The Canaan Dog is not that far removed from the wild dogs that she came from in Israel. Possibly owing to this near wild heritage, she is a very healthy dog. She tends to be a one person dog or a one family dog. She is a good watch dog and guard dog and she may be aloof with strangers or non family members. She can be raised in an apartment as long as she gets enough exercise. Of course, a properly fenced in enclosure for exercise is ideal.

Good With Children? Generally good with older children, especially if properly socialized. As a reminder, never leave young children alone with a dog or puppy.

Good With Other Pets? Good with other pets although can be territorial and may fight with dogs of the same sex..

Trainability: Very trainable, intelligent.

Approximate Adult Size. The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the male Canaan Dog is 20 to 24 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 45 to 55 pounds. The female ranges from 19 to 23 inches to the withers and 35 to 45 pounds.

Special Health Considerations. Most dog breeds have certain inherited health problems associated with that specific breed but the Canaan Dog is an extremely healthy breed. She should visit the veterinarian several times in the first year for shots, boosters and check up. Then, as an adult, she should visit the veterinarian yearly for shots and check up. As she gets older, six years and on, she should visit the veterinarian twice a year for check ups and shots. Remember; avoid feeding your dog sweets.

Grooming. The Canaan Dog has a double coat, the outer is straight, flat lying and harsh with a bit of ruff. The inner coat is short, soft and flat. She should be brushed weekly. Brushing will help her maintain a clean and healthy coat and help you keep a closer eye on her health and strengthen your emotional bond with her.

Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease.

Her toenails may need to be examined for growth and clipped regularly. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet. Generally a guillotine type trimmer is the best for this chore and competent instructions to accomplish this can be found on the net.

Life Span. The Canaan Dog can live between 12 and 16 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.

History. This is a breed from the area that is now Israel. They have been around since pre-biblical times (around 2000 BC) and were developed through breeding of the Pariah dogs. Their purpose was to guard sheep and goats. The Canaan Dogs are not that far removed from semi wild dogs. They were first registered by the American Kennel Association in 1997.

Other Names Known By: Kelef Knaani


Confident, Alert, Vigilant
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 179 of 193
Height: 20-24 inches (male), 19-23 inches (female)
Weight: 45-55 pounds (male), 35-45 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years


The Canaan Dog Club of America

The CDCA is a non-profit organization whose primary objective is to encourage and promote
the breeding of pure-bred Canaan Dogs and to do all possible to bring their natural qualities to
perfection. The CDCA was formed in 1965 with the arrival of the first four Canaan Dogs to the United States.

The Canaan Dog, also known as Kelev K’naani, is a recent breed out of ancient Pariah Dog stock, and is the unique project of a pair of scientists, Drs. Rudolph and Rudolphina Menzel, dog experts and world authorities on Pariah Dogs, who loved Pariah Dogs and considered them worthy progenitors of what would become the modern Canaan Dog.

The Canaan Dog was developed from redomesticated Pariah Dog stock captured in the Palestine, where they were first used for guarding and tending cattle and sheep. The Israelis have since used the Canaan Dog for guard duties, as mine detectors during war times, as messengers, and as Red Cross helpers. The Canaan Dog possesses extremely keen senses of hearing and smell, and he can detect approaching intruders from a considerable distance, becoming instantly alert. He is an intelligent, trainable breed whose tracking ability is excellent. He shows definite talent as a stock dog and is able to compete in herding events. However, he does not perform as does a Border Collie or Kelpie with that degree of “eye”. When raised with children and other pets, he becomes a devoted family companion and natural watchdog. He is aloof with strangers, inquisitive, loyal, and loving with his family. Because of the strong “denning” instinct of their recent semi-wild past, the Canaan Dog is naturally clean and easily housebroken. He does not require an excessive amount of exercise.

The medium-size, square body of the Canaan Dog is without extremes, showing a clear, sharp outline. He moves with athletic agility and grace in a quick, brisk, ground-covering trot. He has a wedge-shaped head with low-set erect ears, a bushy tail that curls over the back when excited, and a straight, harsh, flat-lying double coat.

The Canaan Dog is recognized by the American Kennel Club (Herding Group), the United Kennel Club (Sighthounds and Pariah Dogs), the Israel Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club (Working Dogs), and the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA), among others. The Canaan Dog is also registered with the American Canine Association, Inc.