Tamaskan

History/Background: The Tamaskan, meaning “Mighty Wolf” in North American Indian language, is said to have originated in Finland, although that is uncertain.  Five husky-type dogs were imported into the UK from the USA in the early 1980s and were then bred to Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky and German Shepherd crosses, attempting to create a dog that resembled a wolf but with high intelligence, a good temperament and good working ability.  Breeding continued down through the years to improve the bloodlines and the bloodlines were finally closed in 2006.  The Tamaskan was first imported into the USA in 2005 and has since grown in popularity. The Tamaskan Dog Register was formed in February 2006.

Physical Characteristics: Although it looks like a wolf, the Tamaskan has no wolf content.  It is large and athletic, slightly taller than a German Shepherd.  It has a wolf-like appearance with small ears, a straight bushy tail and coarse, thick coat in three main colors, red gray, black gray and wolf gray, with black overlay and characteristic wolf mask.  Eyes are yellow through amber and brown, with light colored eyes being very rare. Adults typically measure 24 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 95 pounds.  

Personality/Temperament: This breed is highly intelligent and excels in agility, sled racing and obedience training but can be stubborn and requires pack leadership.  It is highly sociable, friendly, affectionate, eager to please and makes an ideal family dog and loyal companion.  It is tolerant toward other dogs and gentle with children.  It prefers the company of people or other dogs and, if left alone for long periods of time, may become destructive or try to escape.  It responds well off leash and, with a small amount of training, will return when called.  It makes an excellent working dog.  A Tamaskan is not a good guard dog because of its friendliness toward strangers.  Some Tamaskans, like other arctic breeds, will howl.

Possible Health Conditions: No known health issues have yet arisen.  The average life expectancy is 14 to 15 years. 

Exercise/Grooming: The Tamaskan is very active and needs a great deal of exercise such as a daily long walk or brisk jog.  It requires free running and, if trained, will return when called.  Because it is highly intelligent, it needs mental exercise, as well.  Grooming is fairly easy and includes a good brushing once a week, more often during times of molting. 

Living Conditions: The Tamaskan is not recommended for apartment life and may become destructive or attempt to escape if left alone for long periods of time.  It needs a large place for free running every day.  

Summary: The Tamaskan is a large dog that resembles a wolf but is highly sociable and affectionate and makes an ideal family dog.  It requires little grooming and has no known health issues so far but does require a great deal of physical and mental exercise and may display destructive behavior if left alone for long periods of time.  So, now that you’ve learned a little about this breed of dog, is a Tamaskan the right breed for you?

Jasper

Jasper

Meet Jasper – The Pick of the Litter

Jasper is a 7.5 month old Tamaskan pup. Originally born in England, he currently lives in the Netherlands but soon will be moving to Croatia… he’s very well-traveled for his young age and that gives him lots of opportunities to meet new people – and their dogs! Since Tamaskans are quite rare, Jasper is like an ambassador for the breed. Random people on the street will always stop to pet him and ask questions; he certainly loves all the fuss and attention! Everyone is amazed because he looks so much like a real wolf but he has such a lovely temperament.

He’s very friendly and laid-back but he also has his energetic moments. He loves chasing leaves and sticks, then chewing them to pieces. He also really enjoys long walks through the forest or a romp on the beach and he especially loves splashing around in muddy ponds, though he hasn’t yet gone deep enough to swim. He is quite athletic but as he’s still young he’s a bit clumsy and his long legs seem to get in the way sometimes. He’ll grow into them soon though; everyone is amazed at how big he is for his age. Considering his diet, it’s not surprising! He loves all kinds of foods, especially meaty bones, but even fruit slices and vegetable pieces, particularly apples, carrots, and broccoli. He also loves to crunch ice cubes and every once in a while he gets a whole herring as a special treat.

His favorite squeaky toy is a plush Llama named “Dalai” but he loved it too much so now it’s missing its ears and tail. His favorite spot is on the armchair by the living room window, he really likes to rest there and watch the world go by. It’s easy to tell when he sees another dog walk past because his tail will start to spin in circles, like a helicopter! He also enjoys going on buses, trains, and trams but he doesn’t really like car rides that much because he usually gets carsick and drools everywhere. He is happiest when he’s off the leash because then he can run around as much as he wants and there’s no need to worry because he will never run off or disappear; he likes to be nearby all the time. His teachers at the Puppy Class were very impressed with him because he is so obedient and well-behaved. At the end of the course there was a final exam and he came first in the class and won a beautiful trophy! He’s still so young but already he has the makings of a champion. You couldn’t ask for a better or more wonderful dog.

For more information about Tamaskan dogs, please visit The Tamaskan Dog Register.

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5 Responses

  1. Hemm..tamaskan?…

  2. Epilepsy has been produced in a registered Tamaskan as well as several dogs in it’s lineage. Other health issues have also surfaced, so the statement that there are no known health issues isn’t 100% true.

  3. Hey thanks for the comment! That information wasn’t available when I did the research for the article.

  4. Look…Tamaskan

  5. Ooohh, I want a Tamaskan puppy so bad! But I live in Montana, so there is almost no hope of ever getting one.
    They are such a gorgeous breed…

    Looks like a wolf, but acts like a family dog? Who wouldn’t want that?

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