Breed/Breeder Questions

Everything about Tamaskan Dogs that does not fit within the other topics in this section.
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ixandstones
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Breed/Breeder Questions

Post by ixandstones » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:04 am

Hello Everyone

I'm trying to learn more about the Tamaskan. It is defnitely very confusing with all the splits and changes from Utonagan, etc.

I do have many questions and verification of things I came across.

As far as I understand this breed is very new. Even though it is very new, it has had some important problems in the line that has caused health issues. Inbreeding and cover ups from utaganan if I understand correctly. I found NO health tests/certificates required in the breed standard. Are there NO CGS etsts, hip/eye tests involved in qualifying a dog to breed? If there are, where are they listed?

I've done a search for "Blustag" and found out there are 2 Blustag Kennels, both unafiliated with TDR. Both are labeled as puppy mills. Is this correct?

I've read the temperament info which covers some info, mostly saying that since the mixes are so new, it will be based on individual dog. So my questions would be to see experienced owners personal takes on the points below and breeders opiions on their dogs/pups.

1) Are there any TDR breeders that can provide GCG, hip/eye/dna tests for their breeders? Have you had any DNA test done to your dogs? Has there been any evidence of Wolf DNA in your dogs?

2) Does your dog exhibit the nomadic and escape artist traits of Northern Dogs such as the Husky?

3) How trainable has your dog been? Are they aloof and ignore commands or are they eager to please?

4) How is their Prey Drive? Does it put them into a state where they ignore commands? If so, how do you deal with this?

5) Do they have any Herding Instinct that one has to deal with?

6) Have you been able to train them reliably for recall when off leash?

7) Have you exposed them to off leash parks with other dogs? And activities with you in such places? How did that go?

8) Digging, climbing: How extensive is your yard fencing? Is it dig proof? Do your dogs have a drive to escape their home to seek travel?

Thanks to anyone that takes the time to answer any of these. I'm trying to see if this is a breed that I can provide an adequate home to, and if the current breeding practices, selection are something that I am OK with.

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Katlin
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Re: Breed/Breeder Questions

Post by Katlin » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:17 am

1. You'd have to ask them, but from what I hear that test is not reliable.
2. No
3. Moderate. When he wants to learn: he's sharp as a nail, when he doesn't: he'll want to play with something or will run away.
4. Extreme. Yes. I use a laser pointer to distract since he has no treat or ball drive. Only prey will distract from more prey with my boy.
5. No
6. Eh...sorta. But if there is another dog or prey, he's gone (hence the laser).
7. Yes, all the time, Wylie does very well so long as he is offleash, onleash he can be possessive of me.
8. None of either, he never runs away. Got over the 3 foot gate one time because there was a cat sitting on the fence pestering him, so I watch him when he is outside. He is never left alone outside. I do not have a dig-proof yard. When Wylie dug one hole as a puppy I filled it with rocks and he stopped and never did it again.
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Tana
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Re: Breed/Breeder Questions

Post by Tana » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:34 pm

Hello, welcome.

2. No.
3. With right motivation very eager to please.
4. Tana has some prey drive, but not extreme. Completely under control.
5. No.
6. Yes, Tana has great recall and can be offleash everywhere.
7. She is very sociable and loves to meet new dogs.
8. Digging-yes, but not in terms to escape, climbing no. Drive to escape: no.

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rhadamant
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Re: Breed/Breeder Questions

Post by rhadamant » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 pm

Hi there!

I figured I'd answer to so you'd have a range of answers. Keep in mind that each puppy will have slightly different traits, so if you're looking for a specific trait, like less prey drive, or a dog who is more easily trained. For instance when looking for my 2nd Tamaskan I needed a puppy that had good bone structure because I do a lot of agility training with my dogs, so the breeder lined me up with the puppy with the hardiest bone structure.

1. Katlin answered this. I've done DNA tests for wolf content before in the past, the test isn't all that reliable.

2. Once again, no. Both my Tamaskans show now desire to escape. I even agility train them so a 6 foot wall isn't much of a barrier for them and yet they've never even hinted at running away.

3. My older one (Echo) is very trainable, she can run an agility course full of equipment from start to finish with no instruction. My younger one (Tusk) has been a bit harder to train for specific tasks, but her recall is better than my older one.

4. I have a 3rd dog, Yoda, who is 7lbs. Both my Tamaskans grew up around him, so as a result neither of them really have prey drive at all. Echo as a little bit more prey drive than Tusk, but Tusk has ZERO prey drive.

5. None. There is a lot of pack instinct, but no herding instinct.

6. I walk on side streets with my dogs off leash. Echo is better at following me, Tusk has better recall. Much like Tana, my dogs can be off leash everywhere too.

7. I go to a local dog park with them 6 nights a week for about an hour and a half, they love it. When we're there they mostly just play with their friends. I go to an agility park once a week or so where I work on running them through agility equipment. I head out to a dog beach or dog water park about once a month for swimming and playing with dogs. I also take my dogs to every restaurant, brewery and store I can for socialization.

