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In my own words

I am an ancient breed, cousins to the Indian wolf found herding the lands in the Middle East,

My primitive instincts are very much still a strong trait in my kind, thanks to the way I’ve been bred over hundreds of years the humans have retained the characteristics that were necessary for my survival. I pride myself on my capacity to learn, to adapt to changing circumstances, to solve problems, and to react effectively. Being so close to my natural state it is incredibly important to keep one step ahead in order to survive, and to cope with the constant changes in my environment, which has stayed with me to this day. I stay true to my kind; a dog that is friendly to everyone in all circumstances, unafraid of anything new or strange, and calm and accepting of everything -is not a Canaan!

I long very much for a well organized pack hierarchy to provide me with the tools for coping with everyday life. In my pack, there must be a clearly defined and accepted leader, providing confidence and an example of behavior to me. If I know you are my leader I am confident and content, if otherwise can lead me to become shy, cowardly and unable to cope seeing as structure is most important to me.  I always need things to do, tasks to perform, a job to hold down


My ideal owner(s)


Someone with land

Families with older children

Pack Leaders



What they say about me










Is this Canaan Dog for you?

Test your knowledge about the Canaan Dog

Information essential about the Canaan

Breed Group - Herding


Male Canaan Dogs stand 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh 45 to 55 pounds; females are smaller at 19 to 23 inches and 35 to 45 pounds.



Today, there are about 1000 Canaan Dogs in the United States, 400 in Israel, and 200 in the rest of the world (estimation).

The Canaan Dog became part of the Herding Group of the American Kennel Club on August 12, 1997.

Canaan Dogs in the United States today compete in conformation, herding, agility, obedience, and tracking. But most are beloved family pets!


Breed History:

The Canaan Dog, the natural breed of Israel, dates back to Biblical times, originating in the Land of Canaan. The Canaan Dog was the guard and herd dog of the ancient Israelites, guarding their camps and flocks. In anticipation of Israel's War of Independence and WWII, Dr. Rudolphina Menzel recruited and trained more than 400 of the best dogs as mine detectors for the Middle East forces, and they proved superior to the mechanical detectors.

On September 7, 1965, Ursula Berkowitz of Oxnard, California, imported the first four Canaan Dogs with the idea of establishing the breed in the United States. Dr. Rudolphina Menzel, who was asked by the Haganah (a Jewish self-defense organization) to develop a guard dog for the isolated Jewish settlements and supervise the aggrandizement of war dogs for Israel's approaching War of Independence, sought out the Canaan Dog. The breed proved highly intelligent and trainable and served as sentry dogs, messengers, Red Cross helpers, and land mine locators. In fact, during World War II, Menzel's dogs proved superior to the mechanical detectors.

The Canaan Dog is the only breed that originated in Israel. 4000-year-old Middle-Eastern drawings depict dogs very similar to the Canaan Dog of today.

Some scientists believe the dogs originally evolved from the wolves of the Middle East, adapting characteristics to help them survive better in desert conditions



A Canaan Dog is a wonderful, sensitive animal, often highly attuned to the moods of its humans. It is closer to the wild than most breeds, giving humans fascinating glimpses into their natural behaviour. This means we must be more careful and creative in our training methods than with some long- domesticated breeds. Because of their pariah dog ancestry, they need to be well socialized with many people and other dogs as puppies, or they will be loyal to their family but wary of other people and dogs. This is a versatile breed. While the Canaan Dog doesn't excel in any one particular area, he is smart and quick to learn, ready and willing to engage in almost any activity, from tracking to herding, obedience to agility. He draws the line only at jumping into a cold lake to retrieve a bird. Canaan Dogs are considered highly reactive, an excellent survival trait. Reacting quickly when confronted with something new and being cautious or suspicious in new situations can save a dog's life and are among the reasons the breed survived to the present day. Canaan breeders have worked to maintain the breed's character, so these traits are still present, making them excellent watchdogs.

The breed is an excellent and vocal watchdog, so be prepared for some barking. Canaan’s are keenly alert and will notice anything new or any new person on their property.



The Canaan is described as alert, vigilant, devoted, and docile with his family. He's aloof toward strangers, although he should never be shy or aggressive, and highly territorial. A gentle breed with energy to spare, the Canaan Dog loves to run, but will happily pack it in at the end of the day for a nice relaxing nap by the fire. Canaan’s are an incredibly agile breed, able to completely change direction on a dime, even at high speeds. They are light footed and clean – they never smell “like a dog,” and make excellent housemates. Farmers like the Canaan for their ability

Not only does the Canaan Dog excel as a herder, but he has also proven himself in a variety of tasks involving dependability and obedience. This is an intelligent, devoted, docile dog that is quite tractable and willing to please. He can be aloof toward strangers and protective of his family. The Canaan Dog is generally good with other household pets and dogs. He is a natural guardian and tends to bark a lot.



