In this guide, we’ll take a look at the husky vs tamaskan to see which breed is more suited for you.
Huskies and tamaskans are actually very similar; consider how huskies played a large role in the development of the tamaskan breed. Both are working dogs with a high-energy drive and intelligence; the only main difference is in their size and trainability.
Let’s get straight into this wolf-dog showdown.
What Is A Tamaskan?
I wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t heard of a tamaskan before.
Tamaskans are not currently an officially recognized breed anywhere in the world, although it’s thought that the American AKC Foundation Stock Service will soon recognize them. Other organizations like the American Rare Breed Association and the Kennel Club of the United States of America have recognized them.
Tamaskans are a mix of imported USA sled-type dogs mixed with Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and German Shepherds to produce a working dog with a feral, wolf-like appearance. The genetic makeup of these dogs also includes Canadian Eskimo dogs, Labrador Huskies, and various other wolf-like dog mixes as well.
Tamaskans originate from Utonagans mixed with Finnish bloodlines, so they are often considered a Finnish dog breed.
The first tamaskan puppies were imported to America in 2005, so this breed is very new and still getting established.
I highly recommend reading through the Tamaskan Club of America’s website as well as the Tamaskan Dog Register for a deeper dive into this fascinating breed, as there is too much to cover for the scope of this article.
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s take a look at how tamaskans compare to huskies.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that tamaskans and huskies share a lot of similarities, given how huskies are one of the breeds used to create the tamaskan breed.
Both breeds have a working background, with huskies focused specifically as sled dogs, while tamaskans are also suitable sled dogs but also known to excel in other categories like agility and obedience as well.
Working dogs are more difficult to keep than companion dogs and come with a higher level of exercise and mental stimulation requirement than most other dogs.
Both tamaskans and huskies are intelligent breeds, capable of learning new tricks and working roles quickly.
Social (Pack Mentality)
Both breeds are pack animals, which means they have a strong pack mentality and like to be part of a group.
Pack animals tend to be very sociable and enjoy company and don’t tend to do very well when left alone for periods. Both breeds make great choices for families because of this nature.
Prone To Separation Anxiety
Tamaskans and huskies are prone to separation anxiety due to several aspects of their personalities, including how easily they can get bored and how sociable they are.
Separation anxiety leads to destructive behaviors when they are left alone for periods, and there are steps that you can take to lessen the impact of this behavior.
Can Be Stubborn
As Spitz-type dogs, it’s only natural that both of these breeds have a stubborn streak.
Tamaskans tend to be less stubborn than huskies but can still exhibit stubbornness when they feel like it. This can mean not listening to commands, refusing to go for a walk, and much more.
As working dogs primarily used for sled pulling, huskies and tamaskans have a significant requirement for exercise.
They’ll both need at least 2 hours per day of intense and ideally varied exercise to keep them happy.
Don’t be surprised if they pull hard on a leash as well, as this comes as second nature to them with pulling sleds.
Not Good Guard Dogs
Despite their wolf-like appearances, you might be surprised to know that huskies and tamaskans are actually terrible guard dogs.
Instead, these dogs are very friendly towards everyone, including strangers, and are more likely to make friends with them than be suspicious at all.
Of course, this has its pros and cons – if you’re looking for a guard dog specifically, neither of these breeds is a good option.
Shedding & Grooming
Huskies and tamaskans both have thick double coats designed to keep them warm in Arctic conditions.
This means that they are prone to shedding a lot, and they will also require a lot of grooming to maintain their double coats.
Double-coated breeds also blow their coats as they transition from their winter coats to their summer coats, which means excessive shedding – even more than normal – for a week or so a few times a year.
Huskies and tamaskans are very similar, but the wider gene pool of the tamaskan does lend itself to a few key differences from the husky.
Appearance & Size
Tamaskans are larger than huskies in both weight and height:
- Huskies weigh 35 to 60 lbs and reach 20 to 23.5 inches in height on average.
- Tamaskans, on the other hand, are much larger and reach 55 to 80 lbs in weight and 24 to 28 inches in height, with the heaviest recorded at just under 130 lbs.
Tamaskans also have a more ragged appearance, with blended coat coloring and white markings. They come in three primary coat colors: wolf gray, red gray, and black-gray, with banded agouti guard hairs.
Huskies tend to have more definitive color separation and a wider range of coat coloring. Agouti huskies are the closest to tamaskans in appearance, but outside of that, there are many variations, such as the all-white husky, the classic black-and-white husky, and even red huskies.
Tamaskans have a stronger recall than huskies, which means they perform better off-leash and are more likely to return when asked.
Huskies are notorious for running off when not on a leash, and they need a secure yard to play in because they will try to escape if possible.
Tamaskans also beat the husky in other areas of trainability outside of recall and have had success in agility shows, something which huskies have never had much success with.
There’s no denying that tamaskans are easier to work with if obedience training is something that you enjoy.
Tamaskans are much rarer than huskies, which makes sense given how the breed is still a ‘work in progress.’
Huskies are the 21st most popular dog breed in America, for contrast.
Given how rare tamaskans are, especially with finding a suitable breeder, they are also much more expensive than huskies.
It’s also common that to even have the chance to get a tamaskan from a registered breeder, you will need to fill out an application form and go through several steps to see if you are eligible in the first place. My advice here is only to choose registered breeders; given how new the breed is, there are several breeders whom the Tamaskan Club of America does not recommend.
Huskies are widespread, and there are many registered breeders around, so finding one isn’t a challenge. You can read our guide for choosing a husky breeder here to avoid some common mistakes that new owners make.
Which Breed Is Best For You?
Huskies and tamaskans are both a lot of work; there is no denying that.
They both require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, but you’ll be rewarded in both cases with a very loyal and social dog that loves to spend time with you.
The main difference in personality between the two is that tamaskans are easier to train and generally more willing to please. Huskies are much more common, though, and you’ll find it difficult to locate a registered tamaskan breeder, depending on where you live.
Tamaskans are slightly larger than huskies, too, which is another thing to consider, but both have a classic wolf-type appearance, with tamaskans being bred to look more like wolves than huskies.
Want to read more husky breed comparisons? Check out some of our other recent husky comparisons below: