With the fierce look of a wolf and the intelligence and loyalty of a shepherd, the Tamaskan is a dog like no other. This is a breed who is spilling over with personality and is a winner when it comes to work ethic and stamina.
But is this the right dog breed for you?
While the Tamaskan is certainly a treasure in the Canine Kingdom, he’s not the ideal pet for every dog lover. Read on to learn more about this unique dog breed and find out if he would be the perfect fit to your home and lifestyle.
What Is A Tamaskan?
A Tamaskan is a relatively new purebred who comes from a mix of huskies, shepherds and malamutes.
The Tamaskan dog is a relatively new addition to the Canine Kingdom. Introduced in the 1980’s, the Tamaskan’s origins and breeding history place him in both the US and Finland, providing him with an interesting background that suits his one of a kind appearance and disposition.
If you’re looking for a feral looking pooch with the intelligence, loyalty, and affection of a domesticated dog breed, then the Tamskan is the dog for you.
This is a dog who was bred specifically to resemble a wild wolf while maintaining all the desirable traits we love from brainy working breeds like shepherds and husky dogs.
But why breed a dog that looks like a wolf? Great question! Keep reading to find out.
Where Does The Tamaskan Come From?
The Tamaskan Was designed specifically to look like a wolf.
As we mentioned above, the Tamaskan is a newer dog breed who was introduced to the United States during the 1980’s. He derives from a few different dog breeds including the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute and the German Shepherd. Though he may have begun his journey in the US, breed enthusiasts ended up perfecting the Tamaskan dog we know and love today in Finland.
It was there the Tamaskan was further crossed with the Czecholslovakina Wolfdog and the Utonagan dog, and there where his look and temperament became the talk of rugged dog lovers everywhere.
While the Tamaskan is slowly growing in popularity as a breed throughout the world, he has yet to be accepted into several breed clubs, including the American Kennel Club. For this reason, many still consider the Tamaskan a designer dog breed or a hybrid, though others insist the breed has gone through the generations of perfection required to be fairly categorized as a purebred.
Regardless, the Tamaskan boasts his fair share of fans, and it’s no wonder. There is no dog yet that looks quite like this fierce breed, though his origin does play a role in his overall temperament.
See for yourself below.
What Are The Tamaskan Temperament And Personality Traits Like?
Despite his fierce appearance, the Tamaskan is gentle and affectionate.
The Tamaskan was bred more for looks and temperament based on human desire than for working purposes. With that said, it’s important for any Tamaskan enthusiast to bear in mind that this is a dog who is a cross between several hard working dog breeds.
For this reason, the Tamaskan is likely going to share the characteristics of his working breed counterparts. In general, working dogs are known to be intelligent and athletic, though some can be stubborn and overly focused on one task.
Working dogs and dogs with working origins, like the Tamaskan, are beloved for their cleverness, however their sharp wits can also make them problematic for novice dog owners.
The Tamaskan is a brainy breed who can easily outwit his owner and can quickly become destructive and defiant if not given enough mental and physical stimulation.
He will be best suited in homes with plenty of room for him to run and play, and with active owners who are able to get him outside often and bring him on lots of adventures.
Luckily, the Tamaskan is a friendly dog who does well with children and families of all ages so long as he is properly trained and socialized. He will enjoy joining the family on road trips and camping excursions, and will be in the mood for nearly any game.
Remember, while the Tamaskan may look like a wild animal, he’s a domesticated dog breed through and through. This is not an outdoor dog and he does best living his life inside with his human family.
Though large and wolf-like in appearance, the Tamaskan is a gentle dog with a loving spirit. He becomes especially bonded to his owners and can be known to suffer with separation anxiety, so crate training with this breed would be strongly encouraged to help ease his nerves and keep your belongings safe from destructive behaviors while you’re away.
And speaking of training, let’s take a look at what the Tamaskan dog’s training requirements might entail.
What Are The Exercise and Training Requirements For A Tamaskan?
The Tamaskan needs regular exercise each and every day.
Like all large and athletic dog breeds, the Tamaskan should be trained and socialized at an early age to help reduce undesirable behaviors and help the dog grow up happy, healthy, and well mannered.
