Frequently Asked Questions - Part One

1.How affectionate are they?  They are not "clingy dogs" like Labradors or Goldens. Canaan Dogs form a strong bond with their pack and are very affectionate and loyal toward their owners. They won't follow you around the house , but tend to "check" in on where everyone is located, and then go back to their "dens" – dens being, a doggie bed or crate.
1.(a)  Do they make good family pets? Canaans are extremely loyal to their pack and need to be  a part of the family environment on a daily basis. They require lots of socialization from an early age and do well with families  that want to include them in their activities. They are not like goldens or retrievers that tend to be glued to the hips of their owners. But they do need to know what everyone in the pack is up to and want to know that their pack is safe and together.
 

Macc & Hailey - camping buddies
Macc & Hailey - camping buddies

2.Are Canaan Dogs good with children?
Children should always be taught to respect any dog and young children should always be supervised around any breed. We have noted that the Canaan seems to be exceptional with children - they are aware that they are smaller and treat them gently. Puppies of any breed are just as demanding as children. And the early stages of a puppy are so important – the time and effort you put into the first two years in training and shaping their behaviour pays off years down the road. Something to consider if your children are very young: It might be a real challenge to train and socialize a puppy at the same time as having one or two toddlers – not to mention how exhausted you would be by the end of the day and night! To view some more pics of a Canaan Dog with children CLICK HERE.

3.Are they Problem barkers?  Any dog can be excessively "barky" if allowed to be.  Barking is the main medium of communication for dogs. Any dog regardless of the breed, can be "barky" for various reasons: boredom or lack of attention, are among the few. The Canaan Dog is a very alert dog whose sense of hearing is highly acute; however the Canaan Dog tends to bark only as necessary. Keep in mind, what is necessary to him, may not be considered necessary for you. The Canaan Dog is what we call an “Alarm Dog”. Our CDs alert us to people coming to the door, coyotes, bears, moose or deer in the pasture, or a distant noise that we can't even hear - for us, living remote this is a trait that we find most appreciative. Their "alarm bark and howl" has been most beneficial in keeping predators off the cattle when they have to send the warning alarm and chase off  the pesky intruder. They give a loud warning bark or howl and then we tell them "thank you" and then use the word "enough" or "that'll do". In general, our Canaan crew are very quiet dogs, unless there  is something "they sense" should be brought to our attention. 

Again, obedience training is an absolute must if you want a dog that will work and listen

to you, which only reinforces  a stronger bond between the both of you. The CD offers

a true glimpse of the natural dog with their  awesome array of vocal sounds from

howling to "talky".

Cybelle meeting up with a pack of shelties on a hike;Young Rook having some social time with our friend's mixed gal Frankie-Lynn
Cybelle meeting up with a pack of shelties on a hike;Young Rook having some social time with our friend's mixed gal Frankie-Lynn

4.How are they around other dogs?  Early socialization is important for ALL breeds. Our CDs were socialized with other dogs from the get-go. Like any breed, dogs should have early training in being introduced to other dogs. After a pup is ready to go to his new home, puppy socialization classes will help further his introduction around other dogs of all shapes and sizes. Please be sure to read our Socialization Tips for further details.

Ash performing her "leave it" trick at obedience class; Young Macc at Herding class
Ash performing her "leave it" trick at obedience class; Young Macc at Herding class

5.Are they easy to train? Canaan Dogs have a "High Pack Instinct" . Instinct is the genetically inherited trait in the dog to socially interact and closely bond to its pack members (i.e., handler, family). Pack instinct is extremely advantageous, lending itself towards high trainability. Training a well-mannered dog is about leadership. If you want him to respond obediently to you, YOU need to learn to manage his behaviour yourself. Your dog needs to respect you as the alpha of the pack. Dogs will respect you if you are a confident and competent leader that he can look up to. He will automatically be more attentive and obedient. A strong leader is exactly what a Canaan Dog is looking for - someone to trust and follow. Being consistent and persistent with obedience training is vitally important in creating your leadership image. Making time to attend puppy socialization and obedience classes will help develop your leadership skills and control your dog's behaviour. Daily practise at home and in community settings will only reinforce and better your bond with your canine companion. Dogs that possess bad nerves and are overly aggressive towards other dogs and people have no place on the competition field or in the family environment. Breeders and owners need to work hand in hand to establish responsible pet ownership. Please refer to our Training Philosophy  section for more details.