The Canaan Dog is a herding and flock guardian native to the Middle East, a primitive breed that has retained the characteristics that were necessary for survival, and has not been changed as a result of many generations of human selection. Most breeds of dog have been changed even to an extreme from what the natural dog originally was, both in appearance and in behavior. He is aloof with strangers, inquisitive, loyal, and loving with family. His medium-size, square body is without extremes, showing a lean, sharp outline. The Canaan Dog moves with athletic agility and grace in a quick, brisk, ground-covering trot. He has a wedge-shaped head with low-set erect ears, a bushy tail that curls over the back when excited, and a straight, harsh, flat-lying double coat. Besides his pleasing form and graceful movement, the Canaan Dog is blessed with an endearing and responsive personality. Although his heritage of desert survival gives him a certain degree of independence, a Canaan Dog who's been properly socialized loves his family and is adaptable to many living situations


Coat colors include solid black, tan, brown, sandy, red, liver, white, or in a patched pattern of colours


This is not the breed for everyone. Canaan Dogs are highly intelligent, and become very devoted to their family their "pack” so a family needs to be willing to make a lifetime commitment to the dog. This is a dog that requires firm but loving handling as well as early socialization in puppyhood to counteract tendencies toward aloofness and aggression toward other dogs. Experienced dog owners will find the Canaan easy to train, but first-timers can have their hands full. This intelligent dog responds best to motivational techniques such as food rewards, praise, and play. He's easily bored with repetitive training and requires a challenging and creative learning environment.

Canaan Dogs are versatile, athletic, and have keen senses. They have no difficulties with the physical requirements of obedience (jumping, scent discrimination, etc.). They are intelligent and hence can learn fast. They have the ability to concentrate and the brains to master even the most advanced obedience exercises. On the other hand, Canaan’s have never been bred specifically for working with humans and willingness to please is not one of their strong drives. Thus the main challenge in training and showing them is to give them the proper motivation through the appropriate combination of positives It's also important to provide him with strong, firm leadership. A Canaan who decides he's in charge instead of you will make his own decisions about who is allowed onto his property, and this can lead to serious behavior problems



Canaan Dogs have a double coat that insulates them from desert temperature extremes. The outer coat is straight and harsh to the touch, lying flat on the body, with a slight ruff on the neck. Grooming this breed is a snap. Canaan Dogs shed lightly throughout the year, and weekly brushing can help keep loose hairs to a minimum and will keep the coat healthy. Twice a year the Canaan will shed more heavily and brushing may become more frequent. This breed is notoriously clean

Life in an apartment with several short daily walks is as agreeable to him as living in a suburban home with a yard and three noisy kids. While this breed is active, its energy level isn't excessive. And the Canaan Dog's territorial nature makes him unlikely to stray far from home,



Canaan’s are a hardy breed and don't suffer from any known hereditary health problems.  But like every living species the Canaan can be prone to some eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia and patella luxation which is a problem with the knee joint.


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Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a Canaan is waiting for a new home »

While he's loyal and affectionate, the Canaan isn't a glutton for attention. He's capable of occupying himself as needed. This doesn't mean, of course, that he should be stuck out in the backyard all the time with no human interaction. Like any dog, Canaan’s are social animals that enjoy being with their people. They make wonderful companions and protectors of their family and property. If you understand and appreciate the unique qualities of this breed and are willing and able to live with a primitive breed that retains the instincts and behaviors that have kept him around for thousands of years, the Canaan Dog may be the ideal companion for you.


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Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion4/5
Good walking companion4/5
Likes water/swimming4/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt5/5
Likes to fetch3/5
Good gundog/retriever5/5
Barks a lot4/5
Gets easily jealous2/5
Friendly with strangers3/5
Expensive to insure1/5
Expensive to feed1/5
Happy to sleep outside4/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment3/5
Prefers temperate climate3/5
Prefers hot climate4/5
Prefers cold climate2/5
Moults a lot3/5
Requires lots of grooming2/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly2/5
Ideal for singles3/5
Ideal for couples with no children4/5
Ideal for family with children3/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog5/5
Good with other pets3/5
Good with other dogs3/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs2/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs4/5
Requires lots of exercise4/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners1/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall4/5
Easy to train4/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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