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.”

Masculine Canaan Dog - JK Maccabee Northern Warrior "Macc"
Masculine Canaan Dog - JK Maccabee Northern Warrior "Macc"

General Appearance

 

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.

Feminine Canaan D&J Ha'Aretz Northern Alchemy "Ash"
Feminine Canaan D&J Ha'Aretz Northern Alchemy "Ash"

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.

Good example of female head type  "Ash" - Blunt Wedge-Shaped Head with Low Erect Ears.
Good example of female head type "Ash" - Blunt Wedge-Shaped Head with Low Erect Ears.

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.

"Rook" - Good example of "symmetrical" in mask on male Canaan
"Rook" - Good example of "symmetrical" in mask on 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. 

 

 

 

"Ash" (symmetrical mask) with litter mate 'Lacy' (hooded mask)
"Ash" (symmetrical mask) with litter mate 'Lacy' (hooded mask)

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.

 

"Remmie" ( good example of "ticking" in colour pattern) Rook's beautiful dam
"Remmie" ( good example of "ticking" in colour pattern) Rook's beautiful dam

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. 

 

 

A sampling of the correct colouring found in Canaan Dog puppies - these are some of Macc's offspring
A sampling of the correct colouring found in Canaan Dog puppies - these are some of Macc's offspring
Female Canaan Dog "Ash"; male Canaan Dog "Rook"
Female Canaan Dog "Ash"; male Canaan Dog "Rook"

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.

 

"Rook" shows off his beautiful coat
"Rook" shows off his beautiful coat

A wonderful example of the correct double coat - flat-lying with a beautiful sheen. 

Adult Canaan "Macc" shows off his beautiful expressive eyes with perfect eyeliner rim
Adult Canaan "Macc" shows off his beautiful expressive eyes with perfect eyeliner rim

Eyes  Dark brown, slightly slanted, almond shaped. Dark rims essential.  

 

 

 

 

Expression - Alert, watchful, and inquisitive. Dignified. 

Young puppy "Cammie" showing off her beautiful expressive eyes
Young puppy "Cammie" showing off her beautiful expressive eyes

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. 

Young male Rook showing off his gait
Young male Rook showing off his gait

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.

Canaan Female - Ash 23 inches top height in female - we don't want our females taller than this height
Canaan Female - Ash 23 inches top height in female - we don't want our females taller than this height

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.

Canaan male & female - Macc posing with his sister Kita
Canaan male & female - Macc posing with his sister Kita
Miss "Ash" on alert
Miss "Ash" on alert

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

Our "Ash" says yes, some people confuse me with a border collie especially when I am doing herding chores:-)
Our "Ash" says yes, some people confuse me with a border collie especially when I am doing herding chores:-)

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

- Basenjis

- Shiba Inu

- American Carolina Dog

-German Shepard x Border collie mixes