Canaan Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight

Canaan Dog Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Canaan Dog General Appearance: The Canaan Dog, the National dog of Israel, is a herding and flock sentry dog originating in the Land of Canaan. The Canaan Dog is a pariah dog type that is naturally alert, inquisitive and watchful. He is mistrustful of strangers and unfamiliar environments, yet loyal and loving with his family. A square dog of medium size, moderate and balanced without extremes, showing a clean outline. The moderately angulated Canaan Dog moves with athletic agility and grace in an efficient, ground-covering endurance trot. He has a wedge-shaped head with low-set erect ears, a high set brush tail that curls over the back when confident, and a straight, harsh, flat-lying double coat. There is a marked distinction between the sexes. Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - Height at the withers is 20 to 24 inches for dogs and 19 to 23 inches for bitches. The ideal Canaan Dog lies in the middle of the stated ranges. Proportion - Square when measured from the point of the shoulder to the ischium and from the point of the withers to the ground. Substance - Moderate. Dogs generally weigh 45 to 55 pounds and bitches approximately 35 to 45 pounds. Dogs distinctly masculine without coarseness and bitches feminine without over-refinement. Head: Elongated, the length exceeding the breadth and depth considerably. Wedge-shaped, when viewed from above. Slightly arched when viewed from the side, tapering to stop. The region of the forehead is of medium width, but appearing broader through ears set low to complete an alert expression, with a slight furrow between the eyes. Expression - Alert, watchful and inquisitive. Dignified. Eyes -Dark, almond-shaped, slightly slanted. Varying shades of hazel with liver-pointed dogs. Eye rims darkly pigmented or of varying shades of liver harmonizing with coat color. Fault - Unpigmented eye rims. Ears - Erect, medium to large, set moderately low, broad at the base, tapering to a very slightly rounded tip. Ears angled very slightly forward when excited. A straight line from the inner corner of the ear to the tip of the nose should just touch the inner corner of the eye and a line drawn from the tip of the ear to the tip of the nose should just touch the outer corner of the eye. Ear motion contributes to expression and clearly defines the mood of the dog. Major Fault - In the adult dog, other than erect ears. Stop - Slightly accentuated. Muzzle -Tapering to complete the wedge shape of the head. Length equal to or slightly longer than the length of the skull from the occiput to stop. Whisker trimming optional. Nose - Darkly pigmented or varying shades of liver, harmonizing with coat color. Lips - Tight with good pigmentation. Bite - Scissors. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - well arched. Balance to body and head and free from throatiness. Topline - Level with slight arch over the loins. Body - Strong, displaying athletic agility and trimness. Chest -Moderately broad and deep, extending to the elbows, with well-sprung ribs. Loin - Well-tucked up. Short, muscled flanks. Tail - Set high. When confident tail will be carried curled over the back, either in a curl or sickle, with one full curl being the ideal. When extended, the bone shall reach to the hocks. Forequarters: Shoulders moderately angulated. Legs straight. Pasterns flexible with very slight slope when viewed from the side. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet - Catlike, pads hard, pigmentation harmonizing with nose and eye rims. Nails strong, hard, pigmentation harmonizing with either nose and eye rims or coat. Hindquarters: Moderately angulated. In balance with forequarters. Straight when viewed from the rear. Thigh musculature well-developed, moderately broad. Hocks well-let-down. Dewclaws must be removed. Feet and nails as in fore-quarters.

