Facts and Information on the Canaan Dog Breed

The Canaan Canine is a pariah dog that has endured for countless years in Israel’s desert. This breed is adaptable. The Canaan Dog is intelligent, fast to pick up new skills, and eager to participate in practically any canine activity, from tracking to herding, and obedience to agility, even though he doesn’t excel in any particular field. Only when he had to dive into a chilly lake to collect a bird does he draw the line. 

Canaan of today still has some of its ancient herding techniques, some of which have been successfully proven. The Canaan does not have the same herding instinct as some other breeds, such as the Border Collie, nor does he possess the same level of focus as some sporting breeds. Few Canaan will repeatedly retrieve a ball 100 times. The Canaan is moderate both in look and behavior.

Canaan Dog Breed Profile 

Breed Name Canaan
Other NameHerding Dogs 
Dog Breed TypeMixed/Hybrid
OriginMiddle East 
Parent BreedsThe Lion Dog and Pekingese
Height19 – 24 inches
Weight 35 – 55 pounds 
Life Expectancy12 – 15 years
Coat TypeShort and Smooth
Common ColorsBlack, Tan, Liver, Red, Golden, Cream
Grooming NeedsModerate Grooming Needs
TemperamentVigilant, Cautious, Devoted, alert, intelligent, quick.
Apartment LivingYes
Pet FriendlyYes
Health ConcernsHip and elbow dysplasia, eyes issues, thyroid issues,  Patellar luxation. 
Overall HealthGood
Intelligence LevelHighly Intelligent
Energy LevelModerate
Litter Size1 – 10 puppies

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability  4 stars

Adapts Well To Apartment Living : 4 star

Good For Novice Owners : 2 star

Sensitivity Level : 4 stars

Tolerates Being Alone : 3 stars

Tolerates Cold Weather : 3 stars

Tolerates Hot Weather : 5 stars

All Around Friendliness 4 stars

Affectionate With Family : 3 stars

Kid-Friendly : 4  stars

Dog Friendly : 3 stars

Friendly Toward Strangers :  2 star

Health And Grooming Needs   3 stars

Amount Of Shedding : 4 stars

Drooling Potential : 1 stars

Easy To Groom : 5 stars

General Health : 5 stars

Potential For Weight Gain : 2 stars

Size : 3 stars

Trainability 3 stars

Easy To Train : 5 star

Intelligence : 4 stars

Potential For Mouthiness : 3 stars

Prey Drive : 3 stars

Tendency To Bark Or Howl : 3 stars

Wanderlust Potential : 2 stars

Physical Needs 4 stars

Energy Level : 4 stars

Intensity : 3 stars

Exercise Needs : 3 stars

Potential for Playfulness : 4 stars

Vital Statistics


HEIGHT : 19 to 24 INCHES

WEIGHT : 35 to 55 POUNDS



Canaan Dogs are known for being extremely reactive, which is a great survival skill. A dog’s life can be saved by responding promptly when faced with anything unfamiliar, and being wary or skeptical in unfamiliar circumstances is one of the reasons the breed has endured to the present day. These characteristics still exist because Canaan breeders have strived to preserve the breed’s spirit, making them great watchdogs. Be prepared for some barking; the breed makes a great and loud watchdog. Because they are extremely vigilant, Canaans will immediately notice anything new or any new visitor on their property. They will bark to let you know someone is there, but they will circle and hang back to observe what is happening. Some others may perceive them as being shy because of this, but it’s just how they react to unfamiliar or potentially harmful situations.

Children get along well with Canaan Dogs because they view them as members of their pack and are gentle with them. They get along nicely with cats and other small pets in the home where they are raised.


Canaan, which was ancient Palestine and Phoenicia from about 3,000 BCE, is described in the Bible’s book of Exodus as a good and spacious region that is flowing with milk and honey. There were abundant flocks of sheep and goats, and where there were flocks, there were dogs. These ancient Middle Eastern communities called their dogs Kelef Kanani, which is Hebrew for “Canaan Dog.” The Canaan Dog, the Kelef Kanani’s modern-day descendant, and the Kelef Kanani probably had nothing in common. Dogs with silky coats, pricked ears, and bushy tails curling over their backs are seen in tomb artwork from Beni Hassan in Egypt, which date to between 2200 and 2000 BCE They undoubtedly had the same alert, attentive, and inquisitive countenance as the Canaan Dog of today, a breed that could very well be a living representation of the earliest domesticated dogs.


