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About Sylvæn:

My name is Debby and I was born in the Netherlands, though I'm British by nationality. When I was young, my family and I lived in many different places all over the world: Calgary, Canada; New Orleans, Louisiana; Jersey, Channel Isles; Katy, Texas; and Den Haag, Netherlands. My interest in animal husbandry developed when I was very young; around the age of 12 years old I started selectively breeding gerbils and soon became fascinated with the genetic inheritance of the various coat colors.

This hobby eventually 'spawned' (pun intended) into a whole new direction: breeding show quality Betta splendens. I was particularly interested in form and finnage (halfmoons, crowntails, HMPK, etc) and at one point I had hundreds of fish and countless aquariums, including a betta drip system that I designed myself. I participated in several betta shows throughout Europe (in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Croatia) and even won some top prizes. It was a very challenging hobby, not to mention time-consuming and expensive, but it was enjoyable while it lasted. After a while I became a bit 'burned out' so I decided to take a break from tropical fish... it was around this time that I first discovered Tamaskan Dogs and I soon fell in love with the breed.

I decided to wait until I finished my studies and then reward myself with my first Tamaskan puppy. In spring 2009, I graduated from Webster University in Leiden, Netherlands: BA in Media Communications with minors in English and Philosophy. (I'm also certified in International Human Rights, Spanish, and Humanities.) Once I got my first Tamaskan, I was totally hooked on the breed and the natural progression was for me to become a Tamaskan breeder. In summer 2009, I moved to Croatia with my boyfriend (now ex) and I had my first Tamaskan litter here in spring 2010.

picture of Jasper with Dino and Dylan I met my (future) husband, Dino, in summer 2011 and I decided to settle here in Zagreb permanently. We currently live in Gajnice (neighborhood of Zagreb) with our son, Dylan, who was born in February 2014 and our daughter, Darcy, who was born in October 2015. I am currently working as a freelance media consultant (kamikazAI MEDIA) specializing in production: graphic design, website development, film editing, English proofreading and text editing, etc. Meanwhile, Dino works fulltime at Sonus Art here in Zagreb. As you can see, we are 'hobby' breeders; breeding Tamaskan Dogs is our passion... not our primary source of income!

picture of Leon with Pika








Aside from being a TDR registered Tamaskan breeder, I am also a member of the TDR Committee (Representative for Croatia) and chairman of the Croatian Tamaskan Club. I also regularly participate in many online courses pertaining to canine theriogenology and I am the creator of the International Tamaskan Forum.

I am passionate about bloodlines and genetic diversity (including population genetics and quantitative genetics) and I'm a little bit obsessed with health testing... we not only DNA test all of our breeding dogs, but every puppy we produce is also DNA tested too! Although we are relative newbies to the dog breeding scene, since we only had our first litter in 2010, we strive to learn and improve with every litter. Above all else, we believe in quality, not quantity, so our Tamaskan litters are relatively few and far between (and we never have more than 2 litters simultaneously) - we aim to build up a solid waiting list, in advance, to ensure that every puppy will have a fantastic home and a great life. Furthermore, we extensively socialize each puppy with people of all ages, shapes and sizes (including children) as well as other dogs and cats. Some of our puppies have since gone on to be certified as therapy dogs (PAT and PTSD support) and some have been trained in Search & Rescue. Whether you are looking for a beloved family pet or a personal hiking companion, or want to participate in more advanced obedience training (service dog, SAR, etc) you've come to the right place. Each of our puppies is professionally temperament tested to ensure an ideal match with the perfect home / family / lifestyle / living situation.
picture of me with all our pets

Other Pets:

Our cat, Gizmo, went missing in October 2014... we are still searching for her and hope that she will be back home again soon. You can read more info via her FB page: Gizmo, the one-eyed WonderCat.

Umbra We also have a spayed female Alaskan Shepherd (mixbreed Alaskan Malamute X German Shepherd) named Umbra, who we originally got as a potential outcross for our breeding program. Unfortunately she developed hip dysplasia so she was sterilized at the same time when she had surgery for her hip dysplasia. Now she's just our family pet and wannabe guard-dog.

Sylvaen mini logo

» NAME ORIGIN «

I chose to name my TDR Kennel Affix after my great-aunt Sylvia, an animal-lover and devoted cat rescuer, who passed away in 2009. This is my tribute to ensure that her legacy will continue to live on for future generations.

Moreover, the term “Sylvan” refers to an association with the woods. In essence, it means “of the forest” or “woodlike”. As Tamaskan Dogs are “wolflike” in appearance, the name “Sylvaen” is highly appropriate.