Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Everything about Tamaskan Dogs that does not fit within the other topics in this section.
Post Reply
User avatar
martinbernstein
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:14 am
Location: Catskill Mountains

Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by martinbernstein » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:20 pm

I am the proud owner of an Aatu tam (genetically she is a regular tam) and I love her with all my heart. But there is no question that she is different from other breeds (including my Karelian Bear Dog) in terms of temperament.

She has always been very shy, sometimes painfully shy, she is quite domineering over other dogs, and she has bitten two people (both were unfamiliar men in what she perceived to be "her territory").

I've read countless tales on this forum and others as well as on FB about other tam owners who have observed similar traits. Some of these traits can be explained by environmental circumstances, but taking into account how few tams exist, it seems that there is a high percentage that are quite challenging to keep, train and care for and one can conclude that the genetic basis of the breed is to blame. Of course, the same can be said for Siberian huskies, from which tams partially descend, but I have never met a shy husky.

Personally my lifestyle affords me and my dogs the luxury of plenty of exercise and time to spend on training. But other owners are not so lucky. As we've seen too many times, some people feel they need to give up their tam to more experienced dog handlers.

I wonder whether it is such a great idea to base a breed primarily on it's appearances. The tam (and aatu) is superior to other breeds in only one thing- looking like a wolf. I'm not so sure that breeding for that specific trait is good for the overall temperament of the breed. Plenty of studies show the direct correlation between appearences and temperament and behavior in wild and domestic canines.

Of course I am conflicted, because I love my dog, and I would love for Aatus and Tams to thrive as a breed, but I wonder if the premiss of the breed, to look like a wolf, will ultimately doom it to be a group of conflicted, challenging animals that few can properly care for.

Thoughts?

User avatar
Nimwey
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 8:44 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Nimwey » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:21 pm

Well, the point of a wolf-lookalike is to make it look like a wolf, but not behave like one.
This sounds more like wolfy behavior, like what is seen in Saarloos Wolfhonds and Czech Wolfdogs, perhaps because of wolfdogs having been crossed into the Tamaskan.

A dogs looks alone doesn't make it behave a certain way. ;)
Image
Mother Nature does not rule by fear and anger, but by calm strength and assertiveness - Cesar Millan

User avatar
martinbernstein
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:14 am
Location: Catskill Mountains

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by martinbernstein » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:26 pm

Nimwey, that's a good point. Looks don't necessarily dictate behavior. But because most, if not all breeds that are based on looking like wolves have wolves as their ancestors, wolf behavior traits will persist.

Both Aatu and TDR breeders plan to bring even more wolfdog blood into the breeds and I'm not convinced that is a good idea. Most of us who acquired these dogs were under the impression that these were dogs that acted like dogs. And many would-be owners are likely under the same impression. Turns out that they are dogs that require very specific lifestyles in order to thrive and that the average Joe will not be able to give his tam the most fulfilling life possible. That is my opinion anyway.

User avatar
Nimwey
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 8:44 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Nimwey » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:39 pm

martinbernstein wrote:Both Aatu and TDR breeders plan to bring even more wolfdog blood into the breeds and I'm not convinced that is a good idea. Most of us who acquired these dogs were under the impression that these were dogs that acted like dogs.
This I really agree with. My impression of what the Tamaskan is and/or meant to be has always been a wolf-looking dog that behaves like a dog, and can live happily as an active companion dog.

Never mind some wolf blood in the foundation dogs, but if the plan is to bring in even more wolfdog blood, I could almost just as well get a CsV or Saarloos, and they don't fit me at all. :|
(Not saying that one Czech or Saarloos outcross litter would change the entire mentality of the breed, but I think caution would be wise, so we don't sacrifice companion dog-temperament for wolfier looks.)
Image
Mother Nature does not rule by fear and anger, but by calm strength and assertiveness - Cesar Millan

weylyn

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by weylyn » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:44 pm

I am sorry to say but traits written here are every time set on the wolfdogs that where used. I know many normal dog breeds that also have these traits so I do not think you can set it all on the wolfdogs. Husky' aren't also dogs for everyone etc.

Having CwD, Saarloos and mid content next to my Tamaskan( out of the Saarloos line) and Aatu( out of the CwD line) I can say they are behaving like dogs but indeed not as Labradors or shepherds. But I also must honestly say that if people have thoughts like that by dog behavior that I think that is quit naif......sorry

But to add more at this moment is in my eyes for the tamaskan maybe to soon yes. You have to keep new lines of course at this moment but I also think that the breeders for the tamaskan have to look first to breeds as the husky, malamute etc before adding a CwD or Saarloos or content wolfdog again.

