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The Canaan Dog is medium-sized, sturdy, squarely
proportioned and alert. The breed is native to
the Middle East and can trace its lineage to the
feral Middle Eastern Pariah dog - which dates
back to pre-Biblical times. Canaan Dogs originated
in the "Land of Canaan". There are drawings
which were found on the tombs at Beni-Hassan that
date back to 2200-2000 B.C. which reveal a striking
resemblance to the present day Canaan Dog.
Early on, Canaan Dogs were plentiful in the region
and used as herd and guard dogs for the Israelites.
After the dispersion of the Israelite people by
the Romans over 2,000 years ago, many of these
dogs were able to seek refuge in the Negev Desert,
a natural reservoir of Israeli wildlife.
In the 1930s, Dr. Rudolphina Menzel was asked
to develop a dog which would guard and protect
the isolated Israeli settlements as well as to
be used in the War of Independence. Dr. Menzel
had knowledge of the 'wild dogs of Israel' - the
Pariah Dog. These dogs were fit, knew their land
well and were able to survive hardship. She captured
specific Pariah Dog stock from which she developed
the Canaan Dog breed.
The first four Canaan Dogs entered the United
States on September 7, 1965 with the help of Ursula
Berkowitz of Oxnard, California. Her intent was
to establish this breed in the US. The same year,
the Canaan Dog Club of America was formed and
stud book records were kept from these first reports.
AKC: The Canaan Dog entered the Miscellaneous
Class in June 1989, and dogs were registered in
the AKC Stud Book as of June 1, 1997. The dogs
began competing in conformation on August 12,
height for a Canaan Dog is between 19-24 inches
weight for a Canaan Dog is between 37-57 pounds
Coat Type: The
Canaan Dog has a double coat. The outer coat is
straight, dense and harsh. Length is short to
medium. The undercoat is short, soft and lies
close. The amount of thickness depends on the
season. The Canaan Dog's coat does not have a
'doggie odor' and is is easy to groom.
Color: The color
of the Canaan Dog's coat ranges from cream to
black and all shades of brown and red between,
usually with small white markings, or all white
with color patches. Spotting of all kinds is permitted,
as well as white or black masks. The tail is bushy
and curls over the body when the Canaan Dog is
excited or alert.
The Canaan Dog is intelligent, independent, obedient
and a natural watch dog. This breed is very friendly
with those he knows, but wary of strangers (even
welcomed guests) and will bark a lot if there
are any disturbances. The Canaan Dog is easily
trained, but can become bored quickly of repetitive
exercises. If the Canaan Dog will be around children,
early socialization is necessary. The Canaan Dog
is an excellent herder and can be aggressive with
dogs of the same sex.
Canaan Dogs are a healthy breed and do not suffer
from any known hereditary problems. However, these
diseases have been seen from time to time: epilepsy,
hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism,
progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), osteochondritis
dissecans (OCD). The average life expectancy for
a Canaan Dog is 12-15 years.
The Canaan Dog is native to Israel and dates back
to 2000 B.C.
AKC: Herding Group
ANKC: Group 7 - Nonsporting
CKC: Group 3 - Working Dogs
FCI: Group 5 Section 6 Primitive type
KC: Utility Group
UKC: Sighthound & Pariah