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Canaan Dog

Country/Date of Origin: Israel/2000 BC

The Canaan dog has lived in the region of the Middle East that is now Israel for thousands of years. Its ancestors were pariah dogs that were domesticated to guard sheep and goats. No attempt was made to refine and purify the bloodlines until 1935 when Dr Menzel and her husband began the Shaar Hagai Kennels in Jerusalem. Most of the animals registered as Canaan Dogs can trace pedigrees back to her kennel. Still scarce in the United States, the Canaan Dogs are exhibited in the miscellaneous classes at American Kennel Club shows.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Kelef K'naani

AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Breed Club: The Canaan Dog Club of America

Rescue Club: Canaan Dog Rescue Network, Inc.

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Body Type:

  • Robust medium-sized spitz-type dog
  • Height: 19-24 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 35-55 pounds
  • The thick, brushlike, tail curves over the back and is not altered
  • The ears are broad, with rounded tips, carried erect and not altered


  • Intelligent and very trainable
  • Good guard instincts. Suspicious of strangers
  • OK with children if raised with them, otherwise a bit sharp


  • Medium length double coat
  • Colors are sandy to red-brown, white or black. Large white markings are permissible, even desirable, with all colors
  • Minimal grooming required

Health Concerns:

  • Noted for its resistance to disease and healthy constitution
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Long lived
  • This is not a popular breed. Find a puppy to purchase will be difficult especially on the east coast of the US
  • Great sniffers. Israelis have used this breed to help detect mines

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