|Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 10:50am PST |
|They can be a VERY intense breed. Or they can be pretty moderate. It depends on the lines from which they're bred, and each individual dog's temperament. I tend to think of them as similar to Aussies, but with more of an edge.
As with most higher drive dog breeds, they're prone to flaws. They can be excessively shy and many display some reactivity. They need to be kept busy and well exercised.
I have a friend with an absolutely wonderful Toller. She competes on a high level in agility, rally, competitive obedience, field trials and excels in all of them. She also does therapy work with the dog. She is quite literally training/working her dog almost every second of every day. The dog works for absolutely everything it receives, and it's sharp as a tack. In another, less experienced handler's hands the dog would probably be a neurotic mess.
Then, there's the issue of breeding. The gene pool is, uh, a bit shallow. Genetically speaking, the average Toller is the equivalent of a full-sibling to any other Toller. Today's Tollers go back to just nine founders (and 50 per cent of them to just two founders). It's not a good position for any breed to be in, and arguably breeding dogs that closely inbred could be considered unethical.
In my opinion, they're a wonderful breed. However, they're not without a considerable number of drawbacks. I also think that they're not well suited to the average dog owner who simply wants a pet to pal around with. In the hands of a pro, there are few breeds who can compete with their versatility and drive.
Edited by author Wed Aug 8, '12 10:50am PST
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