Canaan dog―locally known as Kelev Kna'ani―is the national dog breed of Israel. The breed was named after the Land of Canaan, i.e., modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan. The breeding of this dog breed began in 1930s, when people started using them as guard dogs for their settlements. During the Second World War, the breed was mostly used for patrolling and detecting mines.
Eventually, people started using them as hunting dogs and messenger dogs. Canaan dogs also earned popularity as herding dogs, and were widely used for tending cattle and sheep. In 1965, the founder of this breed, Dr. Rudolphina Menzel, sent four dogs to the United States; that marked the first instance of this dog breed on the American soil.
Facts about Canaan Dogs
Canaan dogs are inquisitive and alert by nature. These dogs show the talents of stock dog, are natural herders, and are used for patrolling in Israel. Being highly intelligent, they can learn any skill quickly. It is obedient and hence, responds well to all kinds of training. No one can question the loyalty of a Canaan dog towards its master. This dog can be an obedient pet, if trained properly, and is very friendly with children.
Owing to their docile, obedient, and defensive character, these dogs can be easily trained and turned into highly-efficient guard dogs. With strangers, however, the Canaan dog is defensive by nature―like other guard dog breeds―and reacts quickly to every disturbance by prompt barking. Canaan dogs resemble the typical pariah dogs, and are aloof with strangers.
Canaan dogs have prick ears with a broad base and rounded tip, and a slightly slanted nose. They have sharp teeth, dark brown almond-shaped eyes, straight legs, and pads in feet. These dogs are available in various sizes and shapes, ranging from medium to large and rectangular, as well as wedge-shaped. An adult Canaan dog measures almost 35 to 55 pounds in weight and 19 to 24 inches in height.
The breed comes in a variety of colors, ranging from brown, black, sandy, cream, and red with white color patches. They have two coats, i.e., the undercoat and outer coat. Their undercoat is short, dense, and soft, while their outer coat is thick―with its thickness in the range of ½ to 1½ inch. Their dense undercoat is known to help them survive extremely cold temperatures.
The Canaan dog has a lifespan of 11 to 15 years. This dog breed is known to suffer from hypothyroidism, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), as well as problems of digestive system, heart, and respiratory systems. You should take proper care of your pet Canaan by regularly bathing and brushing him, and providing him with a well-balanced, nutritious diet.