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
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.