An epic tale of ancient history, tough roads, and redemption....
The Canaan Dog has a truly fascinating history. The Canaan Dogs ancestors are thought to have been around since pre-Biblical times. In fact, there are tombs in Egypt dating from 2200 to 2000 BC with drawings that look just like them!
The Canaan Dogs history is so ancient that a lot of the details are unclear or lost in time. We do know that, over the centuries, their ancestors were used to herd and hunt. But in the 1930s, this breeds story becomes clearer. People in Israel needed a guard dog to protect remote Hebrew settlements. The settlements were isolated and needed a fast, tough, and smart guardian to protect them. Dr. Rudolphina Menzel was given the task of filling the protector position, and she turned to a local breed of dogs called Pariah Dogs. (Pariah means outcast.)
The pariah dogs were, believe or not, feral dogs that had been surviving through speed, wit, and will for a long time. They may have been linked to the very same dogs seen on those Egyptian tombs way back in the day. Pariahs were tough, capable, smart, and independent. They had to be in order to walk the hard road that they had at the time. But when Dr. Menzel took the pariahs in, they were no longer outcasts. They had a home and a purpose. In time, Dr. Menzel domesticated them, and the Canaan Dog was reborn.
Since then, they have served an incredible list of jobs in their time: sentries, messengers, Red Cross helpers, seeing eye dogs, and therapy dogs, and they were some of the very first dogs trained to detect land mines. Wow! Thats a resume that would make even an overachiever a little jealous. It takes a smart, trainable, adaptable breed like the Canaan Dog to have accomplished so much.