| Table of Contents | Breed Note Archives Index |


Canaan Dog Breed Notes 2014

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

Submitted 4th December 2014

It has been a long uphill battle to try and gain the Canaan Dog the understanding and admiration it so richly deserves from the public, the judges and the KC. Like mythological Sisyphus, it seems that we hardcore Canaan Dog enthusiasts are condemned to spend eternity rolling this boulder up a hill. CC status seems as far off a dream as it did when the breed was recognized and given Rare Breed status in December 1970.

Over the years the breed had had a number of non-Canaan owners who cared enough about the breed to donate their time and finances to raising its profile. Many of these good people have now passed on, people such as Jo Hemstock, Zena Wallace, Meg Harris, Brian Barnes, as have a few one-time Canaan Dog owners, such as Ruth Corner, Connie Higgins (the person who got the breed recognized in the UK), and her husband, Stan Higgins. All of these people worked tirelessly for the breed and the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom. Other people who actually became Canaan Dog owners came into the breed, made a valiant effort for a time, and then left for various reasons. We saw club membership swell to 108 in 2002 to being little more than half that number now. In 2004 we had 25 Canaan Dog entered at Crufts and this past year we had only 12 – 5 of which I entered. Besides myself, there is only 1 other household in the UK that is breeding Canaan Dogs, so talk about vulnerable breeds. After all these years of very hard work and financial outlay by many people, the situation the breed now finds itself in is a crying shame. I think to myself, “wouldn't be nice if the KC would step in and give breeds like ours some assistance.”

It has always been difficult to get people to show their Canaan Dogs. Most are just looking for a family pet. With many judges still not willing to understand and appreciate the breed – and believe me, we are grateful for those judges who do make an effort – exhibiting your Canaan Dog is not always the most pleasant experience. And as the breed has not been granted any CCs – not even at our club show – there is not much to entice people to make the commitment of their time and finances needed to exhibit their Canaan Dogs. Driving sometimes up to 5 hours each way for 5 minutes in the ring is really not what many people, other than those who are the most diehard exhibitors, would call a good day out. They would rather stay home and take their dog for a walk.

What is the answer to this dilemma? I really don't know, but I do know that we will continue to work to prevent of the demise of the Canaan Dog in the UK. If any of you would like to give us a hand in doing so, please contact me.

I would like to send our sympathies to Anne Barclay, Alison Byrne & Ivan Kaye on the sudden and tragic loss of their, 'Megan' (Chaniah De Solemel Avec Nizzana, Imp Fra) followed a few weeks later by the loss of their young bitch 'Kes' (Nizzana Yoomee Lorianna), also co-owned with Lorna Hastings. It is a sad loss for the breed as well. Rest well girls.

Submitted 20th November 2014

Continuing on from my last set of notes – AKC recognition was the highest priority of those running the Canaan Dog Club of America in the late 80's/early 90's, and that meant that ALL Canaan Dogs being exhibited had to look more or less the same, and my Israeli imports did not fit those criteria. So in 1994, I, along with several others formed the Israel Canaan Dog Club of America because we were concerned about the health implications of some of the inbreeding going on to create identikit Canaans to fit what the AKC wanted. We were also concerned that American-bred Canaan Dogs were becoming very different in conformation and temperament from Canaan Dogs being bred elsewhere in the world. As the club had been my idea, I was elected the first President of the ICDCA (same as a Chairman over here). When I came to England in April 1994 I hadn't intended to stay forever, so I installed a fax machine (email was not around in those days) and participated in all decisions-making for the club primarily via this method. But as time went on and it became more apparent that I wasn't going back home anytime soon, I was happy to step down from my office.

Richard was a foundation member of the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom, established in 1992, and I, along with a few other American Canaan Dog owners, joined as overseas members when Marjorie Cording came over to the US for the club's national specialty in 1992. I used to accompany Richard to the committee meetings of the CDC of the UK and it wasn't long before I was co-opted onto the committee. In 1996 I was asked by the then club secretary, Gina Pointing, if I would like to take over her position and when I agreed I was duly elected at the next AGM and have been the club secretary ever since.

Before I met him, Richard had worked in Tunisia for 3 years and had acquired what he found out was a Canaan Dog bitch from some Bedouins that had travelled from Jordan to Tunisia and then on to Libya, with a pack of dogs following them. This Canaan Dog, who Richard called 'Bobby', along with her litter that was sired by an Israeli import, Sivan me Shaar Hagai, was, with the help of Myrna Shiboleth in Israel, first registered by the Israeli KC and then the Kennel Club in this country giving the breed some important new lines.

When I came to England, Richard had a 4-month old male he had kept from the litter and who he called 'Digger'. He gave 'Digger' to me and this puppy grew into the well-known The Lion of Judah At Anacan who did so much to raise the breed's profile in years to come.

To be continued.

Submitted 6th November 2014

When I lived in New York, my kennel affix was 'Briel', but the KC here would not accept it as they said it was too close to someone else's affix, so I came up with Anacan, which is an anagram of 'Canaan') As I had mentioned in my previous breed notes, my first male Canaan Dog, 'Ariel' (Ariel Shin Ha'Aretz of Briel), bred by Bryna Comsky, was an exceptional dog. On the smaller end of the standard he was only 21-1/2” at the withers, but he was typey, masculine, square and moved like a dream. He also had a fantastic character and personality. He would scale the fence of his kennel and go into the runs of other dogs to visit them. I had a 6 ft wooden stockade fence around the kennel plus a ½ acre of land, the dogs exercise area, and Ariel would scale the stockade fence, come run around the house looking into the windows, and then climb back into the kennel area and put himself away!. He was great with other dogs and I have a photo of him peeking into a whelping box with Bernese Mtn Dog puppies with one of the puppies touching noses with him.

Ariel was 7 mos old when he attended his (and my) first national specialty in Ravenna, Ohio on Sept. 8, 1985. Maxwell Riddle was judging and Ariel was awarded BPIS. I was over the moon. We attended 4 more specialties over the years, as distance and finance kept me from attending all of them, and Ariel was BIS at all 4 – in NY 12th July 1987 under judge Avi Marshak (Israel), at which he also won Best Stud Dog; June 5, 1988 in Illinois under judge Alfred Treen; at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on Oct 11, 1990 under judge Clifton Shylock; and again on July 10, 1992 in Stowe, Vermont. Ariel sired one more litter for me, but unfortunately for the breed, due to 'politics', Ariel was never used at stud by anyone else. I was, and am, still grateful to Bryna Comsky for sending me this wonderful dog.

When I decided I wanted to bring some new lines from Israel into the country, I got in touch with Myrna Shiboleth in Israel and told her I would like to buy a breeding pair. What she sent me were a half brother and sister – Gvir me Shaar Hagai and Hila me Shaar Hagai. Both dogs had heavy coats and when the officers of the Canaan Dog Club saw them at Stowe, Vermont, I was told not to show them until the breed was recognized as they did not look like Canaan Dogs. I was very upset over this as I was doing what I thought was a good thing for the breed in the States, and this was like a slap in the face.

To be continued.

