The Tamaskan Dog is a large, athletic dog with an intelligent look that bears witness to its Nordic heritage as a sled dog and has a wolf-like appearance. He is a well-balanced working dog, quick and light on his feet, free and graceful in movement. He has a well-furred body, erect ears and a bottle-brush shaped tail.
The Tamaskan stands well over the paws; this posture gives the impression of readiness for action and proud bearing, with erect head and alert eyes showing interest and curiosity. His characteristic gait is smooth and effortless, showing good reach and extension of the hindquarters. He is a capable and adaptable worker that can be used as a draft or sled dog, tracking dog (e.g. mantrailing) or sporting dog. He can effortlessly carry a light load at moderate speed over short distances.
Its body proportions, shape and movements are similar to those of a wolf: balance of strength, agility and endurance.
Males: 63,5 – 73,66 cm (25 – 29 inches)
Females: 61 – 71cm (24 – 27.9 inches)
Males: 30kg – max. 50kg (55lbs – 110lbs)
Females: 25kg – 35kg (55lbs – 77lbs)
Males should be easily distinguished from females.
The average life expectancy for the Tamaskan Dog is between 12 and 14 years.
Colour: Typical of the Tamaskan is its striking mask and its wolf-like, wild-coloured (agouti) coat colouring in red grey, wolf grey and black grey. Agouti is a type of coat colouring where each hair has two or more pigment stripes. Disqualifying faults: Piebald (pied), Liver (brown), Dilute (blue), solid white, solid black and all colour varieties lacking agouti colouring.
Mask: A face mask is required, three types of face mask being acceptable: a full mask, a medium mask and a minimal mask. The mask should always reach up to the nose. Faults: White spots on the face, incomplete mask.
⚠️ Deviations such as an incomplete mask are still tolerated in individual cases, taking into account the gene pool expansion, as are some off-colours.
Summary: The Tamaskan has a wolfish appearance, balanced proportions and moderate bone strength, is high shot, has lightness and freedom of movement, a well defined agouti coat, a wolf-like head and ears, a straight tail and a large size.
Faults: To determine whether a fault is minor, major or serious, these two factors should be used as a guide:
1) The extent to which it deviates from the standard; and
2) The extent to which this deviation would affect the working ability of the dog.
Substance: The substance is muscular with moderate bone structure and an easily discernible sex difference. The Tamaskan is an example of a healthy athlete in terms of grace, muscle tone, movement and attitude. The body carries no unnecessary weight and the bone structure is in proportion to the size.
Proportion: When measured from the withers to the top of the buttocks, the Tamaskan is slightly longer than tall. The ratio of height to body length is 9:10. The Tamaskan has a minimum ratio of depth of chest to length of leg of 6:7 (45% depth of chest, 55% length of leg).
Neck: The neck is strong, long, muscular and covered with fur forming a protective ruff. The neck merges smoothly into the shoulders and is carried proudly erect when standing. When trotting, the neck is stretched so that the head is carried slightly forward.
Topline: The back is straight, strong and level, without signs of weakness.
Croup: The croup should be short, not broad, and slightly sloping. The croup slopes away from the spine, but never so steep as to hinder the rearward thrust of the hindquarters.
Chest: The chest reaches to or almost reaches the elbows. The lowest point reaches to the elbow, but not beyond. The ribs are well set back from the spine, oval in shape and become flatter towards the lower end to leave the elbow free for efficient movement.
Tail: The tail is set low, straight and full. In movement or when excited it may be carried high. At rest the tail should be held low and straight. The tail should reach to the hock, but not beyond. The tip of the tail should be black. Faults:A tail curled over the back or a high set tail. Minor fault: White tail tip.
Shoulders: Shoulders should be angled about 45 degrees from vertical. The withers should be well muscled and pronounced. The upper arm should be the same length as the shoulder blade and set at an approximate angle of 90 degrees to the shoulder, the forelegs sloping straight and perpendicular to the ground. Most importantly, the angulation of the forequarters should be in balance with the hindquarters.
Pastern: The pastern is of medium length and, seen from the side, very slightly sloping. The fetlock joint should be strong but mobile.
