Future of the Breed

All topics pertaining to mating and whelping, as well as upcoming / planned litters.
Post Reply
User avatar
PaigeJones
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:24 pm
Location: Northampton, UK

Future of the Breed

Post by PaigeJones » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:07 am

Before I begin I wanted to do a quick introduction: I have been involved with dogs now for a little over 2 years, mainly my experience is with German Shepherds. I am by NO means an expert, and mainly this thread is just questions and curiosities, the goal being to gain more knowledge about the Tamaskan breed. I will likely reference the GSD often as I have experience with the working side (6 months at a working line kennels, owned 2 working line dogs) and the show side (spent 3 months in Canada with the top Canadian GSD breeder, and learnt a LOT) to illustrate points or to reference certain markers in the development of a breed. This is by no means saying “THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE” or “INCLUDE THE GSD CAUSE IT IS THE BEST”, more just easy examples that I can use in an accurate way.

When you look at a lot of larger dog breeds, they were all originally bred for a set purpose: whether it be herding (such as the GSD or Border Collie) , retrieving (Golden Retriever), guarding (Saint Bernard) or drafting (Alaskan Malamute) and during the early 1900s breed standards came about to create a template for each breed. During this time a lot of inbreeding and close linebreeding was done to ensure that the breed standard was maintained. I would like to point out that this was acceptable during the time and no means abnormal, but I do not agree that this should be done at all in this day and age. Quoted directly from the Tamaskan Dog Register (www.tamaskan-dog.org/breed-info/history.php): “In addition, the dogs must possess a good working ability.” So I am curious as to what the purpose of the breed is it terms of ‘working ability’?

But then I look around the site and see that it is “...bred for COMPANIONSHIP and nothing else!” (http://www.tamaskan-forum.com/viewtopic ... t=breeding) and now I’m not sure what the goal of the breed is?

For the majority of breeders of the larger dog breeds there are either two goals: showing or working. This isn’t to say people with show dogs can’t work them or people with working dogs won’t do well in a show, this is just an overall viewpoint (again large history with GSDs showing through here.) Breeding a dog for ‘companionship’ is a curious thing to do with a large breed of dog when a lot of people who want a dog for companionship go for smaller breeds due to the ease of caring for the dog (http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/groups/companion-dogs - Not the most reliable site, but an example none the less, dalmation looks to be the largest on the list).

Let me dive quickly into the GSD. For anyone actively involved in the breed there are two very distinct types: a show type and a working type. I have seen mention of the GSD on this forum prior, one example looking at the ASL (American Show Line) and others suggesting the WGWL (West German Working Line). When looking at an outcross in these examples (AGAIN, as mentioned right at the top I am by no means suggesting this or promoting this, it’s just an example) want you require is very dependent on what the goal is.

Any showline GSD is likely to more relaxed and a typical ‘pet’ AKA what most people buy. They are usually reserved, relaxed dogs with some being particularly lazy. However, due to the breeding of SOME show line dogs (looking at you ASL) you may get issues with that long sloping top line. But the WGSL (West German Show Line) is the more standardized GSD across Europe. Less of a slope and the breeding is closely monitored by the SV (GSD organisation in Germany). Usually the WGSL is a good family dog with a little bit of drive (under SV rules to get a breed survey (AKA recommended for breeding) every dog must have a working title.).

Now let’s look at the working line GSD. These dogs are usually higher in energy and are usually categories by their drive. These are WORKING DOGS, bred for a purpose: whether it be police work, rescue work, a sport or protection, these dogs have a goal and meeting their goal is what they want. But! This does not mean they are unsociable dogs who are best living out in kennels or shut away and kept away from children. A lot of working dogs become family protection dogs, particularly due to their loyalty and undying need to protect those that are a part of their ‘pack’. When looking at GSD working lines there are a lot of distinct differences that I will quickly cover:

WGWL are drivey dogs, but they are prey driven. There are two main types of drive: prey and defence. Simplest way to look at it is a defence driven dog loves guarding someone, getting in their face and showing them who’s boss, whereas prey driven dogs prefer chasing after the criminal and catching him (a VERY generic overview). Whereas DDR (or East German Working Lines) and Czech Working Lines are more defence driven. This is a real basic overview and of course most of these items will depend on the breeding and of the parents etc.

