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The standard
Judging the Canaan Dog

Head:  Well proportioned, blunt wedge shape of medium length, appearing broader due to low set ears.  Skull somewhat flattened.  Some width allowed in powerful male heads.  Stop shallow but defined.  Muzzle sturdy, of moderate length and breadth.  Jaws should be strong.  Lips tight.  Nose black.

Excellent female head and expression

Lovely feminine expression

The head shape of the Canaan is very typical of the pariah type and is also very similar to the head shape of many of the Spitz breeds that are considered to be close to the original type of dog.


From the front, the head is a perfect blunt wedge shape, fairly broad between the ears and tapering evenly to the end of the full muzzle.  There should be no flaring at the cheeks or narrowing at the muzzle, the tapering should be continuous and the end of the muzzle should be blunt and rounded, not sharp and pointed.  There should be no appearance of elongation.

The width of the head between the ears, the length of the skull from occiput to stop, and the length of the muzzle from the stop to the end of the nose are approximately equal.


There should be no appearance of elongation.  The standard does not call for an elongated wedge, but for a blunt medium length wedge shape.  One of the most common head faults is an overly elongated head, caused by too little width between the ears and too much length of skull and muzzle.  This results in a head resembling the sight hound heads, with the often-accompanying fault of snipiness in muzzle or weak underjaw.

Laish me Bnei HaBitachon - superb head and expression

Excellent masculine head in profile

Excellent bitch in profile, strong but feminine

Faulty heads -

Rather coarse and heavy head

Head too fine

Overly elongated head

Excellent masculine head

Excellent masculine head

From the side, the head consists of two parallel lines of skull and top line of muzzle, divided by an apparent but not exaggerated stop.  The stop should be a harmonious part of the head, and not too deep or square.  The topskull is not totally flat, but slightly rounded, although it is so slight as not to be very apparent without touching the skull and feeling the structure.  The line of the underjaw is approximately parallel to the top line of the muzzle.  The jaw must be full and powerful, never receding or weak.  This is a dog that must be capable of hunting for himself and of defending himself and his herds from predators, and must appear powerful enough to do so.


The head must always be in proportion to the body, not too heavy or too fine.  There should be a clear difference between the head of a dog and a bitch.  A dogs head is powerful and masculine, and a bitchs head is more feminine and refined, though it should not appear weak or lacking in strength.


Correct male and female heads

The standard allows only the black-pigmented nose.  This is a survival factor for an animal that spends a good portion of its life exposed to the strong desert sun. Noses lacking pigment have been found to result in health problems in other breeds in the harsh climate, as well as to other animals such as horses that have light facial and nose pigment. 


There is, however, a factor that (for lack of better terminology) has been called the snow nose (as it is referred to in northern breeds).  The nose leather of these dogs is black in the summer when the sunlight is strongest, but made fade to a dusty or pinkish shade in the winter when the sun is not as strong, or when the dog is kept out of the sun. This nose color is acceptable, as it does provide the proper protection from the sun, but it is not desirable.  Highest preference is to a nose that is permanently black.


Liver, pink, or parti-colored nose pigmentation is unacceptable


This nose pigment is unacceptable

Heavy head, rather large ears and poor nose pigment