Tolling Retriever

he Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (or Toller) originated in Nova Scotia in the early 1800s. The breed tolls (or lures) ducks within shooting range of the hunter by playing along the shore. Once the ducks have been shot, the dog then retrieves the birds.

Tollers stand between 17 and 21 inches tall and weigh 40 to 55 pounds. The head is wedge-shaped, the eyes are almond-shaped, and the eye color either blends in with the coat or is dark. The ears are dropped and frame the face. The body is slightly longer than tall, and the chest is deep. The tail reaches the hock. The coat is double, with a water-resistant outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat. The color of the coat is any shade of red.

The coat needs twice weekly brushing for most of the year, but during the spring and fall shedding seasons, daily brushing is needed.

The Toller is a very active, energetic dog who needs vigorous daily exercise. This dog should go for a long run, play fetch, train on the agility course, go swimming, or play flyball. A bored Toller who does not get enough exercise will get into trouble. Although often mistakenly identified as a small Golden Retriever, the Toller is mentally and physically more active than a Golden.

This is a very intelligent breed that needs to learn household rules early; without the guidance of training and an owner who is willing to be a leader, a Toller will take over the household. Training should be fun yet firm, continue into adulthood, and challenge the dog. Tollers need a job to do, such as obedience training, learning tricks, or bringing in the newspaper each morning.

The Toller needs an actively involved, experienced owner who enjoys training and will keep this intelligent dog busy. Tollers are great with children, although puppies can be rowdy. They are normally good with smaller pets. Health concerns include hip dysplasia, eye defects, and thyroid disease.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC Occupation: Hunter Size: 17 to 21 in tall; 40 to 55 lbs

Longevity: 11 to 13 years Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise Training: Easy; hard to keep challenged Grooming: Sheds

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ld English Sheepdog

m^'-t ¡¿¡lMSS^^ .»2 oi ivij s with so many old utilitarian breeds, the ancestry of the Old English Sheepdog is unknown. Although the breed was developed in the south of England, some experts think the Russian Ovtcharka might have been an ancestor, while others feel the Scottish Bearded Collie was.

This is a large breed, standing 21 to 22 inches tall and weighing 80 to 100 pounds. The dog is strong, square, and well-balanced. His eyes are brown or blue, and his ears are medium-sized and dropped. His body is short and compact. His tail is either a natural bobtail or docked close to the body. His coat is his crowning glory. The undercoat is very thick, and the outer coat is profuse. The coat can be any shade of gray or blue merle with or without white markings.

This breed requires three to four hours of grooming every week. The coat does shed and can easily mat if not cared for correctly. Potential owners should discuss these aspects of ownership with a breeder prior to making a commitment to buy a dog.

Breed expert Diane Buckland of Tarawood Kennels says, "This is not an overly active dog, but it must have daily exercise for proper health. A couple of good walks daily and a run in the backyard are fine." She adds, "The breed is very affectionate; they would prefer to follow you around the house or curl up with you in front of the television."

Since this breed quickly grows to be a large dog, training is very important. Buckland says, "The OES is a very happy-go-lucky type of dog, not too serious about anything. They take to training pretty well, but like children, they like to test us to see what they can get away with."

The OES needs an owner who desires to have a canine shadow; this is not a backyard dog or a dog to be ignored. The breed is good with kids, although puppies can be rough. Old English Sheepdogs are also good with other pets, although they will try to herd cats. Health concerns include hip dysplasia, eye problems, and epilepsy.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Herder Size: 21 to 22 in tall; 80 to

100 lbs Longevity: 9 to 12 years Exercise: Moderate Training: Moderate Grooming: Difficult, time-consuming

tterhound

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Hunter Size: 24 to 27 in tall; 70 to

130 lbs Longevity: 8 to 10 years Exercise: Active Training: Challenge Grooming: Moderate he Otterhound originated in England, and references to the breed have been found dating back to the 1100s, although that early dog was much different from today's Otterhound. The Bloodhound is one of the breed's ancestors.

The breed stands 24 to 27 inches tall and weighs between 70 and 130 pounds. The head is large and narrow, eyes are dark, and ears are long, pendulous, and folded. The chest is deep, and the tail reaches the hock. The undercoat is water-resistant and wooly. The outer coat is dense, rough, and coarse. Any color is acceptable.

The coat should be brushed weekly; it can mat if ignored. Most pet owners trim the hair on the feet, face, genitals, and under the tail for cleanliness. The breed has an oily coat but does not normally have a doggy smell.

This is not an overly busy dog, but he does need daily exercise. He can go for a long walk, swim, and play on the agility course. Otterhounds are not natural retrievers, but many are excellent tracking dogs. All exercise should be on leash or within a fenced-in yard; this breed has a tendency to roam.

Training should begin early, as these are big dogs who could inadvertently overpower an owner. Although Otterhounds are quite bright, silly, and fun, they are not necessarily compliant dogs. They do best when training involves some motivation to get the dog's compliance; most are motivated by food. These large, powerful dogs should meet a variety of people while puppies. The Otterhound Club of America says, "Socialization is just as important as basic obedience training for an Otterhound."

The Otterhound needs an owner who understands how hounds think; they love their owners but are not canine shadows as so many other dogs are. The Otterhound can also be quite loud, which can cause problems with the neighbors. The breed is great with kids, although puppies can be clumsy and rowdy. Health concerns include hip dysplasia, bloat, and bleeding disorders.

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