So which would be better for the Tamaskan, a working line or a show line? Maybe both?

I came across a thread and one of the replies mentioned the ears of a GSD. The Tamaskan should have relatively small ears, while the GSD has relatively large ears. The overview of the point was: maybe don’t breed, we want smaller ears. But looking at genetics, this isn’t likely to be an issue:

Smaller ears are recessive among dogs so the Tamaskan must carry both recessive genes. Let’s use El (large ears) and es (small ears). The Tamaskan must be eses (smaller ears are recessive, genes come in pairs, it MUST carry both. Now let’s look at the GSD. Large ears so ElEl or Eles (I’m not sure whether GSDs are capable of carrying a gene for smaller ears or not). If you bred an ElEl with an eses your results would be Eles across the board. All pups would have larger ears but CARRY the genes for smaller ears. But why would you want to do this in the first place? Maybe as an organisation you decide that the GSD has plenty of good traits that you want to bring over and run a test litter to see how the puppies turn out, maybe you specifically want to see if you can get a certain look from the outcross. Either way, the larger goal is what’s important, but smaller obstacles such as the ears should be taken into account. But now you’ve got a litter with larger eared Tamaskan crosses! Yes! And they carry the smaller ears gene. Which means if you bred them to a different Tamaskan: Eles x eses. You’ll get 50% large ears 50% small ears and carry over some of the traits from the GSD originally.

My point is that focusing on the long term goal instead of the short term is going to be exceptionally beneficial in enlarging the gene pool and establishing the breed. Which loops back to my original question:

What is the goal of the breed?

Having read through multiple topics, researched on the different sites, I’m still not sure. Where is the breed going? What outcrosses are you looking at and why? Is it purely for their looks? Or is it to include some sort of behavioural traits?

Okay so having now read through most of that I realise I rambled a little xD. Again, I would like to point out that I'm not promoting the GSD as an outcross or trying to push the breed in a certain direction or telling you how to breed the Tamaskan right, I am just throwing ideas out and trying to learn more. I sincerely apologise if anyone takes offence to this or feels I'm coming across as rude or snobbish, that is not my intention. I am genuinely just curious to learn about the future of this breed, where it currently stands and where you are all planning on taking it.
In my avatar I am on the left with my current GSD Dakota, and on the right is the police officer in Lancashire who has my past dog Cronus who is now a qualified General Purpose Dog.

User avatar
HiTenshi16
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 4802
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 7:11 pm
Location: Princeton, TX US
Contact:

Re: Future of the Breed

Post by HiTenshi16 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:27 pm

I will tell my opinion of what the breed is for.
They're a breed meant to look "wolfy" (though what is considered wolfy is subjected to opinion, I'll come back to this), an answer to owning a wolfdog without having to worry about wolfdog behaviours, temperaments, and city/county/state regulations, all while being able to still do work like sledding, search and rescue, the ability to become Service and/or Therapy dogs, and agility. By also being considered a companion (the companion definition is also subject to opinion), they must be happy to do work, but also be just as happy to be a couch potato.
Why we will not have a 'show line' and 'working line' is because we do not want 2 different types of this breed but keep it uniform. Also problems with just being show line is then it encourages some to breed just for looks to appease judges (like how the GSD got their sloping backs), which we do not want.
There has been a GSD and Tamaskan mating (accidental), and one of the pups from the resulting litter is planned on being used for breeding.
The issue with ears is tricky as the sizes vary, even in a single litter. Some are taller, some are more rounded, and some are wider. There really are not any Tamaskans yet with ideal small ears.

Back to the wolfy part, after being in some wolfdog groups and learning more phenotyping, Tamaskans do not look all that much like a Grey Wolf*, but due to Hollywood movies and misrepresentations of what is a wolf, many will think that Tamaskans do look like a wolf. Some of it simply is how much detail someone will pay attention in how the dogs are built and their colouring. An example is how many will look at a Shiba Inu and say it looks like a Red Fox.
*Now there are other sub-species of wolves that Tamaskans may resemble, such as Red Wolves, but again, this is subject to opinion.

