Canaan Dog | Dog Breed Information


Canaan dog is an amazing and unusual animal. He easily tolerates heat and is able to work under the sun for a long time.

The Canaan Dog is striking in its history. One has only to think about it: fully domesticated, trusting people, she was forced to survive in the wild. And she survived. How this happened, we will tell in this article. This is one of the hardiest breeds. As in ancient times, and now people use it for work: it perfectly shows security qualities, copes with the work of a shepherd, rescuer, security guard, policeman. Easily tolerates heat, is not subject to thermal overheating.

Canaan dog
Canaan dog

Dog handlers joke that this is the only breed that only performs commands in Hebrew. Whether this is innate stubbornness or a myth, you can only be convinced by personally meeting this amazing four-legged beast and, of course, by reading this Pets Feed article.


The Canaan dog is an ancient breed from the Middle East. They used to monitor and direct the flock of the ancient inhabitants. When they dispersed, the same thing happened with their dogs, and only the strongest and most intelligent survived in this hostile environment.

The history of the origin of the Canaan dog is quite interesting and unusual. So, scientists report on the image of the Canaan animal found on the Sinai Peninsula, which was carved into stone more than 2,000 years ago. In addition, the remains of dogs were found in ancient graves in Israel, which date back to 2000 BC. There are suggestions that this particular animal was a symbol of the wife of the king of the kingdom of Israel Ahab – Jezebel.

However, no later records of the dog have been found. That is why most researchers are of the opinion that for some time the breed was forgotten, and the dogs that lived, though not far from people, but by themselves, began to run wild.

Rudelfina Menzel, a well-known breeder and trainer of dogs in Israel, but having German roots, drew attention to these animals. It is she who is considered the founder of the Canaan dog breed in its modern sense. Paying attention to stray dogs, she began to carefully study and research them, and then came to the conclusion that Canaan animals are well suited to training and education and have the ability to work effectively even in adverse environmental conditions.

In connection with the discovered positive qualities, active breeding of these dogs began. Through the efforts of Rudelfina Menzel, the first nursery for the Canaan breed was created in Israel. Moreover, he worked according to a specially developed concept. Also, a breeder of German origin formulated a standard for this breed of dogs, which was even officially adopted at the level of the Israeli Kennel Club, as well as the International Cynologists Federation. In addition, it was Rudelfina Menzel who gave the name to the breed.

Since then, this variety of dogs has attracted scientists and dog breeders not only throughout Israel, but also far beyond the borders of this country. So, animals began to spread throughout the UK, the United States of America and even in the Republic of South Africa.

However, the history of the existence of this breed of animals has not been successful and has gone through many negative turns. So, in the 1980s, an epidemic of rabies broke out among the representatives of the breed, thanks to which the existence of a species of animals was in question.

In Israel, Canaan dogs have been used for practical purposes from the time of their peak to the present day. Animals work as watchdogs and guide dogs, and law enforcement agencies use them to detect explosives and drugs. In addition, Canaan dogs are dogs that are used in the military field. Often they are used to traverse minefields, because, thanks to their instinct, they can build safe routes.

This dog is found in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Sinai peninsula, and these or dogs very similar are found in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria. (wikipwdia)

Other names: Palestinian Pariah Dog, Bedouin Sheepdog

Canaan dog
Canaan dog

Description of the breed

According to the official description, it has not changed since it was approved. Canaan Dog is medium height, proportionally built, not ponderous, but not overly sophisticated either. This dog is harmoniously built, this is especially noticeable when the animal moves. The dog of this breed runs easily, gracefully, without fussiness.

Males differ from bitches – they are stronger, larger. Height varies from 50 to 60 cm, the maximum is 61 cm, weighs about 18-25 kg, individuals weighing 16 kg are allowed, but not less.

Canaan dogs are distinguished by high endurance and easily adapt to the requirements of their owners, do not need special conditions, and are unpretentious. The standard indicates the following description of the appearance of the representatives of the breed:

Head. Proportional, strong, medium length, with a wide, almost flat forehead. The transition from the forehead to the muzzle is not pronounced, smooth. The muzzle is wide, the bridge of the nose is even, the jaws are well developed, with dense, thin lips that hide the lower jaw and dentition. The dog has a complete set of teeth, they are large, white, create a correct bite.

The nose is wide, mobile, pigmentation is exclusively black. The eyes are small, oval, with an expressive, intelligent look, the corners are slightly lowered. The iris can be colored brown, dark brown. It is believed that the darker the eyes, the better. The eyes have tight-fitting black eyelids.

The auricles are thick, wide at the base, and widely spaced. They have a vertical set, at the ends of the rounding.

The torso. Dogs have a well-knit, muscular body, an almost square body. The neck is oval, with well-developed muscles, set vertically. The withers are clearly expressed, the chest is deep, of medium width. The back is straight, shortened, with a convex loin. The groin line is tight.

