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Breed Profiles
Dog Breeds

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Canaan Dog

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Canaan Dog

OtherNames Kelef K’naani
Dog Group Kennel Club Utility
Breed Classification The Canaan Dog is a member of the utility group. They have been used for various functions over the years, from guarding to tracking and as companions.
Cost of Ownership
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Average Food Cost
Feeding Requirements
This dog is relatively easy and cheap to feed.
Other Expenses
The average purchase price of a puppy is from £500. After the initial outlay of purchasing a puppy there should be no great expense involved. They are a relatively healthy breed so vets bills should be practically non-existent.
Average Puppy Price
> 15 years
Average Litter Size
5 - 6
General Physical Description
The Canaan Dog is a medium sized, square dog that is spitz like in appearance.
Height Min Max
Bitch 51cm 61cm
Dog 51cm 61cm
Weight Min Max
Bitch 18kg 25kg
Dog 18kg 25kg
Size Category Medium
Weight Height Range Ideally the Canaan Dog should measure between 51-61cms at the withers and weigh between 18-25kgs.
Ailments Because the Canaan Dog is a natural breed and the breeders in their native country, Israel, still introduce wild born dogs into the gene pool from time to time they have no significant hereditary problems.
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
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Pet health and vet advice

History 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 and most intelligent survived the harsh environment. The Bedouin tribes to guard their camps and herds adopted some of the dogs. During the 1930’s a guard dog was required by the isolated settlements of Israel. The Canaan Dog 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. Today the Canaan Dog is the National Dog of Israel and is now protected. Unfortunately there are very few wild Canaan dogs in existence.
Intelligence Training of this dog should be relatively easy as they are intelligent dogs that learn quickly and easily. Their training should be varied as they become easily bored if they are given repetitive commands. They should be socialised with other household pets and children from an early age. The Canaan Dog can be aggressive with other dogs and same-sex aggression is not unknown, so early socialisation is necessary.
Show Characteristics The Canaan Dog should have a medium sized, blunt, wedge shaped head. The eyes should be almond shaped, slant slightly and are dark brown in colour. The ears should be low set, erect with rounded tips and be of medium size and broad. The mouth should have strong jaws with a complete scissor bite. The neck should be clean, muscular and well arched. The body appears square and strong with a straight topline; the chest should be deep with well sprung ribs. The front legs should be straight and of medium bone; the back legs have broad, muscular thighs and appear straight when viewed from behind. The feet should be strong, round and cat like in appearance. The tail should be set high, bushy and curled over the back. They move with a quick fast trot. The outercoat should be short to medium in length, dense, harsh and straight; the undercoat should be close and abundant, however this will depend on the season. The preferred colours for the show ring are solid sand to red/brown, black or white, or white markings with any of the solid colours. A dark or white mask and white markings on the body and legs are permitted.
Country Of Origin Israel
Famous Examples
Records Held
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Energy Medium
Overall Exercise 80 - 100 minutes
Distress Caused if Left Alone Low
Personal Protection Medium
Suitability As Guard Dog Low
Risk of Sheep Worrying Low
Tendency to Bark Medium
Ease of Transportation Medium
Level of Aggression Medium
Compatibility With Other Animals Medium
Suitable For Children
General Character And Temperament The Canaan Dog is not a man made breed, they 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 although they can be to other dogs. Canaan Dogs make very good family pets and are protective of their family, both adults and children. At the age of about 10 months Canaan dogs go through an insecure phase. They can be fearful of things they do not know. They will grow out of this as they mature. As a breed Canaans mature slowly and only come into their own at about 3 or 4 years old.
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Coat Length Short/Medium
Grooming Requirement Once a week
Trimming None
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming This dog has a straight, harsh short to medium length coat with an abundant undercoat. The coat may need to be brushed once a week. Outwith their heavy moult the Canaan Dog does not shed its coat excessively. However when they are moulting the thick undercoat is shed in great handfuls. 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. As a breed these dogs will groom themselves in the same way as a cat does, if there are two or more dogs in the same household they will groom each other.
Colour The Canaan Dog is sandy to red brown, white or black in colour. All these colours can be seen with or without white markings on the body and legs.
Shedding Heavy
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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