Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

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PatriotsGirl67
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Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by PatriotsGirl67 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:14 pm

So I posted a picture of a Tamaskan on a "Guess the Breed" page just for fun and some guy said Tamaskans are not a breed. I thought they were but are they actually a breed or just a developing one? I want to make sure if I argue his statement, my facts are correct :)

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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by Miran » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:25 pm

a breed or just a developing one?
Both. There are enough of several generations that are quit consistent to say they are a breed BUT also still in development for widening the whole genepool to let the breed stay healthy. Also know in this that many people say a breed isn't a breed because they are not recognized....
BUT the tamaskan may not have a FCI or AKC recognition what we also do not wish to have , they do have a ARBA recognition ;)

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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by firleymj » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:54 pm

Warning: this is addressed from the perspective of a United States Tamaskan owner. In other legal jurisdictions, the dog registry situation may be somewhat different.

The Tamaskan is a breed recognized by the American Rare Breed Association and the Kennel Club of the United States of America (ARBA/KCUSA). Points earned at shows are eligible for "champion" status that is recognized by many pedigree registries. International (especially European) recognition may be coming, but I can tell you even ARBA/KCUSA was an immense amount of work for the US Tamaskan Dog Club, and required a lot of time and money to achieve. We are one of the very few "new breeds" in the "primitive dog/wolf-ish looking dog" to have achieved recognition.

ARBA/KCUSA aren't "second tier" pedigree registries, they exist because their requirements for recognition are legitimately different and aimed at newer breeds with small populations, which require different breeding plans, in contrast to the AKC

We are not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and their sister international organizations for a very good reason: AKC requires that members of a breed can only be bred to registered members of that breed, or in technical speak, their "Stud Book" is closed.

Because we are such a small population and still concerned with genetic diversity, members of the Tamaskan Dog Register are allowed to out-cross our dogs with approved non-Tamaskans (or at least not full Tamaskans) to further genetic health of our dogs individually and the genetic health of the breed as a whole. Our stud book is therefore considered "open", which is a dis-qualifier for AKC membership.

Frankly, this does not upset me. Considering the number of breeds that have been ruined or minimally damaged by the inbreeding that can occur when a "pedigree" line from one of the "big name" kennel clubs achieves a burst in popularity, I'm perfectly content with the situation on the ground today.

To take one heartbreaking example, the German Shepherd (Alsatian Shepherd) suffers from a wide range of muscle and skeletal issues that are made worse by an inability to out cross their dogs legally. As part of our governance, breeders of registered and recognized Tamaskans agree NOT to breed dogs that do not pass pretty rigorous genetic and health tests. It's created strains within the Tamaskan community, but I for one support the requirements going forward pretty far into the future because while it can't guarantee the health of any dog or blood line, it gives us the best chance of having our beloved dogs as healthy and long-lived as they can be.
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by firleymj » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:29 pm

And it's not just my opinion (smile)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamaskan
The Tamaskan Dog is a crossbred dog of sleddog type, originating from Finland, and as of 27 November 2013, has been recognized by the American Rare Breed Association, and the Kennel Club of the United States of America, two related dog fancier and pedigree registries.[1][2] It is a highly versatile dog that can excel in agility, obedience and working trials. It is also capable of pulling sleds, which is inherited from its Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute ancestors. Morphologically, Tamaskans have been bred to look like wolves and have a notable lupine appearance. Although there are a little over 400 registered Tamaskan Dogs worldwide, increasing interest has resulted in their spread throughout continental Europe, the UK and the USA, as well as Canada and Australia.
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

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http://www.anthracitetamaskan.com

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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by Hawthorne » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:17 pm

I would also add that if one were to enroll in one of the online Canine Genetics courses such as Canine Population Genetics, ALL of the breeds involved in these classes are bemoaning the fact that their stud books are closed. There is great tragedy on the horizon for many of these AKC recognized breeds. They simply don't have the genetic diversity to retain health. We want to prevent that in the Tamaskan. While some old school breeders will turn up their nose at such an idea--I have had veteran breeders look on in disbelief at our dogs. They are consistent in type. It really is amazing and I am so proud to be part of this community of people who are ensuring the future of the breed I love the most. There really is nothing else like them. <3

Oh, and here's this: http://kennelclubusa.com/tamaskan-dog.htm and this: http://www.arba.org/group_five.htm
^Look! We're listed on both the KC USA and ARBA websites as recognized breeds :mrgreen:
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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by ligerwolve » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:18 pm

firleymj wrote:

