Activities For Canaan Dogs

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Introduction

The largest known dog cemetery in the ancient world was found in the Ashkelon area of Israel, and the dogs buried there closely resemble the Canaan dog that is still found in and around Israel today. It is believed that they provided herding and guarding services to ancient Hebrew people, but the people they served were dispersed by the Romans, and many of the dogs fled to the wilderness. A few of these dogs worked with the Bedouin people, but the majority remained feral. In the 1960s, Dr. Rudolphina Menzel managed to capture and domesticate some of these feral dogs. She found them highly intelligent and very easy to train, making them ideal for military dogs in the area, and they became sentries, detectors of landmines, messengers, and they even assisted the Red Cross in their duties.  

Agility Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 90 min
Items needed
Jumps
Weave Poles
Platform
Tunnel
See-saw
Activity description

Canaan dogs are highly intelligent and active dogs who are exceptionally easy to train and who enjoy a challenge. Agility Training is a fun dog sport for both you and your canine companion in which your dog is trained to follow both hand signals and one-word commands from their handler in order to navigate through several different obstacles such as jumps, tunnels, platforms, and weave poles as quickly as possible. This is a team sport which is extremely helpful in improving the communication and bond you have with your pooch as well as encouraging critical thinking skills and challenging your dog physically

Step
1
Introducing the obstacles
When preparing for an agility competition there are several standard obstacles that will need to be mastered by your dog in order to participate, including the dog walk, the see-saw, stop platforms, various tunnels, and jumps and weave poles. It is generally best to introduce each obstacle one by one and gain a little mastery with the individual challenges before stringing them together.
Step
2
Putting it together
At the competition level agility courses are made up of several varied obstacles, usually between fifteen and twenty-two in a row. Once your canine companion has begun mastering each individual obstacle, you can start doing two or three in a row, gradually increasing the number until the course reaches the same number of obstacles as the competition courses typically have.
Step
3
Participate and compete
This tends to be an enjoyable activity for either the occasional and the serious competitor alike, but there are sometimes several different competitions that can be entered. Local agility groups, dog sport training centers, or even your veterinarian may be able to guide you to competitions in your area that are most appropriate for you and your dog as well as providing many helpful tips and tricks for newer competitors.
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Treibball

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Treibball Balls
Space
Activity description

This breed of dog was initially used as not only a guard dog for the home and family but also assisted in herding and in guarding the flock. Treibball is a canine sport that was initially developed in Germany as an outlet for the intense drives of herding dogs without access to actual livestock in which dogs herd large, inflated balls to a specific goal or spot within a certain amount of time. The handlers working with the dogs are allowed to communicate with them via both voice commands and hand gestures, but they must remain in the handler’s area once the event has begun. While not all Canaan dogs have retained their herding instincts many of them do still have the motivation to excel at this emerging dog sport. 

Step
1
Learn your part
Treibball is a simple game at its core; the canine member of the team moves as many of the inflated Treibballs to the goal as possible within a fifteen-minute time frame. There are quite a few rules to abide by in order to play the game correctly. For instance, the handler can only communicate with their dog via hand signals and voice commands from the handler box. As the human member of the team, it is your responsibility to know the most updated rules in order to pass those on to your dog. The full up-to-date sanctioned rules can be found at the website of the American Treibball Association.
Step
2
Train your canine
Treibball is a fun way to allow your dog an outlet for their natural instinct to herd, however, this instinct needs to be properly directed to be active in this sport. Initially, trainers start out by teaching the dog to first ignore the target until they are instructed to do otherwise and to move the ball without biting or breaking the ball. Once this ability has been properly nurtured, additional commands can be added that help to instruct the canine partner where to roll the ball, and which ball to target.
Step
3
Increase the intensity
Once the basics of this entertaining sport have been mastered by both members of the team, you can increase the challenge by adding extra twists and rules into the game. You can place obstacles between the ball and the goal so that your dog has to maneuver around them, having the dog single out a specific ball to drive to the goal, or requiring that the balls be driven into the goals in a specific order.
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Advanced Obedience

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Leash
Activity description

While the Canaan dog spent several hundred years as an essentially feral breed, when Dr. Menzel first began capturing them for domestication she found that they were extremely easy to socialize and train. Within weeks of capturing her first Canaan dog, it was well-behaved enough to go into town and even ride the bus safely within just a few weeks. These intelligent dogs, though able to be independent, also enjoyed the company of humans and were quite people-oriented when given the opportunity. Advanced and competitive obedience gives them a good way to bond more closely with their chosen humans as well as keeping their minds active and occupied. 

Step
1
Pick a technique
Several methods are available to train your canine companion that work effectively at either the basic or advanced training levels. Some of the methods that are available include relationship training, positive reinforcement, clicker training, and mirror or model training. Although this breed is easy to train with any of these methods, it is best to keep the training sessions either varied or short, as the Canaan dog is known to become bored with repetitive commands.
Step
2
Train for the basics
There are several specific commands that your Canaan breed dog will need to master before they can compete at the Novice level. Behaviors like heeling on and off leash, standing for an exam, a long sit of one minute, and a long stay of two minutes, are needed in order to earn the Companion Dog title that allows the canine to advance to the higher levels of advanced obedience.
Step
3
Locate a venue
Once you have mastered the basics, there are several conformation and advanced obedience competitions and shows to participate in. While large American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club competitions are available, you may want to start out showcasing your dog’s talents and a smaller venue initially, such as competitions that are put on by local pet-related companies, breed specific clubs, or local training clubs, where you can showcase your dog’s new skills and talents to a smaller, less intimidating environment.
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More Fun Ideas...

Canicross

This energetic breed of dog will enjoy this activity in which they lead the way attached to a specialized harness and leash that also attaches to your waist. This sport allows you to move faster an get better exercise yourself by allowing you to keep your hands free and adding a little momentum through the actions of your canine companion.

Frisbee

These dogs are intelligent, quick-thinking, and agile, and many of them will enjoy the challenge of advanced games that include flying discs.  

Flyball

Flyball is a fast-paced dog sport that is a combination of a relay race and a game of fetch. This dog sport takes advantage of the dog’s quick mind as well as their physical speed and agility, giving them both a mental and physical workout.

Conclusion

Although the Canaan dog is able to be quite independent, as evidenced by the fact that they survived several hundred years as a feral breed, they are also extremely intelligent and take quickly to most training methods, as long as training sessions do not last too long or get overly repetitive. They have proven to be an exceptionally versatile breed and can participate in a number of activities.