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Tell me about Tollers

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Kashmir- ♥ CGC

Boxer Beach Bum
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 8:18am PST 
Well the other day I was out with the bf, where were exactly i dont remember. But anyway I am pretty sure we saw a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. I was immediatly drawn to it. The owner was out of sight pretty quickly but i thought this dog was beautiful. So what are their temperment like, this one was very well behaved and listened so well.
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 8:24am PST 
They're beautiful, that's for sure; smart, too. I know some that hunt and some that are employed at a golf course and a small airport to keep the darned Canadian geese at bay. They love to hunt birds and they take their jobs very seriously. I'd be wary of owning one without space and a job to do. I'd have to make up for that with regular agility coursing or something like that. They love to be outdoors and on game.
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Kashmir- ♥ CGC

Boxer Beach Bum
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 10:11am PST 
From what i have read they seem like a pretty intense breed.
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Zephyr

1213425
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 10:41am PST 
Very very high energy.
The ones I know are prone to yappiness.
The best one I know of is a SAR dog with a pro handler. Great dog but can still need a bit to "turn off".

Intense is right.
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Cohen CD RE- ADC SGDC- FDCh CGN

The Monster
 
 
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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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 10:58am PST 
True, Cohen, I was also thinking they are one of the breeds with the lowest number of contributing individuals currently in the US; their COI is NOT where a breed wants to be.

The ones I know are literally working all day until they eat and sleep. They're not 'weekend warrior' types that would be ok with just an agility class or two, either.
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Kashmir- ♥ CGC

Boxer Beach Bum
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 11:22am PST 
Dang that sounds like alot of energy!! shock and i thought my friends mix Lil Man was needed alot to "turn off." The toller makes him look like a lazy butt. laugh out loud This is probably wayy to much energy for me to handle.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 4:03pm PST 
Tollers have been around for over 100 years. Recently recognized by the AKC, definitely not recent in Canada. Going by what US members are saying, I would guess a slightly different type there.
They were originally bred as an all around farm type dog so they were expected to hunt, guard, herd and entertain the kids. We have several in the family and with close friends and they are awesome PETS. In fact I don't know anyone who hunts with them. Agility, obedience, SAR, but no hunting. They are intelligent, fun loving, affectionate and loyal. Generally good with children and other animals. Little River Kennels in Yarmouth Nova Scotia(my home) is the best source for information and they have great dogs. I know they hunt with them, or did but a huge majority of Canadian dogs are sold to pet homes. Search little river duck dogs.
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Zephyr

1213425
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 4:10pm PST 
Conversely every single Toller I've met on the east coast was a hunting dog or did hunt tests at least. There was also a killer little agility dog but again, hunt tested.

One of the kids I went to high school had four. They were her dad's hunting dogs who doubled as pets.

I'm sure there are pet quality ones as in every breed but they're wound a lot tighter than most of the pet labs you meet.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 8, '12 5:53pm PST 
Zephyr I did say that they are used for hunting just not as commonly in Canada as it seems in the US. They were created as an all purpose dog, hunting is one of many talents.
I did not know you were in Canada, I grew up not far from Little River.
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