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Canaan Dog Breed Notes 2011

(As submitted by Ellen Minto to DOG WORLD and unedited.

Submitted 18th December 2011

Canaan Dogs were judged by Mr Donald M. Booxbaum at the AKC-Eukanuba National Championship show in Orlando, Florida. Results follow: BOB was the dog, GCH CH Pleasant Hill Magnum Of Samara, bred by Donna Dodson and owned by Pamela Stacey Rosman & Richard Vulliet DVM. 'Magnum' was also BOB at the Westminster KC show this year and has an outstanding show record. BOS was awarded to CH Rivroc Lycm Own Dream Bsnatch Rsndog, bred by Christina Miller/Ethan Miller/Amanda M. Pough/Judy M Rosenthal and owned by C. Miller & Ethan Miller & Merry Carol Houchard. Best Bred By in Breed/Variety and 1st Award of Excellence went to Christina Miller, A M Pough & J M Rosenthal's dog, CH Bsnatch Rsndg Ran Away To Rivroc RN, breeders: Amanda M. Pough/Judy March Rosenthal/Christina Miller. Congratulations to all the winners and a big well done who all who qualified to be there.

Our sincere sympathies are extended to Donna Dodson (Pleasant Hill Canaan Dogs in the USA) and her family, on the death of her husband, Roy, on the 13th December after a battle with gioblastoma, a most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor. I met Roy a number of times when showing my dogs back in the USA. He was a lovely and generous man who supported and assisted his wife in all her work in the breed. (Donnas has been one of the main Canaan Dog breeders in the USA.) Roy will be sorely missed by all who knew him. It will be a most difficult holiday season for Donna.

When you read this, it will be the eve before New Years' eve. 2011 seems to have just whizzed by. It hasn't been the best of years for the Canaan Dog as the KC once more not only turned down a request to change some of the clauses in the breed standard (something that we have been striving to do since 1996), but it has also imposed a 5 year moratorium on consideration on any further applications for amendments to the Canaan Dog breed standard. One would think that the KC would give the same support and consideration to any breed which it deems to register, but it seems when one is a numerically-small breed, it is summarily dismissed as second-class, at best. Would it not be better if the KC offered the rare breeds a helping hand, and really willed them to succeed rather than turning their backs on us? I intend to remain positive and 'keep on keeping on' in the New Year (and as many years as the good Lord gives me) in working to protect and promote one of the few natural breeds still left in the world.

On that note, I will like to wish all of you a happy, healthy and successful New Year. Resolve to love your dogs, love each other and work together for the good of all.

Submitted 13th December 2011

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's AGM will be held on Sunday, 26th February 2012 at Stanground Community Centre in Peterborough. This year the Club has been able to acquire a speaker from Medical Detection Dogs. The talk should be a great interest, especially as the Canaan Dog has great scenting ability – it was the first breed to learn to detect the plastic explosive, semtex – so it may be that the breed could be trained to detect diabetes and cancer. Richard's mother was a diabetic and, without any training, her Canaan, Jake, would try to get her to sit down just prior to her having a hypo. Once Richard's dad realised what Jake was doing, he would quickly get the glucose whenever Jake did this. So if a Canaan without training is capable of such action, I would think that with training they could be of valuable assistance in the health field.

As the Club will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012, it is planning a number of special events, one of which is a photo competition, to be judged at the AGM. There will be 4 categories: Best Action Shot, Funniest photo; Prettiest photo and Dirtiest Dog photo. Details of how to enter will be forthcoming soon, so get those cameras clicking!

There's a good chance that a Canaan Dog was with the shepherds when they visited the manger in Bethlehem on that first Christmas, or so I would like to think. So Christmas is as special for our dogs as it is for us. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas filled with the joy and love of family and friends and your wonderful dogs.

Submitted 8th December 2011

I was very upset and saddened to learn that Martin Moulding had to have his Manny (Anacan White Knight) euthanised after Manny's rear end became suddenly paralysed by what turned out to be a blood clot on his spine. Martin loaded a healthy Manny into the car to take him to help out at Discover Dogs, which he has done for years, and upon his arrival at the Earl's Court car park, Manny couldn't get out. After examining Manny and finding no apparent injuries, the vet on call sent him to Brompton Veterinary Clinic, just a few miles away, where x-rays were taken and other tests done. The vet there told him that dogs of any breed, at any time, can develop these blood clots and that there is no genetic basis. He sent him home with medication in the hopes that the blood clot would resolve itself, but after a few days there was no improvement and Martin made the decision to let Manny go. Martin is also currently caring for his terminally ill wife, so the loss of his beloved Canaan could not have come at a worse time. We send our sympathies and warmest thoughts to Martin. If any of you would like to send a card to cheer him up, Martin's address is, 20 Camp View, Winterbourne Down, Bristol, Avon BS36 1BW.

This year at BUBA Canaans were judged by Mr Peter Radley, who hasn't judged the breed in a number of years. There were 11 entries with 3 absentees. Mr Radley awarded BD to Kessem Yanis Orly To Khandikhaine, owned by Richard Crowfoot & Nishma Shukla. RBD was Ellen Minto's Anacan Issachar. BB & BOB was awarded to Anacan Sheer Elegance, co-owned by Christine Powley & Ellen Minto. RBB was Christine's Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven. Our newest exhibitor, Julie Kelly (owner of Anacan Raven, aka 'Ziva') was definitely in the Christmas spirit as she dished up some delicious nibbles and a glass of Bucks Fizz for every Canaan exhibitor. Julie's warmth and enthusiasm are a delight and I hope she infects all Canaan owners with them.

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's 2012 Judges List is now available and can be downloaded by club secretaries from the Club's website www.canaandogclub.co.uk/judgeslist2012.html.

Submitted 16th November 2011

I really thought that with the state of the economy there would be far fewer people attending Discover Dogs at Earl's Court, but happily I was wrong. Richard Minto, who is in charge of the Canaan Dog booth, informed me that it was very busy both days. There was a lot of interest in our breed with people asking some in-depth questions. Richard said he believes that some of the interest was due to people's raised awareness of health issues and the Canaans reputation for being a healthy breed. As befitting the requirements of working on the stand, the breed was well-represented by some very handsome and good-natured Canaans. On Saturday there was our 4 year old Max (Anacan Encore) along with Simon Demetrious & Manuela Herrera's 7-month old Astor (Anacan Talia My Treasure). On Sunday Max was joined by Stephen & Natalie Leader's Eva (Anacan Hatikvah). Liz de Boisgelin was also there both days doing an excellent job of talking to the public and relieving the others so they could walk their dogs, etc. Richard told me that at one point, while he was regaling an interested punter with facts about the how the Canaan's different vocalizations – varying from barks, and howls to a yodelling-type sound – are a kind of vocabulatry with different meanings for each sound, a gentleman who had been listening in introduced himself and said Richard was correct. He told them he had worked on a ranch in Israel and, as with most ranches, they had several dogs, 3 of which were Canaans. He told them that the Canaans patrolled the perimeter, without ever being asked or taught to do so, and that he eventually realised that the Canaans had a different bark for when a human was approaching than when an animal was approaching, so he knew whether to get out the gun or to get ready a welcome. Another young man said his father had been stationed in Palestine and befriended a Canaan, who eventually got so tame as to sleep in his father's bed with him. His father really loved the dog. Sadly, just before he left Palestine the dog was shot, along with all the other dogs that came around the camp, purportedly to prevent rabies. His father was devastated. The young man was very happy to hear that the Canaan Dog is now protected breed in Israel, and it is illegal to shoot one there. He said this news would also make his father happy. Overall it was another successful event for TKC and for the Canaan Dog.

