Canaan Dog

The Canaan dog is a medium-sized dog with a wedge shaped head and short coat. It is thought to be a type of Pariah (feral) dog and may have been descended from the Dingo. The Canaan Dog is the national dog of Israel and one of the rarest breeds of dogs in the world, with estimates of just 2000-3000 in existence throughout the entire world. The Canaan dog is a recent arrival in the UK and forms part of the utility group.

Canaan Dog breed group


Size of the Canaan Dog


Country of Origin


Time of original development

The exact time of origin of the Canaan dog are unknown, but this primitive dog is believed to be one of the oldest dogs in the world, perhaps dating back to biblical times. It was only recognised by the Kennel Club in 1970, and is sadly seldom seen in the UK.

Canaan Dog Breed introduction and overview

The Canaan dog is a primitive dog that was probably developed from the feral type Pariah dog in the Middle East. It was used primarily as a guard dog, and often lived outdoors. Many dogs were destroyed by the Israelis in a bid to control rabies.

Canaan Dog temperament

The breed is generally friendly, sociable and good with children. It’s an intelligent dog with a strong survival instinct, making it protective of its family unit and also its food. Children should be taught to stay clear and respect the Canaan dog at feeding times. The breed can also be protective of family children playing with other children and should always be supervised. The Canaan is suspicious and wary of strangers, and can react quickly and bark to alert its owner of perceived danger. It makes a good guard dog around the home.

Colour varieties of the Canaan Dog

The breed comes in a variety of colours which include:

  • Black
  • Black & Tan
  • Black With White Trim
  • Cream
  • Red
  • Red With White Trim
  • Sand
  • Sand With White Trim
  • Tricolour
  • White
  • White With Black Patches
  • White With Red Patches
  • White With Sand Patches

Size and weight of the Canaan Dog

Height bitch 45-50cms

Height dog 50-60cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 18-25kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 18-25kgs

Exercise requirements of the Canaan Dog

An energetic and athletic breed that requires at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily off the lead. The Canaan Dog is easily bored, and adequate mental stimulation is essential to prevent unwanted behaviour. The Canaan dog does well at agility, flyball and obedience.

Is the Canaan Dog a good dog for a first time dog owner?

No, this rare breed requires an owner with a good understanding of this unique but fascinating dog as it slowly adapts to the behaviours of our more established breeds.

Canaan Dog coat length


Grooming requirements of the Canaan Dog

Low. The short no-fuss coat requires little grooming, although a regular brushing with a good quality bristle brush will add a lovely sheen to the coat.

Ears need to be cleaned and checked regularly for any sign of infections and foreign bodies such as ticks.


No. The Canaan Dog sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health issues in the Canaan Dog

With so few Cannan Dogs owned in the U.K. it’s difficult to establish all the problems that may exist in the breed, and how common these conditions actually are. The following health issues however have been noted in the breed at some stage:

  • Hip dysplasia - A malformation of the hip joint, has been found in the breed, so ensure your puppy has been hip scored.
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Luxating Patellas

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Canaan Dog

A healthy Canaan Dog can expect to enjoy a lifespan of up to 15 years of age.

Approximate Canaan Dog pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay from around £600 for a puppy, and be aware that available litters of puppies are few and far between. Register your interest with established reputable breeders, so they can notify you when a litter is expected. You may have to travel long distances to find your suitable puppy. Just 13 puppies were registered with the Kennel Club in 2015.

Estimating how much a Canaan Dog would need to be fed each day

A bitch weighing 20kgs will require 283gms of complete dry food daily. A dog weighing 25kgs will require 330gms of complete dry food daily.

An average bitch weighing 20kgs will cost £6.90 per week to feed.

An average dog weighing 25kgs will cost £8.00 per week to feed.

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment