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Adopt a Canaan Dog

Canaan Dog Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


livestock, herding, primitive, Southern (pariah)

Area of origin:


Original function:

sentry, messenger, and assistance

Average size of male:

Ht: 20-24, Wt: 45-55

Average size of female:

Ht: 19-23, Wt: 35-45

Other names:

kalef K'naani

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Canaan Dog Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Canaan Dog dogs available on Petfinder

Canaan Dog Dog Temperament

Not only does the Canaan Dog excel as a herder, but he has also proven himself in a variety of tasks involving dependability and obedience. This is an intelligent, devoted, docile dog that is quite tractable and willing to please. He can be aloof toward strangers and protective of his family. The Canaan Dog is generally good with other household pets and dogs. He is a natural guardian and tends to bark a lot.

Canaan Dog Dog Care

Few breeds can claim as pure a working heritage as the Canaan Dog. This dog will not be happy just sitting around. He needs lots of exercise and mental and physical challenges. These needs can be met with herding exercise, a long jog, or a strenuous game session along with a challenging training session. He makes an excellent house dog. His coat needs brushing about once a week to remove dead hairs.

Canaan Dog Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: none
Life span: 12-13 years

Interested in the history of the Canaan Dog dog breed?

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 his 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 him, despite his companionship credentials. Nonetheless, he slowly attracted admirers, and the AKC finally admitted him 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.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Canaan Dog Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Canaan Dogs ready for adoption:

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