There are many dog breeds in the world – and equally as many dog looks. From tiny to small, shaggy to smooth, burly to slender, the variations are endless. And that means that there is a dog out there for every owner’s preference. Some folks want a dog that looks like a doll, the type that can fit in a purse and feel like an accessory. Other people want something more from their dog. They want elegance, power, and a truly magnificent appearance paired with a great personality. They’re seeking a pet that looks like a tamed wolf. Different strokes, as they say! For those dog owners on the hunt for a big boy who looks like he could star in a White Fang remake, may we humbly recommend the Tamaskan. They are so unique and beautiful, that you could easily mistake them for a majestic gray wolf roaming the wild. But no need to worry – they are the perfect pet doggo: kind, fun, energetic, and obedient. Not wild in the slightest!
The Tamaskan may look like a wolf, but this breed is all dog. In fact, this pooch was selectively bred by dog breeders over many years, in order to create the wolf-like appearance that is so highly sought after. And trust us - these are truly stunning animals. You’ll want to just stand there and admire them for hours on end. There is something about their wolf-like appearance that just inspires awe, don’t you agree?
Either way, Tamaskan dogs are both a new and rare breed but they are extremely intelligent and highly versatile in terms of dog sports and working ability. They have so much to offer. Still, this breed is best for experienced dog owners who have the time and the ability to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
The Tamaskan may look like a wolf, but this breed is all dog.
Just by looking at them, you’d think that the Tamaskan is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, reaching back to the time when wolves were first tamed. But – sorry to disappoint you – the Tamaskan dog is a fairly new breed, having only been developed in the 1980s. The origins of the breed can be traced back to a group of five Husky-type dogs that were imported into the United States during the 1980s. These dogs were crossed with Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and German Shepherds to create new breed that would resemble wolf in its appearance, while displaying the obedience and intelligence that are characteristic of domesticated dogs. The mix was a clear success, and the breed was then exported to Finland for additional development. The first result was the Utonagan dog, but some believe that further crossing of this breed with the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is what made the Tamaskan dog as we know it today. Unfortunately, we can’t be certain of this pup’s specific history because like all designer dogs, there simply wasn’t much documented. All that we know for sure is the fact that this is a fairly fresh breed in the world – but loved dearly nonetheless.
The purpose for creating this dog breed was to develop a domestic dog that had a wild appearance and strong working ability. It’s safe to say that the breeders achieved this goal with the Tamaskan. This dog delivers as advertised – and much more than that. The first litter of Tamaskan puppies came to the United States in 2005 and there are now several Tamaskan breeders across the U.S.
The Tamaskan dog was selectively bred from Husky-type dogs that were imported into the USA during the 1980s. The breed was developed with influence from Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes , German Shepherd and even a little bit of Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. And since all of these breeds are well known as powerful and majestic, you can definitely count on your Tamaskan looking equally as great.
While most of these breeds were selected primarily for their wolf-like appearance, the lupine look is not the only goal breeders wanted to achieve with the Tamaskan. Owing to its parents, these hybrids are intelligent, capable, brave, and loyal to their owners. This particular combination of traits (and breeds in their family tree) makes the Tamaskan ideally suited as a companion, working dog, or a family pet. This is a true “jack of all trades” breed. It takes a special animal that can do everything the Tamaskan offers and this pup qualifies as a special achievement in designer dog breeding.
Because the Tamaskan dog is such a high-energy working breed, these dogs need a commercial dog food diet that is dense in both nutrients and calories. So, choose a high-quality commercial dog food diet for the Tamaskan and consider an active or working breed formula for the best results. Additionally, you should choose kibble that’s suitable for your pet’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Your pup’s needs will change as he ages just like you, so it’s important to find a food that is well suited to your dog’s specific stage of life.
