed before she ever has to judge one.

Our judge was Mr H J O'Donoghue from Ireland, who drew an entry of 15 Canaans for 16 entries with no absentees. BD & BOB went to Babrees Desert Orchid Via Caoilta, owned by Pam O'Loughlin. This was 'Dezi's' 4th BOB at Crufts, which is a breed record, beating my Kibutzer Kween In Kofyn who won this accolade 3 times. RBD was last year's BOB, Anacan Call Me Ishmael At Dunline, owned by Rob & Jan McLeod. BB & BOS was Anacan Sheer Elegance, co-owned by Christine (Goldspink) Powley and Ellen Minto with RBB going to Sue Coombes &Lorna Hastings' Lorianna I Will Survive.

Patrick Gold pointed out that it was his Anacan Simba's 10th year of representing the breed in our Discover Dogs breed booth. Simba, now 11-1/2 years old, had been a wonderful breed representative, as in addition to his good looks, he allows children and adults of all ages to stroke and cuddle him. Patrick failed to mention that it is both his and his wife, Barbara's 10th year of helping out with Discover Dogs as well. It was at Discover Dogs at Earl's Court 11 years ago that the Golds met Richard and I and were introduced to Canaan Dogs. How quickly the years pass!

This should be quite an exciting year for Canaans in the UK as there are several imports coming into the country when their Pet Passports are in order, and at least one, possibly two, bitches going abroad to be bred. Alison Byrne will be bringing in a bitch, “Megan” (Chaniah de Solemel) from Laurence Aries in France. Alison has been over to visit Megan a few times and even had the opportunity to show her in Toulouse in February, receiving a 'very promising' from the judge. I am importing AKC CH Ha'Aretz Hayyim from Bryna Comsky. I chose Hayyim from a photo at 4 weeks of age and he finished his championship by the time he was 11 months, winning RBD at his first show, the Canaan Dog specialty. I got my first top-winning Canaan Dog, Ariel Shin Ha'Aretz of Briel, from Bryna in 1984. When she came over to Crufts last year, Bryna fell in love with my Ziggy and Bea, and has since gotten a Ziggy daughter from me, Anacan Michaela. Hayyim should have already been with me, but Bryna forgot and didn't have the blood titer on the rabies vaccine done at the right time. Hayyim should be with me this summer. I will also be importing a beautiful bitch puppy, Chanco Charmani (“Ami”), from Maria Selin in Sweden. All these new bloodlines will be a big boost to the genepool here in the UK ensuring a healthy future for the breed.

Submitted 28th February 2008

Dr Sarah Hemstock gave a very interesting talk and photo presentation on the dogs of Tuvalo -- a Pacific island made of coral reef-- at the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's AGM this month. Dr Hemstock works on Tuvalo up to 6 months of the year designing and overseeing a number of environmental projects, such as helping build catchments for rainwater, as there is no fresh drinking water on the island, and raising certain vegetables in raised beds made of soil that has been washed clean of salt. Dr Hemstock explained that the dogs, indigenous to the island, are very much a Canaan type. As Tuvalo is a coral reef, it is estimated that the island will disappear underwater within 50 years and Dr Hemstock is anxious to help the dogs survive as a breed. She is planning to have all the dogs microchipped and work on getting them registered as a breed with the KC of Fiji, which is the KC closest to the islands. Of course doing this will take money and the committee of the CDC of the UK has decided to try and help Dr Hemstock raise the money to preserve the dogs. Anyone wishing to help with this work can contact Dr Hemstock by email at sarah.hemstock@thembatrust.org.uk as she is often out of the country.

