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Canaan Dogs In Agility
Introduction

U-CD Briel's Isabel P Tiger Pooh, CD, AAD, OA, OAJ, OJC, OGC, OAC, 1/3AX, 2/3EAC, 2/5MP, 1/5MS
Photo by Tien Tran Photography

If you want to know the answer to a question, your best bet is to go to an expert. And so we have. Mr Alan Gersman (USA) has one of the highest-titled agility Canaan Dogs in the world (to our knowledge). So we asked him to give us a brief intro to the Canaan Dog in agility.

"Agility is especially well suited for a Canaan Dog. Canaan Dogs love to run, jump, enjoy their space and freedom, and most important are willing teammates. That is, they do not mind taking commands (they are not stubborn) and they are able to focus extremely well on the task at hand because of their high intelligence.

The only drawbacks are that the Canaan Dog is extremely sensitive, and some may have a problem with jump heights. I'm not totally familiar with jump heights in England. (Webmaster's Note:In the UK the max jump height is 2ft 6 inches) In the USA jump heights for Isabel (19.5" at withers) range from 20-24". Lada who may exceed 21" at withers would have to jump 24-26" (last year it was 24-30" and 30" may have been a problem).

The Canaan Dog is not only sensitive to criticism directed at them (this is definitely a NO NO) but at disappointment the handler might only be feeling (unexpressed). They are quick to feel bad about the handler's disappointment and immediately want out.

Another problem for the handler new to agility or the experienced handler training their first Canaan Dog is the methodology used by training clubs. The agility club's approach at the Novice Level is having the dog focus on the next obstacle the dog sees. Then at the next level where obstacles are no longer in a straight line fashion and may be all over the place, the dog must focus on the handler rather then the obstacles. The Canaan Dog just won't believe it and will be convinced they are being called off the obstacle they see because they are doing something wrong. It took 1 1/2 years to retrain my Canaan Dog to refocus after the Novice Level."

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Last Updated on the 29th December 2001

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