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Coat: Double coat. Outer coat-straight, harsh, flat-lying. Outer coat of medium length on body, shorter on front part of the legs and head; longer on ruff, tail, top of withers and back of thigh. Ruff more pronounced on males. Thick brush tail tapering to a pointed tip. Undercoat - soft and short with density varying with climate. Excessively long outer coat that masks the clean outline of the dog is undesirable as is any trimming that alters the natural appearance of the dog. Color: There are two color patterns. Pattern 1) Predominantly white with mask and with or without additional patches of color (large body patches are desirable). Pattern 2) Solid colored with or without white trim. Color may range from black through all shades of brown - sandy to red or liver. Shadings of black on a solid brown or tan dog are frequently seen. The trim on a solid colored dog may include chest, undercarriage, feet and lower part of leg and tip of tail. In all color patterns self-ticking may be present. Disqualifications - Gray and/or brindle. All white. Mask: The mask is a desired and distinguishing feature of the predominantly white Canaan Dog. The mask is the same color(s) as the body patches on the dog. The basically symmetrical mask must completely cover the eyes and ears or can completely cover the head as in a hood. The only allowed white in the mask or hood is a white blaze of any size or shape and/or white on the muzzle below the mask. Faults - On predominantly white dogs - absence of mask, half mask, or grossly asymmetrical mask. Gait: The characteristic gait is a brisk and tireless trot covering more ground than expected. Moderate angulation results in the appropriate rea ch and drive of the natural dog’ s endurance trot. In this trot the rear paw steps into the footprint of the front paw. His trot tends to converge to the center at higher speeds. The Canaan Dog is agile, graceful and able to change speed and direction instantly. Correct movement is essential to this breed. Temperament: Alert, vigilant, devoted and docile with his family. Reserved and aloof with strangers. Highly territorial, serving as a responsive companion and natural guardian. Very vocal, persistent. Easily trained. Faults - Shyness or dominance toward people. Disqualifications: Gray and/or brindle. All white.

Approved April 10, 2012 Effective May 30, 2012


By Christina Miller Canaan Dog Club of America, Inc. - Judge’s Education Chair


ot everything you have heard about the Canaan Dog is true. Th ey are not feral beasts that would rath- er bite you than look

t "MMPXJOH UIF FOUSZ UP HBJU BSPVOE the ring once prior to examination is the first key thing you can do. This allows the entry to become familiar with its surroundings. It also affords the inexperienced handler a moment to settle down. t 1MFBTF BMMPX B CJU PG UJNF GPS UIF IBO - dler to stack their entry. Try to avoid direct eye contact with the entry during this time. Once the entry is stacked and ready, approach with confidence – not dominance. It is best to approach at an angle – not directly from the front or side and NEVER from the rear. t 0ODFXJUIJODMPTFQSPYJNJUZ JUOFWFS hurts to exchange pleasantries with the handler. Th is helps the entry to realize his handler is comfortable with your proximity, thus he should be comfort- able as well. Th is can also ease a nervous handler, in turn relaxing the entry. t 'JSTU DPOUBDU PG UIF FOUSZ  BTTVNJOH the entry is relaxed and you are com- fortable, should be a gentle hand under the chin. Th is allows the entry to feel VOUISFBUFOFE"GFXLJOEXPSETUPUIF

at you. Quite the opposite is true. Th ey would much rather flee this situation than face confrontation. Th e past decade has seen vast improve- ments in temperament in the ring. Th is improvement is due to breeder’s improv- ing temperament, more experienced han- dlers, positive ring experience and proper socialization of the dogs. Granted, there is always room for improvement and there are a few things you can contribute to this improvement. Th ere are many key things you can do in your ring to set a wary or inexperienced Canaan Dog at ease. If you have judged sight hounds, you should have no trouble with a Canaan Dog in your ring. Th is breed is very alert and in tune to their sur- roundings. Th ey are naturally aloof with strangers, but have a strong desire to please their handler. “The past decade HAS SEEN VAST IMPROVEMENTS IN TEMPERAMENT IN THE RING.”

