Halfway through the Canaan Dog Supershow

The past weekend in Pennsylvania was just the first of two back-to-back weeks of Canaan Dog majors here on the East Coast.  PA has wrapped up, which means at the end of this week you can look forward to Springfield, MA shows.

Here are the results for PA (registered names found in this post):

WB/BOB:  New CH Clover
RWB: Bird

WB/BOB: New CH Poppy
RWB:  Bird

WB/BOB: Mary Russell (look for her on television Thanksgiving Day)
RWB: Poppy

RWB: Mary Russell

So, we finished the weekend with two new champions, and two more bitches who needed majors, getting them.  Congrats to all the girls, who just survived one of the most difficult show weekends on the east coast, because it’s a televised, benched show, so there are larger crowds than normal for spectating, and there are TV crews and camera equipment and all the other hubbub that comes along with that.

Looking forward to Springfield, there will be Canaans entered Thursday-Sunday again (I will be attending Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).  If you’re in New England and you want to meet a Canaan Dog in person, come see us!

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Nalyua’s super good questions deserve their own post

Yesterday, Nalyua had some amazingly good questions about Clover and her championship.  So good, I wanted to pull them out into their own post.  (Naly, I <3 you so much for how good these are!)

Congratulations for Clover winning her Championship! (Err my apologies if I interpret the post wrong!)

You did not interpret the post wrong.  Thank-you very much!

That leads me to a (maybe) stupid question again. I’m sorry!

I see that Clover won points even after she got this floppy ear which is not breed standard.

Before her ear injury, Clover had already won 11 points and had two major wins.  She needed four points to finish her title.

The thing about breed standards is that they describe a hypothetical ideal dog of that breed, and no real dog is going to be perfect in every way.  Some judges we’ve shown to since her ear injury have been able to look past the floppy ear and say, “Well, even with the bad ear, I think this dog gets closer to the hypothetical ideal dog described in the standard.”  Some judges have decided that the bad ear was enough of a flaw that they felt the other dog in the ring was more deserving of the win.  I had the opportunity to talk to a judge on each side of that divide — one said the ear injury didn’t bother him because he liked Clover’s structure and her movement very much.  The other judge said that, while there were things she liked about Clover, the standard was very clear about both ears being erect, and she felt that was more important.  Judging is inherently subjective because you’re comparing each dog in the ring to a hypothetical ideal dog, so every judge has to decide for themselves what part is more important than other part.  If you have two dogs that are in all other ways equally of good quality, do you pick the one with a better shoulder, or the one with a better rear?  Ask ten judges, get ten different answers.

And I saw your descriptions that Jackson needed to mature a bit and get more broader around the chest.

Yep, at the time we retired him from showing, we hoped that with maturity, Jackson’s front would improve.

He didn’t seem to get the same amount of points Clover got. To me as a total noob this seems very strange because the floppy ear is obviously and clearly visible not supposed to be there, while Jackson looks like an exemplatory Ridgeback( and even seemed to be the breeders pick puppy until they decided on a girl instead). To someone who has no idea that is.

In some way, this is just an example of how you make an educated guess at 8 weeks old of how a puppy will turn out, and then they do (or don’t) turn out the way you had hoped.  Jackson’s shoulder and chest assembly is put together in a way that makes him stand with his two front feet very close together most of the time, because his chest is narrow.  With dogs, movement follows structure.  The way a dog is put together directly influences how he will move.  And the more easily a dog can move — the less he has to fight his own body to move freely — the easier it will be for him to do the job he was bred to do (or to compete in dog sports, or even just be a pet).  He has some lovely features — he has beautiful shoulder angulation, a very strong rear, and he looks very nice when you watch him trotting from the side.  But as soon as he starts trotting in a straight line toward you, you can immediately see how that narrow chest affects the way he has to move his front legs in order to get out of his own way.

I am told — by people who are much more experienced in this than I am — that if I wanted to spend the money on it, I could eventually put a title on Jackson, but it won’t be as easy as putting points on Loki has been.  I haven’t taken it off the table yet — Jackson is only three years old.  No dog is ideal, and he’s got a lot of good points too.

In this photo, you can see the difference between Jackson’s chest and Loki’s chest (or Clover’s chest) pretty clearly, especially if you look at the spacing between their feet.  This was a candid photo so you can see how each dog naturally “falls” into a different way of holding himself, just as a result of the differences in how their bones are put together.  But also pay attention to the amount of space between the legs at the bottom of the chest — imagine putting your hand between their legs, and how much room there would be on Jackson versus Loki.  See also how Jackson’s toes on his front feet point in different directions, and Loki’s all point the same direction.  Again, this is due to that chest assembly and how the bones all interact with each other.


Then again Clover got this floppy ear due to an injury and Jackson’s problem is more from the general bone structure?

I am told that as long as an injury is considered an “honorable” injury — in other words, it’s not the result of cosmetic surgery or an attempt to surgically correct a fault in structure — that it is okay to continue to show the dog.  So, if Clover’s bad ear had been that way since birth, that would be one thing.  But her ears were up, and the one ear fell due to injury, and that makes all the difference in the world.

A black and white dog

Does this make any difference in a show? And does the limited amount of Canaans in a show make a difference?

Yes and no.  The rarity of Canaan Dogs versus a more popular breed like Dobermans does mean that it’s less competitive.  You have more breeders and owners showing their own Canaan Dogs (versus handling them off to a handler) so it’s easier to compete as a novice like I am.  A professional handler who has been showing dogs for forty years will know how to take a less-than-stellar front and make it look as best as it can be made to look.  A novice won’t have that skill yet.

