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Canaan Dogs In the Show Ring

Ellen & Digger at Crufts 1999
Ellen & "Digger", Crufts 1999

If you want to know the answer to a question, your best bet is to go to an expert. And so we have. Ellen Minto has had the Top Canaan Dog in the UK since she began showing them in this country in 1995. Prior to that in the USA her Ariel Shin Ha'Aretz of Briel was a 4 time National Specialty winner. Ellen's comments follow.

"If you have never shown a dog before, there are a lot of breeds that are far easier to learn with than a Canaan Dog. Due to their survival instincts and natural wariness of strangers, they can be a bit of a challenge to show. The Canaan's startle reflex is strong and a chair dropped, or the public address system going off at the wrong time can make your Canaan jump, or turn its head just when the judge's eyes are on you. However, with patience and lots of show ring exposure you can teach a Canaan to behave in the ring, though it will not necessarily ever appear to be enjoying itself. The major key to it all is to never show disapproval when your dog does back off or you can put your dog off showing for life. Relax and enjoy yourself and show your dog lots of approval when it behaves the way you want it to. Canaan Dogs are mentally slow to mature, and confidence comes with maturity. Most Canaans will not begin to show their best until they are at least 4 years old. Good things will come to those who are willing to wait!

We must also make the effort to educate judges that "wariness" is part of the breed character. And while we do not expect the judge to accept complete panic, it should be made clear that a slight leaning away from a judge's approach should not be penalised, especially in a young dog. "

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Last Updated on the 14th March 2002