Canaan Dog

Canaan Dog Breed Information

Canaan dogs are pariah dogs in Ancient Canaan. Canaan nowadays is more known to be Israel or Palestinian. This dog witnessed the oldest biblical history. The oldest fossil of dogs has been found in the caves of Einan and Hayonim about 10,000 years ago.

Canaan dogs come in white, sandy, brown, and black, with several patterns and varieties in these colors. Their pricked ears have a broad base and rounded tip and are low set. Their eyes are dark and slightly slanted. They usually weigh from 35 to 55 pounds (16 25kg), and their bodies are strong, with moderately deep chests. Their tails are bushy curls that extend over their backs when they are alert. Canaan dogs stand from 10 to 24 inches tall (48 61 cm).


Canaan Dogs are resourceful, intelligent, and highly trainable. They can survive independently and even try to when confronted with a substantial change such as different people or homes. This breed does not adapt well to sudden change. Therefore a secure yard for the play area is advisable. A natural watchdog, this breed is highly protective and has the courage to take on a fight when threatened. They are very cautious of strangers, children, and animals, yet are very devoted to families and friends.

The Canaan Dog can learn to track, herd and compete in obedience trials. They have some herding instincts but not as strong as some other herding breeds. It is also said they make good watchdogs. It seems that guard instinct would normally go with herding. In some cases, they may be overly into guarding and not know friend from foe.

The Canaan Dog is a double coated breed with straight topcoat not more than 2 inches long. Their undercoat is thick, and can take on extreme temperature changes. Their coat comes in two patterns such as: white with mash, and densely colored with or without the white trim. Solid colors vary from black, red, liver, sandy, and all shades of brown.

The Canaan Dog is generally a clean breed. They need regular brushing and bathing only when necessary. Their nails need to be trimmed, and their ears cleaned. This breed is prone to eye problems, hypothyroidism, hip and elbow dysplasia, and patella luxation.

Today, the Canaan Dog is recognized by all the world’s kennel clubs and is being bred in many countries. There are breed clubs in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Finland, Germany, France, and Israel.

The Canaan dog is the national dog breed of Israel. The Canaan Dog is a member of the Pariah type dogs, a sub family of the Spitz group of dogs. The Canaan dog has been very common in the Southern Levant region, from Sinai to Syria.

In general, the Canaan dog does not suffer from known hereditary problems. However, the breed is one of the healthiest. George A. Padgett, DVM, listed diseases that have been seen in the Canaan dog at one time or another: hypothyroidism, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cryptorchidism, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

The Canaan Dog breed has a lot to offer, not only in its traditional role as a herder. It has shown itself to be dependable, agile and so has found a new place for these talents in tracking and hunting trials to work well as a team. They can also think independently. They are devoted and loyal to their families and instinctively protective and guarding.

Training is needed to control the level of barking this dog may show. This dog needs strong leadership, as it can be aggressive and very domineering over other dogs. They are very friendly with people they know well, but socializing them well with both people and dogs from a very young age is recommended. This is not the best breed with children. It is partly due to the dog’s strong sense of order within their pack. This dog will thrive happily with a single leader that is strong and fair.

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