If you are ever concerned about establishing or altering your dog’s diet, it’s always wise to consult with your veterinarian. While dog food manufacturers and pet blogs provide useful feeding guides, they are still guidelines and not gospel. All dogs are different and only your vet is qualified to determine the specific dietary needs of your personal pooch. So always check in with your vet before making any changes to what you put in your dog’s bowl at feeding time.
Because Tamaskans are a highly intelligent breed, they generally respond well to training.
Because the Tamaskan dog is a highly intelligent breed these dogs generally respond well to training. Early socialization and training is essential for this breed to help keep its energy under control. These dogs sometimes develop a stubborn streak so you will need to maintain a firm and consistent hand in training, providing the dog with strong leadership. Newbie dog owners or first-time dog owners might find these impressive dogs too much work, so it’s best not to consider this breed if you don’t have previous training and ownership experience. Patience and persistence will be vital to successfully training a Tamaskan and not all dog owners are up to the task. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
With a smart and energetic dog like the Tamaskan, it’s best to have a confident approach and rely on positive reinforcement methods. Be consistent and assert yourself as the pack leader, but still use treats and praise as a form of motivation, rather than being harsh or cruel to your new pet. Not only that aversive training is inhumane, but it is also completely ineffective. You’ll never get the results you seek by being overly negative while training your pup. It takes a gentle, yet firm hand to properly train a Tamaskan and that’s why so few dog owners are truly up to the task.
In addition to basic obedience, housebreaking, and early socialization, you can work with the Tamaskan on more complex learning tasks. This breed does well as a working breed and he excels in various dog sports including obedience, agility, and field trials. Tamaskans love to work and it’s amazing what they can accomplish when properly trained.
The Tamaskan dog is a medium-to-large sized breed that looks similar to the Siberian Husky but it has a stronger build. These dogs typically weigh between 55 and 88 pounds and they stand between 24 and 28 inches tall at the shoulder. In other words, this is a big boy. You won’t ever be surprised when one of these dogs walks into a room. They have quite an imposing presence. It’s part of the appeal.
Despite its wild appearance, the Tamaskan dog is actually quite a gentle breed. Sweet and affectionate, they will do well as family pets or companions to singles. They get very attached to their owner and form a very strong bond to their family. Tamaskans won’t tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. They are prone to developing separation anxiety. In addition to being very devoted to their closest humans, these dogs are also very friendly and generally have an extroverted personality. All things considered, it’s safe to say that this breed likes to be around people and they tend to get along well with children.
Don’t forget that these dogs are intelligent and active. As a result, they do require a good deal of exercise as well as mental stimulation to prevent boredom (which can lead to the development of problem behaviors). They need owners who can keep up with their physical and mental needs to thrive. As a working dog breed, they tend to be at their best when they have a task, so consider training them for one of the popular dog sports as an alternative. Something like agility, canine freestyle, pulling, mushing, or flyball. There are plenty of fun activities your Tamaskan could excel at! It’s all up to you.
Common Health Problems
Because the Tamaskan is a fairly new breed there is limited information regarding congenital health problems. However, this hybrid was developed from several breeds that are known for good health. So you can expect the Tamaskan dog to be fairly healthy as well. There are, however, a few conditions to which this breed may be prone including cryptorchidism, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy. As always, it’s important to maintain regularly scheduled checkups with a vet (especially as the dog ages) to ensure that any potential health issues are identified and treated as early as possible.
Tamaskan dogs have a fairly long lifespan compared to other dogs this size. The average life expectancy for the breed is 14 to 15 years. This is close to the longer end of the big dog lifespan spectrum, and makes Tamaskans great as companion dogs. Combined with their loving traits, this lifespan makes them steadfast friends for a very long time.
The Tamaskan dog is bred to be a working breed, so it has fairly high energy levels and requires plenty of exercise. This breed requires a long daily walk or jog as well as plenty of mental stimulation. Training this breed for obedience, agility, working trials, and other dog sports is a great way to supplement his exercise needs. Training courses for dog sports are a great way for your Tamaskan pet to satisfy their need for exercise because they engage the dog both mentally and physically. These are very agile dogs, and can excel in agility courses – with a lot of dedicated training.