To take one heartbreaking example, the German Shepherd (Alsatian Shepherd) suffers from a wide range of muscle and skeletal issues that are made worse by an inability to out cross their dogs legally. As part of our governance, breeders of registered and recognized Tamaskans agree NOT to breed dogs that do not pass pretty rigorous genetic and health tests. It's created strains within the Tamaskan community, but I for one support the requirements going forward pretty far into the future because while it can't guarantee the health of any dog or blood line, it gives us the best chance of having our beloved dogs as healthy and long-lived as they can be.


Not to go off topic but whaaaaat? Whether you agree with the development of the GSD or not, their shape has nothing to do with stud books. There are tons TONS of healthy happy GSDs of all shapes and sizes who live long lives 14-16 yrs as an average in a line. Because of the GSDs popularity they have a very large gene pool to choose from.

There is a world of difference between say the limited gene pool of an up and coming breed like the Tamaskan that needs to take due care in closing stud books and the GSD gene pool. Since they are one of the most popular breeds in the world.

Sorry about going off topic but its a pet hate of mine. I breed GSDs and for anyone actually interested in the development of the breed I suggest checking out "The German Shepherd Dog: A genetic history". Really interesting read and probably quite useful for people developing a new breed.

I think you need a different example.

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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by Hawthorne » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:42 pm

Yes, unfortunately it is the judges who are partly to blame for the current condition of the American bred GSD. I say partly because it is certainly up to the *breeder* to not participate in the latest *fad* of showing their dogs in such a manner and succumb to the immense structural changes that have taken place. I find it disturbing, personally. There is no way that those dogs are structurally healthy. Which is why I find it so important to retain some sort of "working" definition in the breed. If the dog has a "job" then by default he must have proper structure for that job. To ignore that requirement of good structure for the dog's purpose basically throws the breed standard out the window…which I would argue is what has happened to the GSD in the US. How can any dog move efficiently running on his rear pasterns?

Anywhoo---keeping health, temper, structure and diversity at the forefront will help this new breed pass the test of time. But we also need breeders who don't subscribe to the extremes: wether it be structure or health or temper or diversity. There are always reasons to retain that DM carrier for a breeding program, or to overlook a curly tail for an otherwise superior specimen. The sooner we realize that "there is no such thing as a perfect dog" idealism will go out the window. We can have long term goals, yes, but we cannot sacrifice our entire breeding pool's genetic diversity to get there. Breeders are lucky if they can improve upon their bitch; but that should always be the goal of any breeding. We just need to continue to communicate with one another openly and honestly, and continually point out great sources for educating ourselves. Being a breeder is a huge responsibility: not only in taking care of your own dogs and in being a resource for puppy families, but to learn as much as we can in order to improve the breed. Everyone should always be learning. And as it is we do, I think, do pretty well in communicating with one another. Okay, I guess that was a rant…not directed at anyone…but sometimes I just get so excited about the breed all over again it just all comes out at once :lol: :oops:

But, there is a need and desire by many recognized breeds to open their stud books to bring in new dogs to help shore-up the health of the existing breed. The fact that many registries won't allow this is short sighted at best and snobbery at worst. There is a large group of us who therefore see no value in per suing AKC recognition…perhaps until one day they truly put the health of a breed above antiquated ideals.
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lick like there's no end to kissing
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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by ligerwolve » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:38 pm

Wonderful post :D I agree with a lot of what you have said.

RE: the GSD from what I read we are lucky here is Australia. I don't believe in extremes in any breed. There needs to be balance.

I don't have a problem with the AKC. I don't know about other countries but I know of some breeds having their stud books opened. I believe it was quite the process and in one case I can think of not entirely successful anyway. I think this falls mostly on the breeders. There needs to be a big enough gene pool as discussed, healthy dogs used, and a balanced direction. I have been lucky that the two breeds I have been involved in a) have such a large selection group or B) have a very open standard so that something like a minor fault does not rule out a dog for breeding.