We had some sad news from Isabella Zirri in Italy. Her dog, Bayud Bedoui me Tel Arad, has passed away. Bayud was a very handsome cream-coloured boy born in the wild near Tel Arad in the south of Israel in 2001. Myrna Shiboleth was able to obtain him from the Bedouins, thus adding a new genepool to the breed. After siring several lovely litters for Myrna, he went from Israel to Italy to live with Isabella in 2007. Bayud became Isabella's beloved housedog and closest companion. His passing is very sad and leaves a big hole in her life. We send her our deepest sympathies.

I must also sadly report the loss of another wonderful Canaan Dog, JK Maccabee Northern Maccabee ,“Macc”, who belonged to Canadian, Michelle Harrington, who lives in Alberta. Macc, along with Michelle's two bitches, Ash and Cybelle, are the only Canaans I know of that are working stockdogs. Michelle's farmer neighbour actually hires the dogs to work his cattle. Michelle wrote, “My crew and I were all lying by the wood stove, when all of a sudden Macc started to massively hemorrhage. I rushed him into the vet hospital in Red Deer which is an hour way from our farm in Raven. I was there with him holding and hugging him when he passed. Macc was his calm self, not even a whimper when the vet attended to him. I have a friend who often referred to him as the silent soldier, a gentleman. The vet was wonderful and did an autopsy with me there. She found no genetic causes, no tumors, in fact his blood checked in with no problems. He was bleeding in the stomach with no signs of any internal bruising. She said the symptoms were akin to a dog that has ingested something toxic. Unfortunately she could not pinpoint the exact cause. She said he checked in as a dog with extremely good health. My heart has fallen to pieces.” Macc was trained to work by Michelle's partner, Larry, who died in a tragic farm accident two years ago, so the loss of Macc was a two-edged sword as he was also Michelle's piece of Larry. We are so very sorry for her loss and for the loss to the breed.

Submitted 3rd November 2011

Midland Counties gave Canaan Dog classes for the first time last year and had a poor turnout. This year they kindly gave us a judge from the breed's judges' list, Mrs Helen Lightfoot, BA, DC, MMCA, who owned a Canaan Dog many years ago and is also a McTimmoney chiropractor and so is experienced at both seeing and feeling for good structure in a dog. Mrs Lightfoot attracted 9 dogs for 10 entries. BD & BOB was my Anacan Issachar. RBD was awarded to Julie Hughes' Anacan Future Legend. BB was Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia, owned by Patrick & Barbara Gold, with RBB going to my Anacan Kefira. BP was my Anacan Silhouette, ably handled for me by Richard. I also won Best Breeder and a 2nd in the Utility Breeders Group. All right, there were only 2 in the breeders group, but the judge did say to me that she “knows it's a difficult breed so congratulations on the temperaments.” I'll happily take that compliment.

We, the Canaan exhibitors, as per usual, had to wait around a long while before we were shown as the breed ahead of us in the ring took nearly 6 hours to be judged instead of the estimated 4. However, it was rather nice as all the exhibitors sat happily chatting and eating together at the benches as we used to in days gone by. Showing your dog should be as much a social event as anything else and I am pleased that we have exhibitors in the breed that feel that way.

A reminder that Discover Dogs, a fantastic event in the dog calendar, will be held at Earl's Court on Saturday and Sunday the 12th and 13th November. The Canaan Dog booth is number U4, so be sure to stop by and visit it. It is a good opportunity to meet the breed if you've never done so before.

Submitted 20th October 2011

A little more positive PR for the breed – at the Bedford & District Open Show, my Anacan Happi Anni was awarded 3rd in the Puppy Group under judge, Mrs Jan Reynolds.

Myrna Shiboleth (Shaar Hagai) sent me an email inviting me to read the following upsetting news on her Facebook page.

“THE END OF THE CANAANS AT SHAAR HAGAI??? Hello to everyone who knows us or has heard of us. I am in a situation where I need to turn to anyone who can help in any possible way.

Shaar Hagai Kennels is facing a serious legal suit by the Israel Government Lands Authority who intend to evict us and the dogs from the place where we have been living for nearly 42 years. To anyone who is not familiar with the history here, when I immigrated to Israel I chose to live in an isolated and derelict spot, with a few buildings that were built by the British during the mandate years, and were abandoned from the time they left. This was my form of Zionism – to breed and preserve the Canaan Dog, the national and natural breed of Israel, and one of the few original breeds still existing in the world, in a place that was also worth preserving.

We chose to live here, in an isolated place that was in a condition of near total ruin when we moved here, without electricity or phone for 17 years, because it was a place where we could breed dogs, the Canaan Dogs, without bothering anyone. We entered with a contract, and only after a number of years did we discover that the authority that we signed with had no rights over the place. For all the years we have been here, we have attempted to resolve the problem and legalize our position, with continued contact with the authorities – to no effect; in fact we have been ignored. And now they have decided, after total refusal to even enter into mediation, to evict us. Their only plans are to demolish the place.

Eviction will be a huge and disastrous blow to the breeding and preservation of the Canaan Dog, both here and in the world. I have dedicated all my resources to the breeding of the dogs and their care. My daughter was born here, and my grandchildren have been born here, and the family is united in their love for what we are doing here and the need to continue. We do not have the resources and financial possibility of buying new land and building new kennels. Just the legal cost of trying to defend ourselves is a huge burden.

We are turning to our friends and those that are aware of what we have been doing and the significance of it, to try to gain support that may help influence the decision makers. Please support us by joining our Facebook page, by sending us a note of support, by passing the word on to anyone who may have some influence, and help us to continue with the Canaan Dogs at Shaar Hagai Kennels.” As Israel is the only place from which the breed can still obtain genuinely new bloodlines, thanks to Myrna still obtaining dogs from the Bedouins, her eviction would mean you would not be able to continue breeding and this would have an adverse impact on the breed. Myrna is open to any suggestions, so please feel free to send them to me for forwarding.

Richard and I gave a judges' breed seminar for the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom this past weekend, and though attendance was small, it went over very well. As part of the seminar, we use some photos and videos of the dogs in their harsh natural environment which help the judges to realise the import of the Canaan being of medium, athletic build, with sound conformation, no exaggeration and efficient and sound movement. If they judge the breed with these criteria in mind, it will go a long way in helping them to place the dogs of correct type, build, and movement. Hopefully more judges will avail themselves of this learning experience the next time we hold a seminar.

Submitted 15th September 2011

Last year the committee of the Richmond show surprised us with classes for our breed, resulting in a very poor entry of 2. This year exhibitors were aware of the classes and judge, Mrs Vanessa Williams-Wegmann, drew an entry of 7 Canaans with 2 absentees. The winds were really blowing, which caused the marquees to flap and sway a bit at times which, not surprisingly, upset a couple of the entries and affected their performance. Mrs Williams-Wegmann awarded BD & BOB to Lorna Hastings' AKC Ir Ch Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star ('Blaze') with RBD going to my Anacan Issachar ('Izzy'). BP, BB & BOS went to my 9-month old Anacan Happy Anni, a half-sister to 'Izzy'. Hopefully next year's entry will be larger yet again and the weather a bit kinder.

Israeli breeder/judge, Myrna Shiboleth, has drawn a super entry of 22 for the Darlington show. I just wonder where all these dogs have been hiding all year? I do hope this won't be the last we see of them and that we can hope to see an increase in entries overall.

