10. Shedding and Mess: Tollers do blow their coat seasonally, and they are dogs who like to swim and roll and wallow. They are not a dog for the fastidious or the allergic.
9. Prey Drive: If you don’t want your cat chased, this may not be the dog for you. The chasing will be all in fun, but it is likely to happen.
8. Not Guard Dogs: Tollers are generally wary of strangers and will not stand up to them. They will not guard you or your house.
7. The “Scream!”: Tollers have a penetrating scream which they produce to indicate excitement and eagerness. To the uninitiated, this can sound like the dog is being fed into a wood chipper; it is high pitched, frantic and loud.
6. Drive: Tollers are a hunting breed and are bred to be working dogs. They have a fanatical drive to work, and will retrieve until your arm is ready to fall off.
5. Not everyone’s best friend: Most Tollers will greet strangers, but generally reserve true enthusiasm for their family and special people.
4. Did you say no?: Tollers are generally too smart to engage in out and out dominance battles. Instead they sense power vacuums, and exploit them. If you are unable to be firm (kind, but firm) about the rules of your household, and to enforce them consistently, you will find that the ruler of your house has four legs and is red.
3. Sensitive: Tollers are physically and emotionally sensitive. You have to be careful with how much pressure you apply in training.
2. Smart: This is a dog with brains to spare. They need to be challenged and engaged by their work, or they get bored and stop paying attention. Keeping all that intelligence focused and busy is a big challenge. All Toller owners must be willing to do basic obedience training. Most are involved in advanced training activities: hunting/field, agility, flyball, tracking, etc.
1. High Maintenance: The Toller is an energetic dog and needs plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation. A bored Toller with excess energy will find another outlet for their drive, and the results are often destructive. If you don’t have time to give this breed at least an hour of exercise a day, every day, with plenty of swimming and fetching, look elsewhere.