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All Dog Breeds >>Temprament of Canaan

The Canaan Dog is very intelligent and a loyal and natural watchdog. Canaans are a primitive breed, a breed that has retained its natural qualities without generations of human interference. Because of this lack of selective breeding, the temperaments and behaviors within this breed can differ markedly. Canaans retain many characteristics which helped them survive in the harsh deserts of the Middle East, where they are from. There, they were employed to guard flocks and camps. Hence, in your home, they will be highly territorial, and their definition of their territory's borders might differ from yours. Their territory, as they see it, might include the dog park, your neighbors' yards, and the road you live on.

They have an excellent sense of hearing and a superb sense of smell. They can detect approaching intruders from far away. They are extremely alert at all times, and they are highly reactive. They think for themselves and make decisions by themselves. The Canaan has a high prey-drive. They will chase, kill, and possibly consume small animals and should not be invited into a home with small pets such as hamsters and ferrets. They will chase cats they don't know, but many Canaans live peacefully with cats they do know. Canaans are smart. They are good at learning new things, adapting to new circumstances, and solving problems. If they get bored, they can become destructive. They are used to living within a pack hierarchy and will need that level of security in your home too.

They will do anything for a trustworthy pack leader, but if you are not that person, your Canaan will try to be. This can lead to dominance and even aggression. It is imperative that a Canaan parent take a leadership role. Early socialization and obedience training is necessary. They need socialization because they are suspicious of people and places they don't know. And socialization for the first few months of life will not be enough. Canaans go through a specific "fear period" during adolescence, during which they especially need to be exposed to new people and places. They also need to be socialized around other dogs. Canaans tend to be dog aggressive, particularly towards dogs of the same sex. Canaans are tolerant, gentle, and playful with children and very protective of them when raised with them. The more socialized the dog, the better he will be around children. This is a highly trainable and versatile breed. You can teach a Canaan Dog to do just about anything.

And Canaans are quick to housetrain. These are sensitive dogs who are attuned to the moods and emotions of their humans. They are loving, loyal, devoted, and docile with their families. They need to live as part of the family and thrive on attention. They love to snuggle up beside you on the couch. And though they will tell you they can sleep all day, they do need a few walks each day. They also like to run, but they are sprinters, not long distance runners. They are athletic and agile and excel at herding, tracking, obedience, rally, and agility competitions. Basically, they enjoy all outdoor activities and exercise. This breed likes to bark, and can also howl, moan, and "talk." While some are problem barkers, most Canaans can be trained to keep their vocalizations under control.