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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Canaan Dog

Canaan Dog

Origin: Israel

AKC Group: Herding

Height: 19 - 24 inches (Male)

Weight: 35 - 55 pounds (Male)

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Caanan Dogs are extremely keen and alert, so they make excellent watchdogs. They're very gentle and adjust to almost any lifestyle if walked daily. They're reserved with strangers and sometimes aggressive with other dogs. They're usually good with children. Some Caanan dogs bark, dig and whine.

Caanan dogs are herding dogs. In general, herding dogs were originally bred to control the movement of sheep and cattle. While some breeds still work the farmlands, others are used for search and rescue and narcotics detection.

When kept as pets, these dogs often try to "herd" their owners by nipping at their owners' heels. If properly trained and exercised daily, herders make excellent family companions.

Male height: 
19 - 24 inches
Male weight: 
35 - 55 pounds
About an inch and half long. Brush once a week. Ears prick up; tail curls over the back when the dog is excited.
Wide variety. Nose is black or brown; eyes are dark or hazel.

The Canaan Dog is an ancient breed - cave drawings dating back to about 2200 BCE show dogs who look remarkably like the Canaan. He was a guard dog and herding dog to the ancient Israelites. When the Jewish people were dispersed from the land thousands of years ago, these dogs began living in the Negev Desert, remaining mostly undomesticated, although a few were purported to have hunted alongside the Bedouins and guarded the flocks of the Druze on Mount Caramel. When the Jewish people returned to the land in the 1930s, they discovered these pariah dogs, almost like living fossils, existing in a feral state. The breed's modern history began in the late 1930s, when an Israeli canine authority, Dr. Rudolphina Menzel, was asked to develop a dog to guard the kibbutz. Using a model dog named Dugma, she established what became known as today's Canaan Dog - a highly intelligent and trainable canine whose versatility has been tapped for mine detection work, sentry and messenger work, guiding the blind, and much more.

Developed from strains of dogs that had the instincts to survive for thousands of years on their own, the Canaan Dog retains a strong flight instinct, as well as an innate ability to care for himself. However, he is also a devoted companion who is intelligent and easily trained. He is affectionate with his family and loves to play.
At home: 
The Canaan Dog can get along well in many different environments, including apartment life, as long as he's exercised enough. Because he is naturally independent and fleet footed, keeping him on leash in all but securely enclosed areas is a must. The Canaan Dog is a barker (part of his guarding instinct)- he will alert you to anything that approaches what he considers his territory.
The smart, quick Canaan Dog needs daily activity that will challenge him mentally and physically. Several long walks a day are not enough for this alert and responsive dog; he must have a job or be involved in a sport.
The Canaan Dog is not a picky eater. He requires a high-quality, age-appropriate diet.
The Canaan was bred to be a responsive, alert, and watchful dog. Without direction, he will develop his own course of action, which may not be desirable. Because he is highly trainable and an eager worker, training him is a joyful experience. He should be socialized with children and other animals from an early age to help lessen his natural reticence.
The Canaan Dog is standoffish with strangers and unfamiliar children, but he will be protective of the children in his own family. This breed can be aggressive with other dogs and needs plenty of socialization and training in that area. He should not live in a home with small mammals because he will see them as prey.
he average life span of the Canaan Dog is 12 to 15 years. There are no reported breed-specific health concerns.
Fun fact: 

The Canaan dog is also known as Kelef K'naani.

Grooming blurb: 
He sheds seasonally, but otherwise the Canaan Dog is an easy breed to keep clean and neat with regular brushing with a coarse bristle brush. A shedding blade can be used during times of heavy shedding.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.