The Canaan Dog Guide, The Biblical Pariah

What Place This Breed Holds in History

  • Medium Breed
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Thyroid - Hypothyroidism
  • Canaan Dog
Canaan Dog photo

Is The Canaan Dog Right For Me?

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    Canaan Dogs are known for their intelligence, agility, and obedience.

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    Canaans, while defensive, are docile and are very good with children.

  • 3

    Canaan Dogs require firm motivational training to avoid them getting bored.


Thought to be a descendent of some of the oldest domesticated dogs on earth, the Canaan Dog first came about after the sporadic breedings of the wild dogs in the Biblical land of Canaan. Cave paintings dating back to the 24th century BCE depict dogs that bear a striking resemblance to the Canaan Dog we know of today. Originally used as a guard and herding dog for the Israelites, this breed is designed for desert life, able to withstand incredibly arid climates. Following their extensive recorded history, the Canaan Dog was accepted into the AKC in 1997.

quick facts

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    12 - 15 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    19-24 inches (48-61 cm)

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    Male Weight

    37-57 pounds (16-25 kg)

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    Female Height

    19-24 inches (48-61 cm)

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    Female Weight

    37-57 pounds (16-25 kg)

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    Litter Size

    4 - 6 puppies on average


Originally thought to be a herding dog for the ancient Israelites, this breed today has exhibited a wide range of ability, adeptly performing the job of a watchdog, tracking game, and general agility based competitions. They are incredibly obedient, bright, independent, and loyal dogs. The Canaan Dog is naturally protective, and as such, should not be allowed to assert their dominance over any person. They should be well socialized so as to prevent any shyness or aggression toward strangers. Also, like many breeds, they need an owner that is decidedly the leader of the pack; no wavering in your dominance. Otherwise they may think they can run the show.


The Canaan Dog can range from solid black, brown, or white to some that have a hue of redness that might get lighter as they age, or white with brown or black patches.

health concerns

The Canaan Dog has no hereditary health problems. The breed is one of the healthiest dogs, but some rare diseases that can be watched out for are:


The Canaan Dog is a medium-sized dog with an athletic frame. They have almost squinty eyes, slightly less than pointy ears, a short, slightly rough outer coat and a straight, soft undercoat. Their tail is somewhat long, curls up, and is held above their back when they are excited. They have tiny, cat-like paws with rough pads that helped them traverse the harsh desert landscapes.

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