The Canim are a large wolf-like race. They stand upright to a height of at least 7 feet. Their armies are divided into at least two castes: warrior and ritualist. The social customs of the Canim are consistent with a race of predators: Any signs of weakness will lead them to attack. If a leader appears weak, he is replaced. They have excellent night vision. Not much is known about them to the Alerans. Most of their knowledge is learned during the Canim's raids on the western coast of Alera.
The Warrior caste is the main bulk of the fighters for the Canim army. They carry traditional weapons and armor, though the armor is black which is consistent with a predatory race that hunts at night. Nasaug is a leader of this caste.
Those of the Ritualist caste are the spellcasters of the Canim. The Canim do not weild furies, but are still capable of using magic. Sarl is a leader of this caste.
In Academ's Fury
The Canim are first presented in Academ's Fury. Tavi meets Ambassador Varg in Varg's attempt to warn the First Lord about the guards he's had go missing. He later discovers and warns Tavi about the Vord nest in The Deeps.
In Cursor's Fury
A large fleet of Canim ships is seen approaching the western coast at the beginning of the book. A Cursor notes it and attempts to report it. Along his way to Aleria Imperia, he finds the First Aleran, a group of legionnaires made up of soldiers from every realm in Alera, which Tavi has been put in charge of. The First Aleran is moved to Elinarch and, in the process, run across several small groups of Canim attacking the local steadholts.
Tavi discovers that the raiding parties are the Canim equivalent to farmers and that they have yet to encounter the main Canim force. He also discovers that the Canim have completely destroyed the fleet they sailed in on. The Canim attack isn't just a raid, it's an invasion.The Canim are eventually routed at Elinarch. As they're retreating, Tavi finds a female Canim that has recently given birth. The Canim haven't just invaded, they're fleeing their homeland and are trying to re-establish a home.