Photo by © Teresa McMobley

Canaan Dog - Breed Profile:

Origin: Israel
Colors: Solid black, brown, white, or patched
Size: Medium
Type of Owner: Experienced
Exercise: Moderate
Grooming: Little
Trainability: Very easy to train
Combativeness: Can be a bit dog-aggressive
Dominance: High
Noise: Average barker

Physical characteristics

The Canaan is a medium size sturdy dog with a bushy tail. The body is strong and athletic, with a moderately deep and broad chest. The loin is well-tucked up. The front legs are straight. The head is elongated and wedge-shaped when viewed from the above. The medium to large ears are erect and broad at the base. The ear tip is slightly rounded. The almond shaped eyes are dark; they are slanted a bit. The tail is set moderately high. The gait is full of good drive.
Canaan Dogs weigh 35 to 55 pounds. Their height is 19 to 24 inches. Females are usually smaller.


Canaan Dogs are intelligent, independent, docile, loyal and gentle. They need extensive socialization at an early age with both dogs and people, especially children, as the breed tends to be naturally wary of strangers although it is very friendly with those it knows. Responsive to positive and motivational training. Very defensive of its territory, Canaans are great watchdogs. They are also willing and vigilant guard dogs. Outstanding at agility, tracking and other activities where the dog is expected to think independently, yet work as a team with its handler. May be aggressive with dogs of the same sex. Canaans need a firm authoritative owner who can deal with possible unwanted behaviour. The latter is very likely to occur if the dog is allowed to become a pack leader.

Coat and grooming

Canaan Dogs have a double coat. The outer hair is straight, harsh, and flat-lying. The undercoat is soft and dense; its density depends on the season. Canaan Dogs have a slight ruff; it is more prominent on males. One a week brushing should be fine.
The coat comes in two colour patterns. The first one is predominantly white with a mask, with or without additional patches of colour. The second one is a solid colour with or without white trim. The colour may range from black through all shades of brown - sandy to red or liver.


Canaan dogs are naturally healthy and robust. This breed has one of the lowest rates of hip dysplasia.

Other interesting facts

The Canaan Dog's history dates back to Biblical times, originating in the Land of Canaan. The breed was the guard and herd dog of the ancient Israelites, guarding their camps and flocks.