The Canaan Dog has a long history of having many purposes. They are used as pets, companion dogs, for the show ring, and as working dogs. The Bedouins had the Canaan dog to guard their camps during the night as well as watching the flocks. This dog was made by nature to survive, which helps to make him such a versatile dog, able to meet anyone's needs. The Canaan was used as a working dog during World War II for patrol work in addition to helping the army in any way they were needed. Their use as sentry dogs for the army was invaluable as well as tracking dogs whose purpose was to detect any landmines. This dog has repeatedly put his life on the line to help his owner or master.
The Canaan is used as a guard dog and companion to many. The role of guard dog is a role the Canaan not only takes seriously, but it also comes easily to them. They are born with the desire to dominate and protect. With good consistent training, the domination problem can be taken care of, but the protection part stays with them for their role as home guardian. They are not an attack dog, however. Many people aren't sure of the difference between a guard dog and an attack dog. A guard dog will watch the place and if a stranger comes, they will circle around the stranger barking until their master comes and relieves them. An attack dog will not stop here, but rather will go after the stranger to stop him from coming or going.
Although the Canaan was not bred for its herding ability, they are used very successfully as herding dogs. They are not a dog that likes repetitive training, but enjoy a mental challenge or mental stimulation, which they get from herding cattle or sheep. You can't predict what the herds are going to do, so the Canaan dog is always challenged to keep them where they should be. Their natural drive ability makes it very easy for them to be trained to be a herding dog. They seem to perform better when their owners treat them like partners in the herding process, than master/dog. The dog does need basic obedience training before they can become a good herding dog.
Many dog handlers and Canaan breed experts claim that the Canaan is a very sensitive dog that picks up on their owner's moods. If the dog doesn't perform well and sees his master's disappointment, the dog will often respond accordingly, withdraw, and not try as hard. They definitely respond to positive training and supervision. As well as the Canaan does as a working dog, they don't have a lot of opportunity to feel negatively about their work as they usually do an excellent job.