Despite its wild appearance, this dog is actually a gentle breed.
Because the breed is still new, it has not yet been accepted by the American Kennel Club or The Kennel Club in the U.K. It is, however, recognized by the American Canine Association, the Dog Registry of America, and the Tamaskan Dog Register.
The coat is what gives the breed its wolf-like appearance. These dogs resemble grey Timber Wolves, having a multicolored coat made up of various shades of gray and brown as well as black and white. The Tamaskan dog’s coat is double and thick, the tail bushy and straight. This breed exhibits three main colorations: Red Grey, Wolf Grey, and Black Grey.
When it comes to grooming, the Tamaskan is not high-maintenance. A weekly brush will be all it takes to keep their lupine-like fur looking its best. However, these dogs will go through moulting season twice a year and will shed more during this period. To make it more manageable for you and your pet, you’ll have to brush them every day during this period. Trust us, the extra effort is worth it.
The first litter of Tamaskan puppies was brought to the U.S. in 2005 and they had their own litter in 2007. The average litter size for this breed is between 6 to 10 puppies. Since this is a new and fairly rare breed with attractive looks and desirable personality traits, it might not be easy to find a puppy right away. For Tamaskan puppies, there are usually waiting lists and their price is around $2,000.
But once you get your wolf-lookalike puppy, you’ll see it was worth the effort. To make sure your new pet grow into an impressive canine it has the potential to be, make sure to start working with them right away. Tamaskan puppies require a great deal of socialization and training starting early on in their lives and they generally take to training quickly.
Tamaskan Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a Tamaskan dog cost?
A Tamaskan puppy will cost you anywhere between $1,200 and $2,500. There are not many reputable, registered Tamaskan breeders out there, and the price will depend from state to state, as well as on the puppy itself: if the puppy comes already trained and checked by a vet, it will raise the price. Like most cross breeds, the Tamaskan is also hard to come by, and challenging to breed. A relatively new breed that is very attractive and sought after, the Tamaskan is justifiably pricey! Still, if you are willing to endure the waiting lists and to invest the sum in question – the Tamaskan will undoubtedly meet your expectations.
Are Tamaskan dogs good pets?
Tamaskan dogs might look like they belong in the wild, but they have a sweet, kind soul and a great temperament. If they are properly trained at a young age, socialized, and shown enough affection, Tamaskans will grow up into fantastic family pets. Taking the best traits from the parent breeds, they have a lot of characteristics that make them an ideal breed for many pet owners. These dogs can thrive in a family setting, as they can be caring and gentle around children, and protective of their pack – i.e your family. As they are very affectionate and tend to form an unbreakable bond with their humans, they will truly become your best friend and most loyal companion. Make sure not to neglect your Tamaskan at an early age. If you want a dog with great traits, you’ll have to put in the hard work and make them feel loved and socialize them on time. The character of the pet depends a lot on the attention from the owner! Still, Tamaskans can be considered good pets in general.
Are Tamaskan dogs aggressive?
Many people mistakenly think that Tamaskan dogs are aggressive due to their wild appearance, but this breed is actually very sweet and loving by nature. They are surprisingly gentle around kids, and form strong and lasting bonds with their owners. Of course, if the dog has been neglected, mistreated, or hasn’t gone through basic socialization and training, they can develop behavioral issues the same as any other dog breed. Make sure to start socializing with them at an early age, to pave the way for their good character later on.
Do Tamaskan dogs have wolf in them?
It is true that most – if not all – dog breeds were descended from wolves in the far, far distant past. But many have zero connections with them nowadays, other than that distant memory. What about the Tamaskan? Looks can be deceiving – Tamaskan was bred to look like a wolf, but doesn’t actually have any wolf in its lineage. The same goes for many similar dogs. Tamaskan dogs have been selectively bred from Husky-type dogs that resemble wolves, without any involvement from wild animals. Wolves are hard to cross-breed with dogs, as they differ too much genetically. After all, hundreds of thousands of years have made dogs and wolves two distinctly different species. The wolf-like appearance of this breed comes mostly from the likes of Huskies and German Shepherds, breeds that are closest to wolves in appearance.