For Outcrosses, it will depend on individual breeders and what they want for their lines, and what the registries will approve. Some are adding more Husky type dogs, others are adding low content wolfdogs, and some may be trying to create their own line of a mixed breed to be later used as an outcross.
Outcrosses are added to help further the gene pool, with better health, temperaments, structure, to compliment the breed and help further it's progress to get the wolfy look, while still keeping in good structure and temperaments. Each dog bred is to compliment each other, help 'fix' faulty traits of one another and produce puppies that are better than the parents.

Hope this helps a bit :)
Image

User avatar
Wolfsbane
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:26 pm
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Future of the Breed

Post by Wolfsbane » Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:14 pm

There's a lot of different opinions on what the 'purpose' of the breed should be. It seems the Europeans like to describe the breed as a 'companion dog' foremost, but the Americans feel offended by that 'title' (companion dog = useless coach potato), and rather describe the Tamaskan as a working (sledding) dog.

When I got a Tamaskan I was looking for a dog that is a nice family dog and can be used recreational for various sports (not just sledding). A dog that is a couch potato in the house (so not a pure working dog that will go crazy unless you run him 4+ hours a day!) but also enjoys to undertake activities with the owner (hiking, sledding, agility, SAR).

I'm personally more a fan of the shepherd temperament then the northern breeds (Siberian Husky) when it comes to working. Northern breeds are very independent, making it harder to train them for sports like agility. They make excellent sleddogs of course, but I'm not very interested in the sleddog sports myself. So I rather see shepherd outcross then husky outcross, even though the husky outcross will probably look more 'wolfy'. There have been several unofficial Tamaskan x GSD litters btw, all those pups look very GSD like because they all have the shepherd color/masking which is dominant. I think that's why so many people don't like the idea of shepherd outcross, their main focus is still looks. We have a GSD x Tamaskan puppy in the Netherlands who we hope to use for further breeding in the future. I love this dog, I picked her for the owner :mrgreen:

Ylva:
Image

User avatar
Katlin
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 2739
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Calgary, AB
Contact:

Re: Future of the Breed

Post by Katlin » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:32 pm

I think that's why so many people don't like the idea of shepherd outcross, their main focus is still looks.
Who are you talking about when you say that?
Polarose Tamaskan
Polardog Outfitters
Owner of Sierra Kaweah RN RI TDI TRN TTDN CRN-MCL @ Polarose

User avatar
PaigeJones
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:24 pm
Location: Northampton, UK

Re: Future of the Breed

Post by PaigeJones » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:01 pm

Thank you all for being so nice in your responses!

@HiTenshi16
I definitely agree on not having a separate show and working line, especially among GSDs they can look like two different breeds! I suppose so far the only threads I've read or seen about the look of the breed rather than the temperament, this isn't to say people aren't breeding for temperament/behaviour, just that I haven't seen discussions about it. I used the ears just as an example as I had seen it brought up before. I definitely agree that Tamaskans only "sort of" look like wolves, if you really start to look at them you can tell the difference (but this may be because I've studied wolves quite a bit.) I suppose my question was based on the fact that as far as I could tell the registry had control of who breed to who (I think?) so I sort of assumed that most people had the same breeding goals and so was just wondering what these goals actually were? But it's interesting to know that some people have slightly different goals and directions they're taking.

@Wolfsbane
I feel the same about the term 'Companion Dog' - sounds like a lazy dog to me. What you've described "a nice family dog...can be used for recreational for various sports" is exactly what I was hoping for. A dog that is calm and happy being around the family but has a small amount of drive, so is happy and eager to work whether it be obedience, hiking, agility etc. And that Tamaskan x GSD you've posted looks gorgeous
In my avatar I am on the left with my current GSD Dakota, and on the right is the police officer in Lancashire who has my past dog Cronus who is now a qualified General Purpose Dog.