User avatar
Sylvaen
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 5203
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 3:53 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Sylvaen » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:56 pm

I think some interesting (and valid) points have been raised. However, I can only speak from my own personal experiences... of my 5 Tamaskans, Jasper is the only one that is a bit more 'shy' than I would like (aloof around strangers) - however, he is not aggressive and has never bitten anyone. I can also honestly say that Vixen, Vega and Vala are incredibly sweet and affectionate family pets / companion dogs, which I can easily compare to the 2 Golden Retriever x Labradors that my family had when we were children; not in the slightest could they ever be considered 'difficult' or dangerous. Vala acts more like a husky (particularly when she is on the leash, she LOVES to pull) whereas Vixen is a total lady, very polite and well-mannered. Vega is more excitable and hyperactive / goofy, which she gets from Jasper, but I would trust any of them around young children, babies, other small pets, etc. Zora is a bit more 'intense' - very focused and obedient, more like a German Shepherd; she loves to learn new tricks.

This being said, I understand your concerns and reservations - I just think it's more important to look at the individual dogs, rather than generalize about the breed as a whole. Some bloodlines could certainly not be harmed by the infusion of a little more wolf content whereas, for other bloodlines, it could be a recipe for disaster. The same goes for adding extra husky content to some other bloodlines, which already display too many husky-like behavioral traits... you have to find the right balance. This is why I think it is very important that breeders to work together and discuss potential matings so we can ensure the best possible combinations to result in puppies with wonderful temperaments. :)
Image
The future lies before you, like a path of pure white snow...
Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.

weylyn

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by weylyn » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:06 pm

Sylvaen wrote: This being said, I understand your concerns and reservations - I just think it's more important to look at the individual dogs, rather than generalize about the breed as a whole. Some bloodlines could certainly not be harmed by the infusion of a little more wolf content whereas, for other bloodlines, it could be a recipe for disaster. The same goes for adding extra husky content to some other bloodlines, which already display too many husky-like behavioral traits... you have to find the right balance. This is why I think it is very important that breeders to work together and discuss potential matings so we can ensure the best possible combinations to result in puppies with wonderful temperaments. :)
I indeed agree with this and must say that I was looking at my own tams being both from the wolfdog lines ;)

User avatar
martinbernstein
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:14 am
Location: Catskill Mountains

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by martinbernstein » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:00 am

Deb, I agree, working with different lines and adding suitable blood to them is a balancing act and I think that is the right course.

None the less, I have reservations about the premiss of the breed. We are in the process of developing an animal that has no job, no real purpose other than to look like a wolf, and in the course of this development we are turning out some very challenging individual animals and handing them over to people who are in love with the false notion of a puppy dog that looks like a wolf. A dog that looks like a wolf, will most definitely act more like a wolf, relatively speaking.

I got my tam because I wanted a suitable hiking companion, which is what I got. But others, whose sole reason for wanting one is that they love the wolf look, might be in for a big surprise when their puppy grows up to be more wolf-like than they were anticipating.

I like the thread about the purpose of the tam. I feel there needs to be a purpose beyond appearances. If breeders work towards developing a working dog, with specific tasks in mind, I think that would go a long way towards preventing the most beautiful, but temperamentally wolfy individuals from being bred, and will create a more harmonious dog.

My two cents.

User avatar
Hawthorne
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Pennsylvania | USA
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Hawthorne » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:57 am

martinbernstein wrote:Deb, I agree, working with different lines and adding suitable blood to them is a balancing act and I think that is the right course.

None the less, I have reservations about the premiss of the breed. We are in the process of developing an animal that has no job, no real purpose other than to look like a wolf, and in the course of this development we are turning out some very challenging individual animals and handing them over to people who are in love with the false notion of a puppy dog that looks like a wolf. A dog that looks like a wolf, will most definitely act more like a wolf, relatively speaking.

I got my tam because I wanted a suitable hiking companion, which is what I got. But others, whose sole reason for wanting one is that they love the wolf look, might be in for a big surprise when their puppy grows up to be more wolf-like than they were anticipating.

I like the thread about the purpose of the tam. I feel there needs to be a purpose beyond appearances. If breeders work towards developing a working dog, with specific tasks in mind, I think that would go a long way towards preventing the most beautiful, but temperamentally wolfy individuals from being bred, and will create a more harmonious dog.

