Canaan Dog Breed Standard
The Canaan Dog is a herding and flock guardian dog native to the Middle East. He is aloof with strangers, inquisitive, loyal and loving with his family. His medium-size, square body is without extremes, showing a clear, sharp outline. The Canaan Dog moves with athletic agility and grace in a quick, brisk, ground-covering trot. He has a wedge-shaped head with low-set erect ears, a bushy tail that curls over the back when excited, and a straight, harsh, flat-lying double coat.
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. Disqualifications--Dogs less than 20 inches or more than 25 inches. Bitches less than 18 inches or more than 23 inches. Proportion--Square when measured from the point of the withers to the base of the tail 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.
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—Un-pigmented 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 moderately high. May be carried curled over the back when excited; limited to one full curl. When extended, the bone must reach to the hocks. Fault: Tail which falls over to either side of the back.
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.
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.
Double coat. Outer coat-straight, harsh, flat-lying, with slight ruff. Ruff more pronounced on males. Length of outer coat ½ to 1½ inch; longer on ruff and back of thighs, shorter on body, legs and head. Undercoat--straight, soft, short, flat-lying, density varying with climate. Tail bushy, increasing in plumage from set to end of bones, then tapering to pointed tip. Faults--Excessively long guard coat that masks the clean outline of the dog. Any trimming that alters the natural appearance of the dog.
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--a) Gray and/or brindle. b) All white.
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.
Movement is very important. Good reach and drive. Quick, brisk natural trot, apparently tireless, indicating an animal capable of trotting for hours. Covers ground more quickly than expected. Agile, able to change directions almost instantaneously. Tends to single-track at high speed. Fault--Anything that detracts from efficient movement.
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.
Dogs less than 20 inches or more than 25 inches.
Bitches less than 18 inches or more than 23 inches.
Gray and/or brindle.
Approved: June 10, 1996
Effective: August 12, 1997