Discussion in 'Dog Breeds' started by fickla, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. fickla Experienced Member

    Does anyone know a lot about the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever? I've seen a couple and they seem like a dog that I would be interested in owning.

    I don't know if this is a good description at all, but are they somewhat like a border collie combined with a golden retriever (personality wise)? I'm looking for a dog with a high work drive and medium-high energy. I love border collies, but I don't think I could handle quite that high of energy level, so am hoping a toller would be a little bit less crazy! So, does anyone know about tollers?

    Laura Waudby

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I love Tollers, although I've never had the privilege of owning one. ^-^ I can get some information on them for you though.
    Off the top of my head, you are exactly right, they are indeed much like a cross between a Border Collie and a Goldie. Tollers are medium-high energy dogs. They are not necessarily workaholics like the Border Collie, but are usually more than willing to work when asked to. They are smart, highly trainable dogs. I will get some links for you that give a more thorough description of the breed.
    Glad you're interested in Tollers!!! :)
  3. fickla Experienced Member

    Thanks for the response! I just haven't had the privilege of really playing around with one yet to know what they are truly like!
  4. guciek New Member


    As you know - I have a toller :dogwink:
    Tollers are very active dogs. They need to do something, but they aren't workaholics as border collies. Tollers are hunting dog, I think, that you read a breed history? ;)
    Of course you mustn't go for a hunts, dummy training etc. I bought my toller, because I wanted to have an active, intelligent and racial dog, which I can train an agility, maybe obedience (also I'm owning mix breed dog, Gofer). My love to tollers was began on agility camp, where one of members had a toller (her name is Jazda, BTW Chilli came from the same kennel, and they are a peer, but not sisters). She really like to work! On the camp she was only 7 month old, but she was awesome! Her speed, desire - so cool :doghappy:
    When Chilli came to my home, she was 8 months old. Now I know what important in this breed is socialization! She feared all things - cars, bags, vazes, beds etc... A lot of work I spend on repair this... The breeders don't socialization puppies with anything, so sad :(

    If you decide, that you want toller - find out all about breeders, puppies parents (character, health, investigation etc), don't limit to only one kennel or kennels in your countryside. It is very important choice for more than ten years. You will stay with him all his life :)

    Do you want some links for tollers webpages? :)

    And.. I'm sorry for mistakes ;) I hope so that you understand me :)
  5. fickla Experienced Member

    Oh thanks for responding, I didn't see your post until now! I'm glad to hear that Tollers are active without being complete workaholics!

    I've read some about the Toller scream...How often would you say your Chilli "screams", is it just when she's really really excited?
    Any links you want to post would be appreciated!
  6. guciek New Member

    Toller scream? Once:msngiggle: She was really excited - during huntig seminar. But it is posibble to stand it :)

    I don't have permission to post links - if you give me your e-mail, I'll send you more links :)
  7. ozibe Experienced Member

    this is proberbly a bit late for you now. While i lived in the uk my house mate had a toller bitch and she was just divine. Quite independent, and one had to work to get her attention and respect. Once you had that she would do anything for you and really enjoyed working. She loved the water, and it was great to see her swim. The hunting instinct was quite strong and unfortunately one day she got the guinea pig while my friend was cleaning out the cage. After that she definately could not be trust with small furry things. My own dog is a toller x border collie. Her mum is the toller bitch spoken of above, and her dad is also a member of the household. It was a mistake, but one that has proven to be a delight. My girl Ozibe or obee for short is highly intelligient, very strong retrieve instinct, extremely easy to train and quick to learn. She will do anything to have that bit of attention, the ball/squeaky or food treat. I couldn't have a better dog temperment, behaviour energy wise and yes she is always on the go. I haven't found the off switch or where the batteries are removed from. She adores the water, and even has the webbed feet of the tollers. She rarely makes a noise, i don't think she has the toller scream, although i've never heard it. She looks like a toller in colour, but has a smattering of black tipping on her coat and tail, white feet, chest etc but has black nose and round the eyes like a collie. I would definately have another mix, but i am hoping to obtain a purebred toller to show and compete in gun dog comp. My own girl does obedience comps, and we have just started agility which she just flies around. Her attention is always on me, watching, waiting for direction which makes her so easy to train. When her mum had your respect then she was exactly the same. I would recommend them whole heartedly!
  8. fickla Experienced Member

    No it's actually not too late! I have met a couple tollers now and have been in contact with some breeders. Many people I met said a toller was like a border collie with an "off" switch. I plan on getting a toller in the spring. I wanted to wait to get one so my current dog (corgi pup) has his agility foundation behaviors down so I wouldn't have to focus on him as much when a new puppy comes!

    You mentioned a high prey drive that kind of scares me though. I assumed because they were a retriever they would have a soft mouth and would be similar to a golden with other small animals. I have ferrets, do you think they would be ok? I guess ferrets are completely different from a guinea pig, they're not a rodent, but what do you think? All my dogs in the past have played with them nicely (corgi, bc/lab, hound x, golden).