Submitted 1st September 2011

There was an interesting article on the new science of epigenetics in the newspaper this past week, and though it was about the human animal, it applies equally to canines (and Canaans). It stated that they are beginning to understand how “we are not simply born with genes that are pre-set for life. Vast numbers of them can be changed 'epigenetically' by our environments and diets. Genes can be switched on or off by this process, or the way in which they function can be altered.” Hip dysplasia is a problem that comes immediately to mind as it has been known for decades that nutrition and environment have a big impact as to whether or not the disease will express itself in an animal. The article goes on to state that the most worrying finding is that parents' poor nutrition can seriously affect the health of their unborn children. Though particularly true of mothers who are malnourished in the first three months of pregnancy, it was found that fathers' diets may also play a crucial role. Not only were the children's genes changed epigenetically, but those harmful changes have been passed on through two generations. Could this not be the reason that what appears to be 'genetic' in a line of dogs is really the result of poor diet? Not only complete dog foods can be lacking, or conversely have an overabundance of certain nutrients, resulting in problems, but so can so-call 'natural diets. The natural environment of the Canaan Dog in Israel is very mineral rich and thusly the vegetation that the Canaan's natural prey feeds on would contain higher and different nutrients, than the vegetation fed to livestock here in the UK, or anywhere else outside of Israel. Therefore the diet of the free-living Israeli Canaan (some of whom are introduced to our breed's genepool even today) would contain higher levels of minerals. Add to this change in diet the complete difference in climate, and here in the UK and in parts of Europe, the lack of sunlight that the breed would be used to, could this not be the real cause of immune system problems such as hypothyroidism that occasionally has cropped up?

I have read other articles in which research has found genetic changes that were environmentally caused. What, also, of the chemicals found in our water? How about the microwaves we are constantly bombarded with from mobiles and radiation from computer screens? The dangers of over vaccination are already known. What are they doing to us and to our dogs? Are breeders being condemned for problems they have absolutely no control over? I believe this to be the case. I will be interested in following the research into epigenetics as it is something we should all be aware of – not only as to how it relates to our dogs' health, but to our own as well.

Hurricane Irene wrecked some awful destruction this past week, but because people were prepared, the devastation to life was kept to a minimum. The Israel Canaan Dog Club of America (ICDCA) was holding its national specialty under the umbrella of the UKC just a couple of days before the hurricane was due to hit the east coast of the US, so the location of the show was moved to the home of two of the club's members, out of the predicted path of the hurricane – just in case. They had an entry of 3 dogs, 13 bitches, 7 champions, 4 grand champions, 2 veterans, 2 juniors 1 altered, 2 stud dogs, 2 brood bitches. The results follow: Best Male - Cherrysh Hosea Prince Rock, owner Cheryl Hennings; RBM - Cherrysh Light Up The Sky, owner Cheryl Hennings; Best Female, Best of Winners & BOB - Cherrysh The First Noel, owner Cheryl Hennings; RBF – Cherrysh Nigh Rider's Angel, owner Rachael Hennings; Champion of Champions – Anak Adon me Beit Alpha; owner, Victor Kaftal; RCOC – Cherrysh Day Star Diamond, owner Cheryl Hennings; Grand Champion – Cherrysh Fire And Rain, owner Lee Boyd; RGC – Gemari's 1st Hope, owners Michael Banister & Melvin Larsen. Congratulations to all the winners, and to all who ventured to the show with hurricane warnings, well done.

A friend sent me an article saying that New York City pet owners were urged to develop an emergency plan to keep families and pets safe. Animal welfare agencies, at the request of the New York City Office of Emergency Management mobilized resources to aid in the emergency rescue and sheltering of animals in anticipation of the hurricane. It is wonderful to know that they had the forethought to plan to help our animal friends as well as their owners. I would suggest that if you live in an area that floods that you too have an evacuation plan for your dogs.

Submitted 25th August 2011

Alan Gersman (USA) wrote that on the 5th August his Canaan Dog 'Minnie' earned her third Master Agility Championship (MACH) title making her now MACH3 Mazel Tov PRTMJL Minnie Pooh, CD, XF. To put this into the proper prospective, out of the tens of thousands of dogs that compete in AKC agility each year, only 241 earned the MACH3 title in 2010. Big congratulations from us to Alan and Minnie on this fantastic accomplishment! Canaan Dogs can do!

It was a 4-1/2 hour journey to WKC for Richard and me, and as I was showing my Tibetan Spaniels as well as our Canaans, we set out to arrive there by 9:00 am. Judging by the number of dogs in the ring ahead of the Canaan Dogs I had figured we would be in the ring in the region of 1:00 pm, which would have been pretty on target except that when the breed ahead of us was finished, the stewards could not find our judge. Unbeknownst to them she was judging Shar Peis in another building. After a nearly 2-hour wait on the part of the Canaan exhibitors, our judge, Juliette Cunliffe, came rushing into what was now a nearly empty building, save for us and a few German Spitz exhibitors. Poor Miss Cunliffe did not even get a break, and she apologised for keeping us waiting, though it wasn't her fault. I blame the show organisers as the Rare Breeds are often given the short end of the stick. There were 5 entries – all present. The top accolade was given to Lorna Hastings' AKC Ir Ch Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star who was BD & BOB. RBD was my Anacan Issachar. BB went to Patrick & Barbara Gold's Anacan Shoshannah for Amicitia, with RBB & BP going to my Anacan Happy Anni. I'd like to thank the German Spitz owners who stayed to cheer us on. This is the kind of good sportsmanship and camaraderie that seems lacking at today's shows and it was lovely to see a few people who remember that dog shows are supposed to be fun. Thanks again.

Submitted 4th August 2011

I've not been able to attend the Paignton show since Richard and I moved to Lincolnshire, partially because of the boarding kennel and in part due to the distance. This year, however, I was able to carpool with friends and attend and enjoy this very nice show. When we arrived I was a bit disappointed to learn we were being judged indoors, but as the day went on and became hotter and hotter, I appreciated the fact that we were in the relatively cool building with the dogs instead of out in the blazing sun. It was a first show for my 2 Canaan puppies, Anni and Silhouette, and there is nothing like a baptism by fire – first a 5 hour drive to get there and then the new and strange surroundings. They surprised me happily with how well they handled all of it. Our judge, Mr Bob Gregory, drew and entry of 7 – 2 dogs and 5 bitches - with no absentees. BD and BOB went to Lorna Hastings' multi-Ch Lorianna Sirius Star ('Blaze'). RBD was Kessem Yanis Orly To Khandikhaine ('Jaedun'), owned by Nishma Shukla and Richard Crowfoot. BB was my Anacan Sheeza Gem ('Ruby') and RBB was awarded to Lorianna I Will Survive ('Georgie'), owned by Sue Coombes and Lorna Hastings. BP went to my Anacan Happy Anni and I also won Best Breeder in the breed.

Did anyone else see the Vanessa Williams-Wegmann's cameo on the John Bishop show? Vanessa has become somewhat of a reality show celebrity, first appearing on Come Dine With Me and now John Bishop, and she tells me she me appear on John Bishop's show again. Autographs anyone!

Submitted 27th July 2011

Lorna Hastings emailed me with the following information. International Ch/Am/Irish/Slovenian Ch/FCI World Winner 2010 & WW09/European Winner 2010 & EW09 Lorianna Sirius Star CDCA HC; UK Top Canaan Dog 2010, 09,08,07 (tied) & 06, Crufts BOB winner 2011 & 2010, has added another title to his many already garnered, "FCI World Champion 2011". This latest title was gained at the FCI World Dog Show in Paris where he also won BOB at the French National Championship Show the previous day. This has qualified him and earned him an invite to the FCI's Centenary Champion of Champions contest in Brussels in November.

