Tamaskan History

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The History of the Tamaskan Breed


In the early 80's, five dogs, of Siberian Husky origins, were imported into the UK from America. These dogs were then bred to Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds to create a wolf like dog, but with a good temperament, thus being suitable as a family dog. In the 80's these dogs were labelled as wolf dogs or simply wolf look-a-likes. Poor records were kept from this era and so the ancestry of most of these dogs is totally unknown. In 1988 a group of people got together and formed a club with the name, The Northern Inuit Society (NI), although this name suffered criticism as they are neither from the North, nor have they any association with the Inuit people. Lynn Hardey of Blustag Kennel, the founder of the Tamaskan breed purchased two breeding dogs from a breeder who had moved away from the original NI Society to go in a different direction. Having purchased these dogs Lynn Hardey called a few breeders together to form a committee for a new club to be called The Utonagan Society, to dissasociate from the NI breeders, and to introduce health testing and dna profiling. Arguments then ensued over what the breed standard should allow, and others were not prepared to go through all the health testing required before breeding. Lynn wished to implement a strict health testing regime for breeders of Utonagan, to try to combat some of the poor hips seen in many NI at the time, but conflicts of interest between Lynn and other breeders led to Lynn forming her own club, The British and International Utonagan Society. The British and International Utonagan Society created the first mandatory hip and eye testing scheme. Soon after starting the new club and researching into the pedigrees of her Utonagan dogs she discovered that many of the pedigrees did not add up with those given to other people. After a bit of digging it was discovered that dogs names were changed or parents were altered entirely to cover up mother-son and brother-sister matings. Lynn decided that in order to progress with the breed we would have to forget what we have been told about the pedigrees of our dogs and instead add in new bloodlines in order to save the breed from any health issues that could arise from unknowingly mating related dogs. Lynn spent the next few years searching for suitable outcrosses. To disassociate herself from the scandal surrounding the alteration of pedigrees in the ancestry of her dogs, she gave her dogs new registered names and altered her pedigrees as far as she could to reflect the truth of their past. The British & International Utonagan Society continued to selectively breed and improve type, keeping all records of matings, health issues, etc., setting rules and regulations, a code of ethics and providing breeders contracts. Eventually these dogs started to look different than the dogs being bred by The (original) Utonagan Society.

The search for other wolfy looking dogs led Lynn to Lapland, where dogs of a very similar appearance were being bred for sled pulling in extreme temperatures. These dogs’ close ancestors were also some of the best sled racing dogs in the world and would enhance the breed’s future working ability. After some negotiations with kennel owners, a female was purchased and imported into the UK, with an additional six dogs booked for import from the same kennels. It has been suggested that Czech Wolfdog was added into some of these dogs in the past as recent DNA tests have found small amounts of wolf content. However, Lynn did visit the kennels personally and met many of the relatives of each dog, assuring herself that each had an exemplary temperament.

With a collection of new bloodlines now organized, it was time to think about the future. So, it was decided after much debate by the committee members of the British & International Society to close down the Society, as the (original) Utonagan Society  did not wish to include the same type of new bloodlines in their breeding program. Therefore, it seemed obvious that the present Utonagan would soon not resemble the ‘new’ dogs whatsoever and they would need a new name.

After Lynns visit to Finland in 2004 she fell in love with the country and moved there in 2006, taking with her 7 of her Blustag dogs, her original female import and collectiong the other 6 dogs from Lapland. 5 other Blustag dogs belonging to other breeders were also included in the foundation stock and 2 of her new Finnish dogs were flown to these breeders in the UK.  Two other foundation dogs were added in 2006, purchased from breeders in Finland and a male was added in 2008 (a black grey) and two more (wolf greys) were added in 2009 to bring in fresh bloodlines and add in desirable traits to the breed.

In 2009, the TDR introduced a Saarloos Wolfdog as a "one-time only" out-cross to bring some fresh blood into the breed. However, to date none of his progeny have been bred from. This particular Saarloos was specifically selected due to his great temperament, appearance, and health.

In February 2006, The Tamaskan Dog Register was formed with the founder, Lynn, sitting as its chairman and her daughter Jennie of Blufawn Kennel as the secretary. The same strict rules and regulations enforced by the British and International Utonagan Society were carried over, with one new addition. In 2008 DNA testing became mandatory for all breeding dogs. It was important to Lynn that all records were correct from the very beginning of the breed for any future KC recognition and for peace of mind that future breeders would not be able to breed related dogs and falsify pedigrees. All dogs used in the Tamaskan Dog breed from the very first foundation dog, to 'one time only' stud dogs have been DNA profiled and recorded.

In 2006 Lynn's daughter and co-founder Jennie set up Tamaskan Rescue UK, which catered not only for Tamaskan but for all other wolf like breeds. Not only did she take in dogs for rehoming but she also looked after dogs while their owners visited hospital. Jennie also started the affiliated breeders program in 2008, to encourage new breeders to do further health tests on their dogs. Gold, silver and bronze awards were handed out to those breeders who completed more health tests than required by the TDR and also to those who micro-chipped their puppies.

 Tamaska means ‘Mighty Wolf’ in North American Indian language.
The Tamaskan Dog Register is now the Governing Body for all Tamaskan dogs throughout the world. Since forming in early 2006 many tributaries of the TDR have branched to include clubs in many foreign countries.  Tamaskan Dogs have been exported all over Europe, America, Canada and Australia.

In 2013 several disgruntled breeders decided to start their own register of the same name, claiming that they owned the rights to the TDR name. It is widely accepted that these breeders were unhappy with the cost of importing pure bred Tamaskan and disagreed with the founders wish to keep out-crossing to a minimum, to protect the character and conformation of the breed. Since splitting from the original TDR, they have bred many outcross litters, including adding mid to high content wolfdogs, altering the genetic makeup of the Tamaskan irreparably. The original Tamaskan and this 'new' Tamaskan can no longer be considered to be the same breed of dog. Please note that the people that govern this register have been supporting and promoting tamaskan ownership since 2000 and have had ownership of this website and registry since Jan 2006.

To learn more about this lovely natured family dog please visit the information pages.


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