Feet: The paws are oval, compact and close together with well arched toes. The pads are thick and elastic and well padded between the toes and the pads. The front feet turn slightly outwards when standing.
Hindquarters: In stance, the width of the hindquarters is equal to the width of the forequarters at the shoulders. The angulation of the pelvis and thigh is equal to the angulation of the shoulder blade and upper arm, forming an almost right angle. In movement and with increasing speed, the Tamaskan runs single track in front and rear.
Facial expression: The facial expression shows attention, intelligence, alertness and eagerness.
Eyes: The eyes are almond shaped and of medium size with black pigmentation at the eye rims. Eye color varies in the Tamaskan from yellow to amber and brown. Defects: Drooping eyelids. ~ Blue eyes are a disqualifying fault. ~
Ears: Ears are carried erect and forward. They are of medium size, triangular and slightly rounded at the tips, but in proportion to the head, set wide apart on the skull.
Stop: The stop is slightly to moderately pronounced.
Nose: The nose should be black and in proportion larger than the eyes.
Lips: The lips are black and close fitting, with no pink showing on the outside when the mouth is closed.
Teeth: A complete scissor bite with 42 strong white teeth.
Coat texture: The outer coat is moderately coarse in texture, weather resistant and of medium length. The undercoat varies in quantity according to climate or season and is soft. The coat is short and smooth on the head, ears, front of forelegs and below the hocks. The Tamaskan has a moderate ruff, which is more pronounced in males than in females.
Original breed standard:
Since the Tamaskan is still a rare breed and there are not many breeders worldwide who breed the wolf-like dog, temperament can vary greatly from bloodline to bloodline as well as from litter to litter and even between littermates. A saying among wolfdog owners is: “Expect the worst and be happy when things go better” 🙂 .
The breed standard describes the Tamaskan Dog as follows: “The Tamaskan Dog is an intelligent, alert, active dog with a friendly and outgoing nature; he is good-natured and rarely quarrelsome. He can be somewhat reserved on first encounters, but is easily persuaded. Some can be independent. He does not show the possessive qualities of a guard dog and is not aggressive towards other dogs. A certain amount of restraint and dignity can be expected in an adult dog. His intelligence, approachability and eager nature make him a pleasant companion and willing worker. Faults: Any appearance of timidity, fear or suspicious temperament.” (Source: “Breed Standard”, Tamaskan Dog Register).
In plain language, this means that despite their wolf-like appearance, Tamis are an affectionate, friendly and quite gentle breed of dog. They make good family and companion dogs as they are very attached to their owners and form a strong bond with their family. They love and enjoy being close to their people. And it is precisely because of these characteristics that many Tamis do not tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. They tend to develop separation anxiety more than other breeds. Tamis therefore always prefer to accompany you in everyday life and to work, even if it is home office.
It is important to remember that these dogs are intelligent, can sometimes be very stubborn and require regular mental and physical exercise. Although they are an adaptable breed that hardly barks and can live with a family in a house with a garden as well as with a single person in a flat, due to the cross-breeding of working dog breeds, Tamis are happy to be exercised with a suitable task such as pulling dog sports (e.g. CaniCross, BikeJöring). They can be used for pulling dog sports (e.g. CaniCross, BikeJöring, Scootering, Dog Trekking), tracking (Mantrailing) or dog sports such as Rally Obedience, Target Search (ZOS), Companion Dog Sports, Hoopers etc.. However, popular sports such as agility may be unsuitable for Tamaskans with a heavy build, but as long as the focus is always on fun, participation in events such as Camp Canis or other sporting events can give the Tamaskan and his owners a lot of pleasure. In addition, one should not ignore the Tamaskan’s hunting instinct, which occurs in all variations within the breed. Thus, the Tamaskan would not be the best choice for inexperienced dog owners or for someone looking for a lap dog.
As in any other dog breed, the Tami can be prone to behavioural problems if not socialised and encouraged.
Make sure that the puppy you choose does not show any signs of shyness, timidity or aggression, as these traits are not common in the Tamaskan and are explicitly not desired!