Submitted 30th October 2014

There has been little activity on the Canaan Dog scene as of late, thus the lack of breed notes. So as news is sparse on the ground, I thought I might regale you with a bit of my life with Canaan Dogs.

The Canaan Dog first came to my attention when I saw an ad for the breed club in a monthly dog magazine. The breed was in what is called Miscellaneous status which is very similar to our Rare Breed status in the UK. At this time I already had Bernese Mtn Dogs and Tibetan Spaniels and the idea of a medium-sized, low maintenance breed appealed. I got in touch with the breed club and the club secretary sent me the club's breed information pack. I joined the club and started correspondence with two breeders and the following year, in June 1980, my first Canaan Dog – an 18-month old bitch, white with black patches, called 'Xena' was shipped to me in New York by her breeder in Virginia. Xena couldn't have been more different in temperament and character to my two other breeds. It took a full year before Xena actually became mine as to her, I was just some stranger who fed and cared for her. She was not nasty, but she was indifferent to me. One day she got loose and I spent the entire day trying to catch her. Xena never ran off, but she just kept circling my property and would run off when you tried to approach her. Around 4:00 pm I put a bowl of food on my porch, which was up against the front of the house with fencing on the front side. I was able to come up behind her and get a lead on her. I believe that she let me catch her because she had started tiring of this game and was getting a bit peckish. It was then that she finally decided I was okay and she would let me think I owned her.

Xena was followed by a male puppy I called 'Ariel' who grew to be an exceptional Canaan Dog in every way. The club president, from whom I purchased Xena, along with other club members, were urging me to breed Xena as they needed numbers in order to gain full AKC recognition and had few breeders. And so Ariel sired his first litter when he was only 7 months old. (I know, I know, but he was very precocious.) Xena had a litter of 8 puppies, tying for the record at that time, and I only ever found homes for 3 of them despite promises from the club to help me find homes for them. It was a gorgeous litter and one of the pups, Briel's Adiv Ben Ariel, a male, white with red patches, won BPIS at his first show – the then prestigious Hudson Valley Rare Breed Show – at only 6 months of age under judge, Walter Fletcher who was also a writer for the NY TIMES. The club's board of directors (same as our club committee) were over the moon with the good publicity this win generated for the breed, but after having to keep 5 puppies from that litter, it was another 4 years before I would breed again.

To be continued.

Submitted 8th October 2014

I apologise for the lack of breed notes, but it has been pretty quiet in the Canaan Dog world at the moment. There are some new puppies on the ground and I can only hope that at least a few will find their way into the hands of people who are willing to help promote the breed by showing their Canaan Dog or training for performance events. Lack of such homes is a huge issue in the UK at this time as we need the numbers in the ring in order for the breed to receive the attention it deserves.

I finally had my inspection for the Assured Breeder Scheme UKAS accreditation last week. The young woman, who was visited me, Mrs Helen Foulston, said to me upon arrival that she was excited about meeting my dogs as she had never met a Canaan Dog before. I had been a bit apprehensive about the process having read some negative comments earlier on in the year, but right away Mrs Foulston's bubbly personality and this comment scored a point with me. She explained the process to me and told me she needed to take some photos for this evidence-based assessment. She asked me a number of questions, recording my answers on her tablet as we went along. She then met my housedogs and took a photo, and then went into my whelping room where I conveniently have a litter of one Canaan Dog puppy and a litter of 4 Tibetan Spaniel puppies. She took a photo of them and our puppy exercise area just outside the door of this room. She went down to the kennels with me to meet my kennel dogs, who we do switch around with the house dogs from time-to-time, inspected their living quarters and took a photo of them and of our field in which the dogs are walked. The whole process took about 1-1/2 hours and was completely painless, and rather pleasant as who doesn't like showing their dogs off. I was very gratified when Mrs Foulston pronounced my dogs happy, healthy and well-socialised, and she found the Canaan Dogs to be 'very beautiful”. I can only agree.

Submitted 24th September 2014

I had to miss going to Darlington with Richard, something I was really looking forward to, as my Canaan Dog. Sihouette, was in the middle of whelping. Judge, Mrs Roberta Wright, had an entry of 6 Canaan Dogs with all present. BD & BOB was my Anacan Issachar ('Izzy'). Best Bitch was awarded to Patrick & Barbara Gold's Anacan Shoshanna For Amicitia ('Rosie'). RBB & BP was Iyar De Solemel, Imp Fra ('Winnie') owned by Alison Byrne, Anne Barclay & Ivan Kaye.

Barbara Gold emailed me to let me know that at the Maremma Sheepdog Club Fun Day held on the 21st September, her Canaan Dog, 'Rosie' who is 9 years old, won the timed obedience course test. Her Maremma, Luke, came second. Good girl Rosie! That's showing them with us old girls can do.

Submitted 21st August 2014

I was greatly cheered when our former kennel sitter said she was available on the Utility day of the WKC show as I don't often get to accompany Richard to the shows anymore. We had a 5:30 am start as it is a good 5-hour drive from our house. Upon arrival we exercised the dogs and settled in on the bench when I spotted Rob & Jan McLeod. It had been quite a while since I've seen Jan and it was lovely catching up with her. Later in the day who came walking by but Christine Hughes, looking slim and happy. We were able to have a nice chat and catch-up. Our judge for the day, Mr Tom Mather, is no stranger to Canaan Dogs and he has a lovely approach to them. Mr Mather drew 6 entries with 1 absentee. BD & BOB was awarded to my Anacan Issachar with RBD going to his son, Anacan Abu Ghosh, owned by Martin Moulding. BB went to Nizzana Yoomee Lorianna, owned by Lorna Hastings, Alison Byrne, Anne Barclay & Ivan Kaye, and RBB going to Byrne, Barclay & Kaye's Iyar De Solemel (Imp Fra). Because of the long drive we had ahead of us, and a kennel sitter to pay, Richard & I didn't stay for the group, and we apologise to the judge for that.

If there is anything about Canaan Dogs you would like to see me cover in this column, please get in touch with me and I'll see what I can do.

Submitted 13th August 2014

At the World Show in Helsinki, Israeli judge, Yolanda Nagler Magal, drew a decent entry of 12 Canaan Dogs – 1 puppy, 4 dogs and 7 bitches. The results follow: Puppy class: Yahav me Neot Hakikar ,Puppy 1 HP BOB-puppy, owned by Miia Jormanainen & Kirsten Hansson. Junior class: Samorodok Dango, exc-1 CAC JW-14, owned by Johanna Haapamäki & Ville Karhu Jungsund. Open class: Oz me Shaar Hagai, very good-1, owned by Nira Sorenson-Rosenberg & Michael Rosenberg GERMANY. Champion class: Katafaronja Dror Hofshi , exc-1 CACIB BOB,WW-14, owned by Miia Jormanainen & Raimo Jormanainen & Irja Jormanainen Nieminen ;Katafaronja Doher Bamidbar, exc-2 resCACIB, owned by Christine Aalto Tampere.

