If you love living with a dog, you could have this breed to thank. The Canaan Dog might have initiated the relationship between dogs and humans. They're among the oldest and rarest breeds in the world. Canaan Dogs are a natural breed; humans haven't altered their lineage.
Canaan Dogs are distinguished by their intense expressions and intelligence. It's no accident that this driven and focused dog was the first to locate landmines by scent. Some Canaan Dogs also do therapy dog and search-and-rescue work.
Originally from the area now known as Israel, this medium-sized breed can grow to between 35-55 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Herding group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Herding
Breed Group: Herding
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bark Factor: I love to talk!
AKC RANKING 146
FAMILY livestock, herding, primitive, Southern (pariah)
AREA OF ORIGIN Israel
DATE OF ORIGIN ancient times
ORIGINAL FUNCTION sentry, messenger, and assistance
TODAY'S FUNCTION herding trials
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 20-24 Weight: 45-55
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 19-23 Weight: 35-45
OTHER NAME kalef K'naani
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs High
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Hard to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Moderately protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A CANAAN DOG'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
These are smart, loving, and loyal dogs. Canaan Dogs will bond closely with a family who can keep up with them — this breed is very active, and will need lots of physical and mental exercise. They play best with older kids and supervised dogs.
WHAT IS CANAAN DOG BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Their growth cycles are more like wolves: it will take three years for a Canaan Dog to physically mature. This desert wanderer needs room to spread out and explore. These dogs are athletic and agile.
Canaans are vigilant and territorial, making them very capable watchdogs. They can be prone to barking.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A CANAAN DOG?
A dog this smart and independent-minded can be challenging to train. Be patient and consistent with your pup, and keep it interesting for this smarty-paws! Early and frequent socialization is important. Their adventurous tendencies make them poor candidates for off-leash play in unfenced areas.
A bored Canaan is a destructive Canaan, so plan for regular exercise to keep their bodies and minds active. This breed excels in conformation, obedience, agility, and herding dog sports.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO CANAAN DOGS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Canaan Dogs are seasonal, twice-yearly heavy shedders. They only require minimal grooming and occasional baths.
Their short double-coats developed to help Canaan Dogs survive extreme desert temperatures — their hair traps air and insulates against both the heat and cold.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO CANAAN DOGS HAVE?
This is a generally healthy breed. A few have developed hypothyroidism or epilepsy.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE CANAAN DOGS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Canaan Dogs among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog like a Canaan Dog! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A CANAAN DOG'S BEST DAY?
Morning: Scale a mountain.
Afternoon: Herd some sheep.
Evening: Watch over you.
SHOULD I ADOPT A CANAAN DOG?
This probably shouldn't be your very first dog — they're strong-willed, active, and independent-minded. This means that they're they're loving but not needy. Your Canaan will enjoy spending time with you, but probably won't panic if you need to be at the office for a few hours.
Grooming doesn't get much easier than with a Canaan. And they can live almost anywhere, since their coats make them adaptable to lots of different climates. But keep in mind that Canaan Dogs need lots of room to run and explore, which makes them less than ideal candidates for apartment living. This breed will be happiest and healthiest with sufficient space to spread out. For someone with the time and energy to train, socialize, and exercise this active smarty-paws — and the patience to track one down — a Canaan Dog could be a perfect match.
Have you decided that a Canaan Dog is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.