Adopting a Canaan Dog

So you think you want a Canaan Dog? Is it the barking? No. Is it the digging? Of course not! Is it the charming manipulation that leaves you saying, "Darn it, I was just outsmarted by a dog!" YES!

Adopting an older dog has its benefits and challenges. Generally, Canaan Dogs are not for first time dog owners. They are intelligent and willful and have left some trained dog professionals scratching their heads saying “Huh?” They can be a difficult breed to understand within the context of basic companion dog behavior because they are a primitive breed.

People who like natural dog behavior will really enjoy living with a Canaan Dog.  This natural dog behavior can be misunderstood or even disliked by some people. Canaan Dogs like to play rough and tumble with those in their pack. They are territorial and most likely will not be the socialite of doggie-play groups. Well socialized Canaan Dogs are masters of canine communication in its subtlest forms...and they expect other dogs to use perfect canine social skills. A happy-go-lucky four legged friend that bounds up to a Canaan Dog's face to "say hello" will likely be greeted with an education in dog manners. For some people this presents a management challenge. Early socialization and continued training and bonding with their owners are essential to a happy relationship with your Canaan Dog.

In general, Canaan Dogs are great family dogs and can be a trusted friend that will alert you to danger. And by danger, that could be anything from a stranger to an uninvited animal to a couch that was moved from one side of the room to the other.

Still reading? Good, if we haven't turned you off by now you might be a good fit for a Canaan Dog. We try to place our Canaan Dogs with families that best matches the needs of the dog and vice versa. To be included in our database, please complete the Adoption Questionairre. If you see a dog in your area that you would like to apply for, please contact the Rescue Coordinator in that region.

Canaan Dogs typically enter our rescue network via the breeder, original owner or even shelters (though rare considering the low population of Canaan Dogs in the US). These animals are put up for rescue for many reasons…from allergies to neglect. Our Rescue Coordinators diagnose the situation, pair dogs with adoptive families, and follow up to see how everyone is adjusting.

Rescue can be a daunting, yet rewarding task for those involved. The adoptive family must be committed and patient while the new four-legged friend settles into its new environment. The instinctive wary temperaments of the breed, combined with their devotion (or lack of) to the previous family, are some of the main hurdles for the adoptive family.

A family looking to adopt a Canaan Dog must do so with the same commitment when purchasing a puppy. Housebreaking may not be an issue, however manners might need to be (re)taught and extensive socialization needs to be continued. These training exercises and outings will help create a trusting bond between the adoptive family and rescue dog.

Adoptive families must be patient with their new Canaan Dog. The ability to completely bond with a rescue dog depends on several variables, such as the dog's history, age, and individual temperament. If the dog has developed bad habits or irrational fears, then the adoptive family must be able to commit to a consistent, positive-reinforcement program of desensitization. Adult Canaan Dogs may appear to settle into a new routine quickly, however, the trust between canine and family can take several months.

The goal when adopting a new Canaan Dog is to convince the dog to trust your decisions over its own. Canaan Dogs tend to adjust well in homes with clearly delineated rules for acceptable behavior that are firmly, yet gently enforced. A structured, predictable environment creates a sense of familiarity for the dog and helps them to trust you. This can only be accomplished via a consistent training program and play time together. If successful in this venture, you will be rewarded with a devoted and affectionate companion.

You are not alone in this! Our Rescue Coordinators, the dog's breeder, and the Canaan Dog community are available to help you through the transition period and the life of your new friend.