The Canaan Dog is a natural dog breed that requires no fancy clipping or trimming. The Canaan Dogs in the States do not have coats as thick as the dogs in Israel and thus require less regular grooming. All Canaan Dogs have a double coat, which means the softer undercoat will shed twice a year.
To groom the Canaan Dog, you need a good strong slicker or pin brush and a good natural bristle brush that has some nylon bristles inserted in it. You will also need a steel comb to remove any debris that collects in the longer furnishings. A comb that has teeth divided between fine and coarse is ideal.
Regular thorough brushing with the slicker or pin brush helps keep the hair deposits on your carpeting and furniture down to a minimum. This procedure becomes an absolute necessity during those twice-a-year seasonal coat sheddings. When brushing, proceed vigorously from behind the head to that famous bushy tail. Do this all over the body and be especially careful to attend to the hard-to-reach areas between the dog’s legs, behind the ears and under the body. Mats can occur, particularly when the Canaan Dog is shedding or when the coat catches burrs or sticky substances in the longer furnishings.
Should you encounter a mat that does not brush out easily, use your fingers and the steel comb to separate the hairs as much as possible. Do not cut or pull out the dog’s matted hair. Apply baby powder or one of the specially prepared grooming powders directly to the mat and brush completely from the skin out.
Follow your hair-slicker or pin brushing with a stimulating brushing with the bristle brush. Together, these will keep both your Canaan Dog’s coat and skin clean and healthy.
You can dry-bathe your Canaan Dog by sprinkling a little baby powder in the coat and then working it well in and brushing it out. This, of course, also helps to make the dog smell good. Over-bathing can lead to dry skin problems. Dry skin creates a need to scratch and this can lead to severe scratching and hot spots, which are moist sore areas in which the coat is entirely scratched or bitten away.
There will be times when your Canaan Dog will require a good old-fashioned bath. Again, like most anything, if you accustom your Canaan Dog to being bathed as a puppy, it will be second nature by the time he grows up. You want your dog to be at ease in the bath or else it could end up a wet, soapy, messy ordeal for both of you!
Brush your Canaan Dog thoroughly before wetting his coat. This will get rid of most mats and tangles, which are harder to remove when the coat is wet. Make certain that your Canaan Dog has a good non-slip surface on which to stand. Begin by wetting the dog’s coat, checking the water temperature to make sure that it is neither too hot nor too cold. A shower or hose attachment is necessary for thoroughly wetting and rinsing the dog’s coat.
Next, apply shampoo to the dog’s coat and work it into a good lather. Wash the head last, as you do not want shampoo to drip into your Canaan Dog’s eyes while you are washing the rest of his body. You should use only a shampoo that is made for dogs. Do not use a product made for human hair. Work the shampoo all the way down to the skin. You can use this opportunity to check your dog’s skin for any bumps, bites or other abnormalities. Do not neglect any area of the body—get all of the hard-to-reach places.
Once your Canaan Dog has been thoroughly shampooed, he requires an equally thorough rinsing. Shampoo left in the coat can be irritating to the dog’s skin. Protect his eyes from the shampoo by shielding them with your hand and directing the flow of water in the opposite direction. You should also avoid getting water in the dog’s ear canal. Be prepared for your Canaan Dog to shake out his coat—you might want to stand back, but make sure you have a hold on the dog to keep him from running through the house.
Excerpt from Canaan Dog, part of the Comprehensive Owner’s Guide series, with permission from its publisher, Kennel Club Books, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Canaan Dog here.