Male Canaan Dogs are larger than females, measuring 19 to 23 inches at the shoulder and weighing 35 to 45 pounds, compared to 20 to 24 inches and 45 to 55 pounds for males.


The Canaan is characterized as attentive, watchful, devoted, and submissive toward his family. Although he shouldn’t ever be timid or hostile, he is distant from outsiders and fiercely territorial. The Canaan makes an effective alarm dog because of his territoriality, which develops at age 2. Every time someone knocks on the door, he will undoubtedly bark before settling down once he sees that you have everything under control. That’s presuming he sees you as the alpha dog. If he doesn’t, he might try to manage things himself and decide who is welcome and who isn’t. When you coexist with a Canaan, you must be ready and able to take the lead.

Some Canaan Dogs experience a fear phase that can last up to a year and begins between 9 and 12 months of age. They could become particularly tense around strangers and startle at seemingly innocuous objects. Be composed and certain throughout this time to reassure him that he has nothing to fear. Trying to comfort him will simply make him more certain that there is something out there intent on capturing him.


Canaan is a hardy breed that has no known inherited health issues. Health certifications attest to a dog’s having undergone testing and being declared free of a specific ailment. You should expect to see health certificates for von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and thrombopenia from the Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), thrombopenia from Auburn University, and normal eyes from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) in Canaan.


The Canaan’s thick undercoat allows him to spend time outside in all weather, but he should be kept within when his owners are there. He needs a yard that is completely enclosed in order to be safe from vehicles and dog fights. He’s simple to housebreak with a regular schedule. If left to their own devices, Canaans like digging and are capable of creating huge excavations in a short amount of time. Give them a place to dig that they can call their own, or engage them in different activities to curb their want to dig. The Canaan doesn’t call for a lot of physical activity. He usually enjoys a few quick walks each day or a walk combined with some active playtime in the backyard.

Feeding and Diet:

Rather than putting food available all the time, keep your Canaan in good form by feeding him twice a day and weighing his diet. If you’re unsure whether he’s fat, have him undergo eye and hands exams. Look at him from below. There ought to be a waist present. After that, put your hands on his back with your fingers opened and your thumbs down his spine. You should be able to feel his ribs without applying considerable pressure but not see them. He needs less food and more activity if you can’t see them. 

Coat color and grooming:

Due to their double coat, Canaan Dogs are protected from the severe heat of the desert. The outer coat is flat on the body, straight and harsh to the touch, and has a little ruff on the neck. A short and silky undercoat is present. Depending on the climate where the dog lives, the undercoat’s thickness fluctuates. The thick tail tapers to a sharp end.

Canaan can range in color from black to every shade of brown, including sandy, red, or liver, with or without white trim on the chest, belly, feet, lower portion of the legs, and tail tip. They can also be mostly white with a mask and occasionally additional significant patches of color. Some canines that are entirely brown or tan will have black splotches. The coat needs little grooming to be in good shape and sheds very little. It is sufficient to brush your dog once a week with a stiff bristle brush, though you might need to brush your dog more frequently when the undercoat is lost twice a year. The Canaan Dog doesn’t need to be bathed frequently and is generally a clean dog.


Canaan dogs require an average amount of exercise every day. Aim for at least two daily 30-minute strolls. For this dog, jogging and trekking are both beneficial pursuits. Additionally, it’s best to let your dog play fetch and other activities while running about loosely off-leash in a secure place. Dog activities like agility and herding are great for mentally and physically challenging this intelligent breed and for fostering a closer link between dog and human.

FAQ of the Breed : 

Are Canaan dog breeds aggressive?

Canaan dogs have a strong instinct for protection and territory. However, they are typically not much aggressive if given the right training and socialization.

Are Canaan dogs rare or not?

Despite having been around for thousands of years, Canaan dogs are still a rare breed. They weren’t acknowledged by the American Kennel Club until 1997.

Do Canaan dogs make good family pets?

Canaan dogs can get along with kids who know how to treat dogs with respect if they have had the right training and socialization. They might not be a suitable fit for families with young children. 

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