8. My dogs have dug up a palm tree and a few other holes, but mostly out of boredom, never to escape.

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Re: Breed/Breeder Questions

Post by Sylvaen » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:33 am

Welcome to the forum! :D
ixandstones wrote:As far as I understand this breed is very new. Even though it is very new, it has had some important problems in the line that has caused health issues. Inbreeding and cover ups from utaganan if I understand correctly. I found NO health tests/certificates required in the breed standard. Are there NO CGS etsts, hip/eye tests involved in qualifying a dog to breed? If there are, where are they listed?
All TDR breeding dogs must be fully health tested before qualifying for breeding. These health tests include: hip/elbow x-ray scoring, annual eye exam, DM testing and DNA profiling of all breeding dogs. In addition, some breeders opt to conduct additional health testing, such as the MyDogDNA PASS as well as DNA profiling every puppy before they go to their new homes. You can read more info here:
http://www.tamaskan-dog.org/registry/be ... reeder.php
http://www.tamaskan-dog.org/registry/li ... ration.php
ixandstones wrote:I've done a search for "Blustag" and found out there are 2 Blustag Kennels, both unafiliated with TDR. Both are labeled as puppy mills. Is this correct?
Yes, that is correct. You can read more info here: http://www.tamaskansagainstpuppymills.c ... list/c16bq
ixandstones wrote:I've read the temperament info which covers some info, mostly saying that since the mixes are so new, it will be based on individual dog. So my questions would be to see experienced owners personal takes on the points below and breeders opiions on their dogs/pups.
Here is some additional info about temperament from my own website: http://www.sylvaen.com/info.html
ixandstones wrote:1) Are there any TDR breeders that can provide GCG, hip/eye/dna tests for their breeders? Have you had any DNA test done to your dogs? Has there been any evidence of Wolf DNA in your dogs?
Yes, you can see copies of our breeding dogs' health certificates here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 3916303618

Furthermore, all of our breeding dogs (and all of our puppies) have also been DNA tested via MyDogDNA (Genoscoper). You can see all the results here:
www.Sylvaen.com/MyDogDNA.html

If you look at the Tamaskan pedigrees, you will see that almost all Tamaskan bloodlines contain some wolf content further back in the ancestry. For instance, here are our dogs' (and their litters) pedigrees: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 3916303618
The wolf content comes from Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs, Saarloos Wolfdogs, American Wolfdogs and Svensk Varghund that were used in the creation of the breed...
http://www.tamaskan-dog.org/breed-info/foundation-dogs/

By now, most Tamaskan bloodlines have such a diluted amount of wolf content that it is virtually negligible but some individual dogs may still test positive via the UC Davis "Wolf Hybrid" test. However, some recent wolfdog outcrosses have been added so it is possible that some bloodlines will have more recent wolf content, though the amount is relatively small (around 10-20% wolf content)... either way, it's important to discuss this with the breeder, especially if you live in an area that has a "zero tolerance" policy toward wolfdogs.
ixandstones wrote:2) Does your dog exhibit the nomadic and escape artist traits of Northern Dogs such as the Husky?
Luckily ours aren't destructive and only one (Vala) is a bit of an escape artist... we have a large outdoor enclosure with 2m high fencing but she isn't a climber, instead she will look for weak spots in the fence and then pry and wiggle until she manages to squirm / bulldoze her way out (the others can't be bothered). We're getting new fencing soon though. :)
ixandstones wrote:3) How trainable has your dog been? Are they aloof and ignore commands or are they eager to please?
Ours are very food motivated and will happily perform a wide variety of tricks if treats are involved, which makes it very easy to teach them new things (and they are extremely intelligent). :D
ixandstones wrote:4) How is their Prey Drive? Does it put them into a state where they ignore commands? If so, how do you deal with this?
Prey drive really varies a lot depending on the bloodline as well as the individual dog. Ours are generally fine with smaller animals and they get along well with our cats but they enjoy hunting mice and birds if given the opportunity (though not to the extent that they will ignore commands). If they catch a bird, I can usually tell them to drop it (or take it out of their mouth) before any harm comes to the bird, aside from a few slobbery ruffled feathers.
ixandstones wrote:5) Do they have any Herding Instinct that one has to deal with?
Not really... the breed is mostly based on arctic content (husky / malamute) so any shepherd content is minimal, along with herding instinct.
ixandstones wrote:6) Have you been able to train them reliably for recall when off leash?
Absolutely. The trick is plenty of practice (using positive reinforcement) when the pup is still young... during puberty they tend to go through a challenging phase of "selective hearing" where they just don't want to listen but they usually grow out of that phase by adulthood.
ixandstones wrote:7) Have you exposed them to off leash parks with other dogs? And activities with you in such places? How did that go?
Of course, dog parks are great exercise for them and they really enjoy socializing with other dogs.
ixandstones wrote:8) Digging, climbing: How extensive is your yard fencing? Is it dig proof? Do your dogs have a drive to escape their home to seek travel?
Ours love to dig (holes mostly) but they aren't climbers. In our outdoor enclosure we have tall (2m high) fencing to stop them from jumping over but the main focus is along the bottom of the fencing where we installed "dig guards" along the whole length to prevent them from tunneling out. They don't have a huge desire to escape but it's still a good idea to have secure fencing just to be safe and for peace of mind.
ixandstones wrote:Thanks to anyone that takes the time to answer any of these. I'm trying to see if this is a breed that I can provide an adequate home to, and if the current breeding practices, selection are something that I am OK with.
No problem! :D
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Re: Breed/Breeder Questions

