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Canaan Dogs of Anacan

In Memoriam

(Sire: Sivan Me Shaar Hagai/Dam: Minto's Libyan Jewel)
19th December 1993 - 7th November 2008
Pedigree/Dog World Top Canaan Dog 1996, '97, 98, 2000 and 2001 & Top Stud Dog 2002 & 2003!
CDC of the UK Championship attained 8th August 1998
Hip score: 6/6; Eyes tested clear: 14th May '95 & 11th Nov '01

FLASH!! He did it! "Digger" retired at 8 years of age as the Top Canaan Dog for the 5th time!
Click here for "Digger's" pedigree.

Digger Digger & Ellen
Photo by Martin Leigh
'Digger' and Ellen
A favourite photo by Sue Domun

When Digger entered this world his breeder, Richard Minto, never dreamt how instrumental 'Digger' would become in raising the profile of the Canaan Dog in the UK. It never entered Richard's mind that Digger would ever be shown as the litter he was out of was a test breeding. But when Ellen entered their lives she recognized Digger's quality and set about getting him registered and into the show ring.

6-month old Digger

A 6-month old Digger winning Best Puppy In Show

Digger's' show debut was on his 6-month birthday and he won Best Puppy In Show at a local exemption show. A year passed before his next show so in actuality, Digger's show career really began in May '95. From that time Digger gained many friends and admirers for the breed whilst acquiring numerous Best of Breeds and Best AVNSC's (Any Variety Not Separately Classified) along the way, beating champions in other breeds while doing so. (In the UK, though fully recognised, the Canaan Dog is classified as a Rare Breed in the Utility group. As such, the breed cannot yet be awarded championships.) Though Digger would win all through the year, somehow Best of Breed at Crufts always eluded him...until 1999 when he finally won it! (Thank you Mr Peter Radley!) He was the Pedigree/Dog World Top Canaan Dog for the years 1996, '97, '98, 2000, and again in 2001 (In 1999 his half-brother, Ziggy, won the title). As the number of Canaans being shown in the UK has increased and competition grew stronger, Digger continued his winning ways.

Digger and Ellen at Crufts
Digger and Ellen, Crufts 1999

Digger was, til recent years, the UK's breed record holder for number of dogs defeated in the show ring and the only Canaan to be short-listed in the Group at a championship show in the UK. (Thank you Mr Keith Nathan, who in one critique called Digger "The blueprint for the breed"!) On the 1st December 2001, Digger retired from the show ring at the BUBA Championship Show by once again winning Best of Breed (his 34th), and as overall Top Canaan Dog in the UK for the fifth time!!

Digger also proved his worth as a stud dog and was Top Stud Dog for 2002 & 2003. He sired three litters, resulting in some lovely puppies of outstanding quality. The first Canaan Dog in the UK to win an all-breed open show best in show was his son, Anacan The Israelite At Dunline, out of our Beulah. The overall Top Canaan Dog for 2002 & 2003 was his daughter, Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna, out of our Jasmine. The 2004 Crufts Best of Breed winner was another son out of our Beulah, Anacan Masterpiece. The quality of the litter he sired out of our Lottie made her Top Brood Bitch 2002. We feel that no matter how good a dog's show record is, it means nothing if he cannot pass on his attributes. Digger did not fail to do this as his children and grandchildren continue in his winning ways.

Digger was a very much loved member of the family and we were pleased when he was retired from the show ring and finally able to sit back and just enjoy himself, and he has did this in the truest sense of the word. Never allowed on the furniture, the day after we retired him from the show ring he climbed up onto the settee for the first time in his life as if to say, "I've earned it", and that is where you could usually find him after that. He was truly a great Canaan Dog as well as the best friend you could have ever asked for. Digger will always live on in our hearts and he is very much missed.

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Last Updated on the 3rd July 2012