The Ultimate Guide To The Tamaskan Dog (With Pictures)

tamaskan dog 101

If you’re on the hunt for a gentle, friendly dog with a wild streak, then the Tamaskan dog might be the perfect addition to your family!

Simply have a look at the pictures of Tamaskan dogs below!

Well, they say a picture says more than a thousand words! We sincerely do believe these images will give you a glimpse into the world of Tamaskan dogs.

Affectionately known as the Tam, the Tamaskan dog is a robust canine whose looks are reminiscent of wolves. Looks can be deceiving though, and this gentle canine proves just that.

They are very friendly and loving dogs that can make excellent additions to households with children and other pets.

This wolfish hybrid dog has captured the hearts of sled racing enthusiasts and dog lovers the world over.

An ideal owner for the Tamaskan dog is someone who is very active and has experience handling active dogs. If this sounds like you, then read on!

In this Tamaskan Dog 101 guide, we take a comprehensive look at this impressive dog, so you can determine if this is the right pet for you!

Some Quick Facts About The Tamaskan Dog

Dog Group: Working
Other Names: Tam
Size: Large-sized dog
Good Watch Dog/Guard Dog: No
Average Weight: 55 to 99 pounds
Average Height: 24 to 28 inches
Lifespan: 14 to 15 years
Apartment Living: No
Ideal for: For Active Families and Individuals who have the time to meet their exercise needs, Experienced dog owners, House with a yard
Coat: They have a thick, double coat
Coat colors: White, Black gray, Red gray, Wolf gray
Suitable for first time owners: No
Trainability: Relatively easy to train
Hypoallergenic: No
Grooming Needs: Brushing his coat once a week should be enough. (Daily brushing is required during the shedding seasons)
Energy Levels: High
Exercise Needs: At least 60 to 90 minutes of exercise every day is required
Tolerance to being left alone: Low, They are prone to developing separation anxiety
Feeding and Diet: 4 to 5 cups of high quality dog food each day, divided into two or three meals
Litter Size: About 6 to 10 puppies
Possible Health Issues: Degenerative Myelopathy, Cryptorchidism, Epilepsy, and Hip Dysplasia
Temperament: Gentle, Friendly, Loving, Loyal, Intelligent, Stubborn, Devoted, Affectionate, Social, Very active
Cat Friendly: No, They have a high prey drive and are not recommended for families with cats
Dog Friendly: Yes, with early socialization
Kid Friendly: Yes, with early socialization
Barking Tendencies: Low
Price: $1,200 to  $2,500

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But first things first: What Is a Tamaskan Dog?

What Is a Tamaskan Dog?

The Tamaskan dog is a crossbreed that originated from the reindeer herding areas in Finland. Like many other hybrids, they are not recognized by any major kennel club.

They are a crossbreed of different dog breeds that include the Siberian Husky, German Shepherd and the Alaskan Malamute.

A few other dog breeds are also believed to have been added to the bloodline and these include the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog.

While there are many wolf-like dogs, Tamaskan dogs are a unique breed with its own breed organization and fan base. This breed is recognized by the American Rare Breed Association.

Incredibly versatile, these dogs do well in obedience, agility and dog sports.

tamaskan dog guide

Getting more and more popular since the 1980’s, people are asking more questions about these fascinating wolf dogs than ever.

We’ve answered all of your questions about their personality traits, physical characteristics, health, grooming, training and more.

Some of the questions to consider include the following:

  • Are Tamaskan dogs aggressive?
  • Are Tamaskan dogs good family pets?
  • Are Tamaskan dogs good with pets?
  • Are Tamaskan dogs good with cats?
  • Do Tamaskan dogs shed?
  • How big does a Tamaskan dog get?
  • What color is their coat?
  • Do they have any special grooming demands?
  • What sort of exercise needs does this dog have?
  • Is the Tamaskan dog easy to train?
  • Are there any health problems to be aware of?
  • How much does a Tamaskan dog cost?

Lastly, we’ll take at look at Tamaskan dog breeders and rescue organizations. But before that, let’s take a look at the history of this interesting wolf-like dog.

are tamaskan dogs aggressive?

The Origin of the Tamaskan Dog

The Tamaskan dog has a relatively short history since the breed was created in the 1980’s.

The dog originated in Finland, but soon after, five of the dogs made their way to the US. Since then, their popularity has grown.

Although these dogs can still be found in Finland and some other countries, you are unlikely to find it all over the world. This is a breed that is found in just a few places.

Now, the five dogs that were imported to the US were of Siberian Husky origin. These dogs were brought to the country with the aim of breeding them with the Alaskan Malamute and the German Shepherd. The result was a dog known as the Utonagan dog.

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It is believed that the Utonagan dog was crossed with the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog to produce what is now known as the Tamaskan dog.

The Tamaskan dog was then taken to Finland where the breed was refined further. The aim was to produce a dog that had a striking wild appearance and a strong work ethic.

The first Tamaskan puppies were imported to the USA in 2005, thereby establishing the local breeding culture of these dogs.

Famous Tamaskan Dogs

Over the last 40 or so years, the Tamaskan dog has broken into the mainstream media.

