Tamaskans turn heads wherever you go. It's likely a discussion will start regarding what the breed is, where they came from, and potential wolf content. As we are fortunate enough to have two tams of our own, we are always happy to share information about the breed with anyone who is interested.
As tamaskans are still a relatively young breed, temperament and conformation can vary between different breeders and individual dogs. In general they are spirited, intelligent, loving, and active dogs. With the proper training and right motivation they can excel at a number of different activities including obedience, agility, sledding, tracking, and service dog work.
Thorin was a reserved puppy the day we brought him home. He very quickly latched onto Olivia and preferred meeting new women over men. Though he was socialized since an early age, he still holds some reservation for new men, but quickly warms up to anyone willing to play. His favorite games include running around, chasing a flirt pole, and a short lived game of fetch. He can be a bit mouthy, but has calmed down from teething days.
Thorin's nature has always been well mannered. We received a lot of remarks when he was still a young puppy about how calm and mature he was. He quickly potty trained and listened to mom even when going to the scary vet's office. At home he is more talkative and likes to make it known when he doesn't think he should have to listen to commands (though he sits anyway). He enjoys car rides and walks (or pulls) around nature areas. He is food motivated when learning new commands, though sometimes even raw meat won't be enough to coax him inside on a chilly, snowy night.
Thorin is a true companion dog. He'll gladly spend the day hiking or curled up next to you on the couch, whichever you prefer. He loves playing with other tamaskans and similar breeds (he gets confused with the play style of more bull dosing breeds like pits and bulldogs). He knows he is not supposed to chase our cat, and tries to lick her even when she slaps him. He has an ongoing stale mate with a few neighborhood squirrels and has caught (and eaten) birds in the yard.
He's a bit picky when it comes to food. He enjoys a grain-free kibble and raw meat daily. He'll only eat apples, blueberries, sweet potato and pumpkin when in the mood. Peanut butter isn't very interesting to him, but he's mad for coconut oil. He'll eat eggs after tossing them in the air and playing with them in the yard. He does not like the taste of fish (of any sort) at all and finds its best use is for scent rolling.
Thorin is our sweet boy who we wouldn't trade the world for. He was a great introduction for us to fall even more deeply in love with the breed.
Athena is a tam of another color! She is more daring and bold than Thorin was at her age. She's a happy-to-lick-everybody and overly excited, jumpy puppy. She struggles with car sickness and shows a bit more separation anxiety. We are happy to have Thorin around for her company. The two of them spend most of the day chasing each other around and play fighting.
Athena's sweet nature comes out when she snuggles up on the couch, but only when she's sleepy. She happily eats whatever you hand her including medication (she gobbles it up on its own), oranges, green beans, and stinky fish. We're still learning more about her every day, but know that she complements Thorin well and is a great addition to our ever growing (furry) family. She's our little monster and our little howler too.
Thorin has gone through four rounds of dog training (polite puppy, basic manners, tricks, and distraction classes) and Athena will start hers soon. According to the trainer, Thorin was a pleasure to have in class and impressed her with his quick learning. While Thorin and Athena are still quite young, we hope to explore mushing with them once they are older. Thorin has accompanied Olivia on a couple single mile runs and seems to find it very enjoyable, though it doesn't seem to tire him out much!
Tamaskans require dedication and attention to keep them stimulated throughout the day. It's important that they get plenty of outdoor play and exercise. They are social and pack oriented dogs who form a very close family bond and do not like to be left behind. They are not cheap dogs to care for as they do best on raw meat and grain-free diets and can be quite destructive with toys and other chew-able house items. As they are an arctic breed dog they do continuously shed and need to be brushed regularly. They blow their coats twice a year. We encourage that those interested in the breed be keen on positive reinforcement training and have many dog friendly activities in mind that they intend to enjoy with their Tamaskan.