Those of us who know any Canaan, like Canaan dog Keren, already love and treasure the special nature of the Canaan---a mixture of affection, independence, and the untamed wilderness. But even many people who love dogs, don't appreciate this ancient Israeli breed. Owners and breeders of the Canaan feel like Cinderellas, hoping someday that our breed will get the recognition and respect that it deserves.
While Canaan dogs can do very well in competitive events, and I have shown Keren a couple of times, dog shows are set up to see how well each animal measures up to an "ideal" dog, and most of that is in the breeding AND in the mind of the judge. So these shows are important to breeders as a measure of their success, The annual Westminster dog show in New York is the oldest, brings out the highest standard of competition,.and creates a lot of interest and excitement, and it is fun to watch. Imagine, some 3200 dogs from 187 breeds. It's the "super bowl" of dog shows.
The Canaan is judged in the "herding" group, and I always felt that was unfair. The other herding dogs are really impressive, beautiful animals bred for specific conditions, and next to them I must admit, the Canaan looks a bit, well, wild and undomesticated. Sure, Canaans herd, but there ought to be a "primitive" group matching the Canaan up against other dogs whose genes are also close to that of the wolf.
But this year at Westminster one of our own made a breakthrough. So now the Canaan world is full of excitement, after one of their own, "GCH Pleasant Hill Magnum Of Samara," a Canaan dog, won 4th place in the herding group!! Magnum faced stiff competition. Just consider that the Old English Sheep Dog that won the herding group went on to be "Reserve Best in Show," or second place
For more information on the Canaan dog's history and abilities, Keren has written a children's ebook, Dogged Flight, that tells how she learned to fly. Really.