I've had some sad news from the USA. Alan and Sylvia Gersman have lost their Isabel (Briel's Isabel P. Tig-er Pooh) at 15 years 3 months of age. I bred Isabel when I still lived in NY. She was the Gersman's first Canaan Dog and their first agility dog. Alan wrote, “As far as I know, Isabel is the first and only Canaan Dog to earn a placement at an AKC National Event. In 2001, Perry, GA Isabel competed in AKC's first and so far only Combined Agility and Obedience Championship. In order to compete the dog had to have both Obedience and Agility Titles. Isabel placed 5th overall and had her picture taken with the AKC President, Companion Events VP and the head of AKC's Agility. That picture, I believe, is the only Canaan Dog to reside in AKC's Archive of National Events. Isabel competed in the 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 AKC National Agility Championships. In Denver 2001, when she was 9 she finished 18th overall in probably the most competitive height class, the 20" class at AKC's National Championships. Isabel was also the Number One Canaan Dog in AKC and USDAA agility those same 4 years. Isabel finished with 31 agility titles, 2 obedience titles, 1stockyard title and CDCA's Versatility title. She was trained in Utility, but made it clear she really had more fun at agility.” We send the Gersmans our heartfelt sympathies on their loss.

Crufts is almost upon us and I always look forward not only to the excitement of the competition, but just as much to the opportunity to meet up with friends and acquaintances, old and new. You never know whom you'll bump into and I've been surprised over the years to have friends from the US, Denmark, Sweden and Israel show up at our bench unexpectedly. Now if we can have some dry weather so we can get the dogs from the car park to the hall without being drenched or the dogs made muddy it should be a perfect day. Hope to meet up with some of you and good luck to all who are exhibiting.

Submitted 14th February 2004

At the Isle of Ely open show Mr Mark Price awarded BOB to Christine Goldspink's 'Summer' (Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven).

The Westminster KC show was held at Madison Square Garden and Canaan Dogs were shown on the 11th February with judge, Mr Robert Slay, presiding over the ring. There were 7 Canaans entered with 2 absentees. BOB was Am Ch Rosendog's He Who Must Be Named, owned by Judy March Rosenthal & Amanda M Pough. BOS was Cheryl Hennings' Am Ch Cherrysh Crown of Jewels with an Award of Merit going to Am Ch Desert Star Running Miles RN, owned by Rosette Davila-Sargent. You can watch a video of the breed judging by going to http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2008/results/breed/canaan.html.

As its first calendar was so successful, the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom is planning its 2009 calendar, so get your cameras out. Candid photos of your Canaans need to be submitted no later than the 30th April. If they are in digital form, they should be in a resolution of at least 300 dpi. The Club is also planning a cook book, so contributions of recipes, both for human and dogs, are requested to be received by no later than the 30th May. Both photos and recipes can be sent to me at: Anacan Boarding Kennels & Cattery, Little Lane, Off Oxlands Lane, Irby In The Marsh, Lincs PE24 5AX. If you want the photos returned, please send a SAE. Thank you.

Submitted 7th February 2008

Nigel Higgins phoned me to let me know that his father, Stan, had passed away passed away on Thursday 31st January 2008. The funeral will take place at the Astwood Crematorium & Cemetery, Tintern Avenue, Astwood Road, Worcester WR3 8HA at 2:30 PM on Wednesday 13th February 2008. Stan was a long-time breed supporter as it was his late wife, Connie, who was responsible for getting the breed recognised in the UK. Stan served as Treasurer for the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom for, I believe, 4 years and did an excellent job. He stepped down when his age and health made it too difficult for him to attend meetings any longer. Stan will be missed and we extend our sympathies to his sons, Peter and Nigel.

The Utility Breeds Association of Wales is scheduling 3 classes for us on Saturday, 19th April at Tredegar (22 miles from Junction 28 of M4). The judge is Mr Tom Mather. Entries close on March 20th and schedules are available from Secretary, Mrs Cadogan, or from Mr Rob McLeod, and at Crufts.

Submitted 31st January 2008

There was an interesting thread on one of my Canaan Dog chat lists regarding the best method for training a Canaan Dog. Canaans are highly intelligent and do learn quickly. The only problem is that they quickly tire of repetitive commands. If you throw a ball and have them 'fetch it', after the second time of bringing it back they will sit there as if to say, “I've brought it back twice already. If you're stupid enough to keep throwing it away, you go get it.” I believe, that just as with a human child, for the best results you can't use the same training techniques on every dog, Canaan or otherwise. They are all individuals, as each dog's character will correspond to its function within a pack -- the alpha needing a firmer hand than the individual that would be the pack 'alarm dog'. Some Canaans are food motivated, but many are not and it is their bond with their owner that motivates them. I quote what has worked, or not, for different Canaan owners.

