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JayKay Canaan Dogs: Past and present

Jake was my first Canaan Dog, imported in 1998, followed by Kayla a few years later. They were both from the United States because at that time there were no breeders in Canada. Since the first JayKay litter in 2003, there is now more awareness of this special breed. Breeding is always a challenge because there are so few intact Canaan Dogs in Canada – we have to turn to the US to find suitable stud dogs.

Do Canaan Dogs make good family pets?

Canaan Dogs are typically great with children, being gentle and protective of them, and are extremely loyal and devoted to their whole family. They don’t feel the need to seek constant attention, nor do they feel it necessary to be petted by every stranger they meet. Canaan Dogs are alert at all times, with highly developed senses. This, and their strong territorial sense, makes them good watchdogs: they have a very loud bark!


Jake (Hadar Haaretz Northern Snow)

Jake was the first Canaan Dog to earn a Canine Good Neighbour AND a Canine Good Citizen title! Jake loved lure coursing, agility and meeting new friends. Jake’s first “wife” (quoting my young niece) was Mazel Tov Tovah in Minneapolis: that litter produced two AKC Champions.

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What are their temperaments like?

Canaan Dogs have retained characteristics that enabled them
to survive in the harsh desert environment. Many Canaan Dogs, when reaching adolescence, go through an insecure period and become wary of anyone or anything they do not know, but this wariness disappears as they mature and gain confidence. Early socializing of Canaan Dogs is essential. This means taking your puppy out to as many places, and to meet as many people, as possible.


Kayla (Riverview’s Kayla) 

Kayla whelped three litters, producing a total of 10 puppies, that went on to earn titles in conformation, rally obedience and herding. The first male in her first litter (sired by Jake) was “Macc.” He went on to excel in rally obedience and herding, and sired some lovely litters with great temperaments. 


Do they need much exercise?

Like all dogs, Canaan Dogs need daily exercise, with at least two or more walks per day. However, they’re very adaptable and while they love to run and play, and can keep up with long walks, jogs and hikes, they are just as happy to curl up next to you on the sofa. 


Domino (JayKay Diamond Girl Domino) 

Domino was the first Canadian-bred Canaan Dog to earn a CKC championship. She was a “super mom,” raising her three litters of 15 puppies total with extreme concern and caring.

Two of those puppies went on to live and support hearing-impaired owners.


Are they easy to train?

Canaan Dogs are intelligent dogs and learn commands very quickly. Because of their independence, when you ask them to do something they’ll sometimes look at you as though to
ask "why?" Training exercises should be kept short and varied, with new challenges added. Canaan Dogs often appear distracted, due to their natural alertness, and are always aware of their surroundings. While discipline is important, harsh training methods should never be used: the Canaan Dog responds better to reward and praise, and correcting too harshly may result in the dog “shutting down.”


Spot (JayKay Noble Tristan)

Spot was one of four black with white trim puppies. Well behaved and attentive, I could take him with me anywhere. He had his CKC Canine Good Neighbour title, he loved agility and rally, and was the perfect dog to take into junior handling (as he often did with my nephew).

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What is a CKC or AKC breed standard?

A breed standard covers the general description of the dog, including the ideal size, head shape, weight, colour, length of coat, tail structure, temperament and movement. Here is how the CKC defines the “General Appearance” of the Canaan Dog: A medium sized, well balanced, strong and square dog resembling the wild dog type. Strong distinction between sexes. Ricky (below) is the dog pictured on the CKC breed page.


Ricky (JayKay Richelieu Rules) 

Ricky has always loved the show ring! He’s earned an AKC Grand Championship, a UKC Championship and a CKC Championship, and has an AKC Rally Novice title. He passed the Canine Good Neighbour evaluation at Mr Spot Dog Camp. His most memorable moments: winning Best of Breed at the 2016 CDCA Annual Specialty and being awarded Select Dog at the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Show in New York City.


Do they require much grooming?

Canaan Dogs are naturally very clean and require little grooming compared to many other breeds. They are double-coated, and will shed that undercoat seasonally. At that time, daily brushing will help remove the dead hair. It is also important to trim their nails on a regular basis.

Chrissie (JayKay Spirit of Adventure)

Chrissie is a small but mightly girl! She had four puppies in her last litter, including Anna, a UKC Best in Show winner. Chrissie has an AKC Rally Novice title and her Canine Good Neighbour title. She’s attended Mr Spot Dog Camp every year, and one of our favourite classes is Freestyle Dance.

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How easy is it to get a Canaan Dog?

There are very few Canaan Dog breeders worldwide, and JayKay Canaan Dogs is the only breeder in Canada that’s registered with the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). Because it is a rare breed, people interested in purchasing a Canaan Dog are often placed on a waiting list. 


Alicia (JayKay Fair Lady Alicia)

Alicia is a beautiful sweet girl who is completely devoted to me – she excels in hugs and kisses! She loves to hang out with her dam, Chrissie. She has her Canine Good Neighbour title, and loves agility. She was Reserve Best Female at the 2013 ICDCA Specialty.

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Are they healthy dogs?

The Canaan is naturally a healthy dog. If cared for properly and fed a good, well-balanced diet, they rarely need to see a vet. The average lifespan of a Canaan Dog is typically between twelve and fifteen years.


Anna (JayKay Anna's Act of True Love)

Anna was named after the princess in Disney's Frozen movie, and is the first Jaykay Canaan Dog to win a Best in Show! She’s a UKC Champion, with a 2017 BIS (along with Group 1-2-3-4 wins) and a Champion of Champions/BOB and Gr 3 win during the 2019 UKC Specialty weekend. Anna has a long list of AKC and UKC Obedience and Rally titles. She is now living in Ohio with the owners of her sire. 

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