Canaan Dog

Last updated June 1997

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable, it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Medium sized, well balanced, strong and square. Marked distinction between sexes.


Agile, alert and highly intelligent.


Confident and vigilant. Aloof with strangers. Steady and loyal to owners.

Head and skull

Skull well proportioned, wedge shaped of medium length, appearing broader due to low set ears. Skull somewhat flattened between ears. Stop shallow but defined. Length from muzzle to stop approximately equal to length from stop to occiput. Nose black. Lips tight and well pigmented.


Dark, almond shaped and obliquely set with black rims.


Medium sized, erect and set low with broad base and rounded tip.


Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws, level bite acceptable.


Muscular, well arched, of medium length without throatiness.


Well-laid muscular shoulder, elbows close to body. Medium boned. When viewed from the front forelegs straight. Pasterns slightly sloping.


Square, withers well developed, back level, loins muscular, chest deep and of moderate breadth, ribs well sprung. Belly well tucked up.


Powerful, broad muscular thighs, hocks well let down. Legs straight when viewed from behind.


Strong, round and cat like with hard pads.


Set high, thick brush carried curled over back when trotting or excited.


Energetic and natural trot.


Outer coat dense, harsh and straight of short to medium length. Undercoat close and profuse according to season.


Sand to red-brown, white, black, or spotted, with or without a symmetrical black mask. White markings permitted on all colours. Grey, brindle, black and tan or tricolour undesirable.


Height 50-60 cms (20-24 ins). Weight 18-25 kgs (40-55 lbs).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – The Kennel Club breed standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the size measurements stated in the breed standard.