The Canaan Dog (also known as Kalef K’naani) is the national dog of Israel. It is a medium size breed of pariah dog that has existed for millennia in its native land in the Middle East. An average Canaan dog weighs in between 18 and 25 kg and can have a height between 45 cm and 60 cm depending on the sex, with males being heavier and taller than females. The Canaan Dog is classified under the Utility type of the Kennel Club. It is an agile, alert, and a highly intelligent breed. The dog has a wedge-shaped head that appears broader because of its low set ears. It has a black nose, almond shaped dark eyes with black eye rims, erect ears with rounded tip, and jaws that form regular and complete scissor bite. The body of the Canaan dog is square (height equals length) with highly erect forequarters, short loin region, level topline, a deep chest, well tucked-up belly, and less angular hindquarters. The tail is highly set covered in thick brush and carried curled over the back when the dog is in action. The double coat is made of close and profuse undercoat with a dense, harsh and straight outer coat that comes in sand to red-brown colour, white, black, or spotted with or without a proportioned black mask.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Canaan Dog is an ancient breed that originated in ancient Canaan, where the breed was aptly named from. Archaeologists excavating ancient settlements in Ashkelon, Israel in 1991 unearthed what is known as the largest dog cemetery of any kind in the ancient world, dating back to the 5th century B.C. This cemetery contained 700 partial or complete dog carcasses whose features resemble that of the modern Canaan dog – approximately 50 cm in height and weighed a little more than 18 kilos.
During the 1930s, British cynologist Dr. Rudolphina Menzel was commissioned by the Haganah (a Jewish paramilitary organization in the British Mandate of Palestine) to help set up a dog section which can be used by the military for guarding, tracking and other tasks. In 1934, she began re-domesticating pariah dogs living in the wild deserts with the Bedouin and other settlements and initiated a selective breeding program that resulted in a highly adaptable breed known today as the Canaan dog. She founded the Institute for Orientation and Mobility for the Blind in 1949 where Canaan dogs were trained as guide dogs for the blind. This is also where “B’nei Habitachon” was established, where she bred kennel-based Canaan dogs. She exported some of these to the US and Germany in 1965. She also sent a male Canaan dog to Mrs. Connie Higgins in the United Kingdom, who already had a female puppy she acquired from Damascus a year before. The first known Canaan Dog litter born in the UK came from these two dogs. Menzel wrote the breed standard in 1966 which was accepted by the FCI in the same year.
The Canaan dog is highly adaptable and a survivor. It is alert, watchful, inquisitive, and aloof towards strangers which makes for an excellent watchdog and guard dog. Any stranger will be met with prompt (and sometimes excessive) barking. The Canaan dog is an athletic breed, light-footed and can turn with ease. It is an excellent herder but also excels in agility and tracking. It works well in a pack but can likewise think independently. Although typically reserved, it is not an aggressive breed and will only fight back when threatened. It is typically active outside but it can be very much a couch dog when inside the house.
The Canaan dog is an intelligent breed and as Dr. Menzel proved during the 1930s, it is an easy dog to train. However, this clever dog also has an independent streak so training needs to come from a gentle but firm handler who can teach the dog proper training and socialisation. Experience dog owners will find the Canaan Dog easy to train but it is not recommended for first-time pet owners. This breed should be socialised early and extensively to help curve its strong territorial instinct and dominance issue. If not properly trained, it has a tendency to become wilful and will not listen or follow any command.
Although the Canaan Dog has a double coat, it does not require as much grooming as other dogs with long coats. A quick brush several times a week will keep the coat in pristine condition. The coat sheds twice a year, usually during seasonal change. During this time, the dog needs daily brushing using a rake brush to help remove dead hairs which will quickly promote the growth of new ones. Use a pin brush and a slicker brush to groom the body coat. Check and trim nails when necessary.
This hardy breed, although generally healthy is affected by a few minor health issues. These include:
This hardy breed will take as much exercise as the owner can offer. It is an adaptable dog and can live in an apartment, in a suburban home or in the countryside – as long as it gets enough exercise. Usually, the Canaan Dog will be content with short daily walks but it can readily accept as much as the owner can give it. It likes to walk and investigate things so it must always be kept on leash when it is being walked.
The Canaan dog is naturally reserved towards strangers but a good training and early socialisation can curve this temperament. When properly socialised and trained, it is an excellent companion with children especially if it is raised with them from puppyhood. Socialisation also helps counteracts the dog’s tendency to become aggressive towards other dogs.