Bitches: Open class: Nizzana Yoomee Lorianna, exc-1 resCAC, resCACIB, owned by our very own Lorna Hastings & Alison Byrne & Anne Barclay UNITED KINGDOM, and handled by Lorna Hastings Menaker. Samorodok Ginara, exc-2, owned by Miia Jormanainen & Raimo Jormanainen & Irja Jormanainen Nieminen. Champion class:Bat Yerushalaim Shel Zahav, exc-1 CAC CACIB BOS FI CH WW-14, owned by Inna Blayvas ISRAEL. Chancos Corbett, exc-2, owned by Miia Jormanainen & Raimo Jormanainen & Irja Jormanainen Nieminen. Katafaronja Can't Catch Me, very good-3, owned by Anne Silvennoinen Uimaharju. Katafaronja Crown Jewel, very good-4, owned by Miia Jormanainen & Raimo Jormanainen & Irja Jormanainen Nieminen. Chancos Hex, very good, owned by Johanna Haapamäki Jungsund. Breeders class: Kennel Katafaronja (Miia Jormanainen) 1 HP BOB-breeder. Best brace: Katafaronja Dror Hofshi & Chancos Corbett (Miia Jormanainen )1 HP BOB-Brace. Congratulations to all. Wish I could have been there to cheer you on.

Submitted 7th August 2014

While back home I enjoyed a warm, sunny day, Richard and the dogs endured a wet, rainy day at the Paignton show, with occasional lightening and claps of thunder thrown in for good measure. Three other exhibitors and their Canaan dogs also had to put up with the weather, giving judge, Mr J Horswell, and entry of 4 with one absentee. He found his BOB in my dog, Anacan Issachar and awarded RBB to Martin Moulding's Anacan Abu Ghosh. BP & BB went to Iyar De Solemel (Imp Fra), owned by Ivan Kaye, Alison Byrne & Anne Barclay, with RBB going to Nizzana Yoomee Lorianna, owned by the aforementioned and Lorna Hastings. Richard opted not to stay for the group this time as he had a 6 hour drive in the pouring rain to face and I agreed with his decision. I'm very lucky that Richard loves me and the dogs so much he is willing to help me keep my dogs in the ring even though showing is one of his least favourite pastimes, so I wasn't about to push him. Now if I could only convince more people to step into the ring.

Submitted 30th July 2014

I apologise for the lack of breed notes for the past month, but it has been very quiet on the Canaan Dog scene. We have only 10 championship shows with classes on offer for the breed and there is a big gap between these shows - from the Bath show in May until the Paignton show in August. However, the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom did help fill in the gap by holding its annual Fun Day on the 27th July here on the premises of Anacan Boarding Kennels. It was decided many years ago that as most members, and Canaan Dog owners in general, are pet owners rather than show people, the club should hold a non-show event each year that is just a day of socializing and good fun. Thus the Fun Day was born and is planned to not conflict with any show weekends.

On the day, Richard and I were woken in the early hours of the morning by a cloudburst of seemingly biblical proportions and I said to him (who had spent the last week getting our field in order for the event) “What are we going to do now?” Richard said, “I don't know,” and turned over and went back to sleep. When we got up at 6:30 am, the rain had stopped and by 8:00 am, the sun was out and it turned into a brilliant, warm, sunny day – perfect for the event. This year we had 22 adults and 1 toddler and 1 infant in attendance. Peter & Maddy Mills arrived early to help Richard erect the gazebos and put up the tables and chairs. Richard & I provided the meat, soft drinks, tea and coffee for the barbeque and everyone else was asked to bring a sweet or savoury to share. As per usual, we had an abundance of food with lots of leftovers. Richard wrote 2 cryptic quizzes that were both won by our own brainiac, Natalie Leader, who, along with her two Canaans – Laila & Eva – had in tow hubby, Stephen and beautiful baby daughter Sareene ,who was introduced to us for the first time. We played a few of the regular games – musical mats, egg & spoon race, bobbing for sausages – lending some of our Canaan Dogs to the people who had come to find out if the Canaan Dog could be the right breed for them. (They are now convinced it is.) It is such a laugh watching adults playing childrens games, and do so good naturedly, but very competitively. The only slight disappointment is that no one but me had made costumes for our fancy dress competiton. This year's theme was Jungle Animals and I dressed my Izzy as a zebra, being he is black & white; and my Tibetan Spaniel, Bright Eyes (yes, we are a non-discriminatory club) dressed as a cheeky monkey, banana and all. By virtue of the loudest clapping, Bright Eyes won the competition. I know it's a bit cliché to say, but everyone did have a fun day, including the dogs.

This past June I celebrated my 30th year in Canaan Dogs and I still can't believe so much time has gone by. I was fortunate to start out with a great dog, Ariel Shin Ha'Aretz of Briel., bred by Bryna Comsky. Ariel was BPIS at his first National Specialty, aged 7 mos and then was BIS at his next 4 shows in a row, after which I retired him. One of his sons, Briel's Adiv Ben Ariel, won BPIS at the then very large (over 700 dogs) Hudson Valley Rare Breed Show, at 6 mos of age and his first show. The Canaan Dog Club of America gave its own championships, as the breed was classified as Miscellaneous (equivalent to our Rare Breed status here) and could not win AKC championships, and a number of my CDs won club championships. But as fate would have it, the breed wasn't granted championship status until 2 years after I moved to England, so I was never able to put an AKC championship on any of my CDs.

When I arrived here in England the breed club had been registered with the KC for 2 years, but not only was the Canaan Dog not given CC status, the breed was treated with scorn. I can remember going to a show with my great dog, 'Digger' (The Lion of Judah at Anacan) and being told by an exhibitor of another breed, “you're not allowed to have mixed breeds here.” Many of the judges also held the breed in low esteem, but in time, 'Digger', and Mel Vincent's 'Beulah', did pick up a following among judges and spectators. It was hard graft as at one time only the Nordic show gave classes for the breed, so we were in AVNSC up against the Leonbergers most of the time and we were at shows most weekends. As more Canaan of good quality began to be shown, little by little we were able to get breed classes at more and more shows. The breed was making progress and the club was growing and all looked rosy. Then disaster struck as division came into the club. Entries at shows fell and we are again struggling to get numbers up. Without a miracle, I don't expect the breed will gain CC status in my lifetime, even though it is given championship status in every other country – including Australia where there are still no Canaan Dogs! I guess I would not have lasted so long in the breed if championships were all I cared about. I love my dogs, as do all the other Canaan owners in this country, and if the KC is blind to the breeds many merits, so be it. It will not affect the determination of those of us who love the breed and are privileged to share our lives with one (or more).

Submitted 26th June 2014

The Canaan Dog Club of America, Inc. held its National Specialty on Friday the 20th June 2014 within the Anoka County Minnesota Kennel Club show. The show was dedicated to the memory of the late Bertha V Sheaffer (Spatterdash), who with her husband, Jay, was one of the early pioneers of the breed in the USA. Puppy Sweeps was judged by Ms Karen Hynek who drew 5 entries. The results follow: Best in Sweepstakes & Best Junior in Sweepstakes: Hatikva Harvest Rain At Relic, owned by Amy Preston & Alla Geretz; Best Opposite Sex to Best in Sweepstakes & Best Opposite Sex to Best Junior in Sweepstakes: High Desert's Zeva for Mazel Tov, owned by Deborah Johnson; Best Senior in Sweepstakes: Kansas Late Day Sharav, owned by Lee Boyd. Veteran Sweepstakes had an entry of 8 and was also judged by Karen Hynek who awarded Best in Veteran Sweepstakes to CH Cherrysh Fire And Rain CD RE, owned by Lee Boyd, and Best of Opposite Sex to Best in Veteran Sweepstakes went to CH Mazel Tov Yomi Bat Barak RN, owned by Catherine & Aviva Oskow & Sari Hattis.