My two cents.
Hi Martin,
Good to hear from you again. I personally strive to breed for temperament, not just looks. We kept a puppy out of our last litter--and we chose a very, very sweet girl. She's practically a lap dog. :D
However, I have to disagree about the Tamaskan having only one purpose to "look like a wolf." Many of us recognize that our breed standard could use some work--but first we have to decide what job or jobs we want this breed to do. I think everyone agrees that we want a multi-purpose working dog. I for one want to take mine sledding / skijoring / scootering, as well as tracking. They also enjoy hiking and obedience classes. We intend to enroll Raven in Rally after the first of the year as she has passed her first two obedience classes already.
The lines that we have in our home are very nice--more GSD than other lines--but very, very nice dogs. Which is why I would consider adding more husky as an outcross breeding. Not a racing husky, but a touring husky type dog. And I have to say that just because one CSV outcross is planned, doesn't mean all of the TDR breeders intend to do this type of outcross.
I don't see wolf like behavior in our Tamaskans. If any of our three were to be suspect as to having wolf content it would be our 11 month old puppy, Raven--and she's the best behaved, most mild mannered, most biddable and trainable Tam I've had yet. Maybe it's practice--but I just don't see any wolf behavior in my dogs. Sure they have a prey drive, but so does my lab-mix. Sure they howl, but my lab mix tries that, too. I think it's the nature of a northern breed that is shining through--not suspected wolf content coming to surface.
Freyja is very bold around strangers. Usually the first thing she does is play bow and roo-roo at them. Her tail is always wagging. Darwin gives kisses to complete strangers. Raven is a bit shy--but she's a puppy still and is learning. She looks to me for direction which I think is really quite nice.
So, as you read in the threads in the standard section--I don't want just a companion dog but a well rounded working dog. Not an insane work me 8 hours a day dog--but more dogs like the three I have already. I've tried looking at the standard, picking it apart and asking: what's *that* part for? What does it do? Why does the tam have it? For example: long legs are for breaking trails, a long neck insures that the nose can toch the ground without stooping with the front legs while tracking (more efficient), longer toes are for speed, shorter toes are for endurance, a longer tail helps with balance of a long neck (so is the tail to the hock too short?) and the 45 degree shoulder is the most efficient shoulder set for speed, single tracking and energy efficiency. These are some obvious answers but I'm still learning, too.
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

User avatar
TerriHolt
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 3274
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:56 am
Location: UK, East Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by TerriHolt » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:26 am

I don't think the looks decide weather dogs have wolf like behavior or not... Any dog can behave to that description:
martinbernstein wrote:She has always been very shy, sometimes painfully shy, she is quite domineering over other dogs, and she has bitten two people (both were unfamiliar men in what she perceived to be "her territory").
.

This ^ describes a lot of terriers i have come across including my grandmas horrible (not his fault i know... bad training) border terrier (except he's not shy, if he was, he may not have bitten half a dozen people). A few huskies too... and 1 mal i know of.
It's more down to breeding and breeders. Breeders who breed for monies will breed any dogs not the ones with desired temperaments...
Like Hawthorne said, they also breed for temperaments and to the best of my knowledge (correct me if i'm wrong), they haven't had any big issues with any pups but the Blu crew was breeding the dogs they had regardless of temperament incompatibilities... I think the reason she venomously dismissed AI was for the same reason she didn't travel... Using her own dogs gave the best profit...

I think it would be best to get descriptions of dogs from lines you are planning to out-cross to see what is going to work. But people need to be honest and see their dogs in full glory, warts an all...

I think my boy is more husky type then GSD type... Stubborn, head strong and determined to get his own way :lol: Recall sucks but i'm hoping that will get better once he has lost his... needs... when smelling smells he likes. He is intelligent and learns quick but he has to do things on his own terms...
Sam also has SA (i wouldn't call it severe compared to some, he has come a long way and has stopped chewing EVERYTHING, just some things) and he is reserved towards strangers since he has gotten older, younger he was more outgoing and people friendly (they have to put their hand out for him to sniff, sometimes he will go in for the stroke and other times he will back off). He is great with kids, my cats and other dogs but if any of the a fore mentioned runs, he will chase and get over excited.
But he is lovable and cuddly, loves been talked to and his human family. He is submissive, even to the cat... well, one of them...

