The Canaan Dog, also known as Canaanic Dog, the Israel Canaan Dog, the Kanaanhond, the Kanaan Hund, the Kelef Kanani, the Kelef K’naani and the Pariah Dog, is the National Breed of Israel and dates back to Biblical times where it was used as a sentry and herd dog for nomadic people. They later were trained to detect land mines during times of war, and after that to perform as valued guide dogs for the blind. Like most herding dogs, the Canaan Dog is easily trainable and adaptable. They also are alert, watchful, protective and very territorial. They can be especially distrustful of strangers but are devoted and docile with their family. They need to be supervised around children and other animals that are not in their family. These dogs are not especially high-energy, but they love to work and require thorough socialization and obedience training to be happy and companionable. They have a strong flight instinct and are fleet-footed. They tend to bark more so than many other breeds and are described as being highly and persistently vocal. Owners of a Canaan Dog need to provide a home environment which is physically and mentally challenging to prevent boredom. The Canaan Dog entered the American Kennel Club’s Miscellaneous class in June 1989, was registered in the Stud Book of the AKC in 1997 and became eligible for full breed registration in August of 1997.
The average male Canaan Dog stands 20 to 24 inches at the withers, while females range from 19 to 23 inches. Dogs typically weigh 45 to 55 pounds; females weigh 35 to 45 pounds. Canaan Dogs have a wedge-shaped head, a pointed muzzle, pricked ears and a bushy curled tail. Their dense double coat typically is white with colored patches ranging from cream to brown to black, but can be solid in other colors as well. They shed seasonally but are fairly easy keepers. The Canaan Dog can survive on less food and water than most breeds and has an unusual ability to dissipate heat.