Canaans are fascinating dogs. They are still closely related to the wild animal, their behaviour is different from that of other breeds. Everyone is an individual. They are territorial and possessive, suspicious towards strangers and unknown objects, intelligent and very independent. You cannot force them to do anything. You must convince them.
Puppies must be socialized earlier than puppies of other breeds and they must be made familiar with urban surroundings early on, so that they can overcome their inborn shyness. The Canaan has a strong local sense and therefore does not stray. For him the area in which he is living with all its contents, including his owner, the children of the owner and any other pets, is his property, which he has to defend against invaders. Therefore, he is not so suitable for a business household in which people are coming and going regularly.
He is faithful and devoted to his family. For him the relationship to his owner means partnership, with both parts giving and taking. For a Canaan, it is not necessary to follow his master (male or female) where he goes and he does not submissively anticipate any wish his master has. Sometimes he shows his love and wants to be petted others he is minding his own business and is only mindful of himself. If you accept his character, a deep understanding can growing between human being and animal, which is so much more rewarding because you must earn his confidence and attachment. Because of this special relationship, it is difficult to put a grownup Canaan into a new surrounding. He will grieve for his former owner and will often not eat for a long time. It can take one year until a grown up Canaan will transfers his affection to a new owner.
The Canaan watches over the children of his owner and he is very tolerant of children. But parents should make sure that the dog has the option to retreat and get some privacy. Because the Canaan is a rather sensitive and timid dog, the children should not be too loud or wild.
Canaans are good watchdogs, but it is not in its nature to attack. Not until a Canaan has the impression that it or its family is in serious danger, does it attack. It barks as a warning, attempts to look dangerous. Often this is already enough.
The Canaan can be aggressive toward other dogs if they come near its territory. Aggressions between dogs of the same sex are far from seldom. However, I, for instance, have two bitches, mother and daughter, who are very attached to each other. You have to watch it to know which encounters with other dogs you should avoid while out on walks.
Canaans are easily adaptable. Nevertheless you should allow it one good walk every day to keep it fit, in body and spirit. They are, however, content with some small rounds on days when the owner doesn’t have enough time and if there is a garden to run around in. Inside the house they are very quiet and they love to snuggle on the couch, if they are allowed to. (If you don’t allow it, it will one day sit on the arm-chair or couch of its choice anyway.)
Canaans are cleanly dogs. They keep themselves clean, like cats, and if more Canaans are living in the house they will clean each other. Twice a year, in spring and fall, they have a sort of moult and you have to brush them daily if you don’t want to have clumps of dog-hair on the carpets, furniture and your clothing.
To recap: Canaans are healthy and adaptable dogs, which need an owner with a strong but kind hand. They are good family-dogs, easy to train, but are also easily bored by too often repeated orders. They don’t demand much movement and are very territorial. They are clean dogs with rather small demands on feeding and little need for grooming. They are suspicious and shy towards strangers and strange situations, but they adore their family and can be very tender towards their owners.