Background Breeds and Behavior
The Tamaskan Dog is a relatively new breed. In order to ensure a healthy gene pool for future generations and to make improvements which move us closer to the breed standard, the stud book of the Tamaskan Dog is still open. The Tamaskan Dog Register has implemented a very stringent protocol for approval of an outcross breed, but at this point, another breed with outstanding assets may occasionally be used in some breeding programs. While most Tamaskans look very similar, because of differences in pedigree lines of some Tamaskan Dogs, there is a wide range of acceptable variation. This is not unusual for a new breed. For this reason, I recommend that you look at Tamaskan websites and pictures of Tamaskan Dogs and find the look of the dog that you like, then find a breeder who breeds that look. There is no such thing as a perfect dog and therefore breeders often select a handful of characteristics (health is generally a given) upon which to focus their breeding program.
Our Tamaskan history page had documented the known breeds behind the Tamaskan Dog. In order to better understand your puppy, it is a good idea to discuss the pedigrees of the breeding pair.
Alaskan Malamutes can be challenging to live with and train, without sufficient exercise and challenging things to do they can become rambunctious and bored. Boredom is relieved by chronic howling or destructive chewing. Unless you establish yourself as the alpha, malamutes will test you for position in the pack pecking order.
Siberian Huskies are playful and athletic, but require vigorous exercise. Lack of sufficient stimulation can result in boredom and destructive behavior. Siberian Huskies are escape artists. They have been bred primarily as sled dogs and therefore do not have a good homing device. Their instinct is to run and run forward, not to come home. They can challenge you for their place in the pack order and require a strong alpha.
The German Shepherd is a very intelligent dog, eager to learn and eager to work. They can be somewhat aloof and therefore early and consistent socialization is required to develop a stable, confident temperament.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog (CsV) is a playful dog whose behavior is strictly purposeful. Training requires motivation. The most frequent cause of failure is usually the fact that the human is not as strong-minded as the dog, lacking leadership and/or the dog is tired out with long, useless repetitions of the same exercise. The CsV has a much wider range of means of expressing itself in addition to barking and in some situations barking is actually unnatural for them; they try to communicate in other ways. Generally, training a CsV requires a bit more time than it does to teach traditional specialized breeds.
The Saarlooswolfhond has an intense pack instinct, can be shy and has a need to roam. They are pack-oriented and need a strong leader and a social atmosphere. The Saarloos is not suitable for kennels as seclusion intensifies anti-social behavior and may panic if locked in an enclosure. Owners must be the dominant alpha, willing to spend a lot of time with them, train with patience and have a good understanding of canine behavior.
What can I expect from my Tamaskan Dog?
As you can imagine the temperament and aptitude of your Tamaskan may vary depending upon the background breeds in your pedigree. Although they have come from Arctic breeds, Tamaskans are very good off leash, and recall is excellent. Despite the potential German Shepherd in its background, this breed is not appropriate for guarding. Some pedigree lines have higher prey drives than others. Separation anxiety, carsickness, and extremely stubbornness has been noted by some Tamaskan owners. Keep in mind that breeding a Siberian Husky with a CsV, does not give you a “half and half” dog. The genetic makeup of your puppy could favor one parent over another, or your puppy may display recessive traits which are not seen in either parent. Sometimes looking at the grandparents, may give you a better idea of what the puppies will be like. It is extremely important to get a good understanding of what to expect from your breeder.
In general, this breed is very intelligent and learns quickly. They can be a bit stubborn, so the lack of learning is more often associated with lack of sufficient motivation, rather than a deficit of ability. They can successfully live with other other animals and are good with children, but should be exposed to both at an early age with continuing socialization so they are considered part of the pack. Tamaskans can do a broad range of jobs from pulling a sled, to search and rescue to service and therapy work. To ensure that you have a dog who meets your expectations, it is important to discuss with your breeder, exactly what kinds of jobs you want your Tamaskan to be able to perform.
Here at Conchur, our Tamaskans, Mikko and Inna, have predominantly CsV and Siberian Husky in their pedigrees. Their temperaments are very stable and they have shown themselves to be very good with children or pets. Inna has a bit higher prey drive than Mikko, but her proclivities tend to remain with the occasional squirrel that will run along the top of the fence. they do not have a high need for vigorous exercise, but if given the opportunity to run out in the woods, will take full advantage of it. The walk easily with or without a leash, and prefer no leash. Inna has walked the neighborhood unleashed and by my side, irrespective of who passes by. And, Mikko has taken the train and subway, participated in “doggie parades” and attended the Bite of Portland, without taking one himself.
Neither of them does much barking. And as mentioned above for the CsV, Mikko in particular makes his needs known in many different ways. Even as a puppy, I could see those wheels turning ” Hmm how can I make her understand that I need to go outside to pee?” In the end, he put his paw on my shoulder, and I quickly learned that was his signal to go out. You, too may find that your Tamaskan trains you as well!
Based on the temperaments I try to produce, Conchur Tamaskans are primarily companion dogs with the strength and stamina of the working dog class. They can do all kinds of jobs, but prefer being with people and working alongside them.
Both Mikko and Inna are certified service dogs. Since we specialize in providing service and therapy dogs, temperament is very important and primary consideration in my breeding program.