“Our 1st class she (the instructor) thought that he (the Canaan) was timid/shy, disinterested simply because he didn't want to do the same thing over and over. We learned that later too in agility. Soon she came to realise that this breed needed different types of training and the same old repeat, repeat, didn't work for these dogs. They are quick learners and my dogs love food, so they can pick up a new trick simply using food.”

“It is very important that the correction (like the reward) varies with the dog (and dog mood, time of day, etc). Because of early bad training (from me) and my Canaan's nature, very positive training worked best with him. He is also a very willing-to-please Canaan Dog. The most he needed was an "uh-uh". His best reward was always not repeating the exercise when he had done it correctly. Well -- yummy treats are always good too!”

“The most salient features of Canaan Dogs regarding training (in my experience of one dog*) is not their 'independence'. No, indeed. They are:
- Softness, i.e., "negative" experiences have overwhelmingly strong and lasting effects.
- Low repeat factor. Do it once. If its right, then move on.
- Sensitivity to emotions, potential failure or doing things wrong, and to strange surroundings.
- Memory like an elephant, and can remember and perfectly perform complex routines after extremely long absences.
- Very tuned in to handler. Once you have the dog willing and able to work with you and ignore various external stimuli, he is very responsive.
- Seems to thrive with very short training bouts to fit into today's busy lifestyles!”

* Please note that the last person quoted has had great success with their Canaan Dog in the obedience and agility rings.

If you are an instructor, please bear the above in mind. If you are a Canaan Dog owner, don't let anyone dissuade you that he Canaan Dog is not capable of performing many tasks with the proper training. If you work at creating a strong bond with your Canaan from day one, it will help you discern what method will work best for him/her and you. I look forward to seeing some of you in the performance rings and will the one cheering the loudest.

Submitted 24th January 2008

Only two of the four Canaan Dog entries turned up at Manchester Championship Show, which is a real shame. Due to our business, Richard and I were unable to attend, and one person told me they had just forgotten to enter. But where was everyone else! Apologies to judge, Martin Freeman, who certainly deserved a better entry. BD & BOB was Lorianna Light My Fire, co-owned by James Rogerson and Lorna Hastings. RBD was Julie Hughes (formerly Nicholls) Anacan Future Legend ('Tiras'). Julie emailed the following to me: “There were some people there (at Manchester) from the BBC filming for a documentary on health problems in Pedigree dogs. Initially the camera man started talking to us because he didn't recognise the breed and then he asked to film some head shots of Tiras while he was relaxing on a chair. Eventually when I had spoken to him and his researcher about the Canaan Dog breed they became very interested and ending up filming us in the ring. I guess most of it will end up on the cutting room floor but it was nice that they were interested.” Hopefully the segment won't end up on the cutting room floor, as it would be a positive bit of publicity for the breed if it were shown.

I've been asked recently where I thought the breed was going. This, I presume, was prompted in part by the fact that the numbers of the breed in the show ring have fluctuated over the years, from a high of 25 at Crufts 2004 to just 2 at the recent Manchester show. I honestly am not worried. Just as any other breed, the Canaan Dog is not for everyone, but those who come to love them are as loyal to the breed as the breed is to its human family. Most Canaan Dogs in this country are much-loved pets, not because of lack of quality. Quite the opposite is true as there are a number of outstanding dogs in pet homes, dogs that will never grace the ring or add to the genepool because their owners are not interested in such things. But they are loved family members and are well-behaved additions to the community in which they live. To use a much-overused cliché, at the end of the day isn't that the true function of any dog?

