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Canaan dog

Canaan dog.
Canaan dog.

Canaan Dog (Hebrew: כלב כנעני‎‎, Kelev Kna’ani; Arabic: كلب كنعاني‎‎, Kaleb Kna’ani) is a breed of pariah dog and the national dog breed of Israel, having been in existence in the Middle East for thousands of years.[1] There are 2,000 to 3,000 Canaan dogs across the world, mostly in Europe and North America.[2]
History
The Canaan dog is believed to have been a primitive feral in ancient Canaan. Excavations in Ashkelon, Israel, unearthed the largest dog cemetery in the ancient world containing 700 dog skeletons, all of which were anatomically similar to the Canaan dog of modern times. Archaeologists hypothesize that the dogs were revered as sacred animals. [3]

Dr. Rudolphina Menzel (1891–1973) used these intelligent scavenger dogs mainly found in the desert as guard dogs. In the 1930s Menzel was asked by the Haganah to build up a service dog organization. She captured a select group of semi-wild individuals, tamed, trained and bred them. Menzel found the dogs highly adaptable, trainable, and easy to domesticate. It took her about six months to capture her first dog, Dugma, and within a few weeks she was able to take him into town and on buses.[4]

She began a breeding program in 1934, providing working dogs for the military and she gave pups to be pets and home guard dogs. She initiated a selective breeding program to produce the breed known today as the Canaan dog.

In 1949 Menzel founded The Institute for Orientation and Mobility of the Blind, and in 1953, she started to train Canaan dogs as guide dogs for the blind. Although she was able to train several dogs, she found that the breed was too independent and too small for general guide dog use, although some of her dogs were used successfully by children.

Her breeding program was concentrated with the Institute, where a foundation of kennel-raised Canaan dogs was established, carrying the name “B’nei Habitachon”. She later supplied breeding stock to Shaar Hagai Kennels which continued in the breeding of the Canaan dog. After her death in 1973, Shaar Hagai Kennels, managed by Dvora Ben Shaul and Myrna Shiboleth, continued the breeding program according to her instructions.[5] In addition, a controlled collection of dogs of the original type was continued, primarily from the Bedouin of the Negev.[6]

Collection of wild Canaan dogs has become very difficult. Many of the Canaan dogs living in the open were destroyed by the Israeli government in the fight against rabies. The spread of the human population into areas that were formerly isolated, along with their pet dogs, has resulted in the loss of the natural habitat of the Canaan. Even the majority of Bedouin dogs today, other than those of tribes still living a traditional and isolated life style, are mixed with other breeds.[7] Myrna Shiboleth visits the Negev regularly, looking for good specimens living by the Bedouin camps, that she can breed with her dogs and use to strengthen the gene pool.[8] (Wikipedia)

A list of all the dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club:

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

V

W

X

Y

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#dogs #dogbreeds #dog #canine #canines #breeds #canaandog #canaan #israel

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