Canaan Dog

Canaan Dog

Canaan Dog is the native dog of Israel. Drawings on tombs at Beni- Hassan, which date to 2200 B.C., depict dogs that look like the Canaan Dogs of today. When the Romans invaded and scattered the Israelites, the native dogs escaped extinction by becoming feral. They lived wild in the Negev Desert for centuries. Some dogs also served the Bedouins as both guard dogs and herding dogs.

The Canaan Dog stands between 19 and 24 inches tall and weighs 35 to 55 pounds. The head is wedge-shaped, the ears are upright, and the eyes are almond-shaped and dark. The tail is often curled over the back when the dog is excited. The double coat has a harsh, flat outer coat and a soft, short undercoat. Canaan Dogs are predominantly white with patches of color, or a solid color with or without white trim.

The Canaan Dog does shed, although the heaviness of the undercoat varies according to climate. Twice weekly brushing will suffice for most of the year; daily brushing may be needed during shedding. A native desert breed, the Canaan Dog is most active in the morning and evening and is content to sleep during the heat of the day. He enjoys walks, games, and many dog sports, including agility, herding, search and rescue, and tracking. Naturally protective, early socialization can temper the Canaan Dog’s responses.

The Canaan Dog needs early socialization to other friendly dogs because he can be dog-aggressive. The Canaan Dog is a survivor because of his self-reliance and his adaptability. He is not a dog for everyone. His independence requires that his owner be loving but firmly in charge. This dog breed needs an experienced dog owner who is patient and affectionate, yet firm and willing to establish household and social rules for the dog. He is good with kids who respect him. His interaction with other dogs and animals should be closely supervised. The primary health concern is hip dysplasia.


One reply on “Canaan Dog”

The AKC Standard says, “The Canaan Dog moves with athletic agility and grace, with a quick, brisk, ground-covering trot.”
The Canaan Dog is light-footed and can turn on a dime. He will take as much exercise as you can offer, yet adults are calm enough to curl up on the sofa when the day’s work or fun is over.
This independent dog is self-reliant and doesn’t need constant petting.
However, he is also highly intelligent and an excellent problem-solver and needs plenty of mental stimulation (obedience, agility, tracking, herding, playing games) to prevent boredom, which can lead to destructiveness.
His wariness of strangers, inherent distrust of anything new or different, territorial instincts, keen senses and canny intuition all combine to make him a vigilant watchdog.
This primitive breed is 100 percent aware of his surroundings, constantly observing and listening. He will sound the alarm at every perceived threat.
However, he is not aggressive toward people. Rather, the Canaan Dog reacts to a stranger’s intrusion into his territory DEFENSIVELY — by retreating just out of reach and barking continuously. Because caution can easily shade into fearfulness, early and extensive socialization is required to build a confident, stable temperament.
Dog to dog aggression, however, can be a problem, and many of these dogs do have a strong prey drive and may stalk or chase smaller animals.
Canaan Dogs resist repetitious training and jerking on the leash. Motivate them with variation, praise, and food. Yet they may also test you for pack leadership, so they require a confident, consistent owner.
Canaan Dogs love to dig and are very vocal — barking and whining need to be controlled.

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