Canaan Dog

AKC Group: Herding

It’s said the Canaan dog dates back to biblical times. Canaan dogs roamed ancient Israel to herd and protect farm animals. In the second century when Romans “removed” the Israelites, Canaan dogs took refuge in the Negev Desert, which became an oasis for Israeli wildlife. Eventually the dogs were then used as guard dogs in Jewish settlements and became the Canaan breed of today.

Size: 19 to 25 inches tall; 35 to 55 pounds

Color: Predominantly white with a mask (that may or may not have additional patches of color). Solid colors of black, brown or red with or without white trim. Masks should be symmetrical and cover both the eyes and ears.

Life span: 12 to 15 years

Health problems: Thyroid issues and seizures are often noted.

Canaan dogs have a sturdy, yet sleek build and an alert expression. They have straight, harsh coats with medium to long hair. The undercoat is close fitting to the body.

Canaans are loyal and affectionate, eager to please, enthusiastic and resourceful dogs. They aren’t overly demanding of attention, they’re independent dogs that can lean towards being manipulative and display a strong will at times. They are an adaptable dog that require a great deal of mental stimulation from their environment to stem destructiveness. Canaans have a natural tendency towards distrustfulness, so don’t expect them to apply for a spot with Welcome Wagon. He is protective and territorial, making him an effective watchdog. If he’s raised with children, they get along famously. He tends to be aggressive with other dogs and will probably chase smaller companion animals. If they are brought up alongside other animals, they do well and find a way to suppress the instinct. They love to dig and bark readily.

You can keep a Canaan looking gorgeous with a weekly brushing. He sheds seasonally and needs more brushing and grooming during these times. Training is easy if you get them to consider you their “herder.” Highly intelligent, Canaans pick up tricks and commands with ease. Show them something once and they figure out how to repeat it themselves. If a Canaan isn’t challenged enough, he’ll become bored. They require motivation and crave new tricks and challenges. Setting up “hunts” in the yard or during a walk or letting them herd in the yard will put their natural abilities to work and will suffice as mental exercise once he’s exhausted learning the bag of tricks. Early socialization and behavior expectations will make life with your Canaan easier as he ages.


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