The Canaan dog is a beautiful, if somewhat rare, breed of dog that resembles the pariah dog. It has its beginnings in Israel. In addition to its beauty, many people are attracted to it because of its uniqueness and rarity. There are pros and cons with the Canaan, as with all dogs. However, before you get this dog as a family pet, do as much research as you can check out some of these facts on the breed and determine if the Canaan is the right dog for you or your family.
Pros of Owning a Canaan
The Canaan is a very intelligent, beautiful, and sensitive dog that is very capable of showing emotion, either with body language or vocally. When trained with respect and authority, the Canaan bonds with the owner and loves spending time together, yet they are also independent and enjoy "alone time".
The Canaan is a relatively low-maintenance dog needing little feed and little exercise. They seem to know when to use up their energy and stamina. In the house they are content to lay around with the family and only eat when food is given to them. Yet, when you are outside ready to rough house, so are they. They are a very versatile dog - ready to do what you want to do.
They are a very healthy dog, who in spite of their low nutritional and exercise needs, live a long life. Most live up to 13 years or more and many are still reproducing at this age, unlike many other breeds of dogs.
The Canaan is a very clean dog that requires very little grooming. They barely shed at all and do not require trimming or thinning of the hair. With good diet, they will have good breath and white teeth. They rarely need a bath, just an occasional brushing. While outdoors, they choose to "do their duty" in private, usually as far away from the house as possible.
Due to their intelligence, they are very quick to learn and are described as great problem solvers. They are very alert dogs that won't hesitate to alert their family if they hear a strange sound. They won't attack strangers, but will bark and circle them until their owner approves. With proper socialization, the Canaan dog gets along excellently with children and other animals.
The Cons of Owning a Canaan
Because of their intelligence and independence, they often don't want to be just "the dog". They are very sensitive and often want to be treated like a family member. They are also very self-reliant and often trust their judgment over that of their owner - often frustrating the owner. Anyone considering this dog has to have the time to work with this dog and spend the time they require and want.
They are often very apprehensive towards anything that is new to them, whether it's people or things. They need to be forced to socialize and get used to the new things.
The Canaan can be a very manipulative and tricky dog when they want to get their own way. They have a way of getting what they want by having you think it was your idea.
The Canaan loves to dig, whether it's for fun, for a bone or out of boredom. It seems to have been bred in them. You will think twice before leaving them unattended outside. They also love to bark. They may not be nuisance barkers but they do seem to bark longer than they need to, whether it's at strangers entering the house or kids riding bikes outside. They are also great at jumping and climbing so your fences had better be high if they are left outside.
Although not the norm for the Canaan, there are some that are aggressive towards animals as well as humans. While some of it may be in part to their cave days breeding, some may be lacking of socialization. They do always need consistent and firm training.