The regular classes were judged by Mr David Bolus who drew an entry of 28 with the following results: Winners Dog: Cherrysh Light Up The Sky, owned by Cheryl Hennings; Reserve Winners Dog: Kansas Late Day Sharav, owned by Lee Boyd; Winners Bitch: Cherrysh Jewel of the Angels, owned by Cheryl Hennings; Reserve Winners Bitch: High Desert's Zeva For Mazel Tov, owned by Deborah Johnson.

There were 14 entries in the Best of Breed competition which was also judged by David Bolus. His awards follow: Best Canaan Dog: GCH CH Pleasant Hill Magnum of Samara, owned by Pamela Stacey Rosman & Richard Vulliet DVM; Best of Winners: Cherrysh Light Up The Sky, (D) owned by Cheryl Hennings; Best of Opposite Sex: GCH CH Rivroc Lycm Own Dream Bsnatch Rsndog, owned by C. Miller & Ethan Miller; Select Dog: GCH CH Rivroc Onto Somethin Bsnatch Rsndog, owned by Christina Miller & Ethan Miller; Select Bitch: CH Pleasant Hill Heavenly Daze, owned by Keith & Cheryl Shank & Donna L Dodson; Awards of Merit: CH D&J Ha'aretz Samson of Sassafras, owned by Donna & Jackie Davison and CH Renegade Camber, owned by Amy Preston & Renee Kent; Best Puppy: (B) High Desert's Zeva For Mazel Tov, owned by Deborah Johnson; Best Bred By Exhibitor: Cherrysh Keeper of the Flame, (D) owned by Cheryl Hennings; Best Veteran: GCH CH D&J Ha'Aretz Vertigo At River, (B) owned by Christina Miller; Stud Dog: Cherrysh Fire And Rain CD RE, owned by Lee Boyd; Brood Bitch: GCH CH D&J Ha'Aretz Vertigo At River, owned by Christina Miller); Brace: Cherrysh Hatikva Turkish Delight and CH Cherrysh Hatikva Moonlight Serenade, owned by Alla Geretz.

Each year at their National Specialty, the CDCA, Inc. donates pet oxygen mask kits to local first responders. Usually this is the fire department that covers either the show location or the hotel location. This year, seven kits were donated to the North Branch, Minnesota Police Department, who served as first responders for all fire & safety incidents in the town. Well done for such a brilliant idea.

Submitted 29th May 2014

Canaan Dogs had a judge from Finland, Ms E. Haapaniemi, at the Bath Championship show, and she drew 7 entries, all present. Richard told me that the car park was a quagmire, as it was day 4 of the show, but that the showground itself was in good condition. After deliberation, Ms Happpaniemei's awarded BD & BOB to Julie Hughes' Anacan Future Legend ('Tiras'), who was also this year's BOB at Crufts. RBD was Martin Moulding's Anacan Abu Ghosh ('Moshe'). BB was awarded to Anacan Shoshannah For Amicita ('Rosie'), owned by Barbara & Patrick Gold. BP & RBB was my Anacan Divina Divine.

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's annual Fun Day will once again be held on the premises of Anacan Boarding Kennels & Cattery on Sunday 27th July. There will be lots of games played with the dogs, as well as a quiz and our ever popular dog fancy dress competition, the theme for which this year is JUNGLE ANIMALS. Dress your dog up as an animal from the wilds of the jungle! It will be held rain or shine as we will have our village hall as an alternative indoor venue if necessary. If you would like to take this opportunity to meet some Canaan Dogs and their owners, please contact me.

Submitted 22nd May 2014

Richard and I recently lost our kennel sitter. I say lost, but the fact is that Bethany needed a full-time job and we couldn't offer her one, so she found one as a carer. Foolishly I gave her a glowing recommendation. I say that tongue in cheek, but many of you know how difficult it is to find someone who is both reliable and good with the dogs, as we have boarders to take care of as well as our own. Bethany is still happy to help out when she can, but she works on a rota and doesn't get her shift until a few days before, so never knows in advance whether she can help us out when we have a show to go to. This means that Richard will now often have to go to shows on his own. Happily for me, I was able to go to The National where Lorna Hastings new husband, Ron Menaker, was presiding over the Canaan Dog ring. Seven dogs were entered with two absentees. Richard showed the dogs and Mr Menaker awarded my Anacan Issachar (Izzy) BD & BOB, with BP & BB going to my 8-month old Anacan Divina Divine.

Ten days later, Richard was off to SKC with Izzy & Divina at which Canaan Dogs were judged by Mrs Margarette Mulholland (Marisat). This time there were 5 Canaans Dogs entered and all were present. Alison Byrne & Anne Barclay new French import bitch, Iyar De Solemel (Imp Fra) (TAF) was making her debut. After consideration, Mrs Mulholland did a repeat of The National by awarding my Izzy BD & BOB and BP & BB to my Divina.

The London Pet Show took place at Earl's Court the same weekend as SKC, which meant Richard missing out on doing Discover Dogs for the first time ever. However, he left the breed booth in capable hands – those of Martin Moulding along with his Canaan, 'Moshe'. Martin phoned to report that it was a big success with lots of visitors from overseas in attendance. He said there was a great deal of interest in the breed and 'Moshe' was a big draw to the booth as he is a strikingly marked and calm dog. Discover Dogs has always been a very good event for the breed, and with the addition of the London Pet Show and the Manchester Pet Show, we are given some great opportunities for breed promotion. BTW, Discover Dogs at Earl's Court in November this year will be the last one to be held there as Martin told me they will be knocking it down, I believe to build some housing on the site. After November Discover Dogs will be moving to the ExCel Centre, Royal Victoria Dock.

I am currently taking an online course in 'population genetics' being taught by Carol Beuchat, PhD, from the Institute of Canine Biology. The ICB is currently doing a Canaan Dog project. To quote an overview from its website: “Nearly nothing is known about the biology or genetics of this breed.  We are initiating efforts to genotype both wild and domesticated dogs to establish the original gene pool while dogs still exist in the desert, which we will be able to compare with domesticated dogs to determine if there is loss of genetic diversity. Breeders are reporting health problems in their dogs, so we need to consider how to design a breeding program that will address these problems and preserve the health of the domesticated dogs into the future, and prepare for the eventual loss of desert dogs as the Bedouin culture declines.” If you wish to read the goals in full, you can see them at www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/canaan-dog.html. Although I didn't know anything about this project or the course when I wrote my last set a breed notes a couple of weeks ago, they tie in nicely with the concerns regarding the breed's vulnerability that I wrote about. I have sent my Canaan Dogs'pedigree information for inclusion in the study and am optimistic about the goals set for this project. It should be an invaluable aid to all Canaan Dog breeders in the now and in the future.

