The Canaan Dog is a breed of dog that has existed in the Middle East for centuries.
Canaan Dog Appearance
The Canaan Dog is a typical pariah dog in appearance. They have a medium build, natural upright ears, and a short to medium double coat, with a harsh, flat outercoat and soft undercoat. Color ranges from black to cream and all shades of brown between, usually with small white markings, or all white with color patches.
Canaan Dog Measurements
Height: 19-24 inches (48-61 cm)
Weight: 37-57 pounds (16-25 kg)
Canaan Dog Temperament
Canaan Dogs are natural, aloof, independent dogs. They are intelligent and learn quickly, but may get bored with repetitive exercises or become oblivious to commands if they find something of more interest. They are cautious with strangers, and will alert to any disturbances with prompt barking, thus making them excellent watchdogs. The Canaan Dog is prone to wandering and must be in a fenced-in yard.
Canaan Dog History
The Canaan Dog began in ancient times as a pariah dog in Israel. This dog is one of the oldest, dating back to biblical times.
The Canaan Dog was the guard and herd dog of the ancient Israelites, guarding their camps and flocks. They were plentiful in the region until the dispersion of the Israelites by the Romans in the 2nd Century, CE. As the Hebrew population dropped, the majority of the dogs sought refuge in the Negev Desert, a natural reservoir of Israeli wildlife. Avoiding extinction, they remained undomesticated for the most part, although some lived with the Bedouins and earned their keep by guarding the herds and camps. Some were also guards for the Druze on Mount Carmel.
They survived this way until Dr. Rudolphina Menzel came up with the idea to use these intelligent scavenger dogs mainly found in the desert, as guard dogs for the scattered Jewish settlements. She initiated a selective breeding program to produce the breed known today as the Canaan Dog.
Canaan Dogs in the U.S.
On September 7, 1965, Ursula Berkowitz of Oxnard, California, imported the first four Canaan Dogs with the idea of establishing the breed in the United States. The Canaan Dog Club of America was formed the same year, and stud book records were kept from these first reports.
In June 1989, the Canaan Dog entered the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class and dogs were registered in the AKC Stud Book as of June 1, 1997. The dogs began competing in conformation on August 12, 1997.