Casey Laulala scored Canterbury's bonus point try to celebrate his return to rugby after a long injury lay-off, and clinch the failure of Otago's second Ranfurly Shield challenge of the season, 36-16.
Otago threatened to break back into Air New Zealand Cup match in Christchurch with some periods of sustained second half pressure on their opponent's try-line, but Canterbury's defence held.
Captain George Whitelock says he is pleased to have the side back on track after last week's loss to Bay of Plenty.
Canterbury led 15-9 at half time, with Otago kept in contact through first five-eighths Glenn Dickson's three successful penalty attempts.
Centre Tim Bateman, Michael Paterson and Ash Parker got the home side's other tries, in their first defence of the trophy it stripped from a Wellington side that has also beaten off an Otago challenge this year.
Keith Cameron scored Otago's only try, and Stephen Brett kicked the rest of Canterbury's points.