So yeah, my thoughts :D We can also only base our thoughts and opinions on or own experiences with our dogs...
Image

There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

User avatar
Hawthorne
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Pennsylvania | USA
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Hawthorne » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:55 pm

TerriHolt wrote:Like Hawthorne said, they also breed for temperaments and to the best of my knowledge (correct me if i'm wrong), they haven't had any big issues with any pups.
No, we have not had any issues with our Yellowstone litter. At least--no one has mentioned anything. We do keep in touch with all of them via a private Facebook page. Certainly, the pups have had their "growing up" issues--but that comes with any dog. But, no, no overly shy or aggressive behavior. In fact, I think Raven is our sweetest Tam yet!
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

User avatar
Eventide
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:07 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Eventide » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:25 pm

Hawthorne wrote:
TerriHolt wrote:Like Hawthorne said, they also breed for temperaments and to the best of my knowledge (correct me if i'm wrong), they haven't had any big issues with any pups.
No, we have not had any issues with our Yellowstone litter. At least--no one has mentioned anything. We do keep in touch with all of them via a private Facebook page. Certainly, the pups have had their "growing up" issues--but that comes with any dog. But, no, no overly shy or aggressive behavior. In fact, I think Raven is our sweetest Tam yet!

And Max (Yellowstone litter also) doesn't have an "alpha" bone in his whole, big, loveable body. He truly believes every living (and many non-living) thing is here for him to play with and will do anything (even grovel, lay down and roll over) to get them to play with him :lol: . Sure, he jumps on you when he gets excited, and he like to take stuffing out of any stuffed toys he's had (doesn't eat it though), but so do many other breeds of puppies. He actually is much calmer than any other dog I've ever owned, barks rarely, but "talks" alot, especially when he wants to play. Thought for sure I'd lose shoes, wood chairs, clothes hampers, etc, (like my other dogs have done) , but he really just chews on his own toys and lots of bones (we have a boneyard in our family room :roll: ).
Image

User avatar
Eventide
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:07 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Eventide » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:36 pm

Hawthorne wrote:
TerriHolt wrote:Like Hawthorne said, they also breed for temperaments and to the best of my knowledge (correct me if i'm wrong), they haven't had any big issues with any pups.
No, we have not had any issues with our Yellowstone litter. At least--no one has mentioned anything. We do keep in touch with all of them via a private Facebook page. Certainly, the pups have had their "growing up" issues--but that comes with any dog. But, no, no overly shy or aggressive behavior. In fact, I think Raven is our sweetest Tam yet!
Any Max (Yellowstone Litter also) doesn't have an "alpha" or shy bone in his whole, big, loveable body. He hasn't even done most of those "puppy-things" that most other pups do (constant barking, chewing on shoes, wooden furniture, clothes, clothes hampers, etc). He just loves to play with everyone and everything. He will do anything (grovel, lay down, talk cute :roll: you know, a little howl here and there with the dog play stance) to get a dog, cat, adult, child, anything that moves to play with him. He such a lover 8-)

So, yes, at 11 mos. Max is very large and very wolfy looking - but that's where the likeness ends. Seems to me it that way with most of the Tams I've met (and I met several at the NTCA Show last summer).
Image

User avatar
TerriHolt
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 3274
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:56 am
Location: UK, East Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by TerriHolt » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:40 am

Dottie wrote:
Hawthorne wrote:
TerriHolt wrote:Like Hawthorne said, they also breed for temperaments and to the best of my knowledge (correct me if i'm wrong), they haven't had any big issues with any pups.
No, we have not had any issues with our Yellowstone litter. At least--no one has mentioned anything. We do keep in touch with all of them via a private Facebook page. Certainly, the pups have had their "growing up" issues--but that comes with any dog. But, no, no overly shy or aggressive behavior. In fact, I think Raven is our sweetest Tam yet!

And Max (Yellowstone litter also) doesn't have an "alpha" bone in his whole, big, loveable body. He truly believes every living (and many non-living) thing is here for him to play with and will do anything (even grovel, lay down and roll over) to get them to play with him :lol: . Sure, he jumps on you when he gets excited, and he like to take stuffing out of any stuffed toys he's had (doesn't eat it though), but so do many other breeds of puppies. He actually is much calmer than any other dog I've ever owned, barks rarely, but "talks" alot, especially when he wants to play. Thought for sure I'd lose shoes, wood chairs, clothes hampers, etc, (like my other dogs have done) , but he really just chews on his own toys and lots of bones (we have a boneyard in our family room :roll: ).
Thought so :D


A lot of dogs with shyness comes from the Blu crew doesn't it?

