Canaan Dog

Canaan Dog
  • Category SizeMedium
  • SheddingHeavy
  • Grooming RequirementsOnce a week
  • AloneMore than 3 hours
  • Other PetsMedium
  • VocalNot too noisy
  • AllergiesNo
  • Suitability As GuardMedium
  • Dog Group Kennel ClubUtility


The Canaan dog is a medium-sized, square dog that is spitz-like in appearance, with a thick, profuse coat and a tail curled over the back when excited or moving. The harsh, straight short/medium-length coat comes in sandy to red brown, white or black in colour. Ideally the Canaan Dog should measure between 50-60cm and weigh between 18-25kg.


The Canaan dog is an ancient breed from the Middle East. They were used to guard and herd the flocks of the ancient Israelites. When the Israelites dispersed so did their dogs, and only the strongest survived the harsh environment. The Bedouin tribes adopted some of the dogs to guard their camps and herds. During the 1930s a guard dog was required by the isolated settlements of Israel. The Canaan dog breed was the ideal choice; they were semi-wild and could survive in the harsh conditions. Today this dog is still seen guarding for the Bedouin tribes and also the Israeli army used them for guard and patrol work.


Canaan dogs are one of the few 'natural' breeds in existence today. They have become domesticated over the years but still possess extremely strong survival instincts, which can make them independent and wary. They are territorial, but not aggressive to people, and protective of their family, both adults and children. They can be quarrelsome with other dogs and same-sex aggression is not unknown, so early and ongoing socialisation is essential.


The Canaan dog is generally a healthy breed, with few widely recognised specific breed related problems. Hip scoring and eye testing in breeding dogs in advisable to prevent problems arising in the breed.


They enjoy exercise and are very agile and athletic. They will adapt to however much exercise they are given, whether they are indoors or out but they need at least one good long run, for a minimum of an hour, every day.


Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.


This dog has a straight, harsh coat that is short to medium in length, with an abundant undercoat. The coat may need to be brushed once a week. When they are moulting, the thick undercoat is shed in great handfuls and during this time they should be brushed on a daily basis. A slicker brush or rake is the best type of grooming aid to use on these coats.