The goal of the ICDCA is to support and preserve the natural qualities of the breed as found in their homeland of Israel. In Israel, as well as in the rest of the world, Canaan Dogs are bred and judged according to the FCI standard. This standard originated with the founders of the breed in Israel and we feel it is important for the future of the breed to uphold it.  The ICDCA follows the UKC standard which is closely based on the FCI standard, and was developed in consultation with Israeli experts on the breed.  The AKC standard has increasingly diverged from the FCI standard, especially in the areas of size. body length, topline, tail set, coat and color, and therefore we can not recommend it.

The Federation Cynologique Internationale (F.C.I.) Standard:

The 28th November 1985
Standard Of The Israel Canaan Dog
Israeli Breed

General Appearance
A medium sized, well balanced, strong and square dog resembling the wild dog type. Strong distinction between the sexes.

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.

Erect, relatively short and broad, slightly rounded at the tip and set low.

Dark brown, slightly slanted, almond shaped. Dark rims essential.

Full dentition with scissors or level bite.

Muscular, of medium length.

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.

The shoulder should be oblique and muscular, elbows close to the body. Forelegs perfectly straight.

Powerful, well bent stifles. Hocks well let down. Strong buttocks, lightly feathered.

Strong, round and catlike with hard pads.

Set high, thick brush carried curled over the back.

Outer coat dense, harsh and straight, of short to medium length. Undercoat close and profuse.

Sand to red-brown, white, black, or spotted, with or without mask. If masked, mask must be symmetrical. Black mask permitted on all colours. White markings are permitted on all colours: "Boston Terrier" patterns are common. Grey, brindle, black-and-tan, or tricolour are unacceptable. Desert colours- sand, gold, red, cream- are most typical of the breed.

Weight and size
Height 50 - 60 cm. (20 - 24 in.), males may be considerably larger than females.
Weight 18 - 25 kg. (40 - 55 lb.)

Quick, light and energetic trot. Should demonstrate marked agility and stamina. Correct movement is essential.

Alert, quick to react, distrustful of strangers, strongly defensive but not naturally aggressive. Vigilant not only against man but other animals as well. Extraordinarily devoted and amenable to training.

All deviations from the standard of the breed. All faults in body structure which constitute a deviation from the norm of a well built dog; anything that would detract from his potential for survival as a desert animal.

N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicules fully descended into the scrotum.

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