She also writes that “the British Canaan Dog Society (proposed) is hosting an eye testing clinic with Prof Peter Bedford on Saturday 6th August, from 10am at Willowdale Farm, Moyses Bank, Marshland St James. Cambs. PE14 8HD. This is in conjunction with the annual rally and barbeque. All breeds are invited to attend and if previous years are anything to judge on they will be made feel very welcome by the Society and its members. The BCDS (proposed) is hosting a Breed Specific Seminar on Sunday 18th Sept with world renowned breed authority, Myrna Shiboleth, as the speaker. It will be held at the KC Building in Stoneleigh. All enquiries for both events should be made to BCDS Secretary Jill Terry on Tel 01945 430583 (before 18.30) or via email secretary@canaandog.co.uk” Please be advised that attendance at this seminar does not fulfil the criteria for getting onto the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's Judges' List; however, it should be very informative for anyone interested in the breed.

Submitted 21st July 2011

This year the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom decided to hold two Fun Days in two different areas of the country in order to enable as many members as possible to participate. The first was held on our premises in June and the upcoming Southern Fun Day on Sunday, 7th August, will be held at the premises of Stephen and Natalie Leader in Epsom, Surrey. Natalie said everyone is welcome, Canaan Dog owner or not, just as long as you are dog mad. There will be a fancy dress competition with the theme being The 1960s and 70's. There will also be party games and a barbecue and Natalie requests that everyone brings some meat/veggie food for the barbecue if you intend to eat. There is plenty of street parking on the Leaders' housing estate, but they want you to be aware that they have a normal-sized house with a suburban garden, so it will be a cosy event which will start at 12 noon. If you'd like to attend, please RSVP Natalie on 020 8393 8987 or email: canaan.dog@hotmail.co.uk and she will give you her full address at the time.

Everything about a Canaan Dog's conformation and appearance has been designed by nature for a reason – 'fitness for function' – and that includes correct pigmentation. The breed standard calls for eyes which are “dark, almond-shaped and obliquely set with black rims.” While a light eye in a dark-coloured face gives the dog a staring expression, the main reason for the dark eye requirement is that brown eye-colour provides more UV protection than lighter eye-colours, and that is something that the Canaan Dog would need in its natural environment. The black eye rims help to reduce the glare of the sun in the dog's eye, therefore affording it some more protection. The standard also calls for a black nose. Now saying that, 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 will darken with exposure to the sun and then lightens again during the winter months. Ilan Schonewald's Israeli import, Sivan Mishaar Hagai (Aiden) – an influential sire in his time - was a case in point. A cream-coloured dog, in Israel his nose was always black, but when the Schonewalds and their Canaans came to England to live they found that Aiden's nose would lighten significantly during the winter months, turning black again in the summer. In Israel there was always enough sunlight to keep the nose black. It seems, though, that when the sand-coloured and cream coloured dogs are bred to each other, over time their offspring often suffer permanent loss of nose pigmentation. There are a number of Canaans about, in all countries, whose noses are pink, often with dark edging, which never darken. As the nose and eye pigment requirements are there for health reasons, and not just appearance, they should be considered serious faults, but fortunately, ones which are fairly easy to correct by breeding to a dog with excellent pigment.

Submitted 14th July 2011

There were 10 Canaan Dogs entered at the World Show in Paris with 2 absentees. Two of the entries were from the UK – Kaye, Bryne & Barclay's French import Chefa De Solemel and Lorna Hastings' Am/Lux/Ir Ch Lorianna Sirius Star ('Blaze'). It was the British dog, 'Blaze', who triumphed by taking Best of Breed. Best Bitch went to Bat Yerushalaim Shel Zahav, owned by Inna Blayvas (Israel), with Best Junior Female going to Feytah De Solemel, owner/breeder by Laurence Aries (France). Well done to all the winners and hurrah for the British Canaans!

Submitted 6th July 2011

There were 10 Canaan Dogs entered at the World Show in Paris with 2 absentees. Two of the entries were from the UK – Kaye, Bryne & Barclay's French import Chefa De Solemel and Lorna Hastings' Am/Lux/Ir Ch Lorianna Sirius Star ('Blaze'). It was the British dog, 'Blaze', who triumphed by taking Best of Breed.

Back in the early-mid 90's Richard and I, with our 'Digger' and 'Bobby', and Mel Vincent, who at the time owned 'Beulah' - a bitch who eventually came to live with me, worked very hard to get our Canaans out and about to promote the breed, with Gina Pointing and Marjorie Cording occasionally joining us in the ring with their dogs, 'Golda' and 'Fiver' respectively. As the number of Canaans we had grew through our breeding programme, Richard and I would often take 4 Canaans to a show to get numbers up. Back in '98 when they threatened to take our classes away if we didn't have at least 10 dogs entered, Richard and I took 7 Canaans to Crufts, bringing the total entry up to 12, and thus saving the Canaan Dog classes there. With time more people took up the crusade to promote the breed with it culminating in our largest entry or 25 at Crufts in 2004. But, as in many small breeds, personality clashes and politics have served to cause division, and eventually a drop in our entries. Our own personal situation has meant that Richard and I can no longer go to as many shows, nor take as many dogs. This year the breed lost its classes at Bournemouth, classes which were hard won. At our seminars we have strived to teach judges how to properly judge a Canaan Dog. By explaining in detail their history, the fact that dogs from the wild are still added to the genepool in Israel, their independence and fitness for function, we helped the attendees learn to appreciate the Canaan Dog character. But it seems that more and more, what is wanted in the show ring is a generic show dog. Canaan breeders have been doing a wonderful job in producing a natural, healthy breed way before the KC got involved in such things. I personally have worked very hard in the promotion of the breed since 1984 and many others have put in a huge effort over the years, and they have been mentioned in these breed notes at various times. It is now heartbreaking to see all that time, effort, and yes, money, seemingly wasted because of what I call 'the people factor'. I know from reading other breed notes that ours is not the only breed in this situation, nor is it in as bad a shape as some breeds, but it deserves better. I believe that by educating, encouraging and helping newcomers things can be turned around and the Canaan Dog can start moving forward again. And hopefully amongst those newcomers will be someone with the dedication and determination to get the breed the respect and success it deserves.

Submitted 22nd June 2011

Despite the weather failing to cooperate (an understatement, as it poured rain) the Canaan Dog Club of the UK's first Fun Day for this year at the Minto residence was a relative success. I say relative as we couldn't get to play all our normal games. Everyone squeezed under the relatively spacious enclosed awning attached to our touring camper, with a few bravely hanging about the barbeque grill or under our big willow tree (there wasn't any lighting). We all had more than plenty to eat and everyone enjoyed Richard's treasure hunt – which took much longer than usual for anyone to solve. We also held our fancy dress competition. The theme was 'anything goes'. My Izzy and Ami came as a Bedouin shepherd and his sheep, respectively, and Natalie Leader's Laila came as a 'punk rocker'. Ami won first place, with Laila coming 2nd and Izzy 3rd, with the dogs winning a bag of biscuits and the owners some sweeties. It was all for a laugh. People were very generous with their donations to the raffle table and in their purchase of tickets. The club made some money and there were some great prizes won – including some gorgeous framed prints. It was arranged for the new owners of my Ami's puppies to collect them on the day, giving them a chance to meet each other as well as other more experienced Canaan owners. They really appreciated the opportunity to 'talk Canaans' and all-in-all it was a fun day. Let's hope the second one, to be held on the 7th August in Surrey will see fairer skies!