Socializing should ideally begin in puppyhood, and the Tamaskan should be introduced to as many new people, places, sounds, sights, and experiences as possible to help him better adapt. It’s very important to ensure these first impressions are positive and fun for your Tamaskan, so use lots of treats and praise along the way.
Never force your Tamaskan into a situation that is frightening or scary for him, as this could make anxiety, destructive behaviors and even fear-based aggression worse as he ages. Instead, work slowly and calmly with your Tamaskan dog with patience and love to help him discover the world around him.
Training should also be taken on just as lovingly. All dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training, and the Tamaskan is no different. Remember, this is an intelligent dog breed who is eager to please. He will enjoy learning new tricks and cues so long as training is done in a game-like manner that is repetitive, short, and challenging.
The Tamaskan will also need plenty of exercise each and every day to stay happy and healthy. For this reason, he will do best in homes with a decent yard where he can run and play. A social dog, the Tamaskan gets on well with people and other pets, and will thoroughly enjoy sharing his home and family with another canine sibling. Adding another dog to your home can help curb your Tamaskan’s energy and give him a friend to play with while you are away.
Still, even with a playmate, your Tamaskan will need at least two good walks a day. He would also make an ideal jogging or hiking partner, and has even been known to enjoy the water.
Because the Tamaskan is a larger dog breed and derives from Husky breeds and sled dogs, he could have a tendency to pull on leash. We recommend investing in a front clip harness for your Tamaskan that reduces pulling and makes walks easier and safer for the both of you.
We have listed a harness option we love at the bottom of this article, but before you scroll down, let’s take a look at what the Tamaskan is really famous for – his incredible, wolf-like appearance!
What Does The Tamaskan Dog Look Like?
The Tamaskan is wolf-like and comes in a few different colors and patterns.
Yes, it’s true. The Tamaskan was bred primary to showcase a wild, wolf-like appearance while also maintaining that sweet, doggy disposition. Was it a success? You bet! See below for an overview of the Tamaskan’s appearance.
Tamaskan Height: 24 to 48 Inches
Tamaskan Weight: 50 – 99 Lbs
Tamaskan Coat Color: Black, Red, and Grey
Coat Type: Dense, double-coated, weather resistant, shedding
Hypoallergenic Coat: No
Overview Of The Tamaskan Dog Appearance:
There is something truly wild about the Tamaskan’s look. His long, muscular build, pointed ears, and dense coat all scream wolf, while his smiling eyes and wagging tail reassure us he is, indeed, a domesticated dog.
He is a long-legged and thick-coated breed, with intelligence written all over his expressive face. Alert, gentle, and curious, the Tamaskan makes the perfect companion for active, outdoorsy families and singles.
How Do You Groom A Tamaskan?
Tamaskan dogs are relatively low maintenance dogs.
With his dense, double-coated fur, it may come as no surprise that the Tamaskan requires a bit of routine grooming. That said, the Tamaskan is surprisingly low-maintenance when it comes to overall grooming and sheds most during spring and fall, when the shedding season arrives.
During shedding season, your Tamaskan may need to be brushed once a day to help remove loose hair and keep his undercoat free of mats and tangles. Otherwise, the Tamaskan will do just fine with a good once over using a deshedding brush every few days.
Because his coat is weather resistant, it is simple to keep clean. Even if he gets wet, it generally takes a good shake for water to roll right off his fur. Unless your Tamaskan gets particularly dirty, he should only need bathing once every couple of months.
Like all dogs, the Tamaskan will need his nails trimmed regularly to keep them from cracking and splitting. He will also need his ears checked and kept free of debris, moisture and wax and his teeth should be brushed daily to keep tartar and plaque from building up.
We should also note that, while the Tamaskan does have a dense coat, it’s important not to shave this coat in an effort to keep him cool in warmer months. Shaving a double coated dog breed like a Tamaskan can actually increase chances of heat stroke and sunburn.
Instead, when the weather does get warmer, ensure your Tamaskan has plenty of shade and cool, fresh water.
What Is the Average Lifespan Of A Tamaskan And Do They Have Any Serious Health Issues?
Tamaskan dogs can live between 14 and 15 years.
