Hello from Lithuania!

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PaleoCat
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Hello from Lithuania!

Post by PaleoCat » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:33 pm

Hello!

I am a beginner dog owner and canicross runner. I have some plans on getting a second dog if I manage to prove myself worthy in 2-4 years. After reading a lot about many breeds, Tamaskans seems to be the best choice. So feel free to ask me anything and everything, because I will be reading and asking many questions!

So here is little bit about me and my four legged family:
Morta (me): female, 24 y.o., programmer, art and paleontology enthusiast
Laka: female, 12 y.o., domestic long haired cat, fixed, rescue, adventure cat, fat cat (working on getting fit), not a free roam cat (home only)
Medutis: male, 1 y.o., mutt (possibly West Siberian laika mix), fixed, rescue, canicross dog, obedience in training dog, fit dog (working towards conditioned)

What my priorities while taking care of my pets:
-1 or 2 yearly vet visits and health check
-training and mental exercises
-fitness
-food only super/ultra premium, human grade
-hygiene and beauty
-safety for each pet (not allowed to be alone with access to each other unsupervised)

Why Tamaskans?
Basically if I start doing canix sports and have enough resources (time, love, enthusiasm, space... basically you name it) then I would start planning on getting another dog. And I think that Tamaskan dog breed is on of the most fitting my requirements:
-big/huge dog breed
-mushing dog breed
-primitive dog breed (I just love them, idk why)
-agouti/wolf grey color pattern coat (my mutt has this pattern, I think this is why I fell in love with this type of coat)
-cold climate loving breed
-trainable if possible (primitive + mushing and I want trainable.. yeah, dream on dear me :lol: )
-low prey drive (same as trainable... hope that it is true that Tamaskans are the mushing breed with lowest prey drive)

What are the requirements for me to start seriously plan on getting a Tamaskan pup?
-In 2-4 years I must start running canicross professionally (first participation in canicross race is planned this spring)
-I must prove myself that i can train my rescue mutt. In order to do that, I have to fully understand how to train primitive breeds, low food motivation dogs and etc. How to deal with traumatized rescue dogs and make them friendly to all. Also: my plan for my mutt is perfect city dog, perfect off leash hiking dog, rally obedience dog.

P.S.: I have an Instagram account, but right now I am on a hiatus due to sudden change of lifestyle and lack of a good camera. Visit if you are interested: https://www.instagram.com/laka_and_medutis/
Interested in Tamaskan breed, plan on getting a pup in 2-4 years period. For now just information gathering <3

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Re: Hello from Lithuania!

Post by ArwenT » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:49 pm

Hi PaleoCat, and welcome!

I'm really new here, so I won't be able to give you any advice as I don't own a Tamaskan yet, but I read your post and I was interested in knowing how you introduced your rescue dog to your cat.
I'm asking as I recently visited the TamaskanRescue site and would truly love to give a home to an abandoned Tamaskan but after reading a lot about introducing dogs to cats I thought my only success chance was to get a puppy. How old was your dog when you brought her home?

As for prey-drive, I have read a lot and the general consensus seems to be that it really depends on the individual Tamaskan and how old they are when they are introduced in their new pack, but generally speaking, they do have quite a high prey drive. Here's a thread, if you haven't found it already:
http://www.tamaskan-forum.com/viewtopic ... 5240bf0e2c

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PaleoCat
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Re: Hello from Lithuania!