Unlike hawthorne (and others), they certainly didn't breed for temperaments... A bitch came into heat and they put various males with them and see which would take. Some even came out as a mix litter with different sires. She went on about breeding to better breeds and not just using local dogs but she bred most in her back yard regardless of the temperament of her dogs :roll:

Maybe that's the issue? The breeding of incompatible dogs and not the wolf content/wolfy looking issue? You cold breed 2 HC wolf dogs but if you use the ones with the most doggy temperaments then you will get doggy like wolfdogs...
Image

There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

User avatar
Hawthorne
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Pennsylvania | USA
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Hawthorne » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:37 pm

I am going to speak up to something here that is probably a little telling about me--perhaps a little embarrassing, but it could also be a contributing factor. I'm sure I'm not the only one "guilty" of this--
When we brought Freyja home, I was protective of her. I was afraid for her. And being attacked by other dogs only made it worse for me. I'm sure she would have been just fine had I behaved myself--but I didn't. And our lab mix didn't help any either (I used to walk the two of them together, and by myself.) He was a fearful puppy--so little Freyja probably felt like she was the one to defend the two of us. I feel horrible about this--but it's been years now. The result, however, still shines very clearly through: when I walk Freyja and we pass a fenced in yard with a dog barking it's head off, she stands / walks on her hind legs and her hackles go up. If I'm walking Freyja, and we pass another dog on a leash, I have to cross the street because she will become very "intense," bark, stand on her hind legs, and her hackles will go up.
I know this behavior is my fault. I know better now and Raven doesn't react the same way at all. I have worked with redirecting Freyja by practicing attention while we pass dogs behind fences, but we haven't "graduated" to other dogs on leashes. She seems to get upset if she can't go and see these dogs.
The odd thing is that she was just fine at the dog show with 16 other Tams running around in an enclosure with her. She's just fine off leash with other dogs. And she's just fine at dog school with other dogs. So I absolutely know that I created this bad behavior in my dog. Freyja is incredibly sweet towards people, children, and our dogs. And she's fine with other dogs if she can meet them while not on a leash. I just wonder how much of this "suspect" behavior isn't overprotective owners like me.
Darwin is fine--but he's a male and I think the males in this breed tend to be less serious than the females. (Just my observation of about the 20 Tams I've ever met.) Anyhow, thoughts?
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

User avatar
Ciaobella
Tamtastic (Apprentice)
Tamtastic (Apprentice)
Posts: 558
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:51 am
Location: South Carolina, USA

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Ciaobella » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:47 pm

martinbernstein wrote:Deb, I agree, working with different lines and adding suitable blood to them is a balancing act and I think that is the right course.

None the less, I have reservations about the premiss of the breed. We are in the process of developing an animal that has no job, no real purpose other than to look like a wolf, and in the course of this development we are turning out some very challenging individual animals and handing them over to people who are in love with the false notion of a puppy dog that looks like a wolf. A dog that looks like a wolf, will most definitely act more like a wolf, relatively speaking.

I got my tam because I wanted a suitable hiking companion, which is what I got. But others, whose sole reason for wanting one is that they love the wolf look, might be in for a big surprise when their puppy grows up to be more wolf-like than they were anticipating.

I like the thread about the purpose of the tam. I feel there needs to be a purpose beyond appearances. If breeders work towards developing a working dog, with specific tasks in mind, I think that would go a long way towards preventing the most beautiful, but temperamentally wolfy individuals from being bred, and will create a more harmonious dog.

My two cents.
I was literally JUST thinking about this! I'll have to find this thread
Katurah

User avatar
Hawthorne
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Pennsylvania | USA
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Hawthorne » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:59 pm

Look in the Breed Standard section. I've posted many threads about this. From "What is the purpose of the Tamaskan Dog" to "Does form follow function?"
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

User avatar
TerriHolt
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 3274
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:56 am
Location: UK, East Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by TerriHolt » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:01 am

