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Other Names:Kelev K’naani
Group: Herding AKC, Utility KC
The Canaan dog is an ancient breed from the Middle East and is well-adapted to the rough conditions of the deserts. The Canaan Dog is a medium sized, with a blunt, wedge shaped head, natural upright ears, distinctive bushy tail curves over its back when the dog is alert.
Short to medium double coat, with a harsh, flat outercoat and soft undercoat. The coloring of the Canaan Dog can vary and includes white or black, harlequin, and sandy, cream, reddish brown, and black. The hairs are shorter on the head, on the body and on the legs. The undercoat is short and straight, and the density depends of the climate. The tail’s hair is very thick and bushy.
The Canaan is not suitable for inexperienced dog owners.
Weight: 37 – 57 lbs (16 -25 kg)
Average Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
The Canaan Dog is not a man made breed, they are one of the few natural breeds in existence today. They have become domesticated over the years but still possess extremely strong survival instincts, which can make them independent and wary. They are territorial, but not aggressive to people although they can be to other dogs. This breed is dependable, obedient, intelligent, independent, gentle, devoted, docile, lively, alert, protective and an excellent herder. Canaan Dogs make very good family pets being gentle and lively and are protective of their family, both adults and children. At the age of about 10 months Canaan dogs go through an insecure phase. They can be fearful of things they do not know. They will grow out of this as they mature. As a breed Canaans mature slowly and only come into their own at about 3 or 4 years old.
They are cautious with strangers, and will alert to any disturbances with prompt barking, making them excellent watchdogs. The Canaan Dog is territorial and should be kept in a fenced-in yard.
The Canaan dog is very intelligent breed that can do very well in obedience training. The key to train this dog is positive training, though, it gets bored easily from repetitive training. They excel in a number of areas, including herding, and tracking. The breed is fastidiously clean, and easily housebroken, a trait that stems from the “den” instincts of the Pariah Dog. As with all dogs, Canaans should be socialised with other household pets and children from an early age.
The Canaan Dog is an energetic dog and needs a lot of exercise and physical and mental challenges.
Grooming – A heavy shedder
Out of shedding season the Canaan Dog does not shed its coat excessively, the coat may need to be brushed once a week. However when they are moulting the thick undercoat is shed in great handfuls. During this time they should be brushed on a daily basis.
Noted for its resistance to disease and healthy constitution, the Canaan dog is a very hardy breed and has one of the lowest rates of hip dysplasia out of any breed.
Canaan Dog History
The Canaan Dog is an ancient breed from the Middle East. They were used to guard and herd the flocks of the ancient Israelites. The Israelites were dispersed by the Romans in the 2nd century. As the Hebrew population dropped, the majority of the dogs sought refuge in the Negev Desert, a natural reservoir of Israeli wildlife. Avoiding extinction, they remained undomesticated for the most part, although some lived with the Bedouin tribes and earned their keep by guarding the herds and camps. Some were also guards for the Druze on Mount Carmel.
During the 1930’s a guard dog was required by the isolated settlements of Israel. The Canaan Dog was the ideal choice; they were semi-wild and could survive in the harsh conditions. Today this dog is still seen guarding for the Bedouin tribes and also the Israeli army used them for guard and patrol work. Today the Canaan Dog is the National Dog of Israel and is now protected. Unfortunately there are very few wild Canaan dogs in existence.