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The standard
Judging the Canaan Dog

Body:  Square, withers well developed, back level, loins muscular, chest deep and of moderate breadth, ribs well sprung.  Belly well tucked up.  Moderate angulation. Balance is essential.

Excellent body type

The Canaan, like many of the related Spitz breeds and pariahs, is a square built dog.  Square means that his height and length are equal. If we were to draw a box of equal length sides, taking the measurement of the height or length of the body as the length of the sides, the body of the Canaan would fit neatly inside.  A square dog is considered to be a moderate dog, with every part in proportion and balance to the other parts.  Nothing is exaggerated.  The square build is efficient for a dog that lives in nature, providing the possibility of quick and efficient movement, endurance, agility, flexibility, and the ability to turn on a dime.


The back is completely level and short, providing a powerful link between the slightly prominent withers and the muscular loins and croup.   A back that is too long will tend to be soft and weak; this will be apparent both when the dog is standing and when the dog is moving.  In movement, the back is totally steady and level as the old timers used to say, if a glass of water was set on his back while he was moving, he wouldnt spill a drop.


The Canaan is a muscular dog, and should not be soft.  The muscles are not as prominent as in some breeds, but they should be well developed and obvious to the touch.  A Canaan should always appear fit, never soft or flabby.


The chest should be sufficiently deep and broad.  Depth of chest is to the elbow.  The ribs should have good width, but should not be barrel shaped.  Too much width of chest interferes with efficient usage of the shoulder blades and upper arms and interferes with proper front movement; too narrow chest will also cause incorrect movement and incorrect positioning of shoulder.  Forechest should be well developed.  Narrowness is also highly undesirable.


An elongated body will result in an incorrect elongated, loping stride or choppy, disunited movement. The dog will look as if it is two separate pieces stuck together, rather than one compact, efficient, and well balanced unit. 


Angulation in the Canaan is moderate, as is true in other square built dogs, and again the key is balance.  Overangulation appears very attractive and flashy in the dog that is standing still, but results in poor movement, overreaching, and lack of flexibility and agility, and interferes with proper balance.  Underangulation prevents sufficient reach.


The tuck up is quite pronounced, especially in young dogs.  A young dog may appear relatively leggy until the chest finishes to develop, and may seem to lack in body substance.  It is important to remember that the Canaan is a breed that develops very slowly, and isnt fully mature until between three and four years of age.  They come into their real prime and full maturity at about four, especially the males.



Excellent angulation front and rear


Incorrect angulation front and rear, roached topline

More examples of excellent body types: 



Incorrect and faulty:
Body too long


Soft back, high over loin


Short legs, soft topline


Very poor topline, weak and roached