Canaan Dog Breed
Was He Queen Jezebel's Companion?

The Canaan dog breed is widely recognized as the national dog of Israel and has been known in the middle east for centuries.

While he is a descendant of the wild Pariah Dogs, many dogs from this group became somewhat domesticated in early times by working as flock guardians and herders to nomadic tribes such as the Bedouins.

Dr. Rudolphina Menzei of Israel was an ardent admirer of the Pariah dogs, to the extent that she decided to develop a pure bred line from their stock. What resulted was the Canaan dog breed we know today and for which she is mostly credited for bringing about.

The Canaans' abilities have earned them recognition in conformation, herding, tracking, obedience and agility. He is assigned to the herding dog breeds group of the American Kennel Club.

An interesting legend about the Canaan dog suggests that this breed was tethered to the throne of Queen Jezebel by a golden chain.

Characteristics of the Canaan Dog Breed

The Canaan Dog is a very good family companion. He is cautious and reserved around strangers - a carry-over from his feral beginnings when he had to be ever vigilant of his surroundings. But as a family companion he is extremely loving and loyal.

His hearing and scenting abilities are fantastic and this coupled with a very alert disposition, makes him an excellent and protective watchdog. However because of his natural reserve and suspicious nature, it is wise to thoroughly socialize your Canaan from an early age, to help him learn how to recognize and evaluate various situations, people and other dogs.

Canaan Dogs are very intelligent and train easily if the right approach is used. Owners report that harshness will get you nowhere! On the other hand, motivation in the form of praise or treats as rewards, works wonders and will help your dog remember his lessons much better.

Another tip is to keep training sessions short and as creative as possible, so as not to bore this smart dog. But the "biggie" in the training department, is getting your dog's respect as his pack leader and showing confidence when working with him.

House training generally takes less time to accomplish with this breed because he has stronger ties to the "den" mentality and is more naturally clean.

Canaan dog standing outside

Physical Stats And Care

Height: 19-24 inches.
Ideal standard weight: 35-55 lbs.
Colors: Sand to red-brown, white and black, with or without masks. Lifespan: Up to fifteen years with good care

The Canaan dog breed is of medium size, well-proportioned and squarely built. He has an athletic appearance which compliments his characteristic sharp fast trot.

His head is wedge-shaped with erect low set ears and a smooth coat that finishes with a bushy tail.

The Canaan has a flat lying double coat that is medium short, and straight. The tail is bushy and curls over the back.  Shedding is bit more than average but quite heavy during seasonal blowing of the coat.

Weekly brushing and combing will take care of maintenance, along with the regular attention to ears, nails as well as frequent brushing of teeth - daily if possible..

An excellent coat grooming tool, that gets high praise from dog owners, is the FURminator DeShedding Tool.

Canaan Dog breed handbook for owners

Health Notes

The Canaan dog breed is considered a healthy dog, but can be subject to a few issues common to most dog breeds.

The Canaan Dog Club of America recommends the following tests be completed for a health evaluation:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation

Responsible breeders should make health information of the parents available when puppies are being offered for sale.

How Active is the Canaan Dog Breed

The Canaan does not require an excessive amount of exercise, but he does need regular daily walks to maintain good health of mind and body.

In addition, a dog with some former feral traits, will definitely appreciate an opportunity to play and run freely if a safe area is available to do this.

Next best thing would at least be a yard where the Canaan can be involved in games to challenge his intelligence.

Canaans have done well in the competitive areas of tracking and agility, so this is something else you might want to consider to take advantage of his athletic talents, as well as for his enjoyment.

Ideal Living Space

Ideally, while this breed is very adaptable, he is best suited to a house with significant yard space.

While Canaans are not generally characterized as "barkers", some can be, particularly when guarding their territory, so this should be taken into consideration if neighbors are close by.

The Canaan is very athletic and a yard is great for outdoor play, training and the usual dog business.

The Canaan With Children?

When raised with children and other pets, the Canaan Dog has a good reputation and is considered a gentle companion.

However, it is still always the best policy in our mind to have an adult supervise activities between pets and children.

Senior Households?

The devoted and loyal nature of this dog, would make it a good companion and protector for senior or more sedentary families as long as regular exercise can be provided.

Book Recommendation

Dr. Pitcairn's book is one of the most trusted references for natural pet health care. Anyone who is interested in the holistic approach to natural healing as well as chemical-free nutrition for their pets will find this book invaluable.

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