Macc & Morgan camping in the rocky mountains, AB
Macc & Morgan camping in the rocky mountains, AB

6. Can they adapt if you already own (or want to add) another dog to the family in the future? First ask yourself “why do you want an additional dog”. Don’t bring another dog into the household because you think your dog would like a canine companion to play with. This rationalization is a myth, and even more so for a dog that is closest to the wild.  Although dogs are pack animals and will thrive better if living in a social group the basis of humankinds’ relationship with the dog is the dog's ability to view you as an extension of the pack. Therefore it DOES not NEED canine companions to make its life complete because it forms relationships with humans who become pack substitutes. In fact two dogs living together can make dog ownership troublesome because some will form a subgroup within the family and bond and interact less well with their human companions. This is especially true of young dogs close in age. Many times, however, people do not remember all the work, time, money, and training it took to settle the first dog. If you did not have enough time to accomplish these things with your first dog, and he is isolated because of his behaviour, do not use a second dog in an attempt to exercise him, occupy him, or tire him out. Invest your time and energy in training your first dog so that he can be a confident, well-behaved family member. Personally, we have found that a Canaan Dog likes to be the "only" dog but most seem to adapt very well to another canine addition. We know of many owners that have more than one CD or have a CD and another breed living comfortably in the same house. We think the age, gender and temperament of the first dog also needs to be considered when making the decision to add to the family. For example, if the first dog is an "alpha" you may not want to add another alpha of the same sex to the mix. A more subordinate dog might be better or the opposite sex. If you have taken an objective, unbiased look at your family situation and current dog, and you’ve found that you’re ready, willing, and able to love, train, afford and care for another dog—great! Just take it slow, train, and learn all you can about your first addition to the family.

7. Are they diggers? Do they have a tendency to escape? There are many breeds that can escape if they are left outdoors all day without anyone at home. Personally, we would not recommend leaving ANY dog outside in the backyard when you are not at home. MANY dogs left to their own devices without a job to do can get bored easily! The Canaan has very strong nails and can dig fast and deep! (Please refer to the "fencing"  FAQs on page 2)

 
Cybelle with her pup "Tungsten"
Cybelle with her pup "Tungsten"

8. What are their exercise requirements?  Some can be a little higher in energy ( like our "Cybelle"), but most  are satisfied with two quality 30- minute walks a day. However, the Canaan is a very athletic and muscular dog and should be given ample opportunities to challenge and stimulate muscle growth. He must be kept lean in order to maintain proper health. Allowing him the freedom to experience a good off-leash run a couple of times a week in a safe environment will help keep his natural pariah form. Getting him involved in a canine sport, such as agility, herding, tracking, rally-obedience, etc .is also highly recommended. A Canaan likes to have  a job to do and will thank you for spending time with him. They also make exceptional hiking dogs for those who enjoy the great outdoors.

Alex & Lauren meet their first Canaans - Macc & Cybelle
Alex & Lauren meet their first Canaans - Macc & Cybelle

9.Are they "aloof"  with strangers? Lack of proper socialization will make most dogs feel suspicious of new people and things. While some may be more cautious around strangers, a well socialized Canaan will accept the touch of a stranger, especially if he looks to you as the leader.  Our Canaan crew always enjoys the company of visitors to their home, and our "Cybelle", in particular, LOVES to be the centre of attention and is quite willing to meet anyone new.
 

10. What does your Kennel name "Sufat Sheleg" mean?

Sufat Sheleg is Hebrew for "Snow Storm". We wanted a northern essence to our Kennel name, and our CDs love winter! Our crew enjoys working in cooler weather and racing on the snowy trails in the forest.

 

FOR FAQS PART TWO CLICK HERE

We are always happy to answer more questions. If there is a question that is not posted or you would like further information, please e-mail Sufat Sheleg Canaan Dogs at sufat.sheleg@gmail.com