Hawthorne wrote:I am going to speak up to something here that is probably a little telling about me--perhaps a little embarrassing, but it could also be a contributing factor. I'm sure I'm not the only one "guilty" of this--
When we brought Freyja home, I was protective of her. I was afraid for her. And being attacked by other dogs only made it worse for me. I'm sure she would have been just fine had I behaved myself--but I didn't. And our lab mix didn't help any either (I used to walk the two of them together, and by myself.) He was a fearful puppy--so little Freyja probably felt like she was the one to defend the two of us. I feel horrible about this--but it's been years now. The result, however, still shines very clearly through: when I walk Freyja and we pass a fenced in yard with a dog barking it's head off, she stands / walks on her hind legs and her hackles go up. If I'm walking Freyja, and we pass another dog on a leash, I have to cross the street because she will become very "intense," bark, stand on her hind legs, and her hackles will go up.
I know this behavior is my fault. I know better now and Raven doesn't react the same way at all. I have worked with redirecting Freyja by practicing attention while we pass dogs behind fences, but we haven't "graduated" to other dogs on leashes. She seems to get upset if she can't go and see these dogs.
The odd thing is that she was just fine at the dog show with 16 other Tams running around in an enclosure with her. She's just fine off leash with other dogs. And she's just fine at dog school with other dogs. So I absolutely know that I created this bad behavior in my dog. Freyja is incredibly sweet towards people, children, and our dogs. And she's fine with other dogs if she can meet them while not on a leash. I just wonder how much of this "suspect" behavior isn't overprotective owners like me.
Darwin is fine--but he's a male and I think the males in this breed tend to be less serious than the females. (Just my observation of about the 20 Tams I've ever met.) Anyhow, thoughts?

I'm not 100% sure if this is the same but - When sam was a puppy and we walked, there were dogs barking, yapping and snarling. He was scared but the more we walked, the less it bothered him... But as he got older, he started barking back at them and then jumping at them. As time went on, he started barking at random dogs for no reason except they are there (mostly ankle nippers, boxers and some other big dogs).
Now you have mentioned that, i realize, even tho i wasn't fearful, i was annoyed. Without exaggeration, i can't walk down a single street without a dog barking through a gate or walking down the street. Barking, yapping dogs everywhere!
Now i'm wondering if sam is barking at other dogs because 95% of the dogs he comes across barks so he thinks he is supposed to do it
or
if it's because i'm annoyed so he reacts to that...
Like i said, he doesn't bark every-time we walk past one, it's just random, spontaneous, unpredictable barks (which may suggest it's me, glad we had this talk :oops: ).
Image

There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

User avatar
martinbernstein
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:14 am
Location: Catskill Mountains

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by martinbernstein » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:36 pm

I'm glad to read about the tams that have a balanced and easy-going disposition. I should have stressed when I first made this post that I recognize that there are plenty of individual tamaskans, perhaps even whole bloodlines, that do not exemplify any of the common issues seen in wolf-content dogs and northern dog breeds.

User avatar
Sylvaen
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 5203
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 3:53 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Sylvaen » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:26 pm

martinbernstein wrote:I'm glad to read about the tams that have a balanced and easy-going disposition. I should have stressed when I first made this post that I recognize that there are plenty of individual tamaskans, perhaps even whole bloodlines, that do not exemplify any of the common issues seen in wolf-content dogs and northern dog breeds.
I think it's just as important to breed for good temperament as it is for good health. Sadly, in the past, the best looking dogs (often with questionable temperament / health issues) were allowed to breed simply because they looked amazing and very wolf-like... it was just easier and faster to reach the goal of creating a wolf-lookalike breed. BUT it was a very short-term goal as ANY breeding program that ignores health AND temperament will never last or succeed for long...

I much prefer the way things are now. It might be a slower process to create very wolfy-looking dogs (only breeding from healthy dogs with excellent temperaments EVEN if they have a curly tail etc, over breeding from the 'perfect' showcase Tamaskan - in terms of appearance - which also passes on bad hips, shyness, etc) as it means taking one step back to take two steps forward... but better to be making actual progress, rather than take 3 steps forward (in terms of appearance) and then 4 steps back (in terms of health and temperament). I'm glad that the rest of the remaining TDR breeders feel the same way and are looking at the bigger picture (with a long-term goal in mind) to create a healthy breed that is also a wonderful companion / family pet / recreational working dog... not just a short-term 'product' to generate profit and publicity. It's important to balance health, temperament AND appearance and to utilize careful selective breeding (with maximum genetic variety) in order to produce the best results overall.
Image
The future lies before you, like a path of pure white snow...
Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.

User avatar
Tiantai
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 2558
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:16 pm
Location: Canada (North York, Ontario)

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Tiantai » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:36 am

I look forward to a brighter future for the breed even if it means taking steps backwards like Debby said above
Image

User avatar
martinbernstein
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:14 am
Location: Catskill Mountains

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by martinbernstein » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:55 am

Well said, Debby.

User avatar
Hawthorne
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Pennsylvania | USA
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Hawthorne » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:17 pm

I completely agree with Debby :D

I also just want to say that for my own personal agenda, this breed is a fantastic solution. I know most of you have heard me say this over and over, but I'll post again:

I did field work and research on coyotes for over ten years. I frequently presented my research to public gatherings and educational institutions (I counted over 40 lectures--I'm sure I did more). Anyhow--part of my presentation was my thesis work on the differences between eastern and western coyotes, and the wolf species as well. No matter what the audience was (educated or lack thereof) people always asked if wolves or coyotes make good pets. My answer has always been and will always be a resounding NO.

