Breed clubs and their members are the most important tool in the conservation of a rare breed such as the Canaan Dog. Maintaining genetic diversity while preserving the Canaan Dog's unique traits requires the cooperation of devoted members who put the welfare of the breed above any personal gain. Several ICDCA members have been to Israel to see Canaan Dogs in their native land and are in contact with Israeli breeders. They serve as a source of information so that we don't lose sight of the breed in its mother country. The ICDCA has always encouraged the importation of new stock to broaden the US gene pool and assisted those willing to undertake this task. The ICDCA maintains records which provide a wealth of data on the breed, from photos of ancestral dogs to records of health problems that appear from time to time.
The club welcomes owners of both pet and show quality dogs. The Canaan Dog is extraordinarily intelligent and, therefore, can be a challenge to own. Even well-informed and expert professional dog trainers have little experience with the breed. This is why the expertise of ICDCA members is so important. The ICDCA creates a friendly network of supportive people interested in exchanging information on the breed and representing the breed honestly. Some ICDCA members participate in a variety of dog-related activities and some have considerable dog training experience that they share with other members.
A breed club such as ours does a lot of education. We educate members, potential owners, and the general public about the Canaan Dog. Club members need information about puppy care, training, and health issues. Potential owners need to know about the attributes of Canaan Dogs, both the positive and the negative. The general public is fascinated with the history of the breed. We also educate judges about how to evaluate the Canaan Dog: how to approach the dog properly, and how to apply the breed standard correctly. In this way, we help judges develop a feel for what range of variation is acceptable.
The club maintains an award-winning web site, and publishes a quarterly newsletter which won the Dog Writer's Association of America's Maxwell Medallion as the best National Club newsletter of 1997. This newsletter contains at least 16 pages of photos and informative articles of interest to both pet and show owners. We have a wide array of Canaan Dog merchandise that is unavailable elsewhere, including books and a video about the breed.
We hold a yearly Specialty to which all are invited. This is a time to socialize with other Canaan owners and their dogs, as well as participate in dog-related events, win trophies, and bid on great auction items. Everyone can participate; there are classes for pets as well as show dogs. The Specialty promotes the breed to the public in attendance and allows breeders to view one another's dogs and make arrangements to obtain new dogs or arrange matings. Shows publically recognize outstanding dogs and the breeder's role in developing them, educating us all. Our education is particularly enhanced when recognized breed experts serve as judges and provide written critiques of the dogs they judge. Long-time breeders and owners can mentor newer members. The Specialty and its associated meetings increase camaraderie among members and provide an excuse for our far-flung members to get together once a year. Everyone enjoys the opportunity to meet old friends and new friends, ask questions, talk Canaan Dogs all day long, interact with the dogs, and have fun!
Club members help each other place puppies into suitable homes. The club provides a circle of people in addition to the breeder of your dog who can help you not only with training and socializing your Canaan Dog, but also with placing or replacing your dog should either of these unfortunate circumstances occur for any reason.
The Club also provides opportunities to volunteer in promoting the breed we love. Working together as a club enables members to pool their resources for important projects, such as photo archives, book projects, or health research. The club, with its financial, organizational, and volunteer resources, is the entity that permits projects in support of the breed to be accomplished.
Most importantly, working together reminds all members that our most important role is to be good stewards of the breed.
Members of the ICDCA are dedicated to promoting quality Canaan Dogs that
would be recognized as such anywhere in the world; dogs who retain the health,
intelligence, and agility bequeathed them through centuries of natural selection.
We maintain good relationships with the world-wide community of Canaan Dog
owners who share our ideals, and work together to benefit the breed. We pledge
information, respect, and support to those who have a true interest in preserving
this Israeli breed.
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