Luckily, the Tamaskan dog is renowned for his overall health and longevity. In fact, this breed has quite a decent lifespan, with many Tamaskan dogs living between 14 and 15 years old and beyond.
While there are some health issues prominent to the breed, most of these issues are rare and only found in a small percentage of Tamaskan dogs. Some of the most common health issues in Tamaskan dog breeds include:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Juvenile Cataracts
- Digestive Issues
- Addison’s disease
- And Food Sensitivities and Allergies
You can help avoid potential health issues in your Tamaskan by ensuring you get your dog through a reputable breeder or shelter, and by requesting your Tamaskan undergo early health screening to detect any issues he may be prone to in the future.
Another way to maintain your Tamaskan dog’s health is to ensure he eats a balanced, quality dog food that is free of any additives, fillers or byproducts. Routine exercise and proper grooming will also help keep your Tamaskan in ship shape, as well ensuring you stay on top of routine vet visits and wellness checks.
What Are Some Pros And Cons Of Owning A Tamaskan?
Tamaskans are intelligent and friendly, but require lots of work and patience.
Like all dogs, the Tamaskan does come with his list of pros and cons. Before you decide if this is the right dog breed for you and your family or lifestyle, it’s important to consider these pros and cons before investing in one.
Take a look.
Pros To Owning A Tamaskan :
- Tamaskan dogs are gentle and affectionate
- They are highly intelligent and eager to please
- Tamaskan dogs enjoy adventures and make great companions for the outdoor enthusiast
- They get along well with both children and other dogs
- Tamaskans are unique both in temperament and in appearance
- Shedding is moderate and they are low maintenance when it comes to grooming
- They will turn heads and are furry little attention-grabbers
Cons To Owning A Tamaskan :
- Tamaskans can become stubborn if not trained correctly
- They can be prone to separation anxiety and destructive behaviors
- They are not suited for novice dog owners
- Tamaskan dogs need extensive training throughout their lives
- They require plenty of exercise each and every day
- Tamaskan dogs are not ideal apartment dogs and require lots of space
What Is The Ideal Home Type For A Tamaskan?
The Tamaskan is adventurous and energetic, and will do best in homes with large yards.
The ideal home type for the Tamaskan dog breed would be a home that has plenty of space for the Tamaskan to run and play. He should have his own space both inside and outside of the home, with a yard big enough for him to get out any excess energy after walks or hikes.
And speaking of walks or hikes, the Tamaskan is not a sit on the couch and chill kind of pup. While he may settle down for some cuddles at the end of the night, he’ll prefer spending his day exploring and going on adventures with his human family members.
For this reason, the Tamaskan will fit in best with families who live active lifestyles and enjoy the outdoors. He will also be best suited for families who have flexible schedules and can be home with him often.
If you live a busy lifestyle but still want a Tamaskan, you can always consider enrolling your dog in a doggy daycare where he can have all his social needs and exercise needs met throughout the day while you’re gone.
The Tamaskan also does well in homes with children and other pets, though he’s not the best dog for more relaxed seniors. This is a dog who is best suited for experienced dog owners with lots of patience, time and energy to spend training and working with this energetic and intelligent dog breed.
Choosing A Tamaskan Puppy Or Rescue – Tips On Finding The Healthiest Tamaskan Possible.
While mostly healthy as a whole, Tamaskan puppies should be purchased from reputable breeders.
One of the things we love best about Tamaskan dogs is the care that has gone into breeding them. Most breeders and Tamaskan enthusiasts are proud of the overall health of their dogs, which is why most Tamaskans are healthy, happy, and long-lived.
However, they are not completely out of the woods when it comes to genetic health issues, and purchasing your Tamaskan puppy from the wrong source could spell disaster for you down the road.
If you prefer to get a Tamaskan puppy from a breeder, look for reputable breeders you can trust. Do plenty of research and make sure the breeder you choose can provide you with a health certificate proving their puppies have been health screened and cleared of any serious health concerns.
On average, a Tamaskan puppy from a reputable breeder can cost between $1,200 to $1,700 dollars. While this is a good chunk of change, spending the money upfront on a healthy puppy could save you much more in the long run both financially and emotionally.