From Amanda Pough, President of the CDCA, Inca comes the following news: “In celebration of their 2011 Annual Meetings and National Show, members of the Canaan Dog Club of America, Inc. (CDCA, Inc.) raised enough money to outfit the Longmont (Colorado) Fire Department with two sets of Pet Oxygen Masks. This donation is the first in what will be an annual donation to support Fire Departments in the cities where the club holds their Annual Meetings. Members of the Longmont (Colorado) Fire Department came to the CDCA, Inc.'s Awards Banquet on Saturday, June 4th to accept the donation. The donation of the Pet Oxygen Mask kits means that the Fire Department will be able to outfit two of their trucks, helping them provide better care to the community. These specially-designed animal masks can be used both on conscious pets that have suffered from smoke inhalation and pets that need to be resuscitated after losing consciousness from exposure to the dangerous toxic fumes. Each kit allows rescue workers to help animals as small as birds and pockets pets up to large dogs.” I think this is a brilliant idea, and perhaps one worth emulating in this country.

Submitted 9th June 2011

I was happy to see that Lorna Hastings changed her mind about retiring her dog, 'Blaze' (AKC Ir Ch Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star Re (Imp), as she had told me Crufts was going to be his last show. We need all the Canaans in the show ring that we can muster and, after all, 'Blaze' is only 8 years old. 'Blaze' was awarded BOB at SKC by judge, Mr Ernie Paterson. There was no RBD as there was only the one male entered. BB went to Christine Powley's Anacan Maid For Glory ('Summer') and RBB was Anacan Sheer Elegance ('Ellie'), co-owned by Christine and breeder, Ellen Minto. At Bath judge, Mrs Zena Thorn-Andrews awarded BD & BOB to Lorna Hastings' 'Blaze', with again no RBD. BB went to Powley & Minto's Anacan Sheer Elegance, and BP & RBB went to Pam O'Loughlin's new Israeli import, Raaya Chava Me Shaar Hagai Via Caoilta, NAF, TAF, who was making her first public debut. I was delighted to learn that these new blood lines have been brought into the country and I'm also very pleased to report that there are several other new puppies who will soon be entering the show ring, helping to re-vitalise our entries. With all the young Canaans about, these could be exciting times for the Canaan Dog.

The Canaan Dog Club of America, Inc held its National Specialty on the 3rd June in Longmont, Colorado. Sweepstakes were judged by Mrs Cheryl Hennings (Cherrysh). Results follow – Best Jr Puppy In Sweeps - Pleasant Hill Heavenly Daze, owner: Donna Dodson; Best Veteran In Sweeps - Ch Mazel Tov Yomi Bat Barak, RN, owners: Catherine & Aviva Oskow & Sari Hattis; BOS to BV In Sweeps - Ch D&J Ha'Aretz I'm The Buzz Baby, owners Donna &Jackie Davison.

The regular conformation classes (24 entries) were judged by Mrs. Monica Canestrini with the following results: Winners Dog - River Rock No Illusions, owned by Christina Miller; RWD - Cando Jealou Hotter Than That, owners: Sally Armstrong & Carol O'Bryan; Winners Bitch & BP - Pleasant Hill Heavenly Daze, owner: Donna Dodson; RWB - D&J Ha'Aretz Hannah's Legacy; BOB - Ch Pleasant Hill Magnum Of Samara (dog), owners: Pamela Stacey Rosman & Richard Vulliet, DVM; Best of Winners & Best Bred-By Exhibitor - River Rock No Illusions, owned by Christina Miller; BOS to BOB - Ch D&J Ha'Aretz Got Milk Madeline (bitch), owners: Jackie & Donna Davison; Select Dog - GCH Blue Sky Desertstar Orion The Hunter, owners: Norma Bennett Woolf &Denise A Gordon; Select Bitch - Ch Bandersnatch Rsndg Ida Know Rvroc, RN, owners: Amanda Pough & Judy M Rosenthal & Christina Miller; Awards of Merit - Ch Jaykay Richelieu Rules, owner: Genevieve Landis, and Ch Mazel Tov Yomi Bat Barak, RN, owners: Catherine & Aviva Oskow & Sari Hattis; BV – Ch Pleasant Hill September, owner: Donna Dodson, Brood Bitch - Ch DJ Ha'Aretz Lydia of Gray Mesa; Brace - River Rock No Illusions & Ch Bandersnatch Rsndg Ida Know Rvroc, RN; Team - River Rock No Illusions, Ch Ha'Aretz Kwisartz Haderach Dwlf, Ch Bandersnatch Rsndg Ida Know Rvroc, RN &GCH River Rock Take Me Higher. Congratulations to all. I just wish that the American Canaan Dog exhibitors would not feel the necessity of having professional handlers take their dogs in the ring, especially at a national specialty. The fact that they were a breed who could, and should, be owner handled, was one of the attractions for me when I started in the breed in 1984. Showing is becoming more and more a rich man's game and the breed will suffer for it.

The only breed specific seminar being held this year that will fulfil the criteria for attendance at a breed seminar for the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's judges' list is being held on Sunday 16th October 2011 at the Bratoft Village Hall. The speakers will be Ellen Minto (Anacan) assisted by Richard Minto. While aimed at aspiring judges for the breed, it will also be of interest for anyone who just wants to learn more about Canaan Dogs. For more information or to book a place, please contact Mrs Ellen Minto, Tel: 01754 811153 (after 7 pm); email: cdc@canaandogclub.co.uk, or download a registration form from the club website: www.canaandogclub.co.up/upcoming.htm.

Submitted 25th May 2011

We are all concerned with the health of our dogs and we are very fortunate that the Canaan Dog is a very healthy breed as a whole. Yes, there have been individuals who have developed health problems, but no living creature is completely immune from all disease. There are so many factors involved, and not are all to do with genetics. There are environmental factors, as well as side effects from vaccine, wormers and other chemicals we routinely shove inside and put on our dogs. I decided to contact the person who could best tell me the state of the health of the breed, Myrna Shiboleth of Shaar Hagai Kennels in Israel. I asked Myrna whether there were, in her experience, any health problems that we should be aware of and maybe testing for. Myrna graciously replied and told me that there were two deaf Canaans about 25 years ago – two females that were spotted, and one with almost white ears with very little spotting on them. She has never had or heard of another deaf Canaan there in Israel. She said that also some years ago there were a few Canaans with thyroid problems, but she has not seen or heard of any more of that problem for a number of years either. As a matter of fact, Myrna said her vet complains that she can't make any money on her. Let's hope it stays that way, but for that to be so ALL breeders, on a global basis, need to be open and honest and work together for the good of the breed.

Submitted 11th May 2011

Utility Day at The National started out with a promise of rain, but fortune smiled upon us and the day turned out to be a gloriously warm and sunny one. Mrs Judith Robin-Smith (Willowbrae) presided over the Canaan Dog ring, happily situated outdoors, drawing an entry of 7 Canaans. Mrs Robin-Smith found her BD and BOB in my Anacan Issachar, the 3rd BOB for this now 17-month old boy. BB & BOS was awarded to his dam, my Anacan Glory Bea. BP was Sandi O'Grady's 9-month old bitch, Nizzana Fairey Firefly. Well done all!

I had a phone call from a woman named Lana Gazder who requested a copy of an article called The Indian Wolf, The Australian Dingo and The Indian "Pariah" Dog Was There a Southern Species of Canine? by Gautam Das I had re-printed with permission in the CDC of the UK newsletter a few years ago. It turned out that Ms Gazder lived in India as a child for a number of years and developed a fascination with, and love for, the Indian pariah dogs. She has now written an article about them, and like me, is interested in all the natural breeds. Photos she subsequently sent to me show a great resemblance to the Canaan Dog. Nature has her own standard for what is the correct conformation and type for a healthy dog, and this is why many Canaan fanciers here in the UK would like to see our breed standard reflect what nature, rather than a few humans, has dictated as correct for our breed.

Richard and I will be hosting the first of two Canaan Dog Club of the UK Fun Days to be held this year (the other to be held on the 7th August in Epsom, Surrey at Stephen & Natalie Leader's home). Our Fun Day will be on Sunday, 12th June at our premises in Irby in the Marsh, Lincolnshire. There will be games, a fancy dress competition for the dogs, most appealing eyes, longest tail, waggiest tail, the dog the judge would most like to take home, a raffle and a barbeque. If you would like to come and meet some Canaan Dogs and their owners and take part in some of the festivities, you are very welcome. Just get in touch with me for further details. Leave a message on the answer phone if I'm out.

Submitted 13th April 2011

The Canaand Dog Club of the United Kingdom held its 11th annual Single-Breed Open Show on Sunday 10th April at Stanground Community Centre in Peterborough. Once again they were blessed with beautiful weather, always a plus. The Club was fortunate in obtaining the sponsorship of Arden Grange, who not only provided food prizes, but also a voucher for 3 x 15 kg of Arden Grange to be used as a raffle prize, which was won by the ring steward, Pearl Chadwick. The Club has an impressive trophy table and rosettes were given for 1st through Reserve.

This year's judge, Mr Barry Blunden (Licassa) drew an entry of 17 dogs for 23 entries with only 1 absentee. Mr Blunden was courteous to the exhibitors and gentle with the exhibits. He chose for his BIS his BD, Danehaven Extra ('Kane'), breeder/owner: Miss Christine Powley. RBIS was the RBD, Ellen Minto's AKC Ch Ha'Aretz Hayyim For Anacan. BB and BOS was Mrs Minto's Anacan Kefira. RBB went to Diane Collins' Danehaven Ashkezar ('Chela'), litter sister to Kane. BV was the sire of the BIS, Christine Powley's Sheleg Harishon At Danehaven, who was also the sole entry and winner of the Progeny class. As there were no puppies entered and there was a prize given by Arden Grange for BP, it was decided to have a Best Junior, judged after BIS and Progeny. This award went to Anacan Issachar ('Izzy'), owned by Ellen Minto. Izzy was sired by the RBIS dog.

Spectators and exhibitors, as well as the judge and steward, all commented on the lovely, friendly atmosphere, something the CDC of the UK is proud of. Thanks go to Patrick & Barbara Gold who fed exhibitors with delicious 'all day breakfasts' and provided the judge, steward and show secretary with a sumptuous lunch.

Submitted 7th April 2011

I was quite disappointed when I read Rodney Oldham's preface to his critiques from Crufts as follows: “Type remains quite varied but most were pretty steady when it came to being handled. Couple were between coats but texture still satisfactory. It is a job to know if this was a truly representative entry but several were middle aged & beyond leaving me to wonder where the future lies.”

The Canaan Dog is shown under 'Spitz and Primitive Breeds' in the FCI countries. Dogs from the wild are still introduced to the genepool in Israel, the breed's native land, so you are bound to have some variance in type, but is this not a good thing? Our breed standard allows for both a more flat-lying coat, and a more stand-offish coat, and people often mistake this for a difference in type. When you have Canaans being shown which are overweight, you get remarks such as 'a dog of the leaner type' when, in fact, the Canaan Dog should be of athletic build and not bulky and fat, as are too many show dogs. The standard allows for both dogs and bitches between 50-60 cm (20-24 in) in height, so judges should not be referencing 'a dog of the smaller type' when, if it falls within the standards' perimeters, it is of correct height and should not be penalised for being so just because a judge prefers a bigger dog or vice versa. The Canaan Dog standard says it is a 'medium-sized dog' and that is what it should be.

It is only through linebreeding that a type is fixed, but the KC is now keen for breeders to outcross to maintain a greater genetic diversity, and this will affect type. Stand outside of the ring of my other breed, Tibetan Spaniels, and you will see a far greater diversity in type than you do in Canaan Dogs – you always have in this breed and for me, this was one of the breed's appeals. As long as the type is recognisable as the breed and doesn't stray from the breed standard, I think it is good that every dog in the breed doesn't look like it came from the same cookie cutter – people don't.

The Canaan Dog is usually not mature, physically or mentally, until it is 5 years old, and they are long-lived so I do not see the relevance of the comment that 'several of the entries were middle-aged or beyond'. In fact 20% of the entries at Crufts were juniors. This is actually very good considering that there are very few litters whelped annually due to the difficulty in finding proper homes for the breed and even more difficulty in finding people who will show them, which I believe will become even harder as the cost of showing, particularly the petrol to get to shows, continues to rise.

I am finding that the interest in our breed is increasing as people search for healthy family companions that are intelligent, unspoilt, good with children, easy to maintain, and provide some protection by sounding an alarm rather than by attacking. If Canaans had some high-profile, wealthy people involved in it, I think a lot of the undeserved criticisms would suddenly disappear, as they have in some other breeds with such supporters.

A huge congratulations once again to Alan Gersman (USA) and his Canaan Dog, Minnie. At the recent AKC Agility Nationals, Minnie competed in the 26” height class. Alan said Minnie measures into the 20” class, but usually does much better in the 24” class. At the Nationals the choice was either the 20” height class or the 26” height class (the latter is optional and is made up of practically all world team competitors) and Alan thought it would be fun running against the world team, made up of practically all Border Collies. Minnie has medium speed but is superb technically and she showed it by finishing 8th overall (2 places out of the Finals) against 62 competitors – the best in the USA! Alan said this was despite the fact that because he had pulled a hamstring a few weeks ago and had to limp around the courses. Minnie picked up the slack. Canaan Dogs are really 'Can do' dogs because they can do so many things and do them well.

Submitted 17th March 2011

Another Crufts has come and gone. Canaan Dogs had a respectable entry of 16 with one absentee. Hegge Jacobowitz, a Norwegian Canaan breeder, and her daughter were on hand to watch the judging and we were able to have a very nice chat prior to judging. She told me how difficult it was for her to find any Canaan Dogs against which to compete, even when she travelled to Sweden, and she was very impressed by the number of dogs we had in the ring. Judge, Mr Rodney Oldham, was very pleasant to all the exhibitors, which was praiseworthy in itself as it was late in the day and we were all getting tired. He awarded BD & BOB to Lorna Hastings' 8 year old Int/Am/Lux/Ir/ Slo Ch Lorianna Sirius Star. Lorna told me that she was now going to retire 'Blaze' as he has won just about all he can, as can be seen from all his titles. Lorna and 'Blaze' have done a lot to help promote the breed and we are sorry he won't be in the ring any longer. Mr Oldham's RBD was another veteran, Pam O'Loughlin's Babrees Desert Orchid Via Caoilta. BB was awarded to my Anacan Glory Bea and RBB went to Diane Collin's Danehaven Ashkezar, who is out of my Glory Bea's litter sister, Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven and looks a lot like her Aunt Bea. Julie Hughes told me that this was also the last show for her 'Tiras' (Anacan Future Legend), who was last year's RBD at Crufts and has had many other wins, including BIS at the CDC of the UK open show 2008. We are going to miss seeing Julie and Tiras in the ring, and her lovely mum outside the ring. Well done to all who won and also to all who participated and helped to promote the breed. Thanks also to all who helped man the Discover Dogs booth over the 4 days – Richard Minto and 'Max', Martin Moulding and 'Manny', Julie Hughes and 'Tiras', Patrick Gold and 'Athtar', Barbara Gold and 'Rosie' and Richard Crowfoot sans dog. These are the unsung heroes who don't get a rosette for their efforts, but certainly deserve our thanks.

