By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 18th October 2022

Canaan Dog


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th October 2022

The medium-sized, intelligent, protective, aggressive Israeli purebred Canaan Dog is a pariah dog that has been hovering through the realms of the Middle Eastern regions for many thousand years. These dogs, with a tapered and long muzzle, almond eyes, erect and movable ears, straight legs and arched neck, are known for their multi-talents, taking equal roles in herding, guarding, police and military works, tracking etc.

Canaan Dog Pictures

Quick Information

Also CalledKelef K’Naani, Kalef K’Naani, Kanaanhund, Canaanite Dog
CoatDouble, harsh, dense, short
ColorBlack and tan, red, gray, black
Breed TypePurebred
Group (of Breed)Herding
Lifespan12 to 13 years
Weight/Size35 to 55 pounds
HeightMale: 19 to 24 inches; Female: 18 to 20 inches
TemperamentAlert, intelligent, protective, aggressive
Country of OriginIsrael-Palestine (ancient ‘Canaan’)
Litter Size2 to 10 puppies
Good with ChildrenYes

Canaan Dog Training Video


The history of this natural breed of Israel dates back to the era of the Bible. The breed originated in the land of Canaan, the region that encompasses the modern-day Israel, Lebanon, Palestine and the western Jordan, and had been utilized by the ancient dwellers and nomads as guard dogs for guarding their cattle and camps. On September 7, 1965, four specimens of this breed were introduced in the USA by Ursula Berkowitz of Oxnard, California, in order to establish the breed in the country.


These dogs were studied by an Austrian immigrant to Mandate Palestine, named Rudolphina Menzel, and were classified into 4 types by their appearances:

  1. The stocky Sheepdog appearance
  2. The Dingo-like appearance
  3. The Border-Collie-like appearance
  4. The Greyhound-like appearance

Temperament and Behavior

Although they are independent by nature, they can work as a team, and thus being helpful to the departments of defense. This exceptionally obedient, trustworthy, devoted and loyal breed would get bored easily, however, would make a great guard dog, territorial at that, barking at unknown ‘intruders’, and would be too dominating, for which they need training accordingly. With their strong instinct of survival, and a very sharp sense of smell and hearing, they make a good watch dog, love people they know, looking after the family and children.



The energetic, working dog needs lots of exercises including brisk walking and jogging sessions and challenging activities, strenuous tasks, herding games etc., without which, sitting idle at home, they might develop behavioral issues. Allow them play in an enclosed yard to avoid altercations with other dogs and traffics. They love to dig. Allow them digging in a specific area to both meet with the exercise needs as also to satisfy their instinct.


With no typical dog-odors, the naturally clean Canaan dog needs no extra grooming other than a weekly coat-brushing, especially when it is their shedding season, when shedding is heavy. Rest, like checking for infections, brushing teeth, trimming nails, are similar to other dogs.

Health Problems

The generally healthy breed, they do not suffer from any known hereditary health issues. However, to be on the safe side, it is wise to get a health clearance certificate before you buy the puppy from the breeder.


Their docile spirit helps them learn house training quickly. However, they need to be socialized well, especially with strangers, since they tend to get suspicious with them. Gain your own status as a pack-leader to avoid possibilities of behavioral hazards when adult.


Meat meal is good, but if you think daily meat-diet would be too expensive, you can also combine or opt for other supplements like kibbles, but occasionally. Raw meat is ideal, but you can also parboil or lightly cook the meat, but do not cook it in strong heat. Vegetables, yogurt, cottage cheese, greens like kelp/alfalfa blend, and vitamin E tablets added to the food are also recommended. But never feed them with junk fillers and unrecognizable food substitutes, grains and cereals or by-products from animal-meats. For dry dog food, 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of high-quality food divided into two meals is recommended for daily diet.

Interesting Facts

  • This primitive breed got recognition from the AKC only in 1997.
  • Modern breeders do mix this purebred with other popular breeds, the commonest of which are the German Shepherd, the Lab and the Husky.
  • The Canaan dog type varies slightly between the lines of other individuals of the breed, as also with those that are found in Israel and the rest of the globe.

One response to “Canaan Dog”

  1. john says:

    These dogs are from the levant specifically Palestine, please get your facts right

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