Canaan Dog

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Is the Canaan Dog right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Kelev K'naani

The basics:
The Canaan Dog is a primitive breed developed in 20th century Israel for work as a service animal performing important tasks including seeing-eye dog, mine detection, patroling and guarding, and search and rescue. According to the Israel Canaan Dog Club of America, its usefulness came to the forefront in the 1930s when isolated Hebrew settlements found that many breeds traditionally used for these tasks couldn't tolerate the climate. However, the local pariah (semi-wild or feral) dogs represented a true native breed that turned out to be unusually adaptable to domestication. It has since become recognized worldwide.

An interesting characteristic of this dog is that it can be a good watchdog that sounds an alarm without becoming aggressive. If anything, you need to be able to socialize this primitive breed with positive reinforcement from an early age to prevent your pet from becoming timid or fearful. Like other highly-regarded breeds for service work, the Canaan Dog has a lot of mental and physical energy. If you neglect your pet, it could become a problem chewer and/or barker. Be ready to make this dog a part of the family that has something worthwhile to do, because it won't be happy left alone and forgotten in a back yard. And your neighbors won't be thrilled by the resulting noise.

Appearance / health:
Rudophina Menzel, the breed's original developer, described the Canaan dog's head as a "blunt wedge".

Canaan Dogs shed heavily in some seasons but a weekly brushing is sufficient to remove any dead hair.

They require moderate amounts of exercise. A jog, long walk, swim may be suitable for these dogs.

The Canaan Dog is a relatively healthy breed with very few health problems. Hip dysplasia occurs in rare instances. It is a condition marked by badly formed hips and can cause lameness.

Behavior / temperament:
The Canaan Dog is a lively, alert canine that is essentially odorless. He barks for a reason, and stops when he is assured that there is no danger, nor reason to sound the alarm. Their unusually acute sense of hearing and smell make them good and natural watchdogs. They stay close to home, and want 'their' animals to stay home too. Barn cats belong in the barn and house cats in the house. Intruders who dress or behave differently from their family are announced or chased away. Same with animals.

Careful breeding, training and socialization will make most Canaans able to move around their community as responsible "canine good citizens." They should understand how to play with other dogs in the dog park and at doggy day care centers. And they should be trainable both in competition and at home.

Not all Canaan Dogs are noisy. If kept alone for a long time, they may express their boredom by barking at any passerby. Their alertness levels are high, which may be the reason why some Canaan Dogs bark at every disturbance in the neighborhood. With proper training and socialization, they can be a calm and docile breed.


quiet dignity, active playful youngster, good watch dog, smart breed, Very sweet


intensive socializaton, passive dominance, nonsocialized puppies, wild streak, independent breed


agile Canaan Dog, short double coat

Helpful Canaan Dog Review

Canaan Dog

From agilityslayer Aug 25 2010 9:56AM


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