Picture of five-week-old Tamaskan puppy

This is a great photograph of a Tamaskan puppy. This is a rare breed that originated in Finland and is designed to look as wolf-like as possible but with a great and gentle temperament. I think that you will agree that the face is intriguing. This little puppy looks fierce but is gentle. This is an interesting combination.

Tamaskan puppy. Photo by SANNE BONTAN/TRIANGLE NEWS

About the Tamaskan

I will take this opportunity to write a bit about this rare dog breed. It is a large working dog with an athletic appearance. It is similar in size to the German Shepherd. The coat is thick and straight. The tail is bushy. There are three main colours: black-grey, wolf-grey and red-grey. The eyes are yellow to brown and sometimes rarely this breed has light-coloured eyes.

The website dogbreedinfo.com tells me that they are good family dogs, gentle with children and accepting of other dogs. I wonder if they are as accepting of cats? Yes, if socialised to cats must be the answer. Cats are my specialty. They are good working dogs; obedient and agile. They are also good sled racing dogs.

They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time and apparently prefers human to canine company. As a Tamaskan dog owner you will need to make sure that you lead as a pack leader would. As a responsible dog owner you need to provide your Tamaskan dog with plenty of daily mental and physical exercise and minimise the possibility of separation anxiety.

Family dogs need a leader and that leader is their human guardian/caretaker. All humans living in in a household in which a Tamaskan dog also lives must be higher up in the hierarchy than the dog. In this way the human-to-dog relationship will be successful.

Some statistics: male Tamaskan dogs are between 25 and 28 inches in height while females are 24 to 27 inches in height. Male dogs weigh between 66 to 99 pounds (63 to 71 kg) while females weigh between 50 and 84 pounds (23 to 38 kg).

Their dog ancestors are the Husky and German Shepherd. Both these breeds can suffer with hip dysplasia. Breeders of the Tamaskan dog need to be careful to avoid inheritance of this genetic health problem. They need to register their dog in the Tamaskan Register. All breeding stock must be scored before mating and I’m told that up until now they have kept a good breed average of 8.7.

This breed is not recommended for apartment living and if left alone for long periods they may become destructive and try to escape. They need some space such as a large garden and be allowed to run free daily.

As mentioned, the breed originates from Finland. In the early 1980s husky type dogs were imported from the USA to Finland. These dogs were crossbred with other breeds including the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute and also to a lesser extent the German Shepherd. The aim, as also mentioned, was to create a breed which looks like a wolf and which had high intelligence and was a good working dog. The lifespan is 14-15 years.

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