General Information

Dog NameCanaan Dog
Other NamesKalef K'Naani
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeHound
GroupHerding, Sighthound
Breed ForHeading and guarding livestock
Country of OriginIsrael

Physical And Size

Min Life Span12
Max Life Span15
Min Ideal Weight for male20
Max Ideal Weight for male20
Min Ideal Weight for female15
Max Ideal Weight for male20


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentHardworking, Alert, Docile
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyLow
Child FriendlyMedium
Cat FriendlyLow
Dog FriendlyMedium
Office FriendlyLow
Apartment FriendlyMedium
Senior Citizens FriendlyMedium
Service DogMedium
Search and Rescue DogMedium
Biting PotentialMedium
Country of OriginAncient Canaan
Nicknames and Other NamesKalef K’Naani,
Canaanite Dog
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebreed (herding dog)
GroupHerding, Sighthound
Bred ForHerding livestock and guarding
Life Span12-15 years
Ideal WeightMale: 45-55 pounds
Female: 35-45 pounds
Ideal HeightMale: 20-24 inches
Female: 19-23 inches
Fur TypeDouble coated, harsh, dense
Common ColorsWhite, Red, Black, Cream, Liver, Tan,
MarkingsWhite markings, Tan markings,
Liver markings, Red markings,
gold markings, Cream markings
AvailabilityModerately available
AchievementsNational Dog of Israel
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarService dog in World War II
Most Similar ToPortuguese Podengo

The Canaan is a medium-sized lean dog which is the national dog of Israel. They are one of the American Kennel Club’s oldest breed. Canaan’s body is strong with a wedge-shaped head and wide forehead with dark almond eyes. Their ears are erect and expressive.

strong with a wedge-shaped head and wide forehead with dark almond eyes. Their ears are erect and expressive.

Canaan is an active dog with a lot of stamina. Therefore, they need a lot of exercises. They should be involved in household activities and should be taken out for a walk or a run to meet their exercise requirements.

Origin and History

Canaan dog breed is from biblical time dated back to 2200-2000 BC. They were bred as a herding dog in Israel who watched after livestock, guard them and track them. They were also used to protect properties from thieves or predators and warn the owner of the danger.

Canaan was recognized by United Kennel Club in 1992 and the American Kennel Club in 1997.

Is Canaan Child-Friendly?

Canaan is friendly with children and is gentle, affectionate and protective towards them. They are devoted to children and also makes a great playmate for them. Canaan is not aggressive, but they should be supervised. Teach your child to approach them and be gentle with them.

Canaan Playing with a Baby Girl

Behavior, Temperament, and Personality

Canaan has an alert, quick and cautious temperament. They are fully devoted to their family and are very protective of them and the property. They love to run and needs plenty of exercises. If you are living in an apartment and own a Canaan, you should not make him stay home most of the time. Take him out for playtime or a walk or a run more often, so that their body remains fit and head mentally stimulated.

Canaan is a great watchdog and will warn you if they see any strange things going on in the surrounding by barking. They are aloof of strangers and are aggressive towards other dogs. Although they are wary of strangers, they develop a good connection with their family.


Training a Canaan can be a tough task to do. They are independent and don’t want to be told what to do. They respond well to positive reinforcement and gentle training.

Establish leadership on them but do not treat them harshly. They might get scared and defensive which will make training harder. Be gentle and reward them with treats and verbal praises to keep them motivated.


  • Canaan was the oldest American Kennel Club registered breed.
  • Out of 193 AKC registered breed, Canaan rank 181.
  • Canaan is a member of the Spitz-family of dogs.
  • Canaan is a national dog of Israel.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesHip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism,
Luxating Patella, Elbow Dysplasia,
Epilepsy, Degenerative Myelopathy,
Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Lymphosarcoma
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Leptospirosis, Canine Parainfluenza,
Kennel Cough, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parvovirus, Canine Coronavirus
SheddingModerate Shedding
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingEasy and Minimal Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialLow to Average
Separation AnxietyLow to Moderate Chance
AllergiesSkin Allergies
Diets and Supplements27% Crude Protein
8% Fat
Fish Oil

The average life span of Canaan is between 12-15 years. They are usually healthy with only possible hereditary health issues. They are likely to suffer from some canine diseases in their lifetime, which are as follows:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Coats and Colors

Canaan has double coated that function accordingly to protect them from extreme dessert temperature. They have a straight and harsh outer coat and short and soft undercoat.

The color of their coat comes in a variety of colors; black, white, cream, golden, liver, red and tan.


Three Months Old Canaan Puppies


The average cost of Canaan puppy is $800- $1200 USD. However, the cost is relatively low if you consider adopting a puppy. The cost includes only the expenses of taking care of the puppy before adoption.


The average height of a male Canaan is 20-24 inches and a female is 19-23 inches. The Weight of a male Canaan is 45-55 pounds and the female is 35-45 pounds.

Similar Dog Breeds to Canaan

Visit Doglime for more dog breed information and their behavior.