Alan Gersman (USA) wrote that his agility Canaan Dog, 'Minnie', this past weekend completed her 11th double que (22 runs), which means 'Minnie' has been perfect on all her runs in her last 4 agility trials and her last 26 runs, which includes the AKC Eukanuba Invitational. In her last 8 runs 'Minnie' has placed 5 times – this past weekend earning a 2nd and a 4th place finish. An additional note, 'Minnie' is 20 inches tall but runs in AKC's 24 inch height class because she runs and jumps better at the higher height. Congratulations once again to Team Gersman!

Submitted 7th March 2011

It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of a great Canaan Dog, our Anacan Ziggy. Richard and I took him for his last visit to the vet on the 3rd March after he had a stroke. He was just 3 months short of his 15th birthday. As those who knew him can testify, Ziggy's contribution to the breed in this country was immense. Returned to us as 'not show quality' when he was 10 months old, it was a 2 year struggle to turn him from a quivering mass to the fantastic showman he became.  Eventually Ziggy became such a good show dog that he was Top Canaan Dog 1999.  He won BIS at the Gravesend & Medway Open Show over 756 dogs in 2001, and the same year he was also BIS at the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's open show over 30 entries. He was RBIS in 2005 with 29 entries, and then BIS once again in 2006. Last year he was BOS at the Club show at the age of 14. Bryna Comsky (USA) sent us her condolences and wrote, “I thought that Ziggy was almost immortal because he never seemed to age.”  Ziggy was a BIG personality and every visitor to Anacan fell in love with him.  He loved a good belly rub and was generally a happy soul.  I can't believe he's gone -- the last of the great ones.  We are fortunate that he left us a legacy of some fabulous children and grandchildren, but there was only one Ziggy.  Rest in peace my good boy.

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom will be holding a breed specific seminar on Sunday 16th October 2011 at the Bratoft Village Hall from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and will cost £15, which also includes lunch and coffee and teas. Attendance fulfils that part of the criteria for application to the club's judges' list. While aimed at aspiring judges for the breed, it will also be of interest for anyone who just wants to learn more about Canaan Dogs. For more information or to book a place, please contact Mrs Ellen Minto, Tel: 01754 811153 (after 7 pm); email: cdc@canaandogclub.co.uk

Submitted 23rd February 2011

A friend of mine with a keen interest in all primitive dog breeds has given to me an article on the Azawakh written by Andrew Brace. Mr Brace tells us that this interesting breed was originally bred by the Ruareg, Fula, and other nomads of the Sahara and sub-Saharan Sahel in the countries of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and southern Algeria. He says “Thousands of years of domestication have only superficially masked the primitive underpinnings that support their motivations and reactions.” He goes on to describe their temperament as “suspicious, fiercely territorial, hyper-vigilant, and loyal...” In many ways, not very different to the Canaan Dog, another primitive breed. Mr Brace also says of the breed, “..they don't fall into the common perception of show dogs. This breed doesn't have an extrovert show temperament, and judges need to have a special understanding of the dogs' character when they come to evaluate them.” (Emphasis mine) This is also so true of the Canaan Dog. When Richard and I have put on breed seminars for the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom.

We try to get this across to the attendees, and I think we often succeed. Judges who have attended our seminars and taken what we say onboard will approach the dogs from the side and not make direct eye contact before touching the dog – thus showing the Canaan that they are not aggressive and mean them no harm. As a result, the dogs usually stand well for them. Unlike some dogs which are “suspicious” or as in the case of the Canaan Dog, “wary”, Canaans are not fear biters. My friend concurred that her vet, just as mine, is very happy to treat her Canaan Dogs (mine called them star clients) as they will stand quietly on the table and allow the vet to do what they need to do, kind of staring into space and pretending the vet isn't there. If only we were allowed to make them table dogs in the show ring, all the dogs would just stand immobile for the judge!

I am frequently asked why we hold the Canaan Dog's tail over its back when stacking them. The truthful answer is because very few of them would hold their tails over their back of their own accord. If they would do so, why would anyone bother doing it for them? I don't know who started this trend, but I believe that they have been shown in this manner since they were first taken into the show ring, probably to make them look squarer. I personally, as well as several other people I have met during my 27 years in the breed, think it would be better if we just allowed the dogs to hold their tails naturally. Fiddling with a young dog's tail often stresses them all the more. But if one were to show their Canaan in a natural stance when everyone else in the ring was holding the tail over the dogs' backs, how many judges would hold it against the dog? I don't know, but perhaps I will find out.

Chris Quantrill will be going into hospital Monday coming for an operation on his shoulder. We hope that it is a great success and he regains full use of his arm.

Submitted 17th February 2011

The big excitement in New York this past Valentine's Day, for doggy people at least, was the opening day of the Westminster KC show. As it is a show for champions of record only numbers are limited, and I believe that the very bad winter weather this year may have put off some people from entering, as travel was iffy at best. There were only 3 Canaan Dogs entered this year – 2 dogs and a bitch. The judge, Mr Robert Stein awarded BOB to CH Pleasant Hill Magnum of Samara, bred by Donna Dodson and owned by Pamela Stacy Rosman. 'Magnum' was also last year's BOB at the prestigious show. BOS was awarded to Ch Bandersnatch Rsndg Ida Know Rivroc RN, breeder/owners Amanda M Pough & Judy M Rosenthal & Christina C Miller. An Award of Merit was garnered by GCH Rosendog's He Who Must Be Named RN, bred by Judy March Rosenthal and owned by Judy and Amanda Pough. Judging of the breed can be seen on the Westminster KC website http://video.westminsterkennelclub.org/breed_judging/herding/2011_2/canaan-dog/v1293314

My Crufts' entries arrived in yesterday's post and the realization of how close the big day is has hit home. There is so much to do – what to wear - good luck cards to buy – what to bring along to keep the dogs entertained for the long day. Canaans will be judged on the Sunday this year. We will be in Hall 4, Rg 20, and as usual will probably be judged quite late in the day (after 4 pm I suspect) as we have 90 Boston Terriers and 91 Shar Peis in the ring ahead of us. I know my fellow Canaan Dog exhibitors would be grateful to have some spectators around the ring, something you have very little of when you are judged so late in the day. So if you would like to come along and cheer your favourites, and perhaps meet a Canaan Dog for the first time, your presence would be very welcome indeed. Canaan Dogs will also be represented at Discover Dogs all 4 days of the show, so you can meet at least one no matter which day you attend. If you are there, please look me up. My bench numbers are 18960 and 18961. And if I am showing my Tibetan Spaniels when you get there, my husband, Richard will be able to either direct you to me or answer any questions you may have.

Submitted 8th February 2011

I have received word from her husband, Rob, that Jan McLeod has been rushed to hospital yesterday with bacterial meningitis. We send Jan our prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery. If you'd like to send Jan a get well card, send it to their home address: Dunline, Knollbury, Magor, Monmouthshire NP26 3BX.

