Spring 2007 Newsletter
CCO Breeder Profile of the Quarter
Interview with Ellen and Richard Minto
Anacan Canaan Dogs
How and why did you first get interested in this breed?

I became interested in Canaan Dogs after seeing an ad placed in DOG WORLD magazine by the CCA.  I like �natural� breeds, already had been breeding and exhibiting Bernese Mtn Dogs and Tibetan Spaniels and, having never heard of Canaans before, thought the breed sounded intriguing. The Jewish connection was also a factor as my then husband-to-be was Jewish. I got in contact with the club, became a member, and began to find out what I could about the breed before eventually acquiring one.
Anacan Masterpiece "Remy" at Crufts
What motivated you to become a breeder? How long have you been a Canaan Dog breeder? 

I had already learned to love the challenge of breeding a good dog, having read all I could prior to ever breeding my first litter of dogs, and also having taken courses in canine reproduction to increase my knowledge.  But I must lay the blame at the feet of Bryna Comsky (Ha�Aretz) for pushing me to breed my first litter of Canaan Dogs in 1987.  My Xena had 8 puppies!  It was almost impossible to find homes for Canaans in those days (1985) and I ended up having to keep 5 of the 8, so I didn�t breed again for several years.
What is the significance behind your Kennel name?

When I came to England I found out that you had to register you kennel name with The Kennel Club in order to be able to use one.  They wouldn�t accept �Briel�, the kennel name I used in the USA, as they said it was too close to a name that was already registered with them.  So I came up with ANACAN, which is an anagram of CANAAN.  Clever, huh!
Who were your first foundation bitch and sire and what were the special qualities that drew them to you?

In the US my foundation bitch was Beth Din�s Tabatha Beruriah (�Xena�) and the sire was CCA Ch Ariel Shin Ha�Aretz of Briel.  Good conformation, especially good shoulder layback which I think is often lacking, and sound movement were attributes that were important to me, and both these Canaans had it in spades, especially Ariel.  He also had the most sparkling personality and character.  However, when I moved to England, I had to start all over again as I couldn�t bring my dogs with me.
Multi BISS Ch. Ariel Shin Ha'Aretz of Briel "Ariel"
"Ariel" and Ellen
If you were to look back in the history of this breed, who would be your ideal Canaan dog and Canaan bitch and why?

For the dog, I would have to say my Ariel Shin Ha�Aretz of Briel. Ariel was bred by Bryna Comsky, so I can claim no credit; I was just the person lucky enough to own him.  Ariel was Best Puppy at the first National Specialty he attended, and then Best in Show at the next, and only 4, Specialties he attended. I�ve no doubt had he been shown at more, he would have won them.  At 6 months of age, a son of Ariel, CCA Ch Briel�s Adiv Ben Ariel, out of the first litter Ariel sired for me, went Best Puppy in Show at his very first show, the then well-known and large Hudson Valley Rare Breed Show.  One of Ariel�s daughters, Briel�s Hatikvah Bat Ariel, produced 8 AKC champions.  It is just a shame that no one other than myself used Ariel at stud because it was not just his show record that made this beautiful Canaan outstanding, it was his wonderful character.  He was such a joy to own and his outstanding type and soundness would have enabled him to win on any continent.

She does not go that far back in breed history, and I�ve never seen her in the flesh, but Isabella Velikaya�s Pizmon looks like a beautiful, typey, and feminine bitch -- very much the type I like.  From her photos, �Pippi�, as she was called, appears to have excellent conformation and therefore, assumedly (and from her wins I would say most assuredly) moved correctly.  I could imagine that she and Ariel would have produced some wonderful puppies together.
How many litters have you produced?

I produced 6 litters under my Briel affix in the USA, and additionally co-bred 1 litter with Sandy Fournier (Bay Path) and 2 litters with Jerry Hennings (Cherysh).  Since coming to England, I have bred 13 litters with another on its way any day now. 

Did you have any success training Canaani in any performance sports? If so what sports did you train toward? Are there any sports in particular that you have not trained for but would like to with your Canaani?

I have great respect for the performance sports and would have very much liked to have done tracking and agility with a Canaan Dog, but I always found that showing and breeding was about as much as I could handle with the number of dogs I have. I now also have a boarding kennel and cattery to take care of leaving me very little free time.

A dog that is truly unmanufactured can bring about unique challenges when it comes to group placement. As you can see from the list below, the Canaan Dog is registered in different groups in the following breed clubs throughout the world:

CKC: Working Group (there was no herding group in Canada at the time it was recognized by the Club)
AKC: Herding Group -
UKC (U.S.): Pariah and Sighthound
FCI:Primitive and Spitz Breeds
UK: Utility (similar in makeup to the AKC Non-Sporting Group)

If you had to place him in only one of the above groups, what group would you most favour and why?

Pariah and Sighthound because then they would be competing with breeds of similar background and I think judges would then be forced to gain a better understanding of the pariah dog.  Though they are a member of the Spitz family, they are southern spitz and when they are lumped in with the northern Spitz breed, I think the judges expect to see a different coat and temperament than is typical for a Canaan Dog.
Anacan Glory Bound "Lynn" and Anacan Glory Bea "Bea"
If you were asked to describe the Canaan Dog with only three adjectives, what would these be and why?

Intelligent, agile and challenging!

We know that each and every Canaan Dog is special but can you highlight one in particular that has been extra dear to you.

I�m sorry, but I can�t narrow it down to just one dog, it would have to be two -- my very dear Ariel Shin Ha�Aretz of Briel - I think a great dog by anyone�s standards - and my Anacan Ziggy.  Ziggy, was returned to us at 10 months of age, a nervous wreck.  With lots of patience and work he turned into a confident dog, a wonderful breed representative, who won an open show Best in Show over an entry of 756 dogs, and has been a two-time Best in Show at the Canaan Dog Club of the UK annual open show, the second time at 10-1/2 years of age!  He is a real character.
Anacan "Ziggy"
Have you been involved in breeding and showing other breeds besides the Canaan Dog? If so, what attracted you to this breed(s).
I bred Bernese Mountain Dogs for 17 years and decided to make the break with this breed when I came to England.  When looking for my first �show� dog, I wanted a breed with good temperament, intelligence, few health problems, and minimal grooming needs.  I also wanted a breed that was pretty laid back.  My research led me to the Bernese Mountain. Dog.  When I got my first Bernese Mountain Dog, the only health problem you worried about was hip dysplasia.  Sadly, as the breed became more popular and breeding increased, it turned out that the breed had a number of health problems, not the least of which is whelping problems, and an average lifespan of only 6 years (though many of mine made it to 12 and 13 years). 

The second breed I got involved with, and still have and adore, are my Tibetan Spaniels.  I wanted a smaller dog as a second breed, but one that wasn�t hyper and yappy, could play with my Bernese Mountain Dogs without breaking (in other words, a real dog), and one that had enough coat to look pretty without requiring loads of grooming.  I love the breed and would never willingly be without a Tibbie.  I often tell people that their character is very much like that of a Canaan Dog, but that they are just packaged differently.
Anacan Dressed for Success "Monkey"
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