Jill & Ian Terry
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American Kennel Club
Canaan Dog Breed Standard
General Appearance: 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.
Head: 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
Unpigmented 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.
Forequarters: 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.
Hindquarters: 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.
Coat: 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.
Color: 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.
Mask 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.
Gait: 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.
Temperament: 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
- All white.
Approved: June 10, 1996
Effective: August 12, 1997