On the 19th April, Rob & Jan McLeod had to say their final goodbyes to their beloved 'Jacob' (Anacan Call Me Ishmael At Dunline) who was 14 years old. Rob wrote to tell me the news and said, “He was very much "my boy” both at home and in the ring. I was very proud of his BOB at Crufts and his Veteran Group 3 placing at Darlington something I will always remember.” I am sure you join me in sending condolences to the McLeods so soon after losing their 'Abraham'.

Submitted 1st May 2014

The KC states that a breed with fewer than 300 individual registrations annually is endangered, and a breed with fewer than 100 registrations is in danger of extinction. In 2012 we had 10 Canaan Dogs registered in the UK. In 2013 there were 8 registered. There have been none registered in the first quarter of 2014. So is the breed in danger of extinction? In a discussion with Bryna Comsky and a few other individuals in the US and Canada it was estimated that there are probably less than 1400 living domestic Canaan Dogs in the world of which fewer than 100 are going to be bred from. So the number of puppies being born per year would be under 100, worldwide! The Canaan Dog is a vulnerable breed – far more vulnerable than those native breeds the KC has seen been trying to help.

Myrna Shiboleth gave an interview which appears in the FCI newsletter of 30th April 2014. In it she states, “The Canaan Dog is today recognised by the whole world's kennel clubs, and is bred in many countries. Interest in the breed is growing, but not in an exaggerated way – the Canaan is not becoming a fashionable dog, but one that people are interested in as a natural and healthy breed. I feel that the breed now can survive and will be bred and not will be in danger of becoming extinct, as has happened to some other primitive types.” However, I wonder if Myrna is being too optimistic when breeding statistics say otherwise. At present Myrna is in danger of being evicted from her home of 45 years by the Israel Land Authority and if that happens, she most likely will not be able to carry on breeding. To quote Myrna, “If we are evicted from here, it is very unlikely that we would be able to establish a new kennel – it is very difficult to find a place to breed dogs in Israel, and we do not have the funds for building a new place. If this happens, it may mean the end of possibilities of continuing with bringing in new bloodlines from the desert.” There are only a few individuals in the world at present, Myrna, myself, Laurence Aries in France and a few people in America, that have a situation where they can keep enough Canaans to carry on a breeding programme, not just an occasional or one-off breeding. What happens when we die or just get too old to carry on?

One of the things Myrna and I agree on is the fear that some breeders will continue to try and turn the Canaan Dog into a generic dog to make them more appealing to the public – more saleable - and to the show judges as I have stated in my column numerous times over the years. When questioned about the breed's future Myrna said, “My biggest concern about the future of the breed is that future breeders will try to turn the Canaan into a generic dog, a pet for everyone, and will not continue to preserve its unique and very special characteristics, both physical and mental. Man has created many dog breeds which suit a wide variety of purposes, and today the most widespread purpose, and one that is getting more and more common in all breeds, is for a nice, easy to manage, calm, friendly, soft pet. The Canaan is one of the few dog breeds still existing that can teach us what a dog really was when it first decided to become a partner of man, and I think it would be a tragedy to lose this. For me, it is important that the Canaan continues as true to its origins as possible, so that we can learn from it, and share a true partnership with a really special dog.”

The KC should be trying to assist and preserve the 'natural' Canaan Dog rather than relegating it, or any other breed on its registry for that matter, to being 'not seriously considered”. I've had judges say to me that they didn't like Canaan Dogs when I hadn't even entered into a conversation with them. Insulting or what? Well there are a lot of breeds I'm not fond of, but when I have judged I put up the dog I think is closest to its standard, whether I like the breed or not. It is not supposed to be a popularity contest. ALL breeds on the KC registry should be given the same consideration and assistance because of their uniqueness and not just the breeds which are all flash and waggy-tailed. Each breed was developed for a purpose and if the individual fits its standard and purpose, its merit should be rewarded on that basis and not if it looks good for the television camera. Educating the public shouldn't just come down to a sound bite of 'healthy and happy dogs', but the public should be made to realize each breed is different and they should choose one that fits their lifestyle and not try to make the dog fit in. That is guaranteed to spell failure.

Submitted 17th April 2014

It is with sadness that I relate the passing of two much loved Canaan Dogs. Anacan Dreamweaver ('Kookie') left this world the day after his 13th birthday in March leaving his owner, Liz de Boisgelin, deeply bereaved. Kookie was Liz's second Canaan Dog, having previously owned Kensix Shivee who out of a litter that was bred in Israel and whelped in quarantine 29/05/1986. Shivee passed away in September 2000 and was so sorely missed that Liz had to have another Canaan Dog, and so along came Kookie.

Anacan The Israelite At Dunline ('Abraham') died at age 14-1/2 this past Monday, 14th April. Abraham had a wonderful life with Rob & Jan McLeod, who loved and cherished him, their first Canaan Dog. Originally acquired to guard the Dunline poodles, Jan quickly decided that he was too good a dog not to show him, and with Jan's expert handling, Abraham became the first Canaan Dog in the UK to win a Best In Show. 'Bram' – as he was fondly called - was a wonderful ambassador for the breed -- as gentle and sweet as he was handsome and sound. Our sympathies go out to both Liz and to the McLeod's on their respective losses.

We still have in rescue a lovely 11-year old black Canaan Dog bitch, Zena, who is looking for a loving home in her golden years. If you think you have the right home to offer her, please contact me.

Submitted 9th April 2014

The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom held its 14th annual single-breed open show on Sunday 6th April at Stanground Community Centre in Peterborough, sponsored by Arden Grange. Breed specialist judge, Mr Rob McLeod (Dunline) drew and entry of 15 with only 1 absentee. It was lovely to have several spectators, all of whom have an interest in obtaining a Canaan Dog in the near future. We always let would-be Canaan Dog owners know of any events which they can come to and meet a number of Canaans and their owners as it is not a breed you are likely to bump into at the park. The judge commented on the nice atmosphere, which honestly is usual for this show, and long may it continue. Chris & Janet Quantrill kindly donated their time to steward for Mr McLeod, and Patrick & Barbara Gold provided the delicious lunches and refreshments for all.

After giving each dog careful consideration, Mr McLeod chose my Anacan Issachar ('Izzy') for BD & BIS! RBD and RBIS was awarded to Martin Moulding's dog, Anacan Abu Ghosh ('Moshe'), an Izzy son and last year's winner. BB, BV & BOS went to Barbara & Patrick Gold's Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia ('Rosie'), a 9 year old veteran with a terrific show record. RBB went to Nizzana Yoomee Lorianna ('Kes') from the JD/B class and owned by Lorna Hastings, Ivan Kaye, Alison Byrne & Anne Barclay and handled by Alison. BPIS was my 7-month old Anacan Divina Divine ('Divina') who was making her show ring debut.

