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ORIGIN: The Ganaraskan is a modern breed developed about 30 years ago by a group of breeders, mostly from around the Ganaraska river region of southern Ontario (hence the name), who set out to create the ideal therapy dog. The qualities required from a good therapy animal, such as above average intelligence, eagerness to please and a non-shedding coat, automatically make this dog an ideal family companion. The foundation breeds that contributed to its early development were the English Cocker, the Bichon Frise, the Poodle and the Miniature Schnauzer. Only dogs showing exceptional capacity to learn were used for the program. To this day, all breeding stock is required to be inspected and cleared for hip and elbow dysplasia by an accredited radiologist and also be certified by the Canine Eye Registration Foundation.

TEMPERAMENT: Even temperament, affectionate, quick to learn and eager to please. Extremely intelligent and bonds very strongly with its family. The Ganaraskan’s love and faithfulness are characteristic of the breed.

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Eager, alert, willing to work but calm and responsive. Their medium sizes make them suited to most accommodations.

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: Gannys will measure from 14 to 16 inches at the withers and weigh approximately 16 to 18 pounds.

COAT: The non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat is abundant, soft textured and wavy.

COLOUR: The breed comes in a variety of colours, including black, red, golden, black and silver, black and tan, sable, or parti-colour (white with markings in another colour).

GROOMING: For pet Gannys, clippers may be used to keep the tailored look. Regular brushing is required.

RECOGNITION STATUS: Ganaraskans have been breeding true for over 15 years, but to be legally recognized as a pure bred in Canada, a breed must first be approved for recognition under the Canadian Animal Pedigree Act. To do so, a long period of supervision of the breeding program, by the Ministry of Agriculture, over several generations is mandatory. If everything goes as planned, the Ganaraskan has a good chance of reaching full Pure Bred status within 3 or 4 years. At the moment, Ganaraskans are all recorded with the Canadian Identification Project, in Ottawa. This body provides recordation certificates and pedigrees for all dogs of this variety. All dogs are micro- chipped.

A breed club, The Canadian Ganaraskan Breeders Association, has also been officially organized. This club closely monitors the quality of the animals permitted to enter the breeding program and assures that only breeders who follow the club’s strict requirements on ethical breeding are granted membership.

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