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The Canaan Dog Shop

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Canaan Dog Breed Summary

Independent, Territorial, Gentle, Affectionate and Devoted

These dogs are proudly the National Dog of Israel! However, outside of their native country, they are a relatively unheard of breed and amongst some of the rarest breeds on the planet, with only 3,000 left in existence!

In terms of their physical appearance, they are medium in size and have very distinctive wedge-shaped heads! They are even discussed as having 'Dingo-like' attributes as well.

Fun Fact: These dogs are actually a member of the Spitz family (Pomeranians and Huskies!).

Kennel Club Group Herding
Lifespan 12 - 15 years
Height (at the withers) Males 20in - 24in, Females 19in - 23in
Weight Males 45lb - 55lb, Females 35lb - 45lb
Coat Coats are Dense, Harsh and Straight. The Outer Coat is Short to Medium in Length. The Undercoat is Thicker during the Winter Months
Color Black, Black and tan, Black with white trim, Cream, Red, Red with white trim, Sand, Sand white trim, Tricolor, White, White with black patches, White with red patches, White with sand patches
Eye color Dark
Common health issues Hip dysplasia, Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Patella luxation, Cryptorchidism, Deafness (bi-lateral & uni-lateral), Hypothyroidism, Addison's Disease, Masticatory Muscle Myositis, Thrombocytopenia, Degenerative Myelopathy, Seizures, Cancer, Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration

Because of the dogs past, they are extremely independent in thought. Canaan’s are also thought to be fairly cautious and territorial but would never act aggressively towards ‘hoomans’. However, they are mainly known for their gentle and calming ways, which makes them fantastic dogs for family ownership. Around 10 months old, these guys will go through what we like to call a ‘difficult’ stage. They may become insecure and will need gentle handling to help them through this challenging time! Unlike other dogs, they can take a while to mature and wont fully mature until around 3 or 4 years old. Therefore, owners need to consider training them a little differently. This means they may not be the right choice for first time owners, but with the correct family, make great pets!

These dogs are thought to be very old and supposedly one of the most ancient breeds developed in the Middle East. They were originally thought to be used to independently herd and guard flocks of sheep. When the Israelites left the Middle East, they took their Canaan’s with them. A true ‘survival of the fittest’ took place, as these dogs worked in harsh conditions, with only the healthiest of the dogs making it through this treacherous time. However, they did earn the respect of the Bedouin Tribes and were used by them to guard both their herds and camps. Many believe that these dogs may be descendants of the Indian Wolf although we do know that they are part of the Spitz family, which is predominantly found in Israel. They were eventually recognized by the Kennel Club in the 1970s which can be thanked to Connie Higgins, a true lover of the breed, but remain one of the rarest breeds on the planet.