However, if you’re looking to find a Tamaskan dog at a lower cost, you can always rescue. There are many breed-specific rescues throughout the US that specialize in Tamaskan dog breeds and which can help you find the right dog for you and your family.
Adopting a dog not only provides a good home to a dog in need, but it also provides you with a Tamaskan dog at a fraction of the cost of going through a breeder. Many shelters will also be able to provide you with a free initial vet exam so you can ensure your Tamaskan dog is healthy before you take him home.
When rescuing a dog, be sure to ask questions and bring up any concerns you may have to the shelter. Be upfront about your lifestyle and what you are hoping to get out of your dream dog. Being transparent will ensure that you and your potential dog are a good fit for one another.
The Top 5 Products Every Tamaskan Owner Needs
Preparation is key to ensuring your Tamaskan puppy or rescue dog grows up happy and healthy!
Have you decided that the Tamskan is the dog of your dreams? If so, you’re certainly in for a treat! These wild-looking dogs bring lots of energy and personality to everyone they meet, and while this is fun and exciting, it can also be a bit overwhelming if you’re not prepared.
We always say that preparation is key, so in order to make your transition into Tamaskan parenthood easier, we have compiled a short list of the top five products every Tamsakn dog owner needs to help their Tamaskan thrive.
Take a look.
PetSafe Easy Walk Front Clip Harness
Because he is a large breed dog who derives from a breed of ancient sled dogs, the Tamskan could have a natural urge to pull on walks, especially if he feels pressure from a leash or harness on his chest and back.
To combat this natural instinct, we suggest investing in a front clip dog harness like the PetSafe Easy Walk Harness listed above. This harness helps reduce pulling by removing any pressure that might be on the dog’s chest or back.
Instead, the harness works by clipping to the front of the dog so that when he does pull, he is redirected back towards you.
TR Pet Orthopedic Dog Bed
Some Tamaskan dogs can be prone to hip dysplasia, and since Tamaskans are larger breeds in general, we highly recommend investing in a good dog bed to support your Tamaskan dog’s joints and bones. An orthopedic dog bed like the one listed above can be beneficial to dogs of all ages, but will be especially helpful to your Tamaskan dog as he gets older.
The above bed comes with a machine washable cover and is made with a waterproof lining. It is ideal for larger dogs like the Tamskan who weigh up to 100 pounds, but can be ordered in smaller sizes if needed as well.
New World Dog Crate
Energetic dogs like the Tamaskan can greatly benefit from crate training, so long as the training is done properly. When training is utilized in the correct way, your Tamaskan’s crate can become a safe space for him where he can wait peacefully for his loved ones to return home from work or school.
The above dog crate is a standard, folding crate that is simple to store and easy to use. It is ideal for larger dogs like the Tamskan and can be ordered with either a single door entry or double door entry, depending on your needs.
Diamond Naturals Skin and Coat Health Dog Food
Because some Tamaskan dogs have been found to suffer from food sensitivities and food allergies, we recommend a high quality dog food that is rich in DHA and fatty acids. The above dog food by Diamond Naturals is made to promote skin and coat health and includes grain-free ingredients and superfoods.
This is a kibble dog food that is designed to support your Tamaskan’s digestion, immune system, and coat. It is free of any by-products, additives, fillers, or preservatives, and even includes added vitamins, minerals, and superfoods for overall health and vitality.
The Furminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool
Last on our list is a deshedding brush by the Furminator. This is a popular brush used for double-coated dog breeds like the Tamskan and works by ensuring all that shed hair is quickly and effectively collected and removed.
Removing loose hair from the undercoat helps keep your dog healthy and reduce doggy odor. It can also reduce chances of skin infections and mats as a result of buildup. The above grooming tool is self-cleaning as well, with a “Fur Ejector” button to help quickly and efficiently get rid of collected hair to make the grooming process fly by.
So, what do you think about the Tamaskan dog breed? Is this wolf-like canine the perfect addition to your household, or would you prefer to go with a dog that’s a little bit more low key?
We would love to hear from you. Tell us what you think about the Tamaskan dog in the comment section below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.