Do Tamaskan dogs need a lot of exercise?
Tamaskan dogs are a working breed so they do need a lot of exercise to stay happy and healthy. They are highly intelligent and fairly energetic, so they will need to be mentally and physically stimulated to thrive. Dog sports are a great way to burn off extra energy and build your relationship with your pet, but long walks, hikes, and plenty of fetch in the dog park will do just fine, too. Tamaskans are very agile and strong, filled with energy that needs to be spent efficiently. If a Tamaskan is cooped up indoors all the time and not given a chance to run, walk, or exercise, they will not thrive under your care. Of course, since they are quite agile and can get the zoomies, you want to let them off the leash at a secured area. Even better, if you have a fenced-in yard, your Tamaskan pet will have all the space they need to expend their vast energy.
Are Tamaskans easy to train?
Tamaskans are highly intelligent. Still, they are in no way beginner-friendly dogs, and the same goes for training. These dogs are very smart, and while this means that they will take to training, it also means that they can develop a stubborn streak and make the process more difficult for the inexperienced dog owner. However, with patience, persistence, and positive reinforcement methods, you can achieve great training results with your Tamaskan. It also goes a long way to establish a dominant and commanding attitude during training. These dogs will follow a leader, and that should be you. Be firm and consistent, but never harsh or threatening. With patience and positivity, everything can be achieved.
Are Tamaskans protective?
These dogs are very loyal to their families, and, as such, can become very protective of their humans. This doesn’t mean that they will make good guard dogs: they are generally friendly and tend not to bark too much, so if you need a watchdog to alert you of intruders, Tamaskan shouldn’t be your top choice. But then again, if you want a dog that will become an equal part of the family, loved by one and all, then these lupine-looking charmers are certainly the way to go.
Are Tamaskans good with small dogs?
While a lot will depend on the individual dog, Tamaskans are generally good with other dogs. If the dogs are too small, such as a toy breed, there might be room for trouble, as they might see them as prey. With early socialization, though, there shouldn’t be any issues. Without socialization however, all dog breeds can be insecure or aggressive with other dogs. And this means a snappy attitude with plenty of growling. Early training removes this issue! Make sure to introduce them to all sorts of other dogs in those early important stages. Puppy time is when doggos soak all the good things up, so make sure to establish them in due time. If all goes well, your Tamaskan will grow up into an agreeable and friendly dog.
Are Tamaskans good family dogs?
Loyal, loving, and friendly, Tamaskans make good family dogs when socialized and trained early in life. They like children and get along well with them, and can grow to be very protective of kids in the family. Similarly, they can be a great family pet for active couples, too, as Tamaskans will love to be included and will form a strong bond with their owners. In many ways, a properly trained and cared for Tamaskan is the ideal “gentle giant” dog breed. Even with their size, they are loving and gentle around kids, and will love the entire family equally. Just don’t forget to shower them with affection, and you will soon see the results.
Are Tamaskan dogs good with cats?
We all know that cats and dogs don’t really get along well – in most cases. Some dogs can accept cats but only when socialized properly and spending time with them from an early age. But some dogs simply cannot stand them. Alas, Tamaskans have a high prey drive, and as such are not recommended for families with cats. While a dog can be socialized to get along with a feline companion, a prey drive tends to manifest sometime later in life and it can really become an issue as your dog will start chasing like crazy for your kitty and maybe even try to hurt her. It is best that you don’t keep cats or tiny dogs or bunnies alongside a Tamaskan, especially if they have not been socialized properly. Trouble may soon appear.
Photo credit: Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock; Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock; Nynke van Holten/Shutterstock
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
More by Kate Barrington