Canaan Dog

Canaan Dog is the native dog of Israel. Drawings on tombs at Beni- Hassan, which date to 2200 B.C., depict dogs that look like the Canaan Dogs of today. When the Romans invaded and scattered the Israelites, the native dogs escaped extinction by becoming feral. They lived wild in the Negev Desert for centuries. Some dogs also served the Bedouins as both guard dogs and herding dogs.

The Canaan Dog stands between 19 and 24 inches tall and weighs 35 to 55 pounds. The head is wedge-shaped, the ears are upright, and the eyes are almond-shaped and dark. The tail is often curled over the back when the dog is excited. The double coat has a harsh, flat outer coat and a soft, short undercoat. Canaan Dogs are predominantly white with patches of colour, or a solid colour with or without white trim.

The Canaan Dog does shed, although the heaviness of the undercoat varies according to climate. Twice weekly brushing will suffice for most of the year; daily brushing may be needed during shedding. A native desert breed, the Canaan Dog is most active in the morning and evening and is content to sleep during the heat of the day. He enjoys walks, games, and many dog sports, including agility, herding, search and rescue, and tracking. Naturally protective, early socialisation can temper the Canaan Dog’s responses.

The Canaan Dog needs early socialisation to other friendly dogs because he can be dog-aggressive. The Canaan Dog is a survivor because of his self-reliance and his adaptability. He is not a dog for everyone. His independence requires that his owner be loving but firmly in charge. This dog breed needs an experienced dog owner who is patient and affectionate, yet firm and willing to establish household and social rules for the dog. He is good with kids who respect him. His interaction with other dogs and animals should be closely supervised. The primary health concern is hip dysplasia.

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