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AKC Meet the Breeds: Caanan Dog

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

Inquisitive, loyal and loving with his family, the Caanan Dog is a breed that moves with athletic agility. Today, he is successful in the herding, obedience, agility and conformation arenas. This breed has two color patterns: either predominantly white with a mask, with or without additional patches of color, or solid colored with or without white trim.

A Look Back

The Canaan Dog, the natural breed of Israel, dates back to Biblical times, originating in the Land of Canaan. The Canaan Dog was the guard and herd dog of the ancient Israelites, guarding their camps and flocks. In anticipation of Israel's War of Independence and WWII, Dr. Rudolphina Menzel recruited and trained more than 400 of the best dogs as mine detectors for the Middle East forces, and they proved superior to the mechanical detectors.

On September 7, 1965, Ursula Berkowitz of Oxnard, California, imported the first four Canaan Dogs with the idea of establishing the breed in the United States.

Right Breed for You?

While the Caanan Dog is highly territorial, the breed is docile with his family, yet reserved and aloof with strangers. He may be very vocal at times. This breed will need regular exercise, but is easily trained. His short coat requires minimal maintenance.

  • Herding Group; AKC recognized in 1997.
  • Ranging in size from 19 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder and 35 to 55 pounds.
  • Sheep herder.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.