The limbs are elongated, with a well-defined, strong bone, oval, paws of medium thickness. The hind legs are set wider than the forelegs, medium-sized, well-muscled. The hocks are high, not heavy and flexible. Extremities with small, rounded hands, strong, arched toes, strong, dark nails, and prominent, sturdy pads.

The tail is not too thick, with good, abundant trim. When the dog moves, the tail is positioned over the back, coiled into a tightly closed ring.

Canaan dog
Canaan dog

Personality and character traits

This breed is considered true, created by nature itself. Its representatives have a developed intellect, are distinguished by their loyalty and devotion to their master.

Such a pet very quickly becomes attached to all household members, as well as people who often enter the house. But pets are wary and suspicious of unfamiliar pets. Canaan dog can be an excellent, a sensitive watchdog, with one drawback – he barks a lot and quite loudly.

Long-term loneliness is not for the Canaan Dog, he misses the owner, yearns and can entertain himself on his own, not in favor of the owner. The Canaan Dog gets along well with children, especially over 7 years old, their joint games can be long and active. But, if there are kids in the house, then it is better to refuse such a pet for now – due to loud barking, certain problems may arise.

Another nuance – the Canaan Dog does not get along very well with their own kind, especially dogs of the same sex, cats, and rodents. For too long they had to live, independently obtaining food, and then – to guard and graze the herds, so their hunting and herding instincts are too strong.

The Canaan dog is a mobile, active animal, therefore not suitable for couch potatoes. In addition, the owner may have difficulty training the pet, as he is quite independent and overly stubborn.

Important! If good contact of the dog is a significant characteristic for you, it is worth starting its socialization from puppyhood. To do this, acquaint with new people as much as possible, give a variety of toys, enrich the environment with new smells.

Canaan Dog
Canaan Dog


The Canaan dog is generally a healthy breed, with some problems widely recognized as specific to his breed. It is advisable to have a hip examination and an eye exam for reproduction to avoid any problems during reproduction.

Veterinarians refer to the pedigree diseases of Canaan dogs:

  • Epilepsy. In dogs, it usually appears at the age of 2-4 years.
  • Lymphosarcoma;
  • Angiohemophilia;
  • Thrombopathy;
  • Allergy. It is accompanied by itching. Scratching can cause bacterial contamination.
  • Dysplasia of the hip and elbow joints is rare but occurs.

Dogs of this breed live, on average, 12-15 years.

Canaan dog
Canaan Dog

Basic care

The ideal conditions for keeping the Canaan dog are free range in the yard. It is possible to keep in the apartment, but these are quite active animals. Certain requirements must be observed in order for everyone to feel comfortable. It is highly discouraged to keep it in an aviary and on a chain.


Canaan dog grooming is classically simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s limited to brushing. Hair Care: The breed has short and hard hair. The coat should be brushed once a week. Molting happens twice a year. At this time, it is worth combing out more often and more thoroughly. You can use slickers. For regular combing, a stiff bristled brush will work.

Cutting nails, brushing teeth, ears: regularly as needed. The nose, mouth, ears, and paws should be examined for damage, scratches, rashes, and parasites. Teeth brushing should be taught from an early age. Carry out the procedure every 3-4 days. The oral cavity should also be examined regularly for tartar. This will allow it to be removed promptly and without complications in the veterinarian’s office.

Bathing: rarely. The dog has no characteristic odor and is very clean. Interestingly, the same wild ancestors awarded her with such a feature. It is easier to escape from predators and aggressive fellow tribesmen if the animal does not leave behind a smell. Since the smell emitted by the secret of the skin is the passport in the animal world. It determines gender, health status, the time when the owner was in a particular area and many other significant parameters.

Canaan puppy
Canaan puppy


Natural feeding should be based on meat. Other important elements containing animal protein are offal, eggs and fish. On days when the stomach is resting and offal are given, the portion should be increased.

The meat has more calories, so less is required. Eggs are given no more than twice a week.

  • Fermented milk products: yogurt, kefir, fermented baked milk – every 4 days.
  • Cereals: rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, corn. These are sources of carbohydrates. But it is not worth giving porridge every day.
  • Vegetables: raw and boiled. In order for the dog to eat vegetables, they should be mixed with meat.
  • Vegetable oils are very useful for digestion. They are added one spoon at a time to any other food.
  • Vitamins and trace elements are essential for the diet. To choose a multivitamin complex, you should consult your veterinarian.

Important! Exclude: sweet, salty, starchy foods, potatoes, beans, smoked, spicy.

If the owner chooses dry balanced food, then it is preferable to pay attention to super-premium food, since they contain natural meat. Holistic food generally consists of natural processed meat. Feeding good dry food is safe for the dog’s health and convenient for the owner, since the daily feed rate is written on the package.