Post by PaleoCat » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:23 am

Firstly, I googled tons of "how to introduce your new dog to your old resident cat" :D . I adopted my mutt from the rescue when he was 8 months old. He already hated cats and nobody told me that even when I asked :( So the hard work began immediately. Here is what steps I took:
1. Introducing through smell: both animals are in completely non accessible to each other areas (rooms which are not next to each other). They do not see each other and rarely even hears sounds another makes. You will need something on which your animals can sleep (I used blanket + bed). After some time bring other pet's blanket to another and let them sniff. Give treats. Repeat this till they start ignore that "new thing with weird smell".
2. Let the animals walk quite close to the dividing door. For good reactions - reward. For bad - just increase the distance. Mine didn't react bad, so I didn't need to use anything for this, but I would have used some cardboard boxes for the dog room.
3. Start feeding them close to the door on each side.
4. If everything is going great, then it is time for the visual introduction! Usually glass doors or baby gates are used. Remember, that animals at this point still should not be able to get to each other or even to touch. Observe carefully and give plenty of treats or toys when they act nicely or just simply ignores each other. If anything goes bad, return to previous step. At this step I have made some mistakes, because I used sliding door with increasing opening and me in the middle. This can make you the target if one or both pets attack. So get more creative and do not risk of redirected aggression.
5. If everything is duper fine, then they are ready to meet each other eye to eye. Dog on a leash. If cat is trained, then even a cat on a leash. Cat should walk wherever she/he wants. Dog should be more leash controlled. Even at the slightest sign of aggression cut this meeting short. If cat is aggressive - don not cuddle them. If possible even do not carry them in hands. Provide plenty of play and treats. Make every new successful meeting longer, till they start to ignore each other. After some time: here you go! A successfully introduced cat and dog (and not a kitten and a pup :D ).
Things to remember:
-Your goal is not super friends, your goal is pets ignoring each other. Being friends will come later.
-This can take tons of time. For me it took 6 months. There are people who needed it to do for a week, and there are people who needed to do this for a year, so...
-Never leave your two pets together unsupervised! However friendly they are. Especially Tamaskan will be much bigger, heavier and more powerful than a cat: even play can leave some injuries. I crate trained my mutt, so now he just sleeps that several hours I am at work or shopping.
-Never let the dog even think about chasing the cat. Always use a very strict no when you see him jump or flex muscles in order to run after your cat. And always use tons of praises when you see him calmly observing running/jumping cat.

As for Tamaskan prey drive, the more I read the more it becomes clear: Tamaskans vary so much, so general prey drive is just high, but not completely super high like huskies. If I ever buy one, I will ask to give me a pup, with lowest chasing skills :D
Interested in Tamaskan breed, plan on getting a pup in 2-4 years period. For now just information gathering <3

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Re: Hello from Lithuania!

Post by ArwenT » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:28 pm

Thank you so much for the very thoughtful reply, these are some great tips!
You have had a lot of patience, 6 months is a long time. But I guess you have to be open to all possible scenarios and just persevere.

I especially liked this:
PaleoCat wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:23 am
Things to remember:
-Your goal is not super friends, your goal is pets ignoring each other. Being friends will come later.
This sounds very down to earth, and helps me being less "romantic" and more realistic...thank you!
I loved your pics in your Instagram, you have some beautiful friends there! And your cat is leash-trained too! :)

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Re: Hello from Lithuania!

Post by Sylvaen » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:11 am

Welcome to the forum! It's good that you're doing lots of research well in advance. After reading everything you wrote, it sounds like a Tamaskan would be a good match for your lifestyle. :D
As for Tamaskan prey drive, the more I read the more it becomes clear: Tamaskans vary so much, so general prey drive is just high, but not completely super high like huskies. If I ever buy one, I will ask to give me a pup, with lowest chasing skills :D
Tamaskan prey drive does vary quite a bit but, in general, if they are raised around cats then it isn't a problem for them to live with cats. Overall, a Tamaskan has a lot lower prey drive than a West Siberian Laika (mix) which is a true hunting breed. Since you already have experience with successfully introducing an older juvenile mixbreed dog to an adult cat, you shouldn't have a problem introducing a Tamaskan puppy into your household. :)
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Re: Hello from Lithuania!

Post by Emily » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:18 am

I like this: If cat is aggressive - don not cuddle them.

Reminds me of YouTube videos of people who have tried to approach and grab angry cats. Why would you even

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