The Canaan Dog is a sturdy, medium-sized, squarely proportioned dog with a bushy tail carried curled over the back when the dog is alert. The pricked ears have a broad base, rounded tip, and are set high. The head is shaped like a blunt wedge with a shallow, but defined stop. The nose is dark and slightly slanted. The almond-shaped eyes are dark brown with dark rims that harmonize with the coat color. They slant very slightly and should have an alert, inquisitive expression. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite (level bites are acceptable under the FCI standard). The front legs should be absolutely straight. The round cat-like feet should have hard pads. Its body is strong with a moderately deep chest. The straight, harsh, double coat is ½ to 2 inches long and lies flat. It comes in solid black, brown, and white, or in a patched pattern of white with black or brown. (The FCI standard allows solid white dogs, but the Canaan Club of American standard does not.) Solid colors may have white trim on the chest, feet and tip of the tail. The first four imports to the U.S. were white with black mask and patches. These dogs and subsequent imports introduced a variety of color patterns. Although the majority of the U.S. dogs are white & black, the complete range of colors found in the wild is represented in the U.S. population of Canaan Dogs. Brown & white and black & white dogs should have a symmetrical mask matching the color of their patches. Red dogs are either born dark reddish brown and then lighten, or creamy white and then darken.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Not only does the Canaan Dog excel as a herder, but it has also proven itself in a variety of tasks involving dependability and obedience. This very intelligent and independent breed can do exceptionally well in obedience. It responds best to positive, motivational training, but tends to get bored with overly repetitive training. Outstanding at agility, tracking and other pursuits where he is expected to think independently, yet will work as a team with its handler. Many dogs display herding instincts and compete in herding trials. Gentle, devoted and docile, but also lively, alert and protective. It is a natural guard dog as well as an excellent watchdog that tends to bark a lot. May be aggressive with dogs of the same sex. The Canaan Dog tends to be a one person dog or one family dog. They are very defensive of their territory. He should be well socialized when young with both dogs and people, especially with children, as the breed tends to be naturally wary of strangers, though he is very friendly with those he knows.
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