Tamaskan, , choosing the breed of dog thats right for you

Getting a dog can change your life. If you get a dog that is compatible with your lifestyle, it can be a very rewarding experience, but all dogs require love, attention, care and training, so before you make that decision, ask yourself these questions:

If, after answering the above questions, you decide to move forward with getting a dog, it would be wise to learn about the different breeds and their characteristics, personality/temperament, possible health conditions and exercise and grooming requirements in order to make an informed decision. This article is a basic overview of one particular breed — a Tamaskan. Read on to decide if this breed of dog is compatible with your particular lifestyle.

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. Although it looks like a wolf, it has no wolf content.

Physical Characteristics:The Tamaskan is large and athletic, slightly taller than German Shepherds. 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 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, one question remains — Is a Tamaskan the right breed for you?