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entry and a gentle scratch at this junc- ture can go a long way with this breed. t %P OPU CF UBLFO BCBDL JG UIF IBOEMFS asks to present the bite to you. Th is should not reflect on you opinion of the entry’s temperament. Th ere are many well tempered Canaan Dogs that just don’t like strangers in their mouth. Th is could have stemmed from a bad expe- rience as a puppy or additional factors. If you are going to examine the bite, please take care not to cover the entry’s eyes as you perform your inspection. t 8JUI NPTU $BOBBO %PHT  PODF ZPV get past the initial approach and head examination – the rest is a piece of cake. You may find a Canaan Dog turning its head to watch you com- QMFUF ZPVS FYBN 1MFBTF EP OPU UBLF this head turn as an act of aggression. Most experienced handlers will gently hold the muzzle while you examine the rest of the body. t 8IJMFFYBNJOJOHUIFCPEZVTFBmSN  but not heavy, touch. Th is is another opportunity for kind words and gentle scratches to reassure the uneasy entry. Try not to hover or lean over the dog during you exam. Th is could lead to the dog feeling cornered or trapped. "TXJUIBOZCSFFE NBMFTEPOUMJLF cold hands on their nether regions and females are just plain silly when they are in season. 8IBU TIPVME ZPV EP XJUI BO VOSVMZ $BOBBO%PHJOZPVSSJOH 'JSTU QMFBTFUSZ to assess if it’s really the entry or an inex- perienced handler. If you feel the handler

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is a novice, and the entry is not aggres- sive or overly shy, please take a moment PSUXPUPHVJEFBOENFOUPS"TXFBSFOPU a popular or populous breed, we find we SFDSVJUNBOZmSTUUJNFEPHTIPXGPMLT" gentle word and a good experience will bode well for our sport. If you truly have an aggressive or overly shy entry that you cannot examine – you MUST excuse the entry. Th e excusal of extreme improper temperament is something that must be done. Most handlers will be hurt and embarrassed by the excusal. If you can, please o ff er a kind word. Canaan Dogs, especially young ones, BSFWFSZJNQSFTTJPOBCMFBOEOFWFSGPSHFU" positive ring experience will leave a lasting impression – such is true for the opposite. 1MFBTFUBLFUIPTFDPVQMFPGFYUSBNPNFOUT to provide a positive experience. "T B UFTUBNFOU UP UIPTF XIP IBWF worked hard to improve temperament and image of the Canaan Dog in our sport: the well trained, socialized and well handled Canaan Dog will be a joy to have in your ring.

5. Moderation and soundness. Moderate angulation resulting in soundness.  /PCJMJUZ BOE HSBDF " OPCMF QSFTFODF and graceful movement should drip from this breed.  $VSMFEUBJM8IFOFYDJUFEUIF$BOBBO Dog tail should curl over the back. One full curl is desired. Sickle tail is acceptable. Th e tail should not curl more than once and/or fall o ff to the TJEF BTBO"LJUB   "MFSU BOE XBUDIGVM ɨF $BOBBO %PH is very alert and aware of his surround-

ings. Th ey don’t miss anything going on in their environment.  'MBUMZJOHDPBU)BSTInBUMZJOHEPVCMF coat of short to medium length. Under- DPBU BDDPSEJOH UP TFBTPO 'FBUIFSJOH present on neck and thighs. Open coats are undesirable as they are ine ff ective in the elements.  /BUVSBMOFTT ɨJT CSFFE IBT TVSWJWFE GPSTPGZFBSTPOUIFGSJOHFPGDJWJ - lization. Th eir keen senses and survival instinct have allowed them to thrive in these conditions.

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"EEJUJPOBMMZ IFSFBSFUIFUPQ things to look for in a Canaan Dog (in no particular order):  #MVOU XFEHF TIBQFE IFBE ɨF IFBE should appear as a blunt wedge when viewed in profile and when looked down upon. Th ere should be no appear- ance of a two piece head. Th e cheeks should be smooth and adequate fill under the eyes. 2. Hooded ears, set low and almond TIBQFEFZFT#PUIFBSMPCFFEHFTTIPVME DVSWFNBSLFEMZGPSXBSE"MNPOEFZFT basically of oval shape, bluntly pointed at both corners. 3. Square body. Th e body should be square when measured from the point of shoulder to the rearmost projection of the upper thigh and from the withers to the ground. 4. E ff ortless movement. Th e trot should be quick and brisk, covering more HSPVOE UIBO FYQFDUFE "O FOEVSBODF trot, as opposed to tremendous reach and drive, is required.

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