    A toller border collie sure sounds like a crazy combination!
  9. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    A high prey drive is not all that hard to work with, simply time consuming. It is very easy to get your pup used to your small animals if you do so carefully from the start. My BC/ACD has an insanely high prey drive, and I started off with his tennis ball obsession. This was an easy place to start, and I used Patricia McConnell's body-blocking method, demonstrated here. If you scroll down to her "Teaching Stay" video, this is what I am referring to. I implemented this into controlling Zeke's prey drive and he's done wonderfully. Since he is from working stock, we are a very long ways away from controlling his drive when it comes to stock. He's always had a cat problem, which is next on the list. Once he has mastered a perfect stay and watch me with a tennis ball thrown(this is extremely hard for him), then I will progress to sending Mudflap out with him in a sit-stay. I will either send Mud out after a ball or just send her to another person a good ways away(I've taught her the command "go" which is a release for agility, working livestock, and also meaning to go wherever I direct her). Once Z can sit for this, we will keep progressing on to other things.
    This is a good place to start controlling prey drive. I've already taught him to wait for an agility start. We approach the course, and I say, "Ready??" and he is supposed sit at my left and watch me. When I say, "GO!" then we both take off. This is also good for him since he is CRAZY for agility and looooooves it.
    With Mudflap I used a different method, but still started with throwing toys since she loves playing fetch. I simply gave a firm "Ah-ah!" when she broke the stay, and called her back to that spot. She very quickly caught on that she was supposed to wait for the okay to get the toy.
    Don't worry too much about prey drive. Careful socialization and training will make it easy to control.
  10. ozibe Experienced Member

    toller x border collie: prey drive

    as with any dog training and socialisation etc are all important for controlling the prey drive instinct. The toller bitch mentioned (mum of my own dog) was fine with the household cats but she certainly couldn't be trusted with rabbits etc. She did go gun dog hunting and if the rabbits weren't quite dead then she did dispatch them very quickly. I guess it all comes down to what you want your dog used for. My own dog lives on a small farm where rabbits and possums are rampant, and we actively encourage her to help keep the rabbit population down, and alert us when the big brush tailed possums are in the fruit trees, of which they are shot. So because of that i wouldn't trust her with rabbits at all, she shows a lot of interest in anything else caged, so again i wouldn't trust her 100%. She adores the family cat, and has learnt very quickly the difference between wild feral cats that decimate the native marsupial wildlife and house cats. She has never shown any interest in livestock, or kids running around trying to get her to chase them etc. I've found she is the perfect dog. Lively, intelligent, loving etc Very gentle with kids and older people, no mouthing or nipping, patient with kids but will let me know when she has had enough of squealing, screaming kids. I've never left her alone unsupervised with kids, and it doesn't matter the breed of dog i would just never leave children and dogs unsupervised. She is great with horses, now, after a lot of hard work - used to be frightened of large livestock. I think that was her dads wimpishness coming out there, as her mum was incredibly brave and fearless. I'd put a pic on for you but i haven't worked out how to do so yet. I would be very jealous if you got a toller pup, but would say enjoy the breed i think they are very special. If you know of some good breeders i would be interested in getting addresses etc as i would be looking at importing a pup to australia in the near future.
  11. fickla Experienced Member

    Thanks for the advice guys! Yes I definitely plan on doing a lot of socialization and training, with tons of impulse control! I think the main thing I was worried about was not just doing a "leave it" because the ferrets are insane and will try to nip and play with the dog. A dog can be trained to leave the cat alone, but unless the ferrets were to learn "leave it" as well, it's hard to leave something that's latched onto your lip :) But I guess if I get a puppy she would learn right away they're not food!

    I live in Minnesota so I've been looking at breeders around here, meeting them at dog shows and stuff. I know there's a ton of breeders in Cananda, but I don't know about any toller breeders in Australia! I'm going with and also liked
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Hmm...wonder how a ferret would respond to clicker training? Lol! Don't know much about ferrets.
  13. CollieMan Experienced Member

    I actually home-boarded a 'toller' at my house for a week a few weeks back. We know it through our weekly training class, and so know about it's training too.

    It has been very responsive to training. I found it to like the sound of its own bark a bit when it was at my home, but bear in mind that it was a strange environment. It had an extremely placid nature, rather like the retriever. I know the owner does a lot of clicker training with it.

    It certainly doesn't have the high energy of a Border Collie, (I own a Border Collie), but it was certainly able to give my BC a run for her money when running around the local farm fields. But out of play, it's much more sedate than a BC.

    I walked the toller past birds, and all sorts in the farm fields, and not once did it try to retrieve it, so clearly the impulse can be controlled with regular training.

    Would I have one? Yes and no. I loved the temperament, but it was just a little too small for me, physically. But a pleasure to look after. :)

    And here she is...

  14. fickla Experienced Member

    I actually have just started to clicker train one of my ferrets! There's a great video on youtube of a person doing so [MEDIA][/MEDIA]!

    The problem is finding treats they are willing to eat and not just stash, and doing it at a time when they are not so insane but not wanting to sleep!
  15. fickla Experienced Member

    thanks for the reply collieman, unlike many people here I just don't think I could handle the constant drive of the bc! The picture you posted is certainly pretty :) I also wish tollers were a bit bigger though. I personally love huge dogs like newfies and bernies but you simply can't get any drive and certainly can't do agility with a huge dog!
  16. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    LOL, very neat! Keep us updated on your ferret training. I've always wanted one but never have had the opportunity.

    Tollers grabbed my attention a few years ago, but with 4 dogs of my own(2 being high-maintenance, 1 being not the easiest to train), 1 dog of a client's that I'm training, and 3 horses(1 that I'm training), there really isn't any time, room, or money for any other additions. ^^ Lol. They are a very neat breed though and make wonderful dogs. It'll be a while before I add on to my canine family. None of them are going anywhere anytime soon, and I want to reach a certain point in their training before I start fresh with a brand new one. But uuuugggh I've got puppy fever so bad! Lol. I really need to avoid Petsmart and this site and Silvia's No pups for me!

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