Eurasier, Lundehund and Canaan Dog
This section includes the Eurasier and the Canaan Dog which are recognized in Australia by the ANKC. But this section also features the fascinating Norwegian Lundehund which although is not ANKC recognized, deserves to be included in this section because of the specialized adaptation of its feet to enable it to work on the rocky snow-covered surfaces in the Northern Arctic region of Norway.
In post-war Germany (1960), Julius Wipfel began creating a companion dog for the people of Germany recovering from World War Two. He began by crossing a Chow Chow with a Keeshond (Wolfspitz), the result being called a 'Wolf-Chow'. Later he introduced the Samoyed. By 1979 the breed was renamed the Eurasia. But it took until 1994 to gain F.C.I recognition, and it was brought to Australia in 2000.
A medium sized Spitz breed standing 52 - 56 cms (20.5 - 22ins) high weighing 22 - 26 kg (48.5 - 57 lbs), it comes in any colour except white. It has a balanced, wedge-shaped head, dark eyes and medium sized pricked ears. This medium sized Spitz breed is slightly longer in body than it's height, with medium bone. It has a ground-covering stride with the tail carried forward over the back or bent slightly sideways.
Another small dog of Spitz type is the Norwegian Lundehund (FCI No 265). It weighs around seven kilos and has a dense double coat with with a soft undercoat which is reddish brown with white markings. They have an extremely supple build which enables them to enter and retreat backwards from the Puffins' confined underground spaces.
As pictured all four of the Lundehund's feet must have at least six toes, complete with corresponding pads, tendons and muscles so their feet can grip like a monkey's. Including the main central pad, there may be as many as eight pads on each paw. So the dog may appear somewhat cow-hocked because the back feet turn out to accommodate the extra toes. These peculiar feet give the dog incredible grasping abilities when working on the steep cliff faces of Norway's snow covered, rocky Arctic slopes.
The Lundehund gets its name from the Norwegian word 'Lund' meaning Puffin - the name of the Arctic bird it was bred to hunt. For centuries, Puffin birds not only provided a staple diet for people living in these remote areas, their feathers and down provided essential warmth. Puffin birds are sociable creatures who live in colonies in long, winding cliff passages or rooks covered with snow and ice, so narrow it is impossible for a man to penetrate them.
The Lundehund's extra toes assisted the dog to climb up the cliff faces to reach the entrance of the Puffins' tunnels and the traction to aid the dog to crawl along it. Once the dog grabbed one bird, this bird would latch onto another Puffin bird which in turn would grab yet another. So it was not uncommon for a strong Lundehund to retreat, pulling out a long chain of a dozen or so linked birds.
The Canaan Dog is featured here because he is classed in Australia as a Non-Sporting breed. He is a medium sized, square dog resembling the wild dog or Spitz Asian type (FCI No 273). He is 50-60 cm (20 - 23.5 ins) high at the withers and weighs 18-25 kg (40-55 lbs). He has a double coat with a dense harsh and straight short to medium length outer coat and close and profuse undercoat. He typically comes in desert colours of sand, gold, red, cream but sand to red-brown, white, black, or spotted, or white markings with or without mask are permitted.
His head is of a medium length shaped like a blunt wedge, appearing broader due to low set ears. The skull somewhat flattened, the stop shallow but defined and the muzzle sturdy, and of moderate length and breadth and close with a normal scissors bite. The lips should be tight and the nose black. The almond shaped eyes are dark brown and slightly slanted with dark rims.The erect ears are relatively short and broad and set low. The limbs have moderate angulation and the body is square with strong, round and catlike feet with hard pads. The tail is high set with a thick brush carried curled over the back. He moves with a quick, light but energetic trot.