Serving sizes can be easily adjusted. Plus, in the lines of expensive dry food, the individual characteristics of each dog are taken into account. An old Jewish proverb says: “We are not rich enough to buy cheap things.” Indeed, it is much cheaper to buy high-quality food and not worry about the health of the animal, than constantly treating it for problems with the digestive tract, kidneys, liver, allergies, etc.

Super-premium feeds include:

  • Royal Canin
  • Hills
  • Grandorf
  • Acana
  • Arden Grande
  • Almo Nature
  • Brit Care
  • Bozita
  • Belcando
  • Dukes Farm

With any type of diet, dogs need access to fresh water. After eating, the dog must be sure to rest so that the food is absorbed correctly.

Canaan dog
Canaan dog


These dogs like to exercise and are agile and athletic. They will adapt to as many exercises as they are allowed, indoors and outdoors. It is advisable to take the dog Canaan for a good walk every day for at least an hour.

If not energized, the Canaanites can become nervous, aggressive, and can bark “for no reason.” This behavior is just an alarm signal for the owner. This means that the person has not organized the proper conditions for the pet. Passive, lazy people should not have dogs at all, so as not to torment them.

This breed loves to explore, roam, and run. Loves to dig the ground. It is important to take into account that after a walk without supervision, a dozen holes, holes, passages, digs may appear on the garden plot. Teaching tricks, commands and just the education of good manners should be systematic, clearly structured from simple to complex. It is important to consider the individual characteristics of each puppy. Exercise should not be monotonous and boring. If the owner realizes that he cannot cope with the upbringing of the animal, you should contact a specialist cynologist as soon as possible.

Important! Outdoor walks should be daily in the morning and in the evening for at least an hour.

Canaan dog
Canaan dog

Education and training

The dog learns new tricks, commands and exercises very quickly. A few repetitions are enough and she grasps the principle. Very intelligent and quick-witted. But there is a catch in this: being smart, he shows independence in behavior. If he does not consider it important to do something, then he simply does not do it. Also capable of sabotaging a workout if the coach has not won her authority. But even more, the Canaan dog does not tolerate brutal suppression by force, in which case it will simply flee or defend itself. It is better to positively reinforce the dog’s motivation and then you can get an agreeable, well-mannered student.

Canaan dog Fun Facts

  • The breed got its name from the ancient city of Canaan. The city was named after the son of Ham, who became the progenitor of the African people.
  • This is the only breed that is bred in Israel. It is one of the rarest in the world. The total number of individuals is about 2 thousand.
  • Serious work with the Canaan dog began only at the beginning of the 20th century. The breed was founded by the German cynologist Rudelfina Menzel. Prior to this, no selective breeding work was carried out.
  • Canaan dogs are tenacious and hardy. They managed to survive in the middle of the twentieth century, when a rabies epidemic was declared in Israel and all stray dogs were shot. When people approached, they hid in holes.
  • Many argue that dogs are aggressive and cowardly. This is an incorrect statement and is based on a misinterpretation of the behavior of the Canaan dog.
  • It is also a false statement that these dogs are spread throughout the world as stray animals. The outward resemblance between the homeless and the Canaan dog is only partial. Purebred individuals can be found in nurseries, in the desert of Israel or among the Bedouins. In addition, the procedure for recognizing a dog as a Canaanite takes place with the participation of expert dog handlers.
  • Probably, the breed originated from wild African dogs. The fact is confirmed by the relationship with the Basenji.
  • Sometimes the breed is called “biblical”. It is assumed that it was the ancestor of Canaan that was with Jezebel, the wife of the king of Israel Ahab. According to legend, Jezebel kept her wards at the throne, and the pets themselves were adorned with gold collars. Images of the ancient ancestors of these dogs were found in the Egyptian tomb of Beni Hassan. The age of the drawings is about 2500 BC.
  • The history of this breed is full of not the most positive moments. The Canaan dog lived and collaborated with tribes, existed as wild individuals, were on the verge of extinction. The harsh desert climate has taught dogs to survive and adapt to the most unexpected weather conditions.
  • Due to its rarity, the Canaan dog is difficult to acquire. Most often, you need to travel to another country to find a purebred puppy. However, dogs are deservedly considered loyal, friendly and active. They are ideal as a guard and companion for the whole family.
Canaan dog
Canaan dog

Canaan Dog Breed Highlights

Positive points

  • Canaan Dog is known for making a wonderful pet.
  • It forms very strong bonds with his family and his owner.
  • It is known to be very good and tolerant towards children of all ages.
  • It is very intelligent and in good hands, easy to train.
  • Canaan Dog makes an excellent watchdog.
  • It has an easy-care coat.
  • Canaan Dog is very clean and has a low coat.

Negative points

  • Canaan Dog can attach to its original owner when adopted.
  • It flourishes by receiving a lot of daily physical exercises and mental stimulation.
  • It is suspicious of strangers.
  • It must be well socialized from an early age to become a confident adult dog.
  • Aggressive behavior of the same sex can be a problem.
  • Canaan Dog can be very territorial and have a strong sense of prey.

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