After the lunch break the two raffles were drawn – one for all the great gifts donated for the raffle table, and a second for the food voucher kindly donated by Arden Grange. The lucky winner of the latter was Martin Moulding. Then Mr McLeod judged the Progeny class, which sadly had only one entry, my Hayyim. However, Hayyim's progeny was well-represented by the BIS dog, Izzy, Anacan Morning Glory ('Misha') who was RBB at Crufts, and my black beauty, Anacan Silhouette (aka 'Silly'). The awarding of the trophies followed this class. The club is fortunate in having a trophy table heaving with beautiful shields, cups and a sculpture all donated by members. Last, but certainly not least, Richard had lots of help with the setting up and taking down of the ring etc. which has not always been the case. After a long-tiring day the help was very much appreciated.

The next event at which you can come to meet a Canaan Dog will be the London Pet Show on Saturday and Sunday the 17th & 18th May at Earl's Court.

Submitted 19th March 2014

Redditch & Distict Canine Society will be giving classes for our breed for the first time - Junior, Post-Grad, and Open - at their open show at The Sports Connexion, on Saturday, 17th May 2014. The judge will be Mrs Barbara Gold (Amicitia). Schedules and online entries can be found at www.fossedata.co.uk.

Bryna Comsky (USA) wrote the following: “While at the Alamo Cluster of Shows at San Antonio, the much maligned, overused and conveniently thrown about term, "refined," was used again. It comes from the past and it seems impossible to clear up its meaning when it's used in the context of describing Canaan dog substance. Here's another stab at clarity. The Menzels classified pariah dogs living in the area that would be the State of Israel into four groups. The second group was called Type 2, Dingo type. It is heavier and coarser in build than its counterpart, Type 3. The Dingo type is distinguished by its coarser head, broader top skull and more pronounced stop, and brings to mind the head of the Australian Cattle Dog. Type 3 has a more refined, elegant and noble appearance, and its head is collie-like with an almost imperceptible stop. It is the type patterned after 'Dugma' and the first four imports. Type 2 reminds of 'Laish', a stunning dog bred by the Menzels whose litter sister 'Limor' was imported in 1970. She had three litters for the breed. There is a lingering, unsubstantiated fear that type 3 will become too refined. Not so. After 50 years of breeding, puppies that will become too large or too small are found in most litters. There is no size disqualification. Puppies that most resemble Type 2 in appearance can weigh less than Type 3 puppies, and the reverse. Type 3 puppies can be too refined themselves, and can produce substantial puppies. Type 2 puppies can look more substantial than they are, because they often carry denser, longer coats than Type 3. So, there. We are still striving for more consistency in breeding, and over-using "refined" as a means to criticize Type 3 breeding is a "myth."

I decided to put Bryna's comments into my column (with her permission) because Dr Menzel wrote in her “Paraiahunde” (written in the 1940s) that the Canaan Dog was still evolving to a more 'noble' type which she called Type 3. We still have some Canaan Dogs, and probably always will, that are more of the Type 2 – Dingo type, but a bit more refinement is desired as Bryna describes above. Yet when one uses the word 'refined' it is a worry that it will be interpreted as overly slight and more greyhound-like in type. I feel it is important for judges to understand a bit of the history of the breed in order for them to interpret correctly the word 'refined' in relation to our breed. It is also important for them to recognize that a dog that fits in the standard height-wise is correct whether at the top or the bottom of the standard and should not penalize one for being “too small” or “too big” if that is the case. Always look at the dog's overall appearance and type and judge them on their merits rather than on preconceptions.

Submitted 12th March 2014

Despite being a long exhausting day, Richard and I enjoyed our time at Crufts. As per usual, Canaan Dogs were late in the ring (nearly 5:00 pm) and they were calling for all Utility BOBs to get to the collecting ring for the group judging before our breed judging had even begun. This meant that the eventual winner had to literally dash from the breed ring to get to the Main Arena on time for the group, not having had a chance to rest or even get a drink of water. This is so unfair – even the ring stewards were saying we should complain – and unnecessary as both an empty ring and our judge were available over an hour before we got into ring 1. We may not have the largest entry, but we do pay the same entry fee as everyone else and it is about time they stop treating Canaan Dogs exhibitors as second class.

Inna Blayvas was over from Jerusalem and helped show one of my girls for me, while Hege Hofstad and her daughter from Norway and Samantha Falconer and her children (UK) were on hand to cheer us on. Peter and Maddy Mills, future Canaan Dog owners, were also there to meet all the dogs and their owners, watch the judging, and then – to our delight - to give Richard and I a helping hand when it was time to pack up and leave. Our judge, Christine Owen, had drawn an entry of 11 with 1 absentee. Her choice for BOB was Julie Hughes' Anacan Future Legend ('Tiras'), who went on to represent the breed so well in the group ring, behaving impeccably. RBD was my Anacan Issachar ('Izzy'). BB went to Chaniah De Solemel Avec Nizzana, Imp Fra ('Megan'), owned by Ivan Kaye, Alison Byrne & Anne Barclay. RBB was my Anacan Morning Glory ('Misha'), a repeat breeding of my Izzy. We all got to watch Tiras on the big screen in Hall 1 and I wish Julie could have heard our cheers and clapping. We finished off the day with our annual meal at the local Toby Carvery, along with Patrick & Barbara Gold and Richard & Nishma Crowfoot before making the long journey home.

Submitted 3rd March 2014

Here we are at Crufts once again! It seems to come around more quickly each year. This will be my 19th Crufts and in those years I have seen our breed's entries go up from 4 in 1995 when they were the only breed shown in AVNSC Utility, to a high of 25 Canaan Dogs in 2004, and back down to an entry of 11 Canaans this year, 5 of which are mine. While finding good homes for Canaan Dog puppies has become slightly easier, finding show homes remains a challenge. We've had people dip their toes into the show ring once or twice and decide they just didn't like it. Others have given up when they discovered they weren't going to be an instant success. Others yet are put off if they have the unfortunate experience of going under a judge who knows little or nothing about correct Canaan Dog temperament, as I've been discussing in recent columns, and as a result makes the exhibitor feel badly about themselves and their dog. I'm not sure what can be done to turn this around, though I remain convinced that if the breed had even 1 or 2 sets of CC's on offer, at least at the breed's own club show, it would attract people into the ring. It becomes a bit disheartening to spend a lot of money chasing around the country, and into Scotland and Wales, for a few minutes in the ring where all you can hope for is a piece of cardboard at best. We diehards do it in hopes of raising the breed's profile. A number of Canaan Dogs worthy of a championship are now gone on to Rainbow Bridge, or are elderly and retired from the show ring. It seems such a shame when dogs of no better quality then what we have in the UK are attaining multiple championships abroad. Can I ask that if you are at Crufts on Saturday that you come to Hall 1, Ring 1 around 4:00 pm to support the breed. It is a bit disheartening to be the last breed in the ring with few or no spectators.

I would like to extend my sympathies to Brian Pearce who recently lost his Canaan Dog bitch, Seren. She was a lovely girl – so gentle with Brian's grandchildren as well. I know how difficult it is to say goodbye to a long-time companion and we hope that time will ease Brian's grief.

On a happier note, congratulations are in order for Stephen and Natalie Leader. On the 26th February they welcomed their first child into the world, a daughter they've named Sarenne Sophia Annabelle Leader. She was born with a full head of hair and weighing in at 9lb 1oz. She is a beautiful baby and I know she'll bring much happiness to her mum and dad. I'm hoping that as Sarenne will be growing up with two Canaan Dogs in the house, Laila and Evie, she will be a future junior handler.

