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Canaan Dog

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Canaan Dog

Canaan Dogs are medium-sized, squarely proportioned and sturdy dogs. They are Spitz-like in appearance. They have a double coat which protects them from extreme temperatures. The dense outer coat should be straight and short to medium in length. The soft undercoat should be short, soft and abundant. The coat colors are black, brown, white, sand, red/brown, black/white, and brown/white. Solid colored dogs will sometimes have a trim of white on the chest, feet or tip of tail. Red dogs are usually born either white, darkening to red or dark reddish brown, lightening to red. The patches on the Brown/White and Black/White dogs should match their symmetrical mask. The FCI standard allows solid white dogs when showing. However, the Canaan Club of America and the AKC do not. They have medium size, wedge shaped heads with a shallow, but defined stop. The almond shaped ears are slightly slanted and are a dark brown. They are low set, erect and are rounded at the tips. They should be broad and medium to large in size. The eye rims should complement the coat color. The nose is dark and the jaw strong. The teeth should meet in either a scissor-like or level bite. (Only FCI accepts level bites). The well arched neck should be muscular and the body should appear square with a straight topline. The deep chest should have well sprung ribs and the legs should be straight. The hindlegs should have broad, muscular thighs. The strong feet should be round and have hard pads. The tail is bushy, curled over the back and set high.

Temperament Canaan Dogs are gentle, lively, devoted and docile. They are also enthusiastic and vigilant guard dogs. This breed is a natural breed that has become domesticated over the years. However, they still possess extreme survival instincts, in which they can become independent and distrustful. They are great watch dogs because they are tremendously defensive of their territory. They are also very protective of their families, including adults and children. They tend to be devoted either to one person or one family and have a difficult time with transition. They are naturally suspicious of strangers although they are generally not aggressive towards people. However, they can be aggressive with other dogs. Canaan Dogs are exceptional at obedience, agility, tracking and other trial sports. Around the age of 10 months, this breed goes through an insecurity phase and become fearful of the unknown. As they mature they will grow out of this phase. The breed matures slowly and doesn't completely mature until they reach 3 or 4 years old.
Height, Weight Height: 19-24" ; Weight: 35-55 lbs.
Health Problems Canaans are a very healthy bred and have a very low occurrence of hip dysplasia.
Living Conditions Canaans will do fine with apartment living if given regular exercise. They are rather active indoors and make a wonderful house pet. Its dense undercoat makes this dog virtually weatherproof in either hot or cold conditions.
Exercise This breed needs regular exercise as it is happiest when it is mentally and physically challenged. Take him for a long jog or get him involved with strenuous game sessions or herding exercises.
Life Expectancy About 12-15 years
Grooming The Canaan Dog is a very clean breed with no odor. Brush once a week. They are seasonal heavy shedders.
Origin The Canaan Dog is an ancient breed. It has been thought that, like other pariah dogs of the Middle East, they were a descendant of the Indian Wolf. However, an alternative thought has been presented in which the pariah dog is thought to be a descendant of a southern species of canine. Although these species are distinct wolf they are closely related. Ancient drawings dating from 2200-2000 BC have been found in the Beni-Hassan tombs depicting the Canaan Dog. This breed originated in Canaan (modern day Israel) and were used to guard the camps and protect and herd the flocks. When the Israeli population dispersed the majority of the dogs sought refuge in the Negev Desert, a natural reservoir of Israeli wildlife. Only the strongest and most intelligent survived the harsh environment. The breed, avoiding extinction, remained mostly undomesticated. However, some lived with Bedouins helping them guard their herds and camps. Others became guard dogs for the Druze people at Mt. Carmel. In 1934, Hagnah, Israel's defense force, recruited Dr. Rudolphina Menzel to develop a service dog. This dog would help guard Hebrew settlements and assist in their War of Independence. Breeds used traditionally for this purpose were unable to survive the adverse climate. Dr. Menzel decided to use the native pariah dogs. She was the person who actually attached the name "Canaan Dog" to the breed. The breed was not only used in the War of Independence but also extensively during World War II as patrol, tracking and guard dogs. They have also been used as sentries, messengers and land mine detectors. Today, Canaan dogs are still used by Bedouins as well as the Israeli Army and Police for guarding and patrol work. This breed has also been used as a guide for the blind. Many Israeli citizens also have Canaan dogs to guard their homes. This breed still exists in the wild; however, they are becoming extinct due to the rate of "civilized" development. In 1965, four dogs were imported to the United Stated from Dr. Menzel. The Canaan Dog is recognized by the FCI, CKC, ARBA, UKC and the AKC. The Canaan Dog is the National Dog of Israel and is a protected species.
Group AKC Herding, UKC Sighthound and Pariah Dog