The Canaan dog looks like none of the other herding breeds, originating from a very different background. Still, it shares similar characteristics required in almost any dog which has to herd for hours. It’s a medium-sized, square-proportioned puppy of moderate chemical that unites strength, endurance and agility. It isn’t exaggerated at all. Its motion is graceful and athletic, with a lively, ground-covering trot. It can change directions immediately. It’s a double coat, with a short, soft undercoat which changes in density based on climate, plus a straight, flat-lying, harsh outer coat, using a small ruff. This strain has to accommodate to great extremes in weather which range from hot times to chilly nights.
Does the Canaan dog shine as a herder, but it has also shown itself in many different tasks involving dependability and obedience. This is a smart, dedicated, docile dog that’s quite tractable and ready to please. It’s aloof toward strangers and protective of its loved ones. The Canaan puppy is usually good with other family pets and pets, but it might be aggressive toward strange dogs. It’s a pure protector and will bark a lot.
|• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: none
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: none
• Life span: 12 – 13 years
|Canaan dogs have evolved through hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of years of hardship. It is thought that the breed originated in the biblical land of Canaan and were known as kelev Kanani (“dog of Canaan”). When the Israelites were dispersed from their homeland by the Romans 2,000 years ago, most of the Israeli dogs were left to fend for themselves in the Sebulon coastal plain and Negev desert. Bedouins captured male puppies from the wild to raise as guard and livestock dogs. When the Israeli Defense Force tried to develop service dogs in the 1930s, the traditional European service breeds weren’t able to adapt to the harsh climate. The Canaan dog owes its existence primarily to the efforts of one woman, Dr. Rudolphina Menzel. Her search for a more suitable dog led her to the native feral dogs. Several dogs were captured, and a breeding and training program was begun. The dogs quickly proved their worth, serving as sentry dogs, messengers, mine detectors, Red Cross helpers and even locators of wounded soldiers during World War II and as guide dogs for the blind after the war. Perhaps no other breed of dog has ever risen from feral roots to become such a useful and dedicated companion in so short a time. The first Canaan dog came to America in 1965. Not the flashiest of breeds, the Canaan’s understated good looks may have made many people overlook it, despite its companionship credentials. Nonetheless, it slowly attracted admirers, and the AKC finally admitted it into the herding group in 1997. Now beginning a new era as a show dog, the increased exposure is sure to attract many more people looking for a loyal and hardy pet.|