Please send your news or comments to me. I'd love to hear from you.

Submitted 20th February 2014

Continuing on from last week's column based on Observations On The Pariah Dog, published in the 1948 in The Book of the Dog, the Drs Menzel wrote, “In spite of varying theories on the descent of the dog, most authors recognize two distinct sub-groups of the genus in the old world which differ from each other in racial history – the Northern and the Southern Dogs. The pariah dog belongs to the Southern group.” Later in the paper they raise the question of 'how can the pariah be preserved'? To this they gave four answers. “(1) Mustering of the semi-tame or entirely tame animals. This could be carried out by individual examination of all dogs in the villages of the area concerned, especially in those distant from the cities and only little touched by traffic. This could easily be accomplished with Government aid. The animals examined in this way should, as far as they are typical, be registered in the Stud-book, and the population asked to breed from them according to plan…….at the present time about 130 specimens of Type III (Collie-like), are entered in the Stud-book and known as the “Canaan-dog”. At the annual exhibitions of the Palestine Kennel Club these Canaan-dogs are regularly shown and always arouse great public interest.” The other three ways given by the Menzels to preserve the pariah are: “(2) Specially Typical Wild Dogs should be Tamed and used for Breeding. (3) The use of the Pariah-dog, particulary as Herd-dog and Watch-dog, should be encouraged by the Government. (4) The awarding of Prizes for Breeding and training Performances, and the Organization of Trials and Competitions.

From time-to-time to this very dayMyrna Shiboleth (Shaar Hagai, Israel) will take dogs from the wild when she is fortunate enough to find a good one, or on occasion has bought what she feels is a good Canaan Dog from the Bedouins, or brings a bitch to it to be bred if the Bedouins don't wish to sell. They then go through a process of 'miun' (literally 'sorting') which can only be done by the Israel KC. In this process to be registered in the Israeli Studbook, a dog must fulfil two requirements – he must be judged by a licensed judge of the breed as being at least “Very Good” according to the breed standard. He must then be bred to a fully pedigreed and proven Canaan, and the offspring are then judged for their apparent purity and conformity to type. Judging of wild-born dogs and of their offspring can only is done when they have attained a minimum of nine months of age. They then can be added to the genepool and shared with the rest of the Canaan Dog world. This leads to a bit of diversity in type at times, but is important to the overall health of the breed. To my knowledge, the only other breed to add dogs from the wild to their genepool in recent years is the Basenji.

Hopefully, dear reader, you will now understand that Canaan Dog breeders are trying to preserve this ancient pariah dog with all its unique characteristics. I doubt that the Canaan Dog will ever become a popular show dog or rise high in the list of popular breeds, but for those of us who were drawn to the breed because of those very characteristics that makes this true, we don't care. We know we are very blessed to have a partnership with a dog that is a most wonderful, intellengent and loving companion “because of his great capacity for attachment and devotion to his Master.” Be sure to visit the breed stand at Crufts' Discover Dogs and/or watch us in the show ring in Hall 1, Ring 1 the afternoon of Saturday 8th March.

Submitted 13th February 2014

At the Westminster KC show held in New York City on the 10th & 11th February there were only 3 Canaan Dogs entered under judge, John R. Walsh. BOB was last year's winner, 9-year old dog GCH Pleasant Hill Magnum Of Samara ('Magnum'), owned by Pamela Stacey Rosman. BOS went to GCH Rivroc Lycm Own Dream Bsnatch Rsndog ('Torino'), a 3-year old bitch owned by Christina Miller & Ethan Miller & Merry Carol Houchard. Select/Award of Merit was given to the 8-year old bitch, GCH Bandersnatch Rsndg Ida Know Rivroc RN ('Ida') owned by Amanda M Pough & Judy M Rosenthal & Christina C. Miller. 'Magnum' went on to be shortlisted in the Herding Group. One person told me she is jealous that we have 11 Canaan Dogs entered at Crufts this year, but to be fair, it is far more expensive to enter Westminster unless you live in New York and don't have to fly in or drive a great distance and stay at one of the expensive hotels. 'Magnum' is from California, 'Torino' from Georgia with only 'Ida' from NY State. So a big well done to these 3 for representing the breed at this prestigious show which is televised as well a live-streamed.

Schedules and entry forms for the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's 14th annual single-breed open show can be downloaded from the club's website at www.canaandogclub.co.uk/upcoming.htm. This year's judge is breed specialist, Mr Rob McLeod (Dunline).

This year makes 30 years that I have been in Canaan Dogs. I've seen a number of people come and go for various reasons, including their passing, and I've heard arguments about the various aspects of the breed – some coming from judges who don't even own a Canaan Dog and aren't interested in doing so. One bone of contention is the Canaan Dog temperament. There is a big difference between being 'wary' (distrustful) and being 'shy' (frightened). Given time, even the most wary Canaan Dog, once satisfied that the person or object they are wary of is not a threat, will settle – though not necessarily be happy. Unfortunately, they aren't given this time in a show ring atmosphere.

Let us go back to what Dr Menzel had to write about the basic characteristics of the pariah dog. She wrote the following: “Among the basic characterisitics, we count reactivity as the most important element in the temperament, followed by hardiness, handiness, endurance, trustful or distrustful attitude towards environment, and courage.” (Courage is defined by Menzel as “the capacity to hold out, to overcome the self-preservation drive in situation which the dog not only regards as dangerous, but might even be able to avoid if he wished.” In her summary of the basic characteristics in the pariah dog she writes, “Reactivity – Very highly developed. Extremely low absolute threshold. Courage – Medium to little. Handiness – Extremely highly developed, hence the case with which he can be tamed and eventually his great attachment to his master. Distrust – Very highly developed. Endurance – Physical endurance extraordinarily highly developed; psychical endurance fluctuating from moderate up to a medium degree. Protecting-drive – Little developed, fluctuating (as does sharpness) in different families. Fighting-drive – Very low degree is present, and is sometimes completely absent when human beings are involved. Sharpness – In general very highly developed, fluctuating, like the protecting-drive, in different families and also in individuals according to environment. Tracking-drive – Fluctuates from medium to a high degree. Quartering-the-ground drive – As tracking-drive. Drive to prey – In the primitive forms this is highly developed, but the same degree is not always maintained when sublimated into the retrieving-drive of more domesticated forms. Herding-drive – Fluctuates with individuals.

According to the summary, the domesticated or tamed pariah dog would appear to be suitable for the following kinds of service: “(1) He is a born watch-dog. Because of his distrust and his sharpness he is incorruptible; because of his high reactivity he can sense the approach of strangers even at a great distance, and not only can he warn of the approach of human beings, but also of alien animals, i.e. jackals and cats. (2) He can usually be trained as a herd-dog. The native elements of the population often train him in a rough and ready manner for this purpose. (3) He can also be trained in various nose-scent duties, i.e. for tracking, for use with first-aid parties, and, above all, on mine-detecting work. One of the two animals with whom the writers evolved their method of landmine-detecting was a pariah bitch caught in the wild state, tamed and trained. (4) Finally, the pariah may be highly esteemed as a companion, because of his great capacity for attachment and devotion to his Master.” (To be continued.)