In 2007, an award-winning Tamaskan dog named Genghis Khan starred as a wolf in a music video for the band Lucretia Choir.

In 2010, a male Tamaskan named Wave was chosen to be the official mascot of the Carolina State University football team. Today, he attends all the team’s home games and always takes his place on the sidelines.

In 2012, four Tamaskan dogs were featured in the Croatian TV show, Kuchni.

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A Tamaskan dog named Adler has been featured in major news outlets such as the Bark Post, Boston Times and the Daily Mail since it played tug of war by utilizing its mass.

In 2016, a Tamaskan named Luchta was featured on Broadway. It starred as a wolf in director Ivo van Hove’s Broadway release of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

A Tamaskan therapy dog named Kaoru is famous for helping numerous children with autism. Sadly, Kaoru was shot and killed by a deer hunter who thought the dog was a wolf.

Tamaskan dogs are often shown on media reports due to their wolf-like appearance and their high trainability.

Breed Clubs

This breed is incredibly rare. While the breed is recognized by some organizations that are breed-dedicated, they have not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

This is mainly because the breed is quite new and there aren’t enough of these dogs around to gain that kind of recognition as of now.

However, there are breed-specific clubs that have been formed, including the Tamaskan Dog Register (USA), National Tamaskan Club of Canada (Canada), Tamaskan Dog Society of Great Britain (UK), Tamaskan Club Germany (Germany) and Club Français Du Tamaskan (France), to mention but a few.

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What Does a Tamaskan Dog Look Like?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Tamaskan dog has a wolf-like appearance. These dogs won’t necessarily look like your ordinary dog.

In fact, when you look at an individual dog, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is a wolf. This is not by coincidence. As a matter of fact, it has been done on purpose.

Tamaskan dogs were developed to look like wolves and it is virtually impossible for many people to tell them apart even if they are used to being around different breeds of dogs.

Tamaskans have expressive, almond-shaped eyes that come in various colors: brown, amber or hazel.

They have triangular ears, a long black nose and a tufted tail that adds to its already wild appearance.

What Does a Tamaskan Dog Look Like?

Tamaskan Dog Size, Height & Weight

Since they were bred to be sled dogs (working dogs), the Finnish Tamaskan is a well-built dog with a large body. However, they actually vary in size based on whether the dog is male or female.

As such, Tamaskan dogs are slightly larger than German shepherds. If you have ever seen a German Shepherd, you already know that these are big dogs.

GSDs are tall and well-built dogs. Strange as it may seem, Tamaskan dogs are even bigger. Most of these dogs, particularly males, are around 6 inches taller than a big German shepherd.

A male Tamaskan is relatively larger than the females and ranges from 25 to 28 inches while weighing around 66 to 99 pounds. On the other hand, the females are comparatively smaller, standing from 24 to 27 inches tall and weighing around 54 to 84 pounds.

Coat and Coat Colors

Tamaskan dogs come in four unique coat colors, namely:

  • White
  • Black gray
  • Red gray
  • Wolf gray

Just like the Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute, the Tamaskan dog has a thick, double coat.

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Tamaskan Dog Temperament

The Tamaskans are alert, friendly and loving dogs who are known to make great family pets. They also tend to be a bit laid-back in nature. They are good with people and make great companions.

They are also very athletic and intelligent dogs who tend to learn very quickly, making them quite easy to train. Since they are intelligent and have a strong sense of smell, they can also be reliable search and rescue dogs.

They like to stay occupied, so you need to give them a job to do if you don’t want to run into some problems with them destroying things around the home or they will get bored. Otherwise, these dogs don’t seem to exhibit a lot of negative or behavioral issues.

Tamaskan dogs do not make good guard dogs since they are very friendly to people and children. These large dogs might even welcome strangers and intruders with wagging tail and sloppy kisses.

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Behavior with Children and Other Pets

Don’t let looks fool you! Despite their wolf-like appearance, Tamaskan dogs are far from being dangerous.

As a matter of fact, these dogs are great with people, including small kids. They are also known to get along well with other dogs.

Of course, when adding a new dog to a household with cats, dogs and other animals, you need to socialize them first. And remember, it might take some time for them to get used to each other.

If you have young children at home, make sure to teach them how to handle your Tamaskan dog since they love to be treated with care and respect.

However, they are very gentle and patient dogs, so they should get along well with almost every member of your family.

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Are Tamaskan Dogs Aggressive?

The Tamaskan dog is definitely strong and powerful, but unlike wolves, they have an even temperament.

Don’t expect your new Tamaskan to be a watch dog since he is not aggressive in nature.

As we’ve stated earlier, this dog is indeed very friendly and will be an ideal companion for the right family.

Tamaskan Dog Ideal Living Conditions

They tend to dig holes almost everywhere. This means that Tamaskans are ideal if you have a large yard where they can play and run around.

They are not suited to apartments or flats as they need plenty of room to exercise, play and run.

They also thrive in cooler climates (arctic regions) and are not suitable for hotter climates.

Tamaskan Training

Since the Tamaskan dog is very intelligent, they are relatively easy to train. Early training and socialization is important for your puppy to keep him out of trouble.

