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