The breed is in a catch-22 in that we need more dogs to be bred and more to be exhibited if TKC is ever to award us CC status; however, the right homes for the resulting puppies are not plentiful. We often have to export some puppies in order to home them, which kind of defeats the purpose of breeding them in the first place. This, along with more restrictive dog laws, is becoming a problem for a number of breeds, and I feel will impact on the show ring even more in time. But saying all that, the Canaan Dog has been around for at least a couple thousand years and their unique characteristics have become more widely appreciated as people learn about the breed. So whether the breed continues to be under appreciated in the show ring or has large or small show entries, I feel the breed's future is secure in that there will always be just enough breed enthusiasts who love and admire them and would never want to live without one as part of their life to ensure the continued existence of this wonderful Bedouin dog.

Submitted 10th January 2008

A belated Happy New Year to all of you! The old year ended with a bang for some as there is a tie for Top Canaan Dog 2007. Congratulations goes to both Lorna Hastings and her Am/Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star (by Int/Ger/Lux Ch Nizzana Hadad for Lorianna ex Int/Ger/Lux Ch Lorianna Lucky Star) and to Pam O'Loughlin's and her Babrees Desert Orchid via Caolita (by It/Int Ch Velikayas Lahatutan ex Layla me Shaar Hagai), who both ended the year with 12 points. Lorna is also the owner of the Top Stud Dog 2007, Int/Ger/Lux Ch Nizzana Hadad for Lorianna (by Anacan Masterpiece ex Babrees Bat Benyas at Nizzana), who follows in his sire's pawprints in winning this accolade, as well as the Top Brood Bitch 2007, Int/Ger/Lux Ch Lorianna Lucky Star (by Gvir me Shaar Hagai at Anacan (imp) ex Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna). Well done to all the winners and best wishes for their continued success in 2008.

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's new judges' list is ready for distribution. Should any club secretary who is not sent one automatically wish to receive a copy, please contact me. Additionally, I have been asked to mention that the club's AGM will be held on Sunday, 17th February 2008 at Peakirk Village Hall, nr Peterborough.

My 'Digger' (The Lion of Judah at Anacan) celebrated his 14th birthday on the 19th December and exchanged annual birthday greetings with his (almost) twin brother, 'Charon', who resides in Berlin. Where have all the years gone? Now an old man, 'Digger' has done much to raise the profile of the breed, and indeed is in the pedigrees of 3 of the Top Canaans of 2007 (all but Babrees Desert Orchid via Caolita). He has certainly made his mark on the breed and I hope we have him with us for at least a couple more years.

I don't know if you got a chance to watch the television programme on The Wolfman (Shaun Ellis). Mr Ellis raised 3 wolf cubs, living among them as a wolf and teaching them how to be wolves as they grew. It was fascinating, though I don't think I would want to feed wolf cubs from my mouth or have to roll in dead prey to let the pack know what they were having for dinner. During the programme, Shaun explained the workings of the wolf pack. The similarities to Canaan behaviour in so many areas were very apparent. The alpha wolf did not have to show any aggression to control the pack. Our 'Bobby' (Minto's Libyan Jewel), who was wild born, was the only true alpha dog we have owned. Just as the wolf in Mr Ellis' pack, she never had to growl or be aggressive to control not only her pack of Canaans, but also the pack of dogs we walked with in a local park. All she had to do was give them this look she had, and they would fall in line. Then there was in the wolf pack “the enforcer”, and this is the wolf that would use aggression to protect the alpha. It was interesting that the most wary or 'nervous' wolf, was “the lookout” who would let the pack know if he thought danger was approaching. I find this to be true with my Canaans, that is the most 'wary' are also the ones who do all the barking if anyone or anything strange approaches the property or is heard by them, thus the born 'lookouts'. They even had in the pack a wolf whose function is to dissipate aggression by more or less acting the clown. I've seen this type of behaviour with our Canaans where one will come between two dogs and lick their faces, roll over on its back, and generally act soppy. Now I know why. I hope to get a chance to read Mr Ellis' books on wolves.

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Last updated on the 24th January 2009