These dogs can sometimes be stubborn, so you should maintain a consistent and firm hand during training. They need to see their owner as the pack leader as they love taking their position in the pack.

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First-time dog owners can find this strong dog quite overwhelming, so it is best not to get this pup if you don’t have any prior dog ownership and training experience.

With an intelligent and active dog like this, it is important to take a fair approach and use positive reinforcement methods.

Use praise and treats as a form of encouragement, instead of being cruel or harsh to your dog. Not only are aversive methods inhumane, but they are also totally ineffective.

In addition to housetraining, obedience and socialization, your Tamaskan dog can also learn more complex tasks. These dogs can excel in obedience, agility and sport trials.

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Exercise Needs

Thanks to their sled dog history, Tamaskans are very active dogs.

They like it when they have something to do. As such, they will need around 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity each day. Therefore, they are more suitable to active families or individuals who have the time to meet their exercise needs.

You may consider long walks, hiking or running in order to burn off their excess energy.

Due to their German Shepherd roots, they can also excel in agility sports and will also be good working dogs.

They make excellent herding dogs, so it is a good idea to incorporate work sessions into your dog’s exercise routine to support both physical and mental health. Mental stimulation can also help prevent boredom and destructive habits from developing.

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Grooming and Shedding

Do Tamaskan dogs shed? If you have your heart set on owning a Tamaskan, then you want to know whether this dog actually sheds or not.

Well, these dogs have thick double coats, meaning that they actually shed. Like most breeds, however, they shed during spring and fall.

Therefore, they will need daily brushing during the shedding seasons. At other times, you can brush his coat once a week.

Bathing should only be done when they get particularly muddy. This is because the Tamaskan’s coat has natural oils that help to clean it. These oils must not be removed through washing.

If your dog is quite inactive, he will need his nails trimmed. However, with the recommended exercises and activities for this breed, their nails should wear down naturally.

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Feeding Information

So, what should you feed your Tamaskan dog? Well, all dogs, no matter the breed, need a diet that contains all the essential nutrients.

Just make sure you choose high quality dog food for your new pet. Remember the Tamaskan is an active working breed dog, so he will require a diet rich in calories and all the essential nutrients.

You should choose a high quality dog food that is formulated for high-energy or working breeds. If you’re in doubt, it is best to consult your vet.

You should feed your full grown Tamaskan twice a day or divide his meals into small portions. Overall, he should eat around 5 to 7 pounds of food per day.

Apart from food, make sure your dog has access to clean water throughout the day to help keep him hydrated.

For optimal health, high immunity, and proper growth, consider supplementing your furry friend’s diet with probiotics and wild Alaskan salmon oil.

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Life Expectancy

The Tamaskan has a relatively long lifespan for a dog of his size. The average lifespan of this breed is around 14 to 15 years.

Tamaskan Dog Health Problems

Health has been a major cause of concern for these dogs. Previously, there was the issue of epilepsy.

Fortunately, these specific bloodlines have been terminated and are not longer bred. Therefore, this health problem has been carefully controlled to avoid passing it on to subsequent generations.

However, no breed is immune to all canine health problems. Every single breed has its health conditions, and every individual dog comes with its own health issues as well.

When considering a breeder, make sure to ask for health certification to avoid the risk of your puppy carrying common Tamaskan health conditions such as Degenerative Myelopathy, Cryptorchidism and Hip Dysplasia.

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How Much Does a Tamaskan Dog Cost?

Since this is a relatively new and rare breed with impressive looks and some great personality traits, it can be difficult to find Tamaskan puppies for sale right away. Their price is usually anywhere between $1,200 and $2,000. Some breeders may even sell them for as much as $2500.

Apart from the cost of buying a puppy, you want to factor in food costs, vet fees and pet products like the MidWest Folding Crate for Large dogs and the Furhaven Orthopedic dog bed from reputable retailers like Amazon.

Tamaskan Breeders

When looking for Tamaskan puppies for sale, a good place to start is a breeder.

Reputable breeders get involved with this dog because they love and adore the breed. Therefore, you can be sure you are getting a healthy and well-socialized puppy.

Again, these dogs are rare to find and there are sometimes waiting lists. Therefore, it might take some time, but it is certainly achievable.

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Tamaskan Rescue

If you can’t find good breeders near you, you can always consider Tamaskan puppies or dogs for adoption.

Although there might not be many of these available at any given time, you can contact your vet or the breed registry to see if they can direct you to a Tamaskan rescue.

If you are lucky enough, you might have the chance to not only rescue a cute adult dog, but an adorable puppy as well.


If you’re very active and prefer a dog that will keep you on your toes, then consider getting a Tamaskan dog. These dogs are highly active and love being around their owners and family.

Good with children and other household pets, the Tamaskan is a good choice if you are looking for a reliable family companion dog.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that they are highly active, so they will need proper exercises each day. If you’re the adventurous type, this dog can be a great companion for you.

If you want a gentle, friendly, yet high-energy breed, then consider adding the Tamaskan dog to your family. While they may resemble wolves in appearance, they are full of life and love for their owner and family.

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Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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