There’s a downside to rarity too, though:  it’s harder to get points.  I’m lucky that Poppy is local to us and so we could get three of the four points Clover needed just by competing against her.  But for Poppy — who has all the points she needs EXCEPT for her second major — having Clover local to her is less valuable.  Amy had to really work behind the scenes to organize getting Bird, Jury, and Mary Russell to come to us for shows, and it was only possible because they were in the same position Poppy was: they had points, but needed majors.

Because if I understood your explanation about shows then a Major can be only won if the dog beats contestants, or did I misunderstand?

Nope, you have it right.  The amount of points you earn at any one show is determined by how many dogs you defeated, and you have to earn three points to be considered a major win.  For Canaan Dogs, that means you need to defeat at a minimum four dogs of your sex who don’t have their title yet.  Things get complicated when you add in crossover points, but to keep things simple, just know that you need at least four girls entered (who don’t have a championship yet) to be worth three points, and you need three or more points for a major win.

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I want to meet a Canaan Dog in person. Where can I see them?

I’m stealing this from Amanda Pough —

If you want to see Canaan Dogs this month, you have some great opportunities ahead of you.

This weekend they are in Tucson, Arizona.
Canyon Cluster – Madera Canyon and Canada del Oro Kennel Clubs
Sat the 8th – Ring 2 9:25 (supported entry)
Sun the 9th – Ring 3 10:05
Mon the 10th – Ring 3 8:00 (following 8 dogs)
Also in the 4-6 Month Puppy show on Saturday night and in the obedience rings.
Watch for Western States CDC and Canaan Dog CofA signage.

Next weekend they are in Oakes, Pennsylvania (outside Philadelphia)
Penn Treaty KC – Thurs the 13th – Ring 5 at 9:15 (after 2)
Greater Philadelphia DFA – Fri the 14th – Ring 5 at 2:15 (after 5)
KC of Philadelphia – Sat the 15th – Ring 6 at 12noon (after 4)
KC of Philadelphia – Sun the 16th – Ring 5 at 10:15 (after 4)

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There will be Canaan Dogs at The National Dog Show

Remember this post from a year ago?  When I addressed why there were no Canaan Dogs entered at The National Dog Show in Philadelphia?

Thanks to the efforts of Amy Preston, Frank Plouffe and family, Chris Miller and Randy Kalik, Kelly Sims, and Joan Capaiu-Greene,  and probably a whole lotta other people I am forgetting to mention, I am thrilled to report that this year, there will be Canaan Dogs at The National Dog Show.  Five of them, in fact.

“Clover” – Relic’s Little Miss Can’T Be Wrong
(CH Renegade Stryker x BISS CH Renegade Camber)

“Poppy” – Relic’s Rock The Casbah
(CH Renegade Stryker x BISS CH Renegade Camber)

“Bird” – Renegade Sally
(CH Renegade Stryker x CH Riverroc Three Sunrises Lyceum)

“Jury” – RiverRoc Outside of Kharma BSnatch Rsndog
(GCH CH Rosendog’s He Who Must Be Named RN CGC CDCA-HC CDCA-R

“Mary Russell” – Bandersnatch The Language of Bees HCX
(Anacan Beit Shemesh x GCH CH Bandersnatch Rsndg Ida Know RivRoc CGC RN)

Clover, Poppy, Bird, Jury, and Mary Russell will all be competing for four days in Philadelphia, and one lucky girl will end up on television where you can see her, airing on Thanksgiving after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

My overall point in that post from a year ago has not changed:  it’s really expensive to travel to big shows like this.  I won’t be going — Clover is traveling without me and going to the show with Amy.  All the owners, breeders, and handlers involved in getting the numbers to pull a major in Philadelphia are doing this at no small expense and effort.  It took a few months worth of behind-the-scenes planning and coordination to pull this off.  Everyone involved deserves a medal in my humble opinion, even more so because my part in it so far has been limited to “Of course I’ll enter Clover!”

Anyway, look for a Canaan Dog to be on television on Thanksgiving.  Go girls go!

(Seriously, I know I probably left some people off the list.  Tell me who is missing and I’ll definitely add them in.)

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Letting Go of Restraint

A number of years ago I saw Dr. Karen Overall, the Vet Behaviorist, speak for a 2 day workshop. If you have a chance to see her, GO! She has an amazing way of making the complicated seem simple. One quote that she said during the weekend was “We must let go of the idea of restraint!” She was referring to vets and how they restrain dogs and cats for everything. Also she was talking about for grooming, and regular pet care also.

via Letting Go of Restraint | Wags and Love.

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Caring for Our Pets and Ourselves at the End of Their Lives «

Chances are, your beloved furry soul mate pet knew before you did that the time to say goodbye was approaching. That doesn’t make it any easier of course. Our pets absorb our thoughts, feelings and emotions in ways we as humans are just beginning to understand. It is quite possible that your thoughts about your pet’s old age, sickness, injury, etc are getting in the way of them being able to let go.

via Caring for Our Pets and Ourselves at the End of Their Lives «

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4 Ways to Keep Dogs Warm in the Winter – wikiHow

Does your dog shiver when you go outside? During the winter season, many dogs feel the cold as much as their owners do, especially when they are not habituated to the cold, or that have specific cold weather traits. Keeping your dog warm through the winter months is important to maintaining top health, and it wont take you much extra effort to ensure winter coziness for your canine pal.

via 4 Ways to Keep Dogs Warm in the Winter – wikiHow.

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life is better when your paws are muddy