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Canaan Dog Breed

Also called Kelef K’naani, the Canaan Dog is the national dog breed of Israel. It is said that its origins can be traced from the wild dogs roaming the deserts of Canaan during the biblical times. The breed’s founder, Dr. Rudolphina Menzel, was successful in bringing the breed from the wilds to be used as guard dogs for Jewish settlements. Her breeding program has provided working dogs for the military, later on exported to other countries such as Finland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This herding dog is medium-sized, weighing 35 to 55 pounds and standing at 19 to 24 inches. It is squarely-built, with a wedge-shaped head with almond shaped eyes that come in shades of hazel. It has erect ears, a neck that is well arched and straight legs. It has a double coat - the outer layer made of dense, harsh and flat hair and the undercoat is soft and straight. Coat colours come in solid black, tan, brown, sandy, red, liver, white. It can also come in patched patterns of liver and white, brown and white or black and white.

The Canaan Dog works well as a pack dog but can also think independently. Not only does it excel in herding but it also has other talents such as agility, tracking, search & rescue, mine detector, tracker and sometimes as a guide for the blind. As house pets, they are devoted, loyal and naturally protective of their human companions. They are active and alert but keep a docile temperament.

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