Canaan Dog Breed Info And Characteristics

The Canaan Dog or Kelef K’naani (Dog of Canaan) is a Primitive type working dog originating from Middle East, Israel. It can be said that this breed is relatively new since it was first time mentioned during the 1930s, but that is actually quite misleading. The fact is it was developed at that time from semi-wild, scavenger dogs, which were redomesticated through a selective breeding programme by Dr. Rudolphina Menzel. She and her husband Rudolph were appointed for this task by the Haganah (Jewish paramilitary organization) with the goal to create a super efficient service and working dogs. However, these semi-wild dogs were actually an ancient pariah breed, which was estimated to be more than 2.000 years old based on some anatomically similar dog remains excavated in Ashkelon. It is believed that this breed originated in the biblical land of Canaan, hence such name. For centuries, these dogs have been mainly kept by Bedouins and Druse, who have primarily used them as guard and herding dogs in the desert. So, yeah, the Canaan Dog is indeed a very, very old breed. By the FCI, it belongs to the Primitive Types group (Basenji, Pharaoh Hound, Mexican Hairless Dog) in the class of primitive dogs. Continue Reading →