The Canaan dog breed has been around for thousands of years and dates back to biblical times where they were used to guard flocks of various animals. This breed is extremely agile and can cover a lot of yardage in a quick manner, which is great for being a herding dog! This protective breed loves their owner and family and will guard them for life. Smart and eager to learn, the Canaan dog breed can be taught tricks and commands quickly!
|Dog Breed Group:||Herding|
|Height:||1 foot, 7 inches tall to 2 feet tall|
|Weight:||35 to 55 pounds|
|Life Span:||10 to 15 years|
Originally from Israel, the Canaan dog breed was a huge part of daily life in that area, especially in desert land. The Middle Eastern people would use this dog to not only herd flocks of animals, but to guard them against other animals that could be harmful to the herd. While they mainly herded and guarded sheep, they also were protective of their owners and family. This breed is particularly good at herding and guarding due to their incredible agility. They can move quickly and change directions on a dime, and can go over long distances in a short period of time.
This breed is certainly special for its herding abilities, but they also have a wonderful personality that is lovable, hard-working, playful, and adaptable to various situations. Because it was bred in the deserts of Israel, your Canaan dog will take leadership due to its independence streak and instinct of survival. They do not stray too far from their family or home, probably due to their mentality of being in a group setting, but that does not mean an owner should not take the proper precautions to ensure the dog’s safety.
The Canaan breed is not generally recommended for first-time owners. This breed needs a loving but stern owner who can teach them the right ways while they are puppies. While pups, they can get aggressive to other dogs, cats and animals, so having experience in training and raising dogs will be helpful in giving this breed obedience and training.
It is noted that while they need a strong leader to show them proper techniques, using certain techniques in which to motivate your pup are extremely useful like treats, cuddles, praises and playing around! Also, they will get bored with the same routine of tricks, so teaching them different things will keep their brains active and healthy.
- This breed will always need socialization to have good mental health. This helps them to determine threats, or who is a friend or family. Socializing them with other dogs is not always good for them as they can become aggressive. It is preferred for this breed to be the only dog in the home.
- The Canaan is not for first-time dog owners. They need a strong leader to “lead the pack” as they are used to having a pack order. If you are a lazy owner, your dog will take over and think it is the new leader and will not respect or listen to you.
- This breed is extremely rare! There are roughly 1,600 dogs in this breed in the world! Most of them still come from the Middle Eastern countries, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- This medium-sized dog has a medium level of energy and sometimes needs to be coerced into doing something due to their sense of independence. They come in 7 colors with 7 markings on their body.
- Your dog can compete in many different events of dog agility! They are said to be the best in fly ball, tracking, herding, obedience and showmanship events. They are also the 175th most popular dog breed as recorded by the AKC!
- The Canaan dog is part of the Pariah dogs, which come in 4 variants of likeness; sheepdog, dingo, Border Collie, and Greyhound. This dog is ranked as having a Border Collie appearance.
The origin of the Canaan dog breed comes from Israel, which is located in the Middle East, and have been around for thousands of years. Here, these dogs were used as herders and guards for animals such as sheep and were originally named as the Kelef Kanani breed. There are drawings within tombs as far as Egypt depicting these herding dogs, and are thought to be one of the first domesticated breeds.
The Roman Empire had its conquerors invade the area in which this breed came from and made all of those living in the area leave, thus the breed had no work to do! That is when this breed began living in the hills of the desert of Israel and surviving on its own wits. Later, the breed would find work with Bedouins, the Druse, and some religious groups and they began expanding to other parts of the Middle East like Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.
In the 1930s, with many worldly events happening, and being on the brink of a World War, the Canaan dog breed began to be needed by Jewish people who lived in settlements. This dog would be a guard and patrol dog, and was needed due to its ability to withstand the desert sun and heat.
When Professor Rudolphina Menzel from the University of Tel Aviv was prompted by the government to breed a dog that could withstand heat and be a good guard dog, she decided to use the Canaan dog. They already possessed the qualities needed for the job. She then began breeding them and trained them to detect land mines, deliver messages and do sentry work. Thus, the breed was in use during World War II and some of them became guide dogs.
In the 1960s, this breed was imported to the United States and was bred by Ursula Berkowitz of California. In 1965, the Canaan Dog Club of America was founded and their popularity began to rise, though they remain very rare to this day.
As with most breeds, the females tend to be smaller in size and stature, while the males are taller and weigh more. For this breed, the males can grow anywhere from 20 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh in at 45 to 55 pounds. The females of this breed come in at 19 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 35 to 45 pounds.
With this breed, you will be alerted when a stranger is on the property or if something is not right. Your dog is going to be vigilant and dedicated to the family and they do so by being protective and guarding. They aren’t shy or aggressive towards strangers, but can seem aloof and occasionally wary. While they’re puppies you should teach them to bark only when they need to alert you.
Keep your dog exercised, mentally and physically, as they can get bored of doing the same tricks and commands repeatedly. They need new material to keep their brains active and healthy. They also need regular exercise and should be walked daily, taken to the park, played with in the backyard or go for a run! They may not do well around other dogs and should be the only one in the home, though socializing them as puppies will reduce their aggressiveness towards other animals. They also love to go to various places and see different people and hear sounds. This keeps them alert, and they can differentiate danger from regular noises.