Ann Hutchinson had to make the decision to have her 13-year old 'Patches' euthanized yesterday after she had what the vet felt was either a stroke or a bleed in the brain. As Patches was already feeling some of the ravages of age, Ann made the difficult decision to say goodbye, made all the more difficult as its been only a matter of months since she lost Patches' brother, Tervitz. Our sympathies are with Ann.

Submitted 3rd February 2011

Mrs Roberta Wright drew and entry of 7 Canaan Dogs at Manchester with 1 absentee. Mrs Wright had an excellent approach with the dogs, which is especially important for the novice dogs and handlers in our breed. BD & BOB was my Anacan Issachar ('Izzy'), his second BOB at the tender age of 14 months. RBD went to Julie Hughes' Anacan Future Legend ('Tiras'). BB was Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia ('Rosie'), owned by Patrick & Barbara Gold, with RBB going to a new dog in the show ring, Nizzana Fairey Firefly ('FeFe'), owned by Sandra O'Grady. Well done to all.

The schedule for the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's 11th annual single breed open show is now available for download from the club website, www.canaandogclub.co.uk/upcoming.htm, or from the Show Secretary, Mr Richard Lemon, Tel: 07927712288; Email: richard.lemon@hotmail.com. The show will be held on Sunday 10th April at Stanground Community Centre in Peterborough and the judge is Mr Barry Blunden (Licassa). There is no fee for spectators and it is a good opportunity for those who are interested in the breed to meet a number of them, and their owners, in one location in a relaxed atmosphere, so do put it in your diary.

I was looking at the KC quarterly registration statistics, and there were only 12 Canaan Dogs registered in 2010, up over the 6 registered in 2009. We are, as are many breeds, in a catch-22 situation. We desperately need more breeders and litters, as well as exhibitors, in order for the KC ever to consider giving CCs to the breed. But at the same time, especially in this recessionary period, there are limited numbers of good homes, and ones which can afford to buy a puppy, so you have to be careful about how often you breed. Personally, I won't breed unless I have at least 4 screened buyers on my waiting list. So what is the answer to this dilemma? Unless the KC changes its criteria for awarding a breed CC status, I don't think there is a satisfactory answer as we cannot churn out puppies for whom there are not good homes waiting just to play the numbers game. Any thoughts or comments would be welcome.

Submitted 20th January 2011

Because the FCI still views the Canaan Dog as a “breed in development” unregistered stock can still be brought in from the desert and from the Bedouin. Then, in a process called 'miun' (literally 'sorting') it is judged as to how well it fits the breed standard. If it is a good specimen, it is then test bred to a fully pedigreed animal and the offspring examined. If this goes well, the dog and its offspring can then be entered in the Israeli stud book. This is a process that is not available to other breeds of dog that are suffering more and more from a lack of genetic diversity. There are still Canaan Dogs in Israel, living in the very harshest of environments in the Negev desert and Arava areas, and surviving very well. These areas are hilly, with very rocky, dry ground, sparse vegetation, much of which is covered with vicious thorns, few water sources, and temperatures that range from extremely hot to very cold. However, as a result of the rabies control programs, which include the destruction of stray dog packs, as well as the spread of civilization, the wild population of Canaan Dogs is rapidly disappearing.

However, Canaans can still be found with the Bedouin that in many areas live a very traditional lifestyle. Myrna Shiboleth, the primary breeder in Israel and acknowledged authority on the breed, last made a trip into the desert to look for Canaans in November 2007. She was able to bring back a puppy on this trip, which she named Tsuk Al Kashhar and which has developed into a fine dog with a super temperament, and will be introduced into her breeding programme, adding to the breed's genetic diversity. Myrna writes about the Bedouin, “They are semi-nomadic. Each tribe does have its time-honored territory, and there is a set camp which consists of some permanent structures as well as the well-known tents, but for a good portion of the year, many of the people are away from home with the flocks of sheep and goats, following the vegetation so that the herds can graze. Canaans are found both in the camps and with the herds. They are highly valued as guard dogs, warning the Bedouin of any approaching strangers, and protecting the flocks from predators. There are a number of native wild animals in Israel that can be dangerous to the flocks, including wolves, jackals, foxes, hyenas, and even in a few areas, leopards. The Canaans are highly effective as herd guardians, willing to take on anything that is a threat. We have been told many stories over the years by the Bedouin of dogs that have driven away wolves and hyenas with great courage.

The Bedouin do not breed dogs for work. Rather, they make use of the wild population, finding a bitch with puppies when they need a new dog for the camp, catching a puppy, and raising it in the camp. The puppy quickly becomes attached to his new surroundings, and does not need training to start working. Canaan puppies begin barking and guarding their territory from a very young age. We have seen puppies that were so small that they could hardly stand, but they already barked at approaching strangers.

The Bedouin are never willing to sell or give away a dog that they have raised as a working dog. The dogs are too valuable to them and too important as working dogs. However, they are willing to help us to find puppies, and to catch wild adults for us on occasion.”

She writes further, “The Canaan is an extremely hardy and strong dog, with all the qualities necessary to survive in harsh conditions and is perfectly capable of surviving on his own without the presence of humans. But at the same time, they are dogs that, when kept as working dogs or pets, are extremely devoted to their owners. I have had a number of dogs that came from the wild or the Bedouins, of various ages ranging from puppies to full adults of several years of age, and they have all adjusted very quickly to domestication, and have been highly devoted and loyal and as amenable to training and control as those born in my bedroom.”

Given the above, this writer cannot fathom why there are people looking to change the breed rather than appreciate it for what it is – the reasons why so many of us got involved with the breed in the first place. I recently had a phone call from a woman looking for a dog that she could take to work in her art gallery. When told that it would most probably vocalize every time someone came into the gallery, she asked if 'that could be trained out of them'. There are a large number of other breeds out there who would happily and quietly lie around all day in her gallery while people came in and out. Why in the world would she want to get a breed that is a natural alarm dog and try to 'train that out of it'. Yet there are people who should know better, supposed Canaan Dog fanciers, who wish to change the breed into another generic show dog. The Kennel Club is no better, having brushed aside every attempt the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom has made to change the current interim standard to better reflect and explain the natural Canaan Dog. With all the problems in the dog world, surely a natural breed should gain full support from the organization set up to supposedly protect the breeds.

Submitted 5th January 2011

A Happy New Year to all of you. I wish you, your families and your 4-legged companions a healthy, happy, and successful 2011.

The Queen has her honors' list and the dog world has its various competitions for top 'this and that'. The tops in Canaan Dogs follow:

· Top Dog 2010 - Am/Lux/Ir Ch Lorianna Sirius Star, breeder/owner: Miss L Hastings
· Top Stud Dog 2010 - Sheleg Harishon At Danehaven, owner: Miss C Powley
· Top Brood Bitch 2010 – Int/Lux/Ger Ch Lorianna Lucky Star, breeder/owner: Miss L Hastings 
· Top Puppy 2010 – Anacan Issachar, breeder/owner: Mrs E M Minto
· Top Breeder 2010 – Mrs E M Minto (Anacan)

Congratulations to all the winners and their owners.

Jan McLeod asked me to remind my readers that entries close on 18th Jan for Utility Breeds Association of Wales. There are 2 classes scheduled for the breed with prize money for B.O.B. to be judged by Sarah Hattrell. Enquiries to Ann Cadogan on 01633 420964 or email Jan on dunlinedogs@aol.com.

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's AGM will be held on Sunday, 27th February at Stanground Community Centre in Peterborough starting at 1:00 pm.

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Last updated on the 22nd January 2012