(Now I completely admit that the romanticism of having a wild animal as a pet was a childhood fantasy of mine. I wanted a pet lion after watching the "Leo the Lion" cartoon and finding out my zodiac sign is Leo. Anyhow--I digress.)

When we found the Tamaskan breed, I thought: what a fantastic solution for people who want that wolf look, but cannot and should not even go there. So in this respect, I do think the Tamaskan breed is a good idea.
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

User avatar
Tiantai
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 2558
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:16 pm
Location: Canada (North York, Ontario)

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Tiantai » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:33 am

Despite the friction between me and Tracy in the many coyote and wolf topics (I'm not going into any further details on this topic), I agree that Grey wolves, coyotes, coywolves, Golden jackals, and Australian dingoes should all stay wild and like everyone else I lean against having them as house companions. They are pure wild canines that belong in the plains, forest, deserts, tundra, or wherever they naturally live and should not be brought into any human habitats. Period!

I have some friends who own true coywolves (8 Eastern wolves) near my primary fishing spot and have known those animals since I was a kid and based on their temperaments I highly lean against getting one of those exotic animals. They're very shy to strange people (even towards me sometimes) and can make other dogs and people nervous. Strangely they often stay clear from small breeds than medium-sized ones, looking at them as some kind of freak, despite the 8 living with some small toy breeds. Not to mention they yelp a lot like coyotes which can annoy a lot of people if you live in the city. A ninth one I know living near Rice Lake who is said to be a Mackenzie Valley wolf/coyote hybrid imported from Saskatchewan (I suspect he was brought out from an illegal* captive breeding) often runs into an nearby forest when visitors come near his owner's house. Due to his true Grey wolf heritage he's bigger than the 8 Eastern wolves though I have seen him yelp and he does have that long nose like that of a coyote. I've only ever been able to come within 5 meters near him but he always runs off the moment I get closer. Anything like that is definitely not a good animal to keep as a pet especially if they run off into the woods, a sign of them saying "I'm not a dog and I don't like people". I don't even know how much control does the owner have over this guy to be honest. Although I am thinking of owning a wolf sometime in the future... Moving on.

When it comes to wolfdogs, my opinions vary depending on the level of wolf-content within that individual and the same goes for coydogs and jackal-dog hybrids, they either belong in a big wolf sanctuary (particularly those that have a wide space like that one in British Columbia capable of giving the captive wolves a sense of freedom like a wild habitat) for upper-mid contents to extremely high contents OR in a home with NO CHILDREN and the owners are capable of living up to the wolfdog's needs for lower-mid contents. Usually when it comes to wolfdogs, I don't think they belong in the wild because the various dog genes in them can still pass down unwanted traits (things that many breeders are still trying to breed out of the domestic dogs, DM, hip-dysplasia, canine dwarfism, etc) on to future generations.

The Saarloos, Marxdorfer, Czechoslovakian Lupine, Lupo Italiano, and Kunming are all pure domestic dogs so I don't count them. I chose the breed Tamaskan because they are much like some of those breeds appearance-wise, despite the wolf-content in some lines, I see this breed as a good choice for a companion for those capable of raising it much like any other husky-like breed. It's one of but not the only, the closest to a wolf but capable of living in a house and I prefer this over the true wolfdogs or any of those wild canines.

EDIT:
*Someone asked me in private what I meant by "illegal" so just to clarify. Crossing captive Grey wolves with coyotes alone is NOT illegal. By illegal I meant by abducting wolf/coyote pups from the wild, which has been happening all over North America for decades now and it's one of (but not the only) ways on how many wolfdogs and coydogs here originated. It's still happening in my province as well with coywolf pups from the Great Lake regions and some from the Hudson bay areas being captured and raised for the purpose of breeding with dogs. It's horrible and sick. :evil:
Image

User avatar
AZDehlin
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 3039
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:52 am
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA (for now)
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by AZDehlin » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:42 am

Hawthorne wrote:
(Now I completely admit that the romanticism of having a wild animal as a pet was a childhood fantasy of mine. I wanted a pet lion after watching the "Leo the Lion" cartoon and finding out my zodiac sign is Leo. Anyhow--I digress.)

