The Canaan is a medium sized dog with the appearance of the Pariah dog. Although they are one of a kind, many people claim to have dogs that are Canaan, when in fact, they are some other breed. The Canaan dog is still a very rare dog.
After much research, dog breeders of this breed say that there are actually two types of Canaan dog. This announcement came about due to much controversy as to what the "correct Canaan dog" should and does look like. They claim that even though they are both Canaan dogs, they are actually very different types of Canaan.
Many names have been used to describe the two types. The original type of Canaan that first was found is called "American Type", "old type", "Dugma type" or Classic Type." The more recent type of Canaan is referred to as "Israeli Type" or "Laish Type". Professor Rudolphina Menzel, the dog breeder that took the first Canaan and developed a breeding program to bring out the best qualities of this dog to make good guard dogs has names for both types of Canaan dogs. She refers to the American type as the Dingo Canaan and the more revised on as Collie Canaan. There has been debate on both types of the Canaan dog, but the preference depends on what the individual is looking for in the Canaan.
There is a difference between the two types because both of them have been considered excellent models of the breed. When Professor Menzel developed the breeding program, she did not totally eliminate the "original" Canaan. A lot of study and research went into their breeding program to develop guard dogs with good temperament, structure and overall good sound health.
Some of the differences between the two are the ears. The Collie Canaan has a prick ear that stands similar to the German shepherd while the Dingo has more of a flatter button ear. There is also a difference in the tail, with one curling up around the back (Collie) and the other laying in a sickle-like shape. According to Professor Menzel, both types are still acknowledged as true Canaan, but she believes eventually the Dingo will begin to fade out as there are more and more Collie Canaan. In future breeding, if a Collie Canaan is bred with a Dingo Canaan and only the Collie puppies are used for breeding, in the future, all the dogs would be Collie Canaans.
One of the first Canaans that Dr Menzel had in her pack was called Dugma, which means model. She was a type III pariah dog that Dr Menzel decided would be her model of what she wanted in a Canaan. The successful result of her breeding program was a Canaan named Laish. Laish was everything Dr. Menzel has hoped for and was the first Champion in Israel.