The Wolfalike Type Dog
A wolfalike, ( the adjective ‘wolf-like‘, sometimes made into the noun ‘wolfalike‘) describes a dog (Canis familiaris) purposefully created to be as close to the wolf in appearance and characteristics as possible but which retains mostly dog-like behaviours, with no or negligible actual wolf content.
The most popular breeds used in the creation of a wolfalike dog are the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd, however, traces of other breeds such as the Samoyed and Norwegian Elkhound have also been found in the genetic makeup of some wolfalike dogs.
There are a number of wolfalike breeds out there, most of which have been developed in the past 30 years, however, none of them are currently recognised by the British Kennel Club.
The wolfalike “breeds” we have at Valkyrie are the Northen Inuit Dog (NI) and the Tamaskan Dog. Selune is a pure NI while Tesla is a cross between them.
History of the Northern Inuit
The Northern Inuit Dogs has also been used in the creation of other wolfalike breeds such as the Utonagan, Tamaskan and British Timber dog.
The earliest beginnings of the Northern Inuit Dog is largely unknown but in the 1980’s a few Inuit-type dogs were imported from America, where they have been used by the Inuit people as both a working dog and a family pet for hundreds of years. These dogs became the founders of the Northern Inuit Dog you see today. The founding dogs were selectively bred with Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and German Shepherd Dogs to create a breed which resembles the wolf without any true wolf content. The question of wolf content has been a long-debated point within the community, but no solid answer has ever been obtained – largely due to the unknown heritage of those original dogs.
In the 1990’s many of these wolfalike dogs were being sold up and down the country under the label of ‘wolf hybrids’, which led to many of them being seized and destroyed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976. A group of people came together during this time, in an effort to preserve a particular line of these dogs and thus they were given the name the Northern Inuit Dog.
There have been many splits within the governing body of the Northern Inuit Dog which has led to the creation of other wolfalike breeds, many of which went on to use Northern Inuits as the founding stock in the creation of their own breeds. Many of the splits were over concerns over health and the small gene pool which makes up the Northern Inuit, all descending from the same original founders.
Due to recently uncovered health issues in the breed, the breeder of our own Northern Inuits recently made the decision to move away from the governing body (the Northern Inuit Society) in order to begin a carefully planned outcrossing program in an effort to preserve and enhance the type whilst broadening the genetic diversity of the type.
None of the wolfalike breeds are currently recognised by the UK Kennel Club.
History of the Tamaskan
In the early days of the creation Northern Inuit different opinions regarding the development of the breed occurred. Two different groups formed, one kept the name “Northern Inuit” while the other took the name “Utonagan”. Due to further disagreements the Utonagans split a well.
One of them, the British and International Utonagan Society continued breeding with the goal to improve type, health issues and to maintain all records of matings. A hip score and eye score testing scheme, rules, regulations and a code of ethics was established. Some health issues began to appear in the breed, but they were not discovered until later. This led to the search for new healthy, unrelated bloodlines to introduce.
Dogs with the wolf appearance, health and good temperaments were found in Lapland. These dogs had the qualities that were needed. The dogs were being bred for sled pulling in extreme temperatures and they would add to the breed’s future working ability. Seven dogs were imported and it was again time to consider the future.
It was at this time, that the Tamaskan would make its entry into the dog world. Committee members of the British and International Utonagan Society made the decision to close down due to activity in the original Utonagan Society. A few year earlier, the original Utonagan Society had closed and a new committee decided to resurrect the Utonagan Society. The newly resurrected Utonagan Society did not wish to follow the standards established by the former British and International Utonagan Society or to allow the new bloodlines to be introduced. It seemed obvious that these dogs would need a new name and the Tamaskan breed was established. There were 4 breeders involved in the founding of the Tamaskan: Blustag, Blufawn, Alba & Moonstone.
The foundation stock consisted of the original seven dogs imported from Lapland, seven dogs were selected from Blustag Kennel, four dogs from the UK and two dogs from the US. Two additional foundation dogs were added in 2006, one in 2008 and two more in 2009.