The Tamaskan dog, a new, rare, wolf-like breed, was produced to create a dog with lupine appearance, without introducing wolf blood in the gene pool.
The motto of the breed's parent club is "Wolf-dog without the Wolf", which perfectly expresses the essence of the Tamaskan dog.
The foundation stock of the Tamaskan breed are Northern inuit dogs or Utonagans, a cross between GSD, Malamute and Siberian huskies and four rescue dogs of unknown origin, and Finnish, wolf-like dogs bred for sled pulling in extreme situations.
After the dissolution of the British and International Utonagan Society (already a split group of the Northern Inuit Society of Great Britain), a group of breeders decided to create a new breed out of some of the former Northern Inuit and Utonagan stock, which they crossed with dogs from Finland after a strict selection.
The new breed was called the Tamaskan dog, Tamaska meaning 'Mighty Wolf' in a North American Indian language. The main founders of the breed are Jennifer Peacock and Lynn Hardey.
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Photos © Photos courtesy of Jennifer Peacock, Tamaskan-dog.com.
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(Complete Pet Owner's Manual.)
by Margaret H. Bonham
Tamaskans are not good as guard dogs, as they were primarily bred for pulling sleds. They are easy to train and can be let off leash unlike some northern breeds. However, as all northern breeds they have a rather independent temperament and get easily bored, so training will be more successful if using a play-reward type of training.
The breed now counts 3 generations of Tamaskan that breed true to type.
One registry, The Tamaskan Dog Register, registers Tamaskan worldwide, although their are other breed clubs. A new breed club National Tamaskan Club of America was set up recently.
Tamaskans are good at competition work in agility and obedience. They have a very laid back nature which makes them suitable as therapy dogs, as well. Tamaskans are great with kids and pets, if raised with them.
Like all dogs that have kept close to the original dog they are true escape artists, so they should not be left unattended for longer periods of time. Destructive behavior may also occur, especially when the dog gets bored. Being a "pack" dog they enjoy company of other dogs, unless their owner can give them full attention.
The coat is straight and close and should form a slight ruff around the neck and shoulders framing the head. In winter an impressive undercoat covers the whole body including the inner part of the ears.
Tamaskans have a typical, wolf-like appearance, with coarse and thick fur, small ears and a straight bushy tail. The tail should not be carried curled over the back. It is covered with coarse thick hair but not feathered. Accepted coat colors are: wolf grey through to red/grey with black overlay and characteristic wolf mask.
Proportions are very important in this breed: the length of the body from point of shoulder to the rear point of pelvis should be longer than the height of the body from ground to top of the withers.
Eyes are almond shaped and yellow through amber/brown colored. Blue eyes are a disqualifying fault.
The nose, lips, and eye rims should be black. The lighter streaked " snow nose " is acceptable in winter. The muzzle should not be pointed.
Tamaskans differ from the Utonagan in depth of stop, shape of head and length of coat. The Utonagan's standard also accept a wider range of colors and markings.
by Catherine Marien-de Luca for Bulldoginformation.com 2003-2008 © All rights reserved. Photos courtesy of Jennifer Peacock, Tamaskan-dog.com