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  #11  
Old 06-08-2012, 08:12 AM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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LOL Nope, mind just bark. Backup is an incessant in-front-back-up-spin-repeat barker and Sloan is a jump-punch-nip barker.
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  #12  
Old 06-08-2012, 09:29 AM
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Screaming is overrepresented. A lot of owners think it is cute, or a breed trait, and encourage it. Once it starts it is really, really hard to stop. IMO it is an expression of lack of self control and over arousal. That they scream at agility reminds me of the Border Collies that bite their owners for not being quick enough with the tug, it's something the owners encourage because they think it means the dog is drivey. It's not like to run a Border Collie you have to tolerate being bit, or tolerate screaming in a Toller. I was just at a Toller field test last weekend, and the dogs were very quiet.

Marsh does not care about other people or other dogs. He is friendly with people he knows, but mostly he wants to know who is going to throw the next thing for him to retrieve. Excessive shyness is in the breed, but truthfully almost all of the dogs I have personally met have been fine. They have all been at performance events, which does skew the sample.

Type is all over the place, which is fine by me because they type I prefer is not the type that is winning in the show ring.

They tend to be softer dogs than most other retrievers. It's easier to hurt their feelings. I don't really know what it is, I just like them. The most fitting thing I ever heard was "Goldens were bred to be hyperbiddable, Tollers were bred to be playful." They're fun dogs. If a lab is like "I am going to fetch that duck so hard, you just watch me boss, I'll get it," Tollers are "WHEEEEEE I'm gonna get a DUCK!"
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:30 AM
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Can't say I know a single owner who encourages the scream in anyway. I know of a few tollers fairly well, and outside of trials they don't scream. It takes a lot of frustration to get that scream.. but when they want too its pretty insane. So far none that I have met I would call 'soft'. Maybe not terrier hard, but not easily shut down either.

I like them, they are the only retriever I could see myself getting. In fact we were on the waiting list for one years ago but the breeding didn't take (and then we got a pack of JRTs...) I love the drive with the off switch, I love that they don't smell really doggy when wet, I love their compact size, and most of all I really love how they aren't into every human. I like dogs who are friendly, but don't like dogs who love all humans equally. LOL I need to be special dammit!
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
Your Mals don't ever scream? Some Belgians of all flavors do. Out of over-excitement or frustration. Some just "yell" (loud, repetitive barking....Jagger has yelled so much he's made himself permanently hoarse). I have both kinds LOL
My Dutchie screamed, so did one of my Labs...there are videos of it somewhere. They didn't sound human - that is what makes me shudder.
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  #15  
Old 06-08-2012, 11:59 AM
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I would not call Tollers stupid noisy at all. They definitely do alert bark to things (and it is a horrid bark!), but they do not bark or make noise simply for the joy of hearing themselves. Many are talkers, but I don't find it annoying. I like the trait. They grumble, roo, make little growly sounds, etc. But usually only if they're really happy about something. Overall around the house they are pretty quiet.

Performance events are a whole different ball game and I am not surprised that you all have run into screamers there. The dogs are amped up, majorly excited and a lot of times their owners have not really done anything to curb the screaming as, like was said, a lot of people think it shows drive and determination. I've only ever heard Dance scream a couple times in her life. When she's way amped up before I open the gate to the yard or when she's watching another dog run Agility and she wants to play. And I make her stop and wait until she's a little more relaxed. The Dobermans will do the same thing though if I let them. I think a lot of Toller people, because the scream has been mentioned so many times regarding the breed, just let it slide. I know quite a few Tollers and I've only known a couple of hardcore screamers. There is also one that frequents the dog park I go to that screams and demand barks for his ball, but his owner thinks it's hilarious... so that explains that. And I don't really think they sound human... more like that horrible high pitched screaming that puppies do the first time you contain them.

Anyway, is there anything else specific you want to know?

The Tollers on Chaz probably are not very good dogs to judge by in a lot of ways. I think SkKi and I have the most laid back Tollers in the world, haha. Dance is super easy to live with and does not demand anything, ever. She could sleep all day and do nothing in the way of activity for a week or more and be happy. But she does love to get out and play and if there is a ball in sight, she'd happily retrieve it for as long as you'd like to throw it. I stop when she starts getting slow and looking like she'd like to lay down, because she tends to not quit on her own most of the time. Most of the other Tollers I know are quite a bit higher in energy, but still seem pretty chill and laid back around the house. But unlike Dance, they do require more activity. Usually about an hour or so of fetch and playing per day seems appropriate to satisfy most Tollers. Some are even higher energy and some, like mine, are pretty laid back. It varies within a litter even.

They are very quick learners and quite easy to train. Spring (the other Toller I had for a bit) was extremely soft, but that does not seem typical of the breed in my experience. Some are softer than others, but over all I find them very resilient and able to take pressure. They do like to please but are not as push button as some other sporting breeds. They can definitely be stubborn. Dance is one of the most bull headed dogs I've ever lived with. You can just see her saying "No. I don't want to. Why should I?". And even for rules she knows, she has to have me repeat them a hundred times a day. She likes to push buttons and really doesn't care if she annoys me. Unlike my Dobermans (and other dogs I've owned) who will do what I told them because they want to please and try hard to do right, Dance is less respectful of boundaries. My biggest example would be the fact that my dogs are not allowed in the kitchen. The Dobermans respect this boundary and do not enter the kitchen unless for whatever reason, I invite them. Dance, OTOH, is constantly sneaking off into the kitchen to see if there might be some morsel of food on the ground. Finding a crumb, to her, would be more worth it than just respecting the boundary because I said so. But that doesn't make her bad or hard to live with. It just means I'm on top of her a little more than I am the other dogs regarding certain things. She's really rather belligerent sometimes. She likes to think for herself and do things her own way and if there is any reward at all in doing it her own way, she's going to repeat it a thousand more times. Some Tollers I know are just the opposite and are great people pleasers but many are similar to Dance.