While the GSD has a very specific standard, a good breeder never passes over the "showy" bitch for the good producer who throws nice puppies. GSDs can have hooked tails too and while it is not the ideal I have rarely seen someone over look a dog based on this. It is why IMO the breed constantly changes. The dogs of one year are different to the next and this is not totally based on winning. For example there was a time when the show scene started to see dogs that were over large. It started to become a real issue so there was a swing towards selecting smaller dogs. Then more recently breeders seem to be breeding for better hind angulation (the slope people see here rarely having much to do with the actual back). Thus dogs appearing more balanced. There have been several breeders breeding to working lines and breeders who's dogs both win in the show ring and work just through careful selection.

You are 100% right in not expecting perfection but breeders are human and will aim for it. Even the Tamaskan has a type that you are all looking for and breed towards. Improving the line. Not just in looks but in health, temp etc. The GSD breeders are doing exactly the same. Except those few who are breeding for the wrong reasons. Which will happen in any breed regardless of who it is registered with.

The Tamaskan will see people breed extreme versions (what ever they think is the "best") because there are people who loose sight of what is important.

My only advice would be to keep the standard very open. Like the Finnish Lapphund (a rare breed in Australia although growing rapidly now). There are great variances between dogs in this breed because many differences are "allowed".

I place 100% responsibility of the way a line of dogs looks on the breeder not the judge. As a breeder we are the custodians of these animals and it is our job to do what is best. When I would show a GSD and a judge would be biased against dark, light coated, big heads, small, what ever I would never rush out and breed to what ever. I had to do what was right and that didn't change on one persons opinion. I knew where I was going and the faults of my dogs as well as their assets.

I think the fact that the Tamaskan breeders here are actually doing health tests and building the gene pool and thoroughly thinking through outcrosses is great and I am not worried about them becoming a registered breed. So long as the people who breed keep a balanced perspective. The Tamaskan will do fine.

Also the involvement of the breed body also can have a large impact. Say implementing a working or temperament trial. Or just promoting balanced breeding over extremes.

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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by akaye531 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:45 pm

Sometimes I wish there were a "like" button on the forum. Awesome post, Tracy!

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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by firleymj » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:49 pm

Tracy,

Thanks for making clear what I intended to say, but clearly didn't get 100%.

There are a number of GSDs close to my heart, and it really pains me to see what's been done with less than responsible breeding and a foolish devotion to the "judging standards." I meant to tar and feather only the foolish, and did not intend for it to be quite the blanket statement it may have appeared to be - a good friend works with some of the hard behavior cases in GSD rescue, and it's quite often the case that the "behavior problems" have physiological roots that a previous owner was unable to recognize or cope with. (Bad English, but I hope clearer).

Again, my thanks

Mark
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by aerowrx » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:33 am

Hawthorne wrote:I would also add that if one were to enroll in one of the online Canine Genetics courses such as Canine Population Genetics, ALL of the breeds involved in these classes are bemoaning the fact that their stud books are closed. There is great tragedy on the horizon for many of these AKC recognized breeds. They simply don't have the genetic diversity to retain health. We want to prevent that in the Tamaskan. While some old school breeders will turn up their nose at such an idea--I have had veteran breeders look on in disbelief at our dogs. They are consistent in type. It really is amazing and I am so proud to be part of this community of people who are ensuring the future of the breed I love the most. There really is nothing else like them. <3

Oh, and here's this: http://kennelclubusa.com/tamaskan-dog.htm and this: http://www.arba.org/group_five.htm
^Look! We're listed on both the KC USA and ARBA websites as recognized breeds :mrgreen:

It is kinda contradictory to breed based on judging standards rather than the health reasons. One can argue the credibility of the Tamaskan due to its goal and purpose to look like a wolf. However, the same can be said of every breed in its originality. The golden retriever first bred to be the same color palette over and over again out of the labrador. One would think that all the AKC recognized breeds have large enough populations to filter out all the genetic disorders and health issues with each breed after all these past hundred years, but it is still plagued with the issues ongoing. I'm glad the Tamaskan being in its early stages of development, maintains strict health filtering and learn from past mistakes of various AKC listed breeds.

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Re: Tamaskans are a Breed, Correct?

Post by rhadamant » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:55 pm

One of the reasons I adopted a Tamaskan was this exact issue. I've had multiple AKC purebred dogs in the past, one suffered from DM, another from intense arthritis. When I read about how carefully Tamaskans are bred health, I knew I'd be getting a very healthy puppy. Nothing is worse than seeing your best friend suffer from diseases and mutations that would have been avoidable if breeders were more concerned about health and less about the 'look of the breed standard'.

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