(aka: Kalef K'naani, Kelev Cana'nai)
The Canaan Dog is a medium sized dog that belongs to the herder group. It has a sturdy yet sleek build, with an expression that is alert and eager. The erect ears add to the alert appearance of the Canaan Dog. His coat is straight and harsh, and can be medium to long in length. He also has a close fitting undercoat. The coloring of the Canaan Dog can vary and includes white or black, harlequin, and sandy, cream, reddish brown, and black. The height of the Canaan Dog is around 19-24 inches, and the weight is around 35-55 pounds.
Canaan Dog Temperament
The Canaan Dog is a loyal and affectionate animal, with plenty of love and devotion to shower upon his family, and he is always eager to please, keen, enthusiastic, and resourceful. These intelligent dogs can be quite manipulative and strong willed when they want to be, and are best suited to owners that have some experience of dog ownership and training. The Canaan Dog is not overly demanding when it comes to attention, and is very independent yet very adaptable. His high level of intelligence means that you need to keep him mentally stimulated through the activities that you provide, as boredom can lead to destructive behavior.
The Canaan Dog is an animal that can be distrustful, and this makes him wary with strangers. His territorial streak, protective nature, and observation skills, coupled with his keen senses, make him an effective watchdog. The Canaan Dog will get along well with children if he has been raised with them, but can get aggressive with other dogs. The may also chase smaller animals, as the prey drive of this breed is strong. However, those brought up with other animals will usually be okay with them and will readily accept them. The Canaan Dog is a keen digger, and also loved to bark, which is the main way in which he expresses himself if he senses threat or danger.
The Canaan Dog is a low maintenance dog when it comes to grooming, and in order to keep his coat in good condition you can simply brush it once a week. He does shed all year round, although this is minimal for part of the year and can get heavier on a seasonal basis. When shedding more heavily the Canaan Dog may need more regular brushing and grooming.
The original story of the Canaan Dog begins with it being a pariah dog in the ancient times of Israel. Many believe that this dog breed could actually date back to biblical times, making it one of the oldest dog breeds still around today.
Thought to be a herding dog and a guard dog of those ancient Israelites, the Canaan Dog roamed the region, helping to protecting the flocks of sheep and other animals as well as to guard those that slept in the camps.
When the Romans removed the Israelites in the second century, the Canaan Dog began to lessen in numbers and may have come close to dying out in those scattered years.
As the Israelites were moved, these dogs had taken refuse in the Negev Desert, which was a sort of oasis for Israeli wildlife. Roaming free, these dogs continued an undomesticated life, though they were helped by other cultures that drifted into the area.
At one point, a Dr. Rudolphina Menzel found these intelligent dogs and used them as guard dogs for Jewish settlements, and through interbreeding, they became the Canaan Dog we know today.
The Canaan Dog is what many breeders would call highly intelligence and absolutely trainable. They are more than willing to learn new tasks that are given to them and are likely to pick up new tricks and feats with ease. You can show them something and they can figure out how to repeat this task without much work at all. However, they naturally will follow the lead of the person they consider their 'herder,' so once you have established your position, training can become easier.
That said, the risk with any highly intelligent dog is that they tend to become bored if they feel like your training is not challenging them enough. If they feel like something is not 'worth' their time, then will often resist the training and not listen to commands. In these instances, they can be very difficult dogs to train. They will require constant motivation and commands in order to keep them on task.
You will want to have new activities that will challenge the Canaan Dog, perhaps having them look or hunt for things that you put in your yard or on a walk. They are natural herders as well, so any sort of activity that allows them to do this will also help to train them mentally as well as physically.
Repetitive training is not advised for these dogs as they will become bored as they have probably already learned the task and want to move onto something else new and exciting.
Like other breeds, the Canaan Dog will need to learn socialization skills at a young age in order to be able to determine who is a friend and who is a stranger. They are aggressive and will bark if they feel that they are with someone that can not be trusted, so as a puppy, they need to be taught how to behave.
The trick with training the Canaan Dog is that you will need to be paying attention to everything they do during the session. These are dogs that can be manipulative and will try to avoid doing certain things that they may not want to do. With consistent training that involves some sort of reward, you will be able to manage their behaviors. Think about ways to encourage positive behaviors and to motivate this breed towards doing what you want them to do. They aren't necessarily going to respond to punishments that you dole out.
The life expectancy of the Canaan Dog is around 12-15 years, and there are various illnesses and health problems that are linked to the breed. This includes thyroid problems and seizures. However, compared to many breeds this is a relatively healthy breed. The parents of the Canaan Dog puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.