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Canaan Dog
The moderation and balance of the proper Canaan Dog doesn't help to indicate the alert, vigilant, highly intelligent and canny personality within.  Most homes, beguiled by the ease of the smooth coat, medium size and pleasing lines will be quickly re-educated on what it takes to be an "easy" dog to live with when the Canaan Dog takes advantage of every weakness in their training and care.  As a dog that survived by its wits in rather difficult environment as the camp follower for Nomads in the Middle East, the Canaan Dog is not the best dog for those who want a "puppy" to spoil.  However, for those that are willing to take the time in rearing a true compatriot and companion, one with a great thinking mind and ability to recognize things are out of the ordinary, it would be hard to find a close second to the Canaan Dog.
By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Primitive-Pariah Height: 14-20
Weight: 35-50 pounds Longevity: teens
Colors: all except brindle, black/tan or tri-color. Solid color, spotted, etc are acceptable. Coat type: Double coat with soft, tight undercoat and relatively short harsh outer coat
Recognized Registries: FCI, UKC, AKC, NCA
Overall Appearance: Medium sized, square proportioned dog with wedge shaped head, prick ears, and curled tail. Moderation and balance are the hallmark of a good example of the breed.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: Moderately high.
General Nature: vigilant, alert, suspicious of strangers
  with Children: good with those they know if properly reared and supervised
  with other pets: generally good
  with dogs: generally good
Socialization requirements: fairly high as the nature of the breed is based on survival skills and wariness
Ideal home characteristics: Appreciation for the high energy and alert nature
Temperament Notes: Do not underestimate their wariness based on their ancestral development and work.
Training requirement: Heavy socialization to be confident in a variety of environments (out, at home, at friends, etc.) and basic manners
Trainer notes: With a vigilant nature the Canaan Dog is very detail oriented.  As such, it can be very difficult to make a "reliable" worker since they will often be a bit reactive and wary in new surroundings.  For the trainer that carefully nurtures and protects a sense of trust from the dog, they can be among the most fearless and focused workers.  Nevertheless, the Canaan Dog is quite enthusiastic about playing and interacting with their people (and what else is training after all) so they can be quite the joy to train even if their nature makes precision work less likely when working in a variety of new places.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: Over 4000 years ago.
Country of Origin: Israel
Original Function: Camp and flock guardians of the Bedouins
History: Over 4000 years old, pariah dogs of Israel that were camp followers of nomads.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: too large, heavy boned, improper coloring, excessively refined, potential ivermectin sensitivity
Health Notes: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, eye problems, hypothyroidism
Health Testing: CERF, OFA (hips and elbows), thyroid panel
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Canaan Dogs?
  • Why do you have Canaan Dog (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Canaan Dog?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Canaan Dog?
  • How would you describe the ideal Canaan Dog home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Canaan Dog?
Web Sites: Canaan Dog Rescue

Other Resources
Breed standard: UKC Standard for the Canaan Dog FCI Standard for the Canaan Dog

Breeder Ethics: Code of Ethics for the Israel Canaan Dog Club of America Canaan Dog Club of America Code of Ethics


It is an irony that a relatively uncommon breed in the US would have two "highly dedicated" (their words) breed parent clubs but lack any  rescue effort within either club.  The rescue listed here is an independent effort with a focus on rescue rather than breeding.

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