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Canaan Breed


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Dog Size

Energy Level

Dog Energy Level


Dog Trainability

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Physical Characteristics:
Height: 19-24”
Weight: 35-55 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Canaan in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Cream
  • Golden
  • Liver
  • Red
  • Tan
  • White

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 12-15 years
The Canaan Dog is an extremely healthy breed and usually does not suffer from typical canine health problems. They have no known hereditary health issues.

At times, Canaans have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, a clinical condition in which the thyroid gland does not sufficiently produce hormones. Hypothyroidism can lead to infertility, obesity, and low energy. Daily medication is required, but overall quality of life does not suffer.

On rare occasions, seizures have been reported among Canaan Dogs. This affects a very small minority of the breed.

Overall, the Canaan Dog is a hardy breed with a life expectancy of 12-15 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

Originally used to herd and protect sheep and cattle, the Canaan is intelligent, alert, and observant. He is affectionate and docile with his family, but he is not overly demanding of attention. He has a strong pack mentality, and he needs an owner who is confident and can demonstrate strong, consistent leadership. Otherwise, the Canaan may try to challenge his standing in the pack.

The Canaan is adaptable to most environments. He can live outdoors in essentially any climate, but he can also be a house dog. Apartment life is acceptable for a Canaan Dog, assuming he is able to go on several short walks each day. He also loves to sprint, but he does not enjoy long runs. The Canaan Dog does need both mental and physical stimulation to avoid boredom and destructiveness. He is naturally clean and can be housebroken easily.

Proper socialization from an early age is essential for a Canaan Dog. He needs to be socialized around adults, children, other dogs, and smaller animals. In general, Canaans are good with children and are particularly devoted and protective if raised with them. They do tend to become dog aggressive, especially towards the same sex. If introduced properly, the Canaan can get along with cats, but they also have a strong predator instinct and may chase and hunt smaller animals. They are aloof and reserved with strangers and can become genuinely fearful if not properly socialized.

Your Canaan Dog may experience a “fear period” beginning around 9 months and lasting until he is a year old, sometimes longer. He may bark frequently at any new object he encounters, and he may be very anxious or fearful around new people. Don’t be overly soothing during this time period, or he may feel that there truly is reason to fear. Demonstrate that you are confident and unafraid, and he should be too.

Canaans are natural guardians and make excellent watch dogs. They are territorial and very protective of their families. They are also vigilant and alert to danger, and they have extremely keen hearing and smell. They will be quick to sound the alarm if they sense a potential threat. Some Canaans may bark excessively in general, but proper training and socialization will help alleviate this problem.

Initial basic obedience training is typically an easy task with a Canaan Dog. They are highly intelligent, extremely capable learners. The question with a Canaan is if the commands will always be followed once learned. Try to develop a “team” mentality with your dog and find out what motivates him. Use positive reinforcement. If you are overly harsh, the Canaan will not want to do the exercise or command. Also be sure to earn your Canaan Dog’s respect. If he detects that you are not a strong and consistent leader, he may challenge your authority. Canaans tend to genuinely enjoy high intensity training, but they may become bored with repetitive or less strenuous types of training. Short, upbeat training sessions will yield the best results.


The Canaan Dog is a fairly low maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Their short coat typically requires a weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush or hound mitt. For the majority of the year, they do not shed much. Once or twice each year, they will have a heavier shed that will require more frequent brushing. Depending on how heavily your dog sheds, you may need to brush him at least once daily during these time periods.

Bathe as needed. Canaans are usually very clean dogs who will not require frequent baths. Trim nails as needed to prevent overgrowth and cracking. Check ears for buildup of wax, dirt, or debris and for signs of infection such as an odor. Brush teeth regularly to ensure healthy gums.


The Canaan Dog needs a high quality food with no chemical preservatives. Many owners of Canaan Dogs report success with raw food diets, but this is not required. The best type and amount of food for your dog depends on factors like his size and activity level. Avoid overfeeding by splitting his food into at least two daily meals instead of leaving food out throughout the day.

Be sure that your Canaan always has access to clean, fresh water.

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A Canaan Dog will generally cost $700-1200. Price varies according to factors such as breeder location and the puppy’s parentage. It is important to note that Canaans are still a fairly rare breed and may be difficult to acquire. Less than 100 Canaan pups are registered in the United States per year, and it is estimated that only a few hundred are born worldwide annually. Canaan breeders may be highly selective, and you may have to wait six months to a year for the right puppy.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Canaan Dog ranks a 3. He is unlikely to have health problems, has an easy-care coat, and is adaptable to most families and environments. However, he does require proper socialization to ensure that he does not become aggressive or fearful. He needs a confident owner who he will clearly recognize as the leader of the pack, or he may become disobedient and manipulative.


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