canaan dog – canaan dog puppies

The canaan dog began in ancient times as a primitive feral in ancient Canaan, where the Canaanites and Israelites lived, roughly corresponding to the region encompassing modern-day Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Israel.

They survived this way until the 1930s, when Dr. Rudolphina Menzel came up with the idea to use these intelligent scavenger dogs mainly found in the desert, as guard dogs for the scattered settlements. Menzel was asked by the Haganah to help them 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 canaan dog puppies, Dugma, and within a few weeks she was able to take him into town and on buses.

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

Canaan Dog jumping
In 1949 Menzel founded The Institute for Orientation and Mobility of the Blind, and in 1953, she started to train canaan dog 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.

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