Originally Posted by RottenVonSpotten View Post
I love your dogs! Lately I've recommended a couple different friends to research Tollers. What would be your pros and cons (if any
)? I think Dance is adorable.
I guess it depends on what one is looking for in a dog as to the pros/cons. For me, there really aren't many cons haha.
But I think the biggest thing for prospective owners to be aware of is that Tollers need a lot of socializing and exposure, as puppies and throughout their lives. While they should not be shy, many are, and many seem to have a tendency to become that way without enough socializing. So you want to avoid that if you can. Dance is a 'bark first, greet later' dog, despite going anywhere and everywhere with me since I got her. I don't think she was exposed to much before I got her at 13 weeks old, plus her dam was kind of quirky as I found out when I dog-sat her, so between those two things Dance just wasn't set up for success IMO from an early age. She was super shy as a puppy with new people, wouldn't boldly check new things out and showed a lot of insecurity and reservation. Now as an adult, she's come a long way, but it's taken a lot of time and effort to get her there. And while she likes people, she needs time to get to know them, otherwise she still acts kind of skittish and barks at them, which is unfortunate. So yes, socialize, socialize, socialize! And make everything as positive and fun as possible!
The other con is that they're kind of reactionary. Dance does not think before she alerts to something. Unlike the Dobermans who will ponder whether something needs barking at, Dance just hears something and has to bark about it. This can be annoying for a lot of people. She's not a barky dog, but the things she does bark at don't need to be barked at. And Tollers don't have nice voices. They're very sharp and shrill.
And something a lot of people don't realize is how headstrong and willful the breed can be. They're definitely not push button retrievers. Dance questions things every day. For example: sometimes if I tell her to go to bed, or go lay down, she just stares at me and wags her tail, or goes somewhere else entirely (generally to check for crumbs in the kitchen). She knows what I want, but it doesn't benefit her, so why do it? She can be very stubborn that way and doesn't just do things simply because she was told to. She has a manipulative, 'what's in it for me?' streak for sure. She's far more headstrong than any of the Dobermans I've owned.
She's quick to learn and lots of fun to train as she is very eager and enthusiastic and likes to be busy and do things. But she's not the definition of people pleasing. She doesn't go out of her way not to make me happy, but she doesn't really go out of her way to make me happy either haha. Praise and pets will do in some circumstances, but food and play get a much happier response out of her (but when I say play, that can also mean rough housing with me - I don't have to have a toy).
So, don't get a Toller if one is expecting a happy go lucky dog that will go to the ends of the earth to please you and do what they're told all the time. They're a busy, manipulative little dog and have been known to use those traits for bad things, and that, I think, is one of the top reasons Tollers get returned to their breeder/rehomed. People expect them to be easier than they are.
With that said, I love them and will always have a Toller in my life. None of them will be nearly as special and perfect as Dance is (even with her people shyness), but Tollers themselves are just so full of joy and a zest for life that makes every day just a little brighter. They live to have fun, to play, to make you laugh, etc. They're very enthusiastic, eager, adore their people, and just genuinely happy dogs to be around. They're very intelligent and quick to learn new things, so excellent for people wanting a dog to teach fun tricks to or train in different sports. And I also find them to have very good off switches and make good family companions (provided that you take care of their activity needs - they are an active, energetic breed). Dance never pesters me for attention or exercise or anything. She's happy to do whatever I'm doing, be it throwing a ball, going for a walk, or sitting on the couch or at the computer. I think they're a wonderful size, too. Not too big, and not too small and easy to take anywhere without people reacting poorly like they often do to large dogs (regardless of breed).
Some Tollers will be much more laid back than others, some more suited to being active pets than sport/working dogs, some that are very friendly with new people, some that are more reserved (not shy - just aloof and indifferent to new people) as the standard calls for, and some that are more quirky and require a more experienced owner.
That said, Toller breeders and the Toller community are filled with some awesome people who genuinely love their breed and are excellent at screening homes and matching the right dog to the right people. There are a few I wouldn't recommend, but all in all, the Toller community and it's breeders are wonderful.
Anyway, sorry that's so long! I can talk about Tollers all day like most of you can talk about Dobermans haha. But that's my short version of pros and cons. If you (or anyone else) ever have any other questions I'm always more than happy to answer. :-)
Oh my goodness, cute puppy.
And that photo where Keira is leaning against one of your little ones. Definately one for the scrap book, possibly worthy of a calendar I would say.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you! I think it kind of looks like she's shoving Dance out of the way haha.
My goodness, I smiled and laughed at all those shots.
Mommy is very energetic, bathing 4 dogs!
I loved their sweet faces. Ears back, too cute!!!!!
Dance wearing the towel was absolutely the sweetest ever.
Certainly NOT too many pictures.
Bathing them all isn't so bad. The Dobermans are quick and easy, and even the hairy dogs are - it's the blow drying that takes a while with Dance and Journey. Normally I do split up the bathing into a couple of days, though. Mostly to save my back from all the bending.
OMG you have 4 furry kids..........you have your hands full but the good kind with lots of love and wet kisses!!
pics are priceless!!
I wouldn't know what to do with myself with less I don't think! I've had four dogs most of my life and find it pretty easy as long as they're spaced out in age properly. I wouldn't have any more at once, but four is a good number for us. :-)