Canaan Dog

Temperament: Confident, Alert, Vigilant

  • Height: 20-24 inches (male), 19-23 inches (female)
  • Weight: 45-55 pounds (male), 35-45 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Herding Group 

the Canaan Dog is the national dog of Israel. This quick, medium-sized pasture dog is docile with family, aloof with strangers. The ever-alert Canaan is a vocal and persistent guardian of flock and home.


The Canaan Dog is a pariah dog type that is naturally alert, inquisitive and watchful. He is mistrustful of strangers and unfamiliar environments, yet loyal and loving with his family. A square dog of medium size, moderate and balanced without extremes, showing a clean outline. The moderately angulated Canaan Dog moves with athletic agility and grace in an efficient, ground-covering endurance trot. He has a wedge-shaped head with low-set erect ears, a high set brush tail that curls over the back when confident, and a straight, harsh, flat-lying double coat. There is a marked distinction between the sexes.

About the Canaan Dog

Canaan Dogs are lean, bushy-tailed dogs standing 19 to 24 inches at the shoulder. The coat is straight and harsh, and comes in various colours and patterns. Erect, expressive ears and dark almond eyes convey an inquisitive expression. Canaan’s move at a brisk, natural trot. They are rugged, agile, and apparently tireless, making them a nice fit for hikers and runners.

Canaan’s are clever, confident, and territorial. They will end up “owning” passive owners who haven’t establish themselves as top dog in the family pack. Early training and socialisation are key. When positive methods are applied, these ancient wonder-dogs train beautifully. Agility, obedience, herding trials, and sentry duty are a few outlets for their work ethic.

NUTRITION The Canaan Dog should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING Canaan tend to stay clean and normally require less frequent baths than other moderately active breeds. They have a double coat, consisting of a harsh, flat outer coat and a softer undercoat. They will have a shedding season at least once a year—frequent brushing during this time will help to remove loose hair and keep the dog looking his best. The nails should be trimmed regularly if they don’t wear down naturally, as overly long nails can cause discomfort and structural issues.

EXERCISE Canaan require a moderate amount of exercise and can adapt well various living situations when given daily outings. Training for dog sports provides an ideal outlet for their energy. The breed exercises mind and body by participating in obedience, tracking, herding, agility, nose work, carting, coursing ability tests, and other activities that dog and owner can enjoy together.

TRAINING Wonderfully sensitive, affectionate, and responsive, Canaan Dogs make devoted family companions. They are highly intelligent and readily trained. Although the dogs are adaptable to most climates and living situations, their natural drive for self-preservation and a well-developed sense of territory make them mistrustful of strange people, strange dogs, and new environments; early socialisation and puppy training classes are a must. This is a process that should begin with the breeder and continue with the new owner and helps to ensure a well-mannered and well-adjusted dog both at home and in public. Training sessions should always be positive; harsh training methods will have a negative effect on the Canaan’s sensitive nature.

HEALTH The Canaan Dog is generally healthy and has a small group of dedicated breeders who communicate with each other regularly and work together for the betterment of the breed. As with all breeds, a Canaan Dog’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation
  3. Thyroid Evaluation
  4. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  5. Patella Evaluation

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