More than anything, they are FUN. Nothing makes these dogs more happy than interacting and playing with you, with toys, whatever. They will make anything into fun and games. Everything they do is done with gusto and 110% effort. They know when it's time to be serious, but even when they are being serious, they're still having the time of their lives.

Some Tollers are clingy while others seem pretty independent. I'm not really sure what is typical of the breed here to be honest, but based on what I've experienced with Dance, she likes to be in the same room as me but not necessarily does she have to cuddle or be touching me at all times. She's my shadow and is always watching, but she gives me space. Which just makes the times when she wants to cuddle all the more special.

They do seem to have a zero tolerance level for rude dogs. They are not happy go lucky dogs (like other sporting breeds) who will play with other dogs no matter how pushy or rude they are. Most Tollers really don't seem to have much inclination to play with dogs outside of their family once they're adults. In fact, the girls seem to be quite snarky based on Dance and a few other girls I know well. They have a very no nonsense approach to other dogs that they don't live with. I think the boys are a little more laid back about it, but Toller girls remind me a lot of how people describe their herding breed girls. They're just really bitchy with other dogs sometimes.

Coat care wise this seems to vary on the lines and the dogs. I personally like a moderate coat. Thick and bushy, but not long. Dance had a very easy care coat up until recently. It's always been quite soft and fine, but never matted or anything. Now for some reason she's been getting little knots and tangles if I don't brush her weekly and she seems to have more toe and ear fluff than usual that is harder to keep on top of. Other Tollers are very wash n' wear (aside from foot and ear tidying) while others are very heavy coated and require more regular brushing. Dance is now inbetween.

Size wise they are a nice, medium size. Most are about 30-50lbs, give or take a bit and 17-21" tall. I like a nice moderate Toller. Some are way too heavy boned and big for me. I'd rather small than big. But again, this varies on lines and dogs.

Dance is shy but warms up pretty quickly nowadays if given a chance and the people are not overwhelming. I think she would have been an entirely different dog had I gotten her sooner. She was raised in her breeder's house with another litter, so there were a lot of puppies. The basement was flooding at the time, so therefore, the breeder did not have a lot of company over to socialize the puppies and I think she probably lacked some time herself for the puppies while dealing with that emergency. I didn't get Dance until she was 13 weeks and prior to my getting her, she had not been exposed to very much. Combine that with the fact that her dam is kind of a spook sometimes with things, and you have a recipe for creating a shy, insecure dog. Most Tollers I know though are just indifferent. They adore their family and friends, but shrug off the general public like they don't matter. Some I know have that "OMG I just met you and you're my new best friend!" attitude, but that's not typical. Tollers are supposed to be reserved and that is what you see more than anything.

They are very versatile and able to do almost anything you ask of them. Agility, Flyball, Dock Diving, Obedience, and there have even been a couple that have tried schutzhund/IPO. Dance's niece just got her BH very recently and is a super stable, try anything, do anything dog.

I think drive and energy kind of varies a bit on region and breeders too. When I was talking to Koolie people one of them said to me "you must be looking for a lot of energy if you want something with more energy than a Toller! All the Tollers I know are crazy". I personally do not know any Tollers that I would describe as being hyper or crazy, but obviously they are out there. After all, I myself was expecting a lot more energy and drive when I got Dance. I wanted a little bit of crazy. Most of the Tollers around here seem to make nice, balanced pets and performance dogs. But out east and further west, there seem to be drivier, higher energy, go-go-go sport and working dogs. You can find that here too, but it just seems less common for some reason. Either that, or I just haven't run into many of them yet.

I hope that was somewhat helpful! I'm just at work now and feel like that might've been more jumbled than I wanted it to be. So if it is, I apologize. But if you have any specific questions I'd be happy to answer them to the best of my knowledge. :-)
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Last edited by Toller_08; 06-08-2012 at 12:38 PM.
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  #16  
Old 06-08-2012, 12:23 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Does it make me weird that after all that, I'll still take Dance?
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  #17  
Old 06-08-2012, 12:30 PM
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I trained some agility with a girl and her Toller the other night and I was super impressed. Given, this is the only Toller I've ever met, but she was so focused, and fast and agile like a Border Collie. She is very stable with no issues, and only complained a little bit when it wasn't her turn.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
Does it make me weird that after all that, I'll still take Dance?
That's because, even despite her quirks, she's the Best Girl Ever! Seriously, I love this dog more than almost anything. Once she wiggles her way into somebody's life and decides she likes them, she is pretty hard to resist. She has a list a mile long of people who would like to steal her, haha.

She's so much fun and even with a her bit of attitude, she's the cutest, sweetest, happiest, focused little dog. And so funny.

Did you ever go meet any Tollers? What did you think in person (if you did)?
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  #19  
Old 06-08-2012, 12:35 PM
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Your Mals don't ever scream?
Not. Like. This.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-hxFCkJljM


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  #20  
Old 06-08-2012, 12:51 PM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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Just as a disclaimer I hope I didnt offend anyone by saying stupid noisy. My staff foster was *stupid noisy* that gremlin cackling was a horrible sound. I thought it was adorable and hilarious at Flyball trials but 6 months of it in my house and I had plenty. Of course my mals panting is far more annoying than their barking. So to each their own tolerance levels.

And... Yeah some dogs are just noisy, encouragement or not. I still want to consider a toller someday but I've never heard this scream before.
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