Canaan Dog | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Canaan Dog

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

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.

Dog sheet Canaan Dog

Canaan dog photos

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Physical characteristics

The Canaan dog is a medium-sized breed with a square profile. He looks like a spitz. It has thick and abundant fur. When the dog is excited or on the move, the tail curls over the back. The tough, straight coat of short to medium length comes in a variety of colors from sandy to red-brown, white, or black. The ideal height of a Canaan dog is 50-60 cm, and its weight is 18-25 kg.


Distinctive features

  • Head. Proportional, strong, of medium length, with a broad, almost flat forehead. The transition from forehead to 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 full set of teeth, they are large, white, create a correct bite.
  • The nose is wide, mobile, the pigmentation is exclusively black. The eyes are small, oval, with an expressive, intelligent gaze, the corners are slightly lowered. The iris can be brown, dark brown in color. It is believed that the darker the eyes, the better. The eyes have tight-fitting black lids.
  • The auricles are thick, wide at the base and widely spaced. They have a vertical set, at the ends of the rounding.
  • The chest. Dogs have a well-knit and muscular body, an almost square body. The neck is oval, with well-developed muscles, placed 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 bone, solid, oval, legs of medium thickness. The hind legs are wider than the forelegs, of medium size, 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 plenty of good filling. When the dog moves, the tail is positioned over the back, wrapped in a tightly closed ring.

Character and behavior

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

Such a pet very quickly becomes attached to all members of the household, as well as to people who often enter the house. But pets are wary and wary of unfamiliar animals. The Canaan dog can be an excellent sensitive guard dog, with one downside: they bark a lot and quite loudly.

The Canaan dog is a mobile and active animal, so not suitable for couch potatoes. Also, the owner may find it difficult to train the animal, as it is quite independent and too stubborn.

Long-term loneliness is not for the Canaan dog, he misses the owner, craves and can entertain himself, not in favor of the owner.

With the children

The Canaan dog gets along well with children, especially from the age of 7, their joint games can be long and active. But, if there are children in the house, it is better to refuse such a pet for the time being – due to loud barking, some problems may arise.

With other animals

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


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.

Life expectancy

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


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.


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.

Interesting 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.

History of the breed

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


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