It is known that your Canaan can have an anxiety period that can last for up to a year. Around 9 months to a year in age, your dog can get anxious, nervous, and bark a lot at nothing at all. They need you as a strong leader, so be calm and show them there is nothing to worry about and try to engage him in showing him there is nothing to fear.
Most dogs of this breed are healthy if exercised regularly and fed properly, and can live from 12 to 15 years! However, there are some common issues that happen in various breeds that should be watched for, especially with older age.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy means loss of vision, which means the retina is losing the ability to process light. Most dogs who begin to suffer from retinal atrophy will first have a hard time seeing at night, and over time their vision will suffer when the sun is out. This can and does lead to full blindness, and is not treatable currently.
- Hip Dysplasia is a condition in which the bone in the thigh does not fit correctly into the hip joint. One way to tell if this is hurting your dog is to check for pain and lack of use of that area. While this condition is hereditary, it can be attained from other factors like diet, falling, or any injury. A veterinarian can help to provide comfort for a dog with hip dysplasia.
- Hypothyroidism can occur in this breed, in which the hormone that is made in the thyroid gland, does not produce normal levels. Symptoms include lack of energy, weight gain, drooping eyelids, infertility, and abnormal heat cycles. Like humans, dogs can be treated for Hypothyroidism by taking a daily pill for the rest of their lives.
- Food allergies can be avoided if they are eating a proper dog food. Contact allergies could be from shampoos, powders and other chemicals in the house. Also, inhalant allergies can affect your dog because of pollen outside or dust and mildew.
- Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to process sugars correctly. Check for the symptoms which include increased appetite, being really thirsty, and going to the bathroom a lot. A dog will live with diabetes for the rest of its life so it is important to get them on insulin shots and control what they eat.
- Diarrhea is common among dogs, and if your pup gets diarrhea, make sure to keep them hydrated. Generally, something could be wrong if this lasts more than 24 hours. If diarrhea comes with vomiting, dark stool or fever, get your dog to a vet. Causes of this include Parvo, parasites, food problems, and stress.
Caring for your Canaan dog can seem a little daunting if you have not raised a dog before, as they love to dig and will dig up the whole yard. They need to have their own area in which to dig so they will not ruin the garden! While they do not require a ton of physical activity, they need a walk each day plus play time to burn off their energy.
Their undercoat is incredibly dense which is why they do so well in the desert heat and sun and can also handle harsh winters and playing in the snow. It is stated that having a fenced in area for your dog is best as they may get themselves into altercations with neighbors, children, or other dogs and animals that may pass by.
Otherwise, your dog should be very happy as long as they are healthy and given lots of attention. Remember to be the leader of the pack so that your dog respects you and will listen, otherwise he will become his own leader and give zero consideration to what you expect of them.
For a full grown dog, the recommended amount of dry food per day is 1.5 to 2.5 cups that is split between two meals in the day. Generally, your dog should eat in the morning and then again around dinner time. Treats and snacks are acceptable occasionally depending on the health and weight of your dog. Use a dog food high in protein so your dog will have the energy to have a healthy life.
Having a dense undercoat is helpful for this breed because it allows them to be active in all kinds of weather, from the desert heat they were born into, to the cold winters of Canada and the United States. Their undercoat is short and soft while the outer coat is straight and feels harsher due to it being exposed to weather. They also have large color patches on their bodies and the colors range from brown to red and include white trim.
They do not tend to shed a lot but the coat should be brushed once a week. Don’t forget to brush more when they shed (twice a year). They are overall clean dogs and do not smell much so bathing them less often than other dogs is fine. Brushing your dog’s teeth should occur two to seven days per week in order to reduce gum disease and bacteria that collects in the mouth. The dog should also have its nails trims once or twice each month, and it can be obvious when they need to be trimmed, as you will hear your dog’s nails click on the floor as they walk.
During regular grooming, always check for rashes, sores, scratches and other marks on your dog. Always check for inflammation on the skin and in the ears, nose, eyes, and feet once per week. Ears can be easily cleaned with a cotton swab and ear cleaner. This will reduce the chance of an infection and can keep your dog healthy in between checkups at the vet.
If there are small children in the home, they should be supervised as with any breed. If the dog knows children are part of its family, they will love them and protect them. However, they may not like other children. Also, having other pets in the home is not recommended, even though this breed is a pack dog. They may become aggressive towards other animals, in a fight for territory.
In conclusion, the Canaan dog breed is a lovable, protective dog that loves to herd and be part of the group, or family. They are generally not recommended for first-time dog owners because they can be difficult at times, especially while they are puppies. While agile and dedicated, they are very smart and learn tricks, commands, and other things quickly.
They need to keep not only their bodies active with exercise, but also need mental exercise by learning new things and not repeating the same things over and over. They can be independent, but they will protect the family and be a great companion within the home or on the farm!