The Tamaskan Dog is a relatively new breed and, as such, it is important to remember that temperament can vary from bloodline to bloodline as well as from litter to litter, and even dog to dog. This is why reputable Tamaskan breeders will match each individual puppy to the most ideal household with regard to the puppy’s energy level and character, in consideration to the family’s lifestyle and planned activities. The Tamaskan is an adaptable breed, which can fit into a variety of different households and lifestyles. At home, they tend to be fairly calm and relaxed, mostly just lounging around, whereas they are more active on walks and particularly enjoy long hikes. That being said, unlike many other Arctic breeds, Tamaskan Dogs are not hyperactive and do not NEED to work / run on a daily basis… though they do enjoy it.
In general, Tamaskan Dogs are very loyal family / pack-oriented dogs. This means that the breed can be prone to suffering from separation anxiety and/or exhibiting destructive behavior if left alone for extended periods of time. Tamaskan Dogs tend to do best if they live with someone who works from home or who can bring them to work each day, but many Tamaskan Dogs cope just fine if they are left home alone for shorter periods, particularly if they have another dog (or dogs) for company. Tamaskan Dogs around the world successfully live with other dogs of all breeds and sizes, as well as a multitude of other pets including: cats, rabbits, horses, birds, etc. However, it is important to introduce these animals while the Tamaskan is still young so they grow up knowing that those other animals are also part of the family pack as the breed can have a moderate prey drive (again, a lot depends on the individual dog).
The Tamaskan is highly intelligent and quick to learn new things, particularly if the right form of motivation is found (food/play, etc). However, they can have quite a “what’s in it for me” attitude, which can seem like stubbornness, if they are not sufficiently motivated to do what you are asking of them. On the other hand, they are incredible problem-solvers and can learn simply by observing (such as how to open door handles or cabinets) which means that they can sometimes be too smart for their own good! Overall, the breed is extraordinarily versatile and, with persistence and plenty of positive-reinforcement based training, they can perform a broad spectrum of activities ranging from obedience trials to recreational mushing (urban / sled / bikejoring / canicross, etc) to agility to Search & Rescue to scent detection to long-distance hiking / endurance events, etc. Some Tamaskans have also been successfully trained as service / therapy dogs.
Tamaskan Dogs are usually very friendly (not aloof) and are social with adults and children of all ages. The breed standard stipulates that they are not shy or timid, nor are they aggressive (either towards people or other dogs). On the contrary, Tamaskan Dogs are generally very sensitive and highly attuned to their human pack members; therefore, it is recommended that only experienced and confident dog owners, who are positive and persistent in their training, consider ownership. Despite their wolf-like appearance, Tamaskan Dogs are not fierce or aggressive and they do not make good guarddogs. Their character is far too “soft” for protection work / Schutzhund training, but they are attentive and intuitive so they may bark if someone unfamiliar approaches their territory at night while everyone is sleeping or if someone directly threatens their owner, particularly if that person seems hostile or suspicious.
One of the main perks of owning a Tamaskan Dog, compared to other Arctic breeds such as huskies, is that they usually have much better recall and less desire to run off. The key is plenty of off-leash recall training (positive reinforcement!) in a safe area while the Tamaskan is still young. Finally, it is also worth keeping in mind that Tamaskan Dogs can experience a challenging “selective hearing” / disobedient teenage phase while they are going through puberty. Compared to other large breeds, the Tamaskan is relatively slow to mature (both physically and mentally) so they continue to grow and develop up until 2 years old, and may still exhibit goofy-puppy behavior up until this age and beyond.
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