What all goes into registering your tamaskan with the TDR as an approved breeding dog? Why would you want to be TDR approved?
To have an approved breeding dog with the Tamaskan Dog Register means that you agree to its standard for the Tamaskan, abide by its rules (i.e. have necessary health testing done as a minimum on your dog), and you are part of group of people passionate about helping grow the Tamaskan breed.
For a short list of the testing required see our Breed Info Page!
As Tamaskans are still a breed in development, oftentimes litters are from an approved outcross dog or even from an approved foundation dog. Foundation dogs are dogs that do not have tamaskan parents, but they have been evaluated and approved as being close enough to the breed standard to be considered an honorary tamaskan and therefore be used for breeding. Outcross dogs are dogs of any breed that might not have all the same characteristics of a tamaskan but do bring desirable traits (and fresh new genes!) that breeders are looking to incorporate into the tamaskan breed.
The first hurtle to registering your dog to breed with the TDR is to get them fully registered as tamaskans. If your tam was from two TDR fully registered parents, viola! your tamaskan is considered fully registered. However, if you have a tam from an outcross or foundation litter your tam is conditionally registered and must pass two evaluations. These can be done once your tam is over the age of 12 months. They must be temperament evaluated (which often times is done by administering a Canine Good Citizen Test) to make sure they posses the right attitude and personality that a tamaskan should have. They also will have a conformation evaluation which looks at their form and structure (everything from body ratio, bone structure, to eye and coat color) to make sure they fit the tamaskan breed standard. Fortunately these tests tend to be inexpensive; Thorin is from a foundation litter and his tests cost around $50 each. These tests ensure that the tamaskan breed continues to have the qualities they should have.
It is required that all breeding tamaskans have a parentage confirmation test done. This is done by GeneSeek and simply requires a mouth swap or blood sample to be sent in from your vet. Your tamaskan will be evaluated against its alleged parents DNA and will get a confirmation letter that lists its parentage. We went the blood sample route so it was a little more costly (~$168) and depends on how much your vet charges for the sample and does require a poke from a needle! This test can be done at any age. This test might seem a little unnecessary but it is possible for multiple males to tie during a bitch's heat cycle (accidents can happen!) and it could turn out that pups from one litter could have different fathers. This just gives full transparency to your tam's pedigree.
Once your fully registered tam has turned 12 months they can also have their eye exam scheduled! This was tricky for us as the nearest Vet Ophthalmologist that would give an OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) CAER (Companion Animal Eye Registry) evaluation was 75 miles away. This exam is pretty quick and uneventful and only cost us $64. This test is only required to be done once by the TDR but many breeders get this done annually to ensure their breeding dogs have no genetic eye disorders. Genetic eye disorders are known to affect both GSD and Siberians so it is important tamaskans get tested as these breeds were the foundation for our dogs.
If you are looking to have your stud dog approved, you will need to have your vet sign off on a Certificate of Entirety. This is done to make sure that he has two healthy, fully descended testes. This only cost us our base vet fee of $35, but you could sneak it into another health wellness visit for free! Tamaskans as a breed are known to carry the gene for cryptorchidism (only one descended testicle) and this evaluation helps regulate the prevalence of this disorder.
One of the last required health tests is to have your pup's hips and elbows scored. Two of the most popular screenings are through the OFA or through the BVA (British Vet Association). They do score joints slightly differently and there are different acceptance levels for each screening. Hip and elbow scoring can be done as early as 18 months. If you do OFA scoring it will be considered an OFA preliminary score; these are different ratings than OFA scores evaluated when the dog is over 24 months. The BVA hip and elbow scores look at a couple different positions of the joints and can also be done at 18 months. The big thing with these evaluations are that typically your vet will require a sedative be used because some of the x-rays they take are in odd positions that would be quite difficult and possibly painful to manipulate with a fully alert dog. Because of this, these tests are also quite expensive; it cost us $719, though this can depend a lot on your individual vet. These tests are important as many larger dog breeds (GSD and Siberians included) can suffer from dysplasia. Hip/elbow dysplasia is a disorder in the joint formation. This disorder can be from genetic predisposition as well as environmental factors and is affected by multiple genes and factors. It is important to rule out dogs with dysplasic joints from the gene pool as it is a severe and crippling disorder.
The last test required is a DM test. This is a test for the Degenrative Myelopathy disorder. Dogs are either clear, carriers, or at risk for DM. Tams can be approved if they are clear or carriers, though carriers can only be bred with DM clear dogs. Sometimes a litter is considered DM clear from the start as both parents in the pairing were DM clear. However, there is no harm in double checking! DM is a spinal disorder in dogs that causes progressive paralysis and is a known inherited disorder. This is something that is very sad to watch a dog go through and is something that needs to be prevented at all costs for the sake of the pups.
You can order a DM specific test (the UC Davis Canine DNA testing offers one for $50) or you can order a DNA panel which will include many more health and trait details! Popular DNA panels are Wisdom Panel and Embark. These tests run around $150 each and give loads of details of the genetic makeup of your dog, including many health disorders, Coefficient of Inbreeding percentages, breed composition, and coat genetics (there are many genes that make your tam look like a tam!). These tests just involve you sending back a mouth swab sample and are easy to do yourself at home. We had both Wisdom Panel and Embark done on Thorin for different reasons. Wisdom Panel offered coat genetics specific to the white spotting gene (which is common in huskies and tamaskans). Embark offered a breed makeup percentage that peaked our interest. These full DNA panels are not required by the TDR, but they quite helpful in giving details about the kind of pups your tam could produce.
Below is a pie chart breaking down the costs relative to one another from our experience in getting Thorin approved:
There is a lot of time, work, money, and dedication that goes into getting your tamaskan fully approved to breed with the TDR. If you are looking to go through this process and help our breed progress, we wish you luck! Please feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have!