Submitted 6th February 2014

“Observations On The Pariah Dog”, a paper written by Drs R & R Menzel, can be found in “The Book of the Dog” published in 1948. Dr Rudophina Menzel, a noted cynologist of her time, is considered 'founder' of the Canaan Dog breed. Unfortunately, Dr Menzel never wrote a book on the breed so Canaan Dog fanciers have only this paper, written with her husband, Rudolph – a veterinarian, and the accounts of some of the people who worked with her, such as Dvora ben Shaul and Myrna Shiboleth.

Canaan Dogs are classified as pariah dogs. Drs Menzel said of the pariah, “They are a well-defined form of Canis familiaris domesticus, a group of natural breeds which has remained relatively pure-bred.” They go on to say, “The pariah dogs are medium-sized animals, in body shape and head-type varying from a sheepdog –like to a greyhound-like type, and in behavior situated at all points on the scale between complete wildness and domestication.” Drs Menzel divided the pariah dogs into five types: Type I – Heavy extreme type (Sheepdog-like). Type II – Heavy medium type (Dingo-like). Type III – Light medium type (Collie-like). Type IV – Light extreme type (Greyhound-like). Type V – Small-grown type. They, later in the article, go on to say that the Canaan Dog (named after the land of Canaan in which it was found) was Type III – Collie-like. They describe Type III as follows: “Light collie, and varying in type between the collie and the Arctic sledge-dog. The appellation 'collie-like' seems applicable to these dogs, who represent the aristocratic form of Type II. They are mostly square in build, with the belly “tucked-up” under the loins; they have nobler necks that Type II, often a typical mane, and (even when short-haired) a more or less bushy tail, carried, as with preceding types, curled across the back when in a state of excitement.” (There are photos illustrating these points.) “The head is obtuse wedge-shaped, and in comparison with Type II the dimension of length is far more than the breadth, so that the head appears more elongated, though the actual length is about the same. Stop and pre-orbital depression are very little developed and sometimes missing altogether, the temporal bones are slightly arched, but not flat as in Type IV (greyhound-like), cheekbones strong but not too arched, muzzle lighter and fangschnittwinkel slightly more acute than in the preceding Types.” Next week we will continue with the explanation of the Canaan Dog temperament as documented by the Drs Menzel.

Submitted 30th January 2014

MAanchester is the first show of the year that offers classes for Canaan Dogs. This year's judge, Mrs Stella Coombes (Mystarz) drew an entry of 7 with all entries present. (Hooray!) BD & BOB was awarded to my Anacan Issachar ('Izzy'). BB went to Nizzana Yoomee Lorianna ('Kes') owned by Lorna Hastings, Alison Byrne, Anne Barclay & Ivan Kaye. RBB was my 'Anni' (Anacan Happy Anni. Let's hope that the classes offered for the breed during the rest of the year attract an even bigger entry.

I have a pet peeve. It is only a small, niggling one, but it just bugs me. For the last couple of years the breed sign in the benching areas of the shows isays 'Canaan'. The name of the breed is Canaan Dog. Dog is part of the breed name and as the breed gets so little recognition, it would be nice if the name would be printed correctly – please.

Alan Gersman (USA) announced that he would be retiring his agility Canaan Dog, 'Minnie' (MACH4, ADCH Mazel Tov PRTMJL Minnie Pooh, CD, MXC2, MJG2, XF) after the AKC Invitational in Orlando this past December. At the Invitational 'Minnie' ran clean for 4 rounds and did everything Alan asked - Minnie, round 2, score 97, time 43.488, SCT 42, overall 51st in class, 43rd in group. To put this in perspective there were 107 dogs in the group!

Minnie was voted the 2013 CDCA DOG OF THE YEAR by the Canaan Dog Club of America, Inc.'s membership. The nomination letter, written by Cathy Oskow and Jennie Larkin, highlights Minnie's qualities in depth, so I will quote it here: “Minnie retired after this December's AKC Invitational having earned more performance titles than any Canaan Dog--the first Canaan Dog to earn championship titles in USDAA (ADCH) and AKC (MACH 4 – which means 4 AKC Agility Championships). Minnie earned 27 different titles in USDAA and 30 different performance titles in AKC. Although 57 titles would well qualify Minnie for such the honour of Dog of the Year, Minnie also exemplifies defining characteristics of the Canaan Dog: native intelligence, athleticism and wariness, the ability to adjust in a variety of situations, and a very strong bond with her owner. Minnie has served as companion and partner to Alan and Sylvia Gersman for 9 years. She and Alan qualified in over 600 agility runs. She qualified every time she entered the obedience ring. In order to qualify in performance events at the highest levels, dog and handler must communicate infallibly, know and trust each other implicitly, and respond to each other's movements and thoughts instantly. Athleticism is required to perform quickly and correctly and to make rapid adjustments and decisions, as the dog navigates a complex course at speed (4-5 yards/second). At the 2009 AKC Agility Invitational, Minnie won a place in the final round (Top 10) in the highly competitive 20” class. At the 2011 AKC National Agility Championship, she finished 8th overall in the 26” group, beating over 40 World Team competitors. Minnie is also a hearing service dog for Alan. She alerts him to emergency sounds in a wide variety of settings, including crowded airports, buses, and airplanes, where she must sit still at his feet for hours. Minnie's reliability in her work--be it agility, obedience, assistance, guarding the office and home--shows the reliability of her character. She has been and continues to be an ambassador for the breed, often in venues that rarely see a Canaan Dog and to people who have never heard of a Canaan Dog.” Big congratulations to Alan and Minnie for being such wonderful ambassadors for the breed.

I'd like to advise show secretaries that the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's 2014 Judges' List is available for download on the club's website www.canaandogclub.co.uk/judgeslist2014.html.

Submitted 8th January 2014

The results of the various competitions for 2013 are now out. Top Dog 2013 is my Am CH Ha'Aretz Hayyim For Anacan (Imp USA), ably handled for me by my husband, Richard Minto. Hayyim, bred by long-time friend, Bryna Comsky, USA, was undefeated in the breed classes all year. The Top Puppy 2013 is Nizzana Yoomee Lorianna, owned by Ms Lorna Hastings, Mr Ivan Kaye, Ms Alison Byrne & Ms Anne Barclay. Top Breeder 2013 is me, Ellen Minto, for the 4th consecutive year. Though I am personally very pleased with the results, I would dearly love to see much more competition in the ring during 2014 so judges and public alike would take more interest in our breed.

Because of confusion that still exists amongst some judge, as recently brought to my attention, I wish to once again say that because we are a non-CC breed, there is only one breed club that is recognized by the Kennel Club, that is the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom, and they produce the only judges' list recognized by the KC. Any information packets, application for judges' list or membership applications received from any other society have nothing to do with the official breed club.

There is an 11-year old intact Canaan Dog bitch that needs re-homing through no fault of her own. If any of my readers would like to provide a forever home for this girl in her golden years, please contact me for more information.

Top of Page

Last updated on the 7th January 2015