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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Tamaskan Dog?

The Tamaskan is a rare breed of domestic dog originating from Finland. It is a highly versatile arctic breed of sled-dog type that is known to excel in agility, obedience and working trials. Morphologically, Tamaskan Dogs were bred to physically resemble wolves and they have a notable lupine appearance. Tamaskan Dogs should be friendly, social, outgoing and playful, without any signs of aggression nor overly shy. 

The Tamaskan is still considered to be a “work in progress” breed and, due to its rarity and scarcity (limited genepool), the TDR and ITR have an open-studbook policy whereby unrelated outcross dogs are occasionally added to the Tamaskan breeding program in order to increase genetic diversity within the breed. New outcrosses may also introduce new desirable features into the breed, as well as (sometimes) negative traits; therefore, each potential new outcross dog is carefully selected by the TDR’s Committee of Breeders and must adhere to strict guidelines with regards to health, temperament and appearance.

All offspring from approved outcross litters must undergo a temperament evaluation and a conformation evaluation, in addition to mandatory health testing, in order to qualify for breeding. 

What is the temperament of a Tamaskan?

The Tamaskan Dog is a relatively new breed and, as such, it is important to remember that temperament can vary from bloodline to bloodline as well as from litter to litter, and even dog to dog. This is why reputable Tamaskan breeders will match each individual puppy to the most ideal household with regard to the puppy's energy level and character, in consideration to the family's lifestyle and planned activities.

The Tamaskan is an adaptable breed, which can fit into a variety of different households and lifestyles. At home, they tend to be fairly calm and relaxed, mostly just lounging around, whereas they are more active on walks and particularly enjoy long hikes. That being said, unlike many other Arctic breeds, Tamaskan Dogs are not hyperactive and do not NEED to work/run on a daily basis... though they do enjoy it.

In general, Tamaskan Dogs are very loyal family/pack-oriented dogs. Tamaskan Dogs tend to do best if they live with someone who works from home or who can bring them to work each day, but many Tamaskan Dogs cope just fine if they are left home alone for shorter periods, particularly if they have another dog (or dogs) for company.

Tamaskan Dogs around the world successfully live with other dogs of all breeds and sizes, as well as a multitude of other pets including: cats, rabbits, horses, birds, etc. However, it is important to introduce these animals while the Tamaskan is still young so they grow up knowing that those other animals are also part of the family pack as the breed can have a moderate prey drive (again, a lot depends on the individual dog).

The Tamaskan is highly intelligent and quick to learn new things, particularly if the right form of motivation is found (food/play, etc). However, they can have quite a "what's in it for me" attitude, which can seem like stubbornness, if they are not sufficiently motivated to do what you are asking of them. On the other hand, they are incredible problem-solvers and can learn simply by observing (such as how to open door handles or cabinets) which means that they can sometimes be too smart for their own good!

Overall, the breed is extraordinarily versatile and they can perform a broad spectrum of activities ranging from obedience trials to recreational mushing to agility, to Search & Rescue, to scent detection, to long-distance hiking/endurance events, etc. Some Tamaskans have also been successfully trained as service/therapy dogs.

Tamaskan Dogs are usually friendly and are social with adults and children of all ages. On the contrary, Tamaskan Dogs are generally very sensitive and highly attuned to their human pack members; therefore, it is recommended that only experienced and confident dog owners, who are persistent in their training, consider ownership.

Despite their wolf-like appearance, Tamaskan Dogs are not fierce or aggressive and they do not make good guard dogs, but they are attentive and intuitive so they may bark if someone unfamiliar approaches their territory.

One of the main perks of owning a Tamaskan Dog, compared to other Arctic breeds such as huskies, is that they usually have much better recall and less desire to run off. The key is plenty of off-leash recall training in a safe area while the Tamaskan is still young.

Finally, it is also worth keeping in mind that Tamaskan Dogs can experience a challenging selective hearing/disobedient teenage phase while they are going through puberty. Compared to other large breeds, the Tamaskan is relatively slow to mature (both physically and mentally) so they continue to grow and develop up until 2 years old, and may still exhibit goofy-puppy behavior up until this age and beyond.

What health issue are present in the Tamaskan breed?

The Tamaskan breed has extensive health testing requirements for all registered breeders and we are proud to be part of an organization that takes health testing seriously. In accordance with TDR and ITR regulations, our adult breeding dogs are all fully health tested.

Overall, the Tamaskan breed is relatively healthy with few serious genetically inherited conditions. This is predominantly due to extensive health testing, so that only healthy dogs are allowed to breed, but it is also the result of TDR breeders fully reporting all serious health issues so that carriers (and potential carriers) can be identified. Therefore, reputable breeders can ensure that carrier (or potential carrier) bloodlines are not purposefully crossed, thereby preventing future 'at risk' offspring.

The Tamaskan breeding program currently has an open studbook and new carefully-selected outcrosses are added to the genepool on a fairly regular basis. This means that the breed as a whole has a very low COI (level of inbreeding) and, therefore, not as many recessive disorders compared to most closed-studbook dog breeds. Notable health issues in the Tamaskan breed, which only affect a very small percentage of the overall population, include: hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism, degenerative myelopathy, epilepsy, Addison's Disease, juvenile cataracts, and digestive problems/food allergies.

What climates are suitable for a Tamaskan?

Tamaskans are considered an arctic/nordic breed, they prefer temperate climates and love snowy winters. That being said, they are able to adapt to a variety of mild-moderate climates including: Subtropical, Mediterranean, Oceanic, Subtropical Highland, Continental, and Boreal. It is important to remember that Tamaskans have thick, dense fur that allows them to stay warm in extremely cold climates.

Although they are able to shed their fur and maintain a thinner coat year-round, it is imperative that they are given extra consideration during the summer season: staying indoors with air conditioning during the hottest times of the day.

Do you export puppies Interstate or Internationally?

We do export puppies interstate and internationally. Puppies can fly interstate at 8 weeks old.

Please Note: Travel crate, Transport costs, Tests, Documentation or any other costs related to domestic or international travel of the puppy is not included in the purchase price!

Puppies can typically fly internationally between 10 - 16 weeks old, depending on the country of import.
New Zealand: 10 weeks old
United States: 10 weeks old
EU: 16 weeks old