The Canaan Dog, also known as Kelev K'naani, is a recent breed out of ancient Pariah Dog stock, and is the unique project of a pair of scientists, Drs. Rudolph and Rudolphina Menzel, dog experts and world authorities on Pariah Dogs, who loved Pariah Dogs and considered them worthy progenitors of what would become the modern Canaan Dog.
The Canaan Dog was developed from redomesticated Pariah Dog stock captured in the Palestine, where they were first used for guarding and tending cattle and sheep. The Israelis have since used the Canaan Dog for guard duties, as mine detectors during war times, as messengers, and as Red Cross helpers. The Canaan Dog possesses extremely keen senses of hearing and smell, and he can detect approaching intruders from a considerable distance, becoming instantly alert. He is an intelligent, trainable breed whose tracking ability is excellent. He shows definite talent as a stock dog and is able to compete in herding events. However, he does not perform as does a Border Collie or Kelpie with that degree of "eye". When raised with children and other pets, he becomes a devoted family companion and natural watchdog. He is aloof with strangers, inquisitive, loyal, and loving with his family. Because of the strong "denning" instinct of their recent semi-wild past, the Canaan Dog is naturally clean and easily housebroken. He does not require an excessive amount of exercise.
The medium-size, square body of the Canaan Dog is without extremes, showing a clear, sharp outline. He 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.
The Canaan Dog is recognized by the American Kennel Club (Herding Group), the United Kennel Club (Sighthounds and Pariah Dogs), the Israel Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club (Working Dogs), and the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA), among others. The Canaan Dog is also registered with the American Canine Association, Inc.