User avatar
Wolfsbane
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:26 pm
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Future of the Breed

Post by Wolfsbane » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:17 pm

Definition of companion:
1. A person who accompanies or associates with another; a comrade. A domestic partner.
2. A person employed to assist, live with, or travel with another.
3. One of a pair or set of things; a mate.

The USA has a companion group, these are certainly not lazy dogs. Poodles for example are very intelligent and eager dogs, they can excel in sports like Agility. So do Papillons, they are not an uncommon sight in Dutch Agility competitions ;)
Katlin wrote:
I think that's why so many people don't like the idea of shepherd outcross, their main focus is still looks.
Who are you talking about when you say that?
Just look through this forum...

User avatar
Sylvaen
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 5206
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 3:53 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: Future of the Breed

Post by Sylvaen » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:49 pm

HiTenshi16 wrote:For Outcrosses, it will depend on individual breeders and what they want for their lines, and what the registries will approve. Some are adding more Husky type dogs, others are adding low content wolfdogs, and some may be trying to create their own line of a mixed breed to be later used as an outcross.
Outcrosses are added to help further the gene pool, with better health, temperaments, structure, to compliment the breed and help further it's progress to get the wolfy look, while still keeping in good structure and temperaments. Each dog bred is to compliment each other, help 'fix' faulty traits of one another and produce puppies that are better than the parents.
Bingo :)

A lot really depends on the individual dogs and the bloodline(s) of each specific breeder, and what direction that breeder wants their breeding program to go in terms of long-term goals. I can't speak for other Tamaskan breeders, but with my bloodlines it's a matter of finding (and maintaining) balance. The Tamaskan breed was created by mixing many different (yet somewhat similar) breeds...







By adding an outcross of one type (for instance, husky) the resulting offspring are all slightly more husky-like, which is fine (depending on the specific traits you are after)... provided that those offspring are then crossed with dogs that are not husky-like (ie, back to dogs with more shepherd content). There are pros and cons to every combination: mostly arctic-content dogs tend to produce offspring with smaller ears and better coats, but with the downside of being smaller in size and having curly tails; while mostly shepherd-content dogs tend to produce offspring with straighter tails and a larger overall size, but with the downside of having larger ears and darker masking (for instance). However, these details are somewhat trivial compared to other more important issues, specifically health and temperament. My personal aim is to create ideal family pets / personal companions: very friendly, social, easy-going, eager-to-please dogs. The calmer and gentler pups in each litter are then better suited to work as Service / Therapy dogs, while the more energetic and driven ones excel at Search and Rescue, etc. I'm looking to create dogs that are good at obedience, hiking, recreational mushing, etc... with that in mind, I've spent a long time looking at different potential outcrosses, and visited a lot of breeders to see their dogs in person. Sometimes, as a result of my visits, I ended up completely changing my mind (ruling out that option entirely) or simply deciding on a different stud to the one I originally planned to use... it's quite a long story and I don't want to bore you with details, but the outcrosses that we finally settled upon were the result of a great deal of deliberation and consideration to future breeding combinations.

I recently made a chart for our future breeding plans (up until 2024) based on outcross combinations and the pups we will end up keeping on co-ownership terms for well into the future. On one hand, it's a bit like 'counting chickens before they hatch' but we are basically using it as a guideline for where we want our breeding program to go in terms of developing a distinct bloodline that is healthy and has a lot to offer the breed overall in terms of genetic variety yet also consistency. For instance, instead of keeping just one male from one litter and one female from a different litter, and then breeding that specific combination together over and over, we plan to keep one male and one female (siblings) from one litter and one male and one female (siblings) from another litter, and then breeding the male of one litter with the female of the other litter (and vice versa) to create two litters of pups that are genetically similar, yet not identical. This is in addition to seeking out new outcrosses on a regular basis to continually infuse new genes into the bloodline. We also don't plan to repeat any litter combinations (except in exceptional circumstances, such as only 1-3 pups in the first litter) so as to keep each new litter combination fresh and exciting, and to hopefully give other breeders plenty of options to work with for future generations.
Image
The future lies before you, like a path of pure white snow...
Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.

Post Reply