In the early 1980s, a woman named Edwina Harrison (“Eddie”) from North Wales (UK) had her own vision of what a dog should be: visually similar to the ancestral wolf but with the characteristics of an easily trainable family dog.
Breeding wolfdogs was forbidden in the UK, unlike in many European countries, so they had to look for other ways to create wolf-like dogs.
Sled dogs or sled dog hybrids of unknown origin were imported from North America (USA and Canada) to Great Britain and mated with Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherds and other wolf-like hybrids.
The “Harrison Dogs” laid the modest foundation for a project to create a new breed of dog.
Several breeders had dogs from “Eddie” (see above) and crossed other dogs, including mixed breeds of unknown origin. As the offspring continued to be called “wolf-dog” because of their appearance, there were more misunderstandings with the authorities in Great Britain, as the breeding of wolf-dogs and wolf-dog hybrids was still prohibited.
Thus, from 1988, the breed was named “Northern Inuit Dog” and the Northern Inuit Society (NIS) was founded.
One could call the Utonagan dogs a kind of “sister line”, as they descend from the same bloodlines and have the same founding dogs in their pedigrees. Around 1999 there was a break within the Northern Inuit Society (NIS) and individual breeders tried to realise their own breeding goals with various crosses and thus “The Utonagan Society” (TUS) was founded in 2002.
Utonagan means “spirit of the wolf” in the language of the Chinook (Native Americans).
In February 2006, Lynn Hardy (Blustag UK) founded the Tamaskan Dog Register (TDR) and changed the name of the descendants of her Northern Inuits and Utonagan breeding dogs to Tamaskan Dog. The word Tamaska comes from the North American Native language and means “mighty wolf” or “strong wolf”.
In search of new wolf-like dogs with suitable temperaments, a bitch was imported to the UK from Finland by Polar Speed Kennel back in 2005 and 5 more dogs were reserved by the same kennel.
The dogs from Polar Speed were Siberian Huskies with unofficial cross-breeding from Czechoslovakian Wolfhound as well as American Wolfdog and Finnish Racing Huskies.
In 2006, the first Tamaskan male was exported from Blustag (UK) to Germany. Further Tamaskans were brought to Sweden, France and the Netherlands.
In 2010, some changes were made in Germany and the Tamaskan Germany Club (TGC) was founded. In 2012, the German breeders and some Tamaskan owners got together and founded their own studbook.
The Tamaskan Dog Register (TDR) was also restructured after serious accusations against the original breeder and her daughter had hardened. They had falsified papers and health certificates, as well as concealed the cross-breeding of wolfdogs in some of their breeding dogs. However, it could not be determined at that time how long ago the cross-breeding with wolfdogs had taken place, whether it was a high, medium or low percentage of wolves. As a result, some owners in some countries faced difficulties, as wolf dogs were banned in some countries (e.g. Norway).
In April 2013, the Dutch breeders also made a move and founded the “Nederlandse Tamaskan Club” (NTC) with its own set of rules and studbook.
Since the Utonagan were based on only two foundation dogs and suffered increasingly from the health consequences of line breeding, they began breeding new dogs in 2009.
Besides Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherds, Huskies and Northern Inuit Dogs, Tamaskans were also crossed into the original lines. Finally, they distanced themselves completely from the breeding idea of the Utonagan and now call their own dogs “Caledonian Wolfalike” and founded “The Caledonian Wolfalike Association” (CWA) in 2016
In June 2016, some active and former breeders and owners of the “Tamaskan Germany Club” decided to leave the club due to unacceptable differences. Together they founded the Interessengemeinschaft Tamaskan e.V. (IGT) with its own standard and studbook. Due to further internal differences and the birth of a pied (piebald) Tamaskan litter in 2017, some breeders and owners changed to the different Wolfalike Associations.
Meanwhile, in 2017, the Tamaskan Germany Club became a registered association and has since been called Tamaskan Germany e.V.
In 2018, the Tamaskan Dog Register (TDR) ended its cooperation with Tamaskan von Nordlicht for the time being due to irreconcilable differences.
In June 2019, a group of breeders split from the Tamaskan Dog Register (TDR) to form the International Tamaskan Register (ITR). The standard is slightly different from the TDR standard, but both registries accept each other’s breeding dogs and their offspring as long as the animals meet the requirements of the registry.