When we found the Tamaskan breed, I thought: what a fantastic solution for people who want that wolf look, but cannot and should not even go there. So in this respect, I do think the Tamaskan breed is a good idea.
As a kid I wanted to own a moose and teach it to let me ride it. Also wanted a Timber wolf, Red wolf, Black Backed Jackal, Fennec Fox, and Clouded Leopard. I feel like this is a fantasy most children who are complete animal lovers have.

As an adult I would not own a wild animal, and disagree with people owning them.

User avatar
TerriHolt
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 3274
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:56 am
Location: UK, East Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by TerriHolt » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:52 am

AZDehlin wrote:
Hawthorne wrote:
(Now I completely admit that the romanticism of having a wild animal as a pet was a childhood fantasy of mine. I wanted a pet lion after watching the "Leo the Lion" cartoon and finding out my zodiac sign is Leo. Anyhow--I digress.)

When we found the Tamaskan breed, I thought: what a fantastic solution for people who want that wolf look, but cannot and should not even go there. So in this respect, I do think the Tamaskan breed is a good idea.
As a kid I wanted to own a moose and teach it to let me ride it. Also wanted a Timber wolf, Red wolf, Black Backed Jackal, Fennec Fox, and Clouded Leopard. I feel like this is a fantasy most children who are complete animal lovers have.

As an adult I would not own a wild animal, and disagree with people owning them.
Yep, except my moose was a deer with huge antlers... In addition to wolves i also wanted a lion that would let me sleep in it's rough, a bald eagle and a crow/raven... And everyone would all get along happy :D

But as an adult, i could never hold captive any of the animals i wanted. I have a huge issue with wolfdogs because, even ones with 5%, low content... at one point, at the beginning, there was a greedy human selling wolfdog pups that was bred from a captive, 100% wolf who was bred with a dog and i hate that thought...

But back on topic,
Sylvaen wrote:
martinbernstein wrote:I'm glad to read about the tams that have a balanced and easy-going disposition. I should have stressed when I first made this post that I recognize that there are plenty of individual tamaskans, perhaps even whole bloodlines, that do not exemplify any of the common issues seen in wolf-content dogs and northern dog breeds.
I think it's just as important to breed for good temperament as it is for good health. Sadly, in the past, the best looking dogs (often with questionable temperament / health issues) were allowed to breed simply because they looked amazing and very wolf-like... it was just easier and faster to reach the goal of creating a wolf-lookalike breed. BUT it was a very short-term goal as ANY breeding program that ignores health AND temperament will never last or succeed for long...

I much prefer the way things are now. It might be a slower process to create very wolfy-looking dogs (only breeding from healthy dogs with excellent temperaments EVEN if they have a curly tail etc, over breeding from the 'perfect' showcase Tamaskan - in terms of appearance - which also passes on bad hips, shyness, etc) as it means taking one step back to take two steps forward... but better to be making actual progress, rather than take 3 steps forward (in terms of appearance) and then 4 steps back (in terms of health and temperament). I'm glad that the rest of the remaining TDR breeders feel the same way and are looking at the bigger picture (with a long-term goal in mind) to create a healthy breed that is also a wonderful companion / family pet / recreational working dog... not just a short-term 'product' to generate profit and publicity. It's important to balance health, temperament AND appearance and to utilize careful selective breeding (with maximum genetic variety) in order to produce the best results overall.
Also agree. Would be sad to lose the cosmetic but whats that worth alone? without health or great temperaments? It should have been done from the very start, before looks were a factor but alas, to some, looks are the be all and end all :(
Image

There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

User avatar
Hawthorne
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Pennsylvania | USA
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Hawthorne » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:16 pm

Oh, I think if we're careful we can retain the looks. :D
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

User avatar
Sylvaen
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 5203
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 3:53 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Sylvaen » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:23 pm

Hawthorne wrote:Oh, I think if we're careful we can retain the looks. :D
I agree, we won't 'lose' the looks, but we will have to be more open-minded about the dogs that we initially allow to breed and then more selective with the resulting offspring several generations down the line. Through careful selective breeding, we can stay on the path without wandering too far off-course, and work on the smaller details (eye color, etc) as we go along.
Image
The future lies before you, like a path of pure white snow...
Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.

User avatar
Nino
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 3106
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:13 am
Location: Aalborg - Denmark

Re: Are wolf look-alike breeds a good idea?

Post by Nino » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:52 pm

Ithik we ca keep the look but I do not at all mind taking a step back from looks towards health and temper

btw. My moose was a zebra..still kinda is :oops:
>> Nino <<
Image

Post Reply