Tamaskan Dog

The Tamaskan Dog is a rare breed of domestic dog originating from Finland. It is known to excel in agility, obedience and working trials. It is also capable of pulling sleds, which is inherited from its Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute ancestors. Morphologically, Tamaskans have been bred to look like wolves and have a notable lupine appearance, although they contain no recent wolf ancestry. Although there are fewer than 3000 registered Tamaskan Dogs worldwide, increasing interest has resulted in their spread throughout continental Europe, the UK and the USA, as well as Australia. It is important to note that "Tamaskan Wolfdogs" are NOT legitimate Tamaskan Dogs but, rather, a separate "breed" that consists of Wolf-hybrid Crossbreeds and various other mixes, which are bred by a commercial breeder in America who has misused the Tamaskan name to advertise and sell his puppies. All pedigree Tamaskan Dogs are registered through the Tamaskan Dog Register (TDR) and are DNA profiled; there are notable differences between genuine Tamaskan Dogs and "Tamaskan Wolfdogs" with regards to appearance, temperament and health.

Tamaskan Dog Description

Tamaskan Dog are large, athletic dogs; slightly taller in size than German Shepherds. With regards to build, they are substantially larger than their Siberian Husky ancestors but significantly smaller than the Alaskan Malamute. On average, Tamaskan adults measure around 24-28 inches (60–70 cm) tall at the shoulder and typically weigh between 55-88 pounds (25–40 kg) - the heaviest recorded Tamaskan males (to date) weigh just under 50 kg. Females are usually slightly smaller and lighter than males, with a distinct feminine appearance. Males are more heavyset with broader heads and a heavier bone structure. Tamaskans have a lupine appearance with a straight bushy tail and thick double coat that comes in three main colors: Wolf Grey, Red Grey, and Black Grey. Each individual guard hair is agouti banded along its length. The almond-shaped eyes are yellow through amber and brown, with lighter colored eyes being very rare. Blue eyes are not acceptable, nor are mismatched eyes.

Tamaskan Dog Temperament

Tamaskan Dog are highly intelligent and have been known to excel in agility, obedience and working trials. They also make good sled dogs and many Tamaskans living in colder climates regularly participate in recreational, and occasionally competitive, dogsled racing as well as skijoring. They make excellent search and rescue dogs due to their keen sense of smell, stamina and endurance. Tamaskans can also be successfully trained as therapy or assistance dogs due to their friendly and laid-back personality. As a breed they are very social and are good with people, children, and other dogs, as well as other family pets (cats, chickens, rabbits, hamsters, parakeets, etc). However, Tamaskan Dogs do not cope well without company and if left alone for long periods of time they may become bored, which can lead to destructive behavior and/or escape attempts. Moreover, Tamaskan Dogs love to dig holes and can pull quite strongly on the leash; both traits they have inherited from their arctic heritage. However, unlike some of their husky ancestors, Tamaskans generally respond well off the leash and, with a small amount of training, will return when called.

Tamaskan Dog Health

Overall the Tamaskan Dog breed is very healthy with only a few notable health issues, which only affect a very small percentage of the bloodlines to date. Roughly 10% of males, as with all other dog breeds, suffer from cryptorchidism: undescended testes. With these cases, usually only one testicle fully descends within the scrotum, while the other testicle remains "hidden" up within the abdominal cavity. Epilepsy has been diagnosed in three dogs, affecting less than 1% of all registered Tamaskans worldwide. Several dogs have been found to be carriers of Degenerative Myelopathy so it is very important that all breeding dogs are DNA tested for DM so as to prevent the creation of sufferers of this genetic disease. As with all large breed dogs, hip dysplasia is a risk; however, due to the work of the TDR and strict health requirements, which ensure that only dogs with good hip scores are allowed to breed, this risk has been greatly reduced.

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