The Canaan dog, known in Israel as Kelev Kna'ani (Hebrew: כלב כנעני, lit. 'Canaanite dog') and other Levantine countries as Kaleb Kana'an (كلب كنعان) is a breed of pariah dog recognized as Israel’s national breed. It may have existed in the eastern Mediterranean seaboard for millennia, as referenced in ancient carvings and drawings. There are 2,000 to 3,000 Canaan dogs across the world, mostly in Europe and North America.
The Canaan dog is a typical primitive dog in appearance. It is a medium-sized square built dog, with a wedge-shaped head, medium-sized, erect and low set ears with a broad base and rounded tips. Its outer coat is dense, harsh and straight of short to medium-length. The undercoat should be close and profuse according to season. Color ranges from black to cream and all shades of brown and red between, usually with small white markings, or all white with colour patches. Spotting of all kinds is permitted, as well as white or black masks.
Rudolphina Menzel, an immigrant to Mandate Palestine from Austria, having studied the desert free living dogs and the variations in appearances, classified these canines into four types: 1) heavy, sheepdog appearance, 2) dingo-like appearance, 3) Border Collie appearance, 4) Greyhound appearance. Menzel concluded that the Canaan dog is a derivative of the Type III pariah — the collie type (referring to the type of farm collie found in the 1930s which was a medium dog of moderate head type more similar to today's border collie, not the modern rough coated collie).
In writing the first official standard for the Canaan dog, Menzel wrote: 'Special importance must be placed on the points that differentiate the Canaan-dog from the German Shepard dog, whose highly bred form he sometimes resembles: the Canaan-dog is square, the loin region short, the forequarters highly erect, the hindquarters less angular, the neck as noble as possible, the tail curled over the back when excited, the trot is short (see also differences in head and color)'. Type varies somewhat between the lines of other Canaan dogs and those found in Israel and the rest of the world.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan_Dog
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