The keen yet appealing expression of the Canaan is one of his most essential
and distinguishing characteristics, and a major factor in achieving this expression is the eye shape and color. The Canaan has what has been called a sloe eyed Oriental look, created by the very dark almond shaped slightly
slanting eyes emphasized by the black eye liner around them. The result is an
alert, intelligent, and at the same time sweet expression which is expressive of the character of the breed.
Eyes that are too light will have a hard and staring expression, like that
of a bird of prey, rather than the soft and sweet expression desired. Even a
medium brown eye can appear to be too light, especially if the dog is black or with a black mask. The criterion for judging the correctness of the eye color should be the effect it has on the expression
as a whole. Yellow eyes do occur occasionally and are unquestionably incorrect;
this is often connected with undesirable coat colors as well. Pale or liver eye rims greatly detract from the desired expression
as well, and are definitely not desirable.
Round eyes result in an expression that lacks the intelligent and alert look
that are so expressive of the breeds character, tending to create a stupid or staring look.
Small or piggy eyes create a mean expression. The eye must be almond shaped
and properly set in the head, and never round or prominent or too small.