In the early ’80s, five dogs, of Siberian Husky origin, were imported into the UK from America. These dogs were bred to Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds to create a wolf-looking domestic dog. These dogs were labelled as “wolf dogs” or simply wolf look-a-likes. The exact ancestry of most of these dogs is not known as recordkeeping was inadequate to nonexistent.
In 1988 these dogs became the foundation stock of what is known as the Northern Inuit (NI).During the period between 1998 and 2002 the Northern Inuit Society split into two separate groups creating the Northern Inuit Society and the Northern Inuit Society of Great Britain. The Northern Inuit Society lead to the development of the modern day Utonagan; the Northern Inuit Society of Great Britain focused its efforts on the Northern Inuit Dog.
The Northern Inuit Society, in an effort to clearly separate from the two breeds of dogs renamed its breed of dog as the Utonagan. They also decided to change their name to The Utonagan Society.
In 2003, the Utonagan Society once again split into the The Utonagan Society and the British and International Utonagan Society. Finally in 2006, a member of the British and International Utonagon Society, once again split from the organization and formed another splinter group called The Tamaskan Society. The new breed was called the Tamaskan Dog. Upon splitting from the British and International Utonagan Society, the founder of the Tamaskan Dog renamed all of her Utonagans as Tamaskans. Living in Finland at the time, six dogs were imported from Polar Speed in Lapland to serve as foundation stock for this new breed.
These dogs were Siberian Huskies, Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs (CsV) now known as Czech Vlcak, and Huskie – CsV mixes. In addition, a female dog suspected to be the product of a Husky and an F1 wolfdog was added to the foundation stock. While the Tamaskan was advertised as the “wolfdog without the wolf” DNA testing has demonstrated that some limited lines were created using this wolfdog and therefore, this description of the Tamaskan Dog was not accurate for all lines. Over the years, several outcrosses have been added to expand the genepool of the Tamaskan Dog and improve upon health.
Growing pains during the course of the development of the breed have resulted in a rather tumultuous early history. As information was uncovered through historical records, restored accurate pedigrees, DNA testing, and health testing, dogs were sold to individuals who bred dogs independently and outside of the TDR. These dogs were not registered nor are they qualified for TDR registration. In approximately 2009, a small group broke off from the Tamaskan Dog, calling themselves the Aatu Tamaskan.
As the dust settled between the two groups, corrections were made to the breed history and good breeding practices were advocated and mandated, the Aatu Tamaskan, a historically brief splinter from the Tamaskan Dog Group, rejoined the parent organization.
The newly reformed organization, the Tamaskan Dog Registry (TDR) has made significant strides in developing a breed standard and protocols for the use of outcross breeds as well as breed recognition. The Tamaskan Dog Register is the official registry for all Tamaskans worldwide. Several National Clubs have also been established in the US, the UK, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Croatia with new clubs forming as the Tamaskan Dog population increases.
In 2013 the Tamaskan Dog was recognized by the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) and Kennel Club-USA. Owners and breeders in the US are not able to register their dogs and litters with ARBA as well as the Tamaskan Dog Registry. Recognition by the Kennel Club-USA has allowed the Tamaskan Dog to compete for conformation and performance titles in sanctioned shows. These are important first steps toward worldwide breed recognition of the Tamaskan Dog.