The Canaan Dog (Kelev K’naani) breed was born with the entry of “Dugma”, which is Hebrew for “model”. He was the first pariah dog to be redomesticated by the Menzels. Many Canaan Dogs bred today trace their ancestry to him. He was an excellent representation of the Pariah Dog Type-III, the “Light, Middle-Type, noble refined, collie-like in structure.”
Proportion A medium sized, well-balanced, strong and "square" dog resembling the wild dog type. A strong distinction between the sexes, with the females maintaining a feminine quality.
Substance Square, withers well developed, back level, loins muscular, chest deep and of moderate breadth, ribs well sprung. Belly well tucked up. Moderate angulation. Balance is essential. Feet are strong, round and catlike with hard pads.
Tail Bushy and curled high over the back when alert or excited.When extended, the bone must reach to the hocks. Topline - Level with slight arch over the loins. Body -Strong, displaying athletic agility and trimness.
Head Well proportioned, blunt wedge
shape of medium length, appearing broader due to low set ears. Stop shallow but defined. Muzzle sturdy, of moderate length and breadth. Jaws should be strong. Lips tight. Ears erect,
relatively short and broad, slightly
rounded at the tip and set low. Mouth full dentition with scissors or level bite. Neck muscular and as noble as possible, more notable and important in the male Canaan.
Colour Pattern 1) Predominately white with mask and with or without additional patches of colour (large body patches are desirable). Pattern 2) Solid coloured with or without white trim.
Sand to red-brown, white, black, or spotted with or without mask. If masked, mask should be symmetrical or a "'hood" (see below). The mask should completely cover both eyes and ears. The white blaze in the symmetrial mask can be of any size or shape. White markings are permitted on all colours.
The "hooded" mask must have white on the muzzle, as illustrated on the bottom pic of the puppy in this photo.
The white trim on a solid coloured dog may include chest, undercarriage, feet and lower part of leg and tip of tail.
Grey and/or brindle, black/tan, or tri-colour are considered unacceptable.
In all colour patterns self-ticking may be present. In fact, the founders desired "the ticking" (tiny flecks of spots or freckles) on the body and muzzle of white and black masked or black hooded Canaan Dogs. Ticking may not be present at birth but may develop on the coat pattern as the pup matures. Over ticking that presents a mottled grey apperance is undesirable.
Coat Double coat. Outer coat - straight, harsh, flat-lying, with slight ruff. Ruff more pronounced on males. Length of outer coat 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches; longer on ruff and back of thighs, shorter on body, legs, and head. Undercoat - straight, soft, short, flat-lying. Faults - Excessively long guard coat that masks the clean outline of the dog.
A wonderful example of the correct double coat - flat-lying with a beautiful sheen.
Eyes Dark brown, slightly slanted, almond shaped. Dark rims essential.
Expression - Alert, watchful, and inquisitive. Dignified.
Here is another wonderful example of correct eyes. Notice the expressive, dark brown almond shaped eyes on this red pup with white trim. This is the ideal eye formation that should be present on all correct colour patterns.
Gait Good reach and drive. Quick, brisk natural trot, apparently tireless, indicating an animal capable of trotting for hours. Covers ground more quickly than expected. Should demonstrate marked agility and stamina. Correct movement is essential. This was a dog that was nature’s design: built to race like the wind and consume a frugal diet.
Weight/Height Males 20-24 inches in height; weight 45-55 lbs. Females can range from 19-23 inches; weight 35 to 45 lbs. He is without extremes and should be well proportioned. Keeping him lean and
agile will make him more comfortable and healthy.
Faults— All faults in body structure that constitute a deviation from the norm of a well built "square" dog; anything that would detract from his potential for survival as a desert animal.
Temperament Alert, devoted and docile with his family. Can be Reserved and aloof with strangers. Highly territorial, serving as a responsive companion and exceptional watchdog. To learn more about the Canaan Dog's traits visit our section on Canaan Dog Traits
An Interesting Fact Again, being a rare breed, the Canaan Dog is sometimes confused with the looks of the following purebred or mixed breeds:
- Smooth coated Border Collies (especially black solid Canaan Dogs with white trim)
- McNab Dogs
- Shiba Inu
- American Carolina Dog
-German Shepard x Border collie mixes