Post by firleymj » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:55 pm

I thought I had a breeding male for a time.... but let me try to answer some of the questions anyway.
He's a national champion twice over, (The first Tamaskan EVER to get a full double championship) but we don't dare breed him, that's how strict this breed's standards have become. (sigh)

WARNING: This is the reply for only one dog and should not be considered "statistically typical"

1) Are there any TDR breeders that can provide GCG, hip/eye/dna tests for their breeders? Have you had any DNA test done to your dogs? Has there been any evidence of Wolf DNA in your dogs?
Breeders are required to test for physiological conditions. (Hips/eyes,DM,GSDM, etc)

A dog that never shows any potential for a positive wolf DNA test is a cat with identity issues. (The best labs post a disclaimer about "false positives" but governments and individuals have bought into a kind of pseudoscience that can't be validated given the way the tests are currently conducted). Is it a good idea to DNA test? Probably, but a positive result carries (at least in some states and localities) a high risk for your dog being confiscated or destroyed and many people, breeders and owners included, don't want their dogs destroyed on a "false positive." If you live in an understanding jurisdiction, great. But I'm very reluctant to put my boy at risk. As a result, his bloodline will be lost, but who am I to even petition the powers that be?

This is what terrifies me:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/371/998/ ... &cid=fb_na


2) Does your dog exhibit the nomadic and escape artist traits of Northern Dogs such as the Husky?
Escape, not at all. Nomadic? His recall is a function of distraction level - the more wildlife or other dogs he's playing with, the slower his response. He will come slowly and wander a bit. (That's probably more my laxity than his fault, but I like his general disposition just the way it is.)

3) How trainable has your dog been? Are they aloof and ignore commands or are they eager to please?
Very trainable, and very eager to please. But be cautioned: mine had a low boredom threshold. Training wasn't learn one command, then go on to the next. Sit, down, and shake were learned almost concurrently - you have to vary the task a lot to keep his attention.

4) How is their Prey Drive? Does it put them into a state where they ignore commands? If so, how do you deal with this?
His prey drive is pretty much limited to squirrels and chipmunks. His PLAY drive, however, is very high. He will attempt to play with rabbits, geese, deer and all sorts of other wildlife - though he shows a marked fear of snakes which I have done nothing to discourage.
A simple "Not for you" (his commands are largely given in Lakota to avoid confusion with other dogs) and a corrective tug is all that's usually necessary.


5) Do they have any Herding Instinct that one has to deal with?
Mine has none whatever, though he will attempt to guard our tortoises.

6) Have you been able to train them reliably for recall when off leash?
See the response to (2)

7) Have you exposed them to off leash parks with other dogs? And activities with you in such places? How did that go?
We do dog parks just about two hours a day every day. His interactions are generally very positive - he's been able to deal with dogs with bad social issues very positively. At least one dog behavior specialist has recommended that he be used as a therapy dog for DOGS with socialization issues, since he's a very deliberate and enthusiastic player. I've been reluctant to risk him in a formal program, but we have worked with at least two "damaged" dogs - one very successfully, the other not so much. If attacked, he generally runs to me, but he's never been the aggressor. Between the ages of 16-20 months he was much more interested in dominance displays, but that's pretty much quieted down - he will occasionally indulge, but it's more the exception now.
He does visit the local (human) nursing home as a therapy dog.


8) Digging, climbing: How extensive is your yard fencing? Is it dig proof? Do your dogs have a drive to escape their home to seek travel?
We have a tiny townhouse yard, but back onto a 40+ acre park and do a dog park at least 5 days of 7. 6 of 7 more commonly. From the time he was a pup, he suffered some level of separation anxiety, so while he will "roam" a little, he's much more comfortable being within sight or smell of me or another of his known humans. Our yard is completely enclosed and dig resistant, but he's never been much of a digger.

Thanks to anyone that takes the time to answer any of these. I'm trying to see if this is a breed that I can provide an adequate home to, and if the current breeding practices, selection are something that I am OK with.

For an idea of what living with a Tamaskan has been like for the last 30 months, you might want to check out Kona's diary on this forum. http://www.tamaskan-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4255
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