Tamaskan Dog

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Finland
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Tamaskan Dog

Apart from the Inuit of the North and a few other selected breeds, there are few wolf-like dogs as close as the Tamaskan. Originating in Finland, this large dog has been specially designed to resemble a wolf and have the same traditional training as Siberian Huskies, while maintaining a temperament that makes it ready for companionship and family. Apart from a few peculiarities, the look is almost uncanny, so much so that the Tamaskan has been used as a wolf in films, television, music videos, mascots and even Broadway. Of course, their excellent temperament doesn't hurt their cause either. But even though they've rapidly gained in popularity since their inception in the 1980s, they're still considered a relatively rare breed, although breed clubs have sprung up in many North American and European countries in recent years, increasing the likelihood that their numbers will continue to grow at a steady pace.

History of the Tamaskan Dog

Given that the breed was developed in the 1980s, its history is fairly short. During this time, Finnish breeders imported a handful of Siberian Huskies with the aim of breeding them with others to create a dog with a wolf-like appearance and a hard-working drive, but possessing sufficient temperament to be easily trained and kept as a pet. Huskies from the USA have been crossed with other Siberian Huskies, as well as Alaskan Malamutes and German Shepherds. There seems to be at least some discussion of the final influences, which might include the more lupine-like Czech Wolfhound, to add to its true wolf-like traits. Since the 2000s, these dogs have been featured in many forms of visual media, acting as realistic representatives of the wolf. Their growing popularity has helped them expand internationally, with breed clubs established in many countries, including the USA, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Croatia and the UK.

Appearance of the Tamaskan Dog

It's safe to say that the Tamaskan is easily one of the most wolf-like dogs in existence. Standing at 84 centimetres tall at the withers and weighing almost 45 kilos, this breed may not reach a gray wolf in full size, but still boasts considerable overall size. Their head is long and somewhat narrow, with a slight stop and a skull almost as long as their black-nosed muzzle. Their eyes are almond-shaped and come in a variety of colors, although lighter eyes are considered rare. Their ears are relatively small and erect, somewhat triangular in shape. They have long necks, flat backs, short, rapidly falling croup and tucked-up bellies. Their frame is relatively light but athletic and muscular, which shows especially in the thighs. Their tails are long and bushy, hanging at rest and almost vertical at play. Their coats are long and dense, available in three colors: red gray, wolf gray and black gray.

Temperament of the Tamaskan Dog

Although they look like one of the greatest hunters nature has to offer, Tamaskans are actually quite gentle, friendly and affectionate dogs. Probably due to their pack-breeding heritage, they are very social and like to be part of a family, whether primarily canine or human. Because of this, however, they generally don't do well as they tend to get frustrated or bored and can become destructive or try to escape. They are exceptionally intelligent, which allows them to excel at almost anything they attempt, from simple training to agility to work and even sledging. They are known to accept other dogs, be patient with children, and be either relaxed or a little aloof with strangers, and generally maintain a rather relaxed attitude at home. However, they need a considerable amount of exercise and will remain restless if they don't get the right amount, which can sometimes result in bad behavior. They therefore generally do best with larger homes, preferably with a large yard and an active family environment. But given their general temperament, intelligence and social nature, they always make good companions and working dogs, no matter what.

Needs and activities of the Tamaskan Dog

Due to their sled and working dog lineage, Tamaskans not only have a ton of stamina, but also a good amount of muscle, both of which require a high level of exercise. As such, they need at least 18 km of walking or running a week, if not more, or around 70 minutes of physical activity a day. Because of their intelligence, they also need to be mentally stimulated. Therefore, giving them work, teaching them commands or even playing the game will go a long way in helping them stay both healthy and tired. Not destined for apartment living, this breed needs plenty of space and activity.

Maintenance of the Tamaskan Dog

Even with their longer coats, Tamaskans are considered low-maintenance dogs. Their coats should be brushed several times a week with a fine bristle brush or paintbrush, except during periods of heavy shedding, when they need to be brushed more frequently, otherwise they take little care. They generally keep themselves clean, and their coats contain natural oils that should not be disturbed by bathing, unless they become offensive. If they get enough exercise, their nails will wear a little, but they'll still need to be monitored and trimmed to avoid problems such as cracking or breaking. Especially given their high food intake, their teeth also need to be brushed regularly to maintain good oral health.

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