The Conformation Ring Tells You What They Should Be,
The Field Test Tells You What They Could Be,
Hunting Them Tells you What they are.
May other sporting breeds have been split. Meaning that some have been bred to please what is perceived to please a Judges eye. While others have been bred for the field. Two notable breeds, that of the great Golden Retriever and that of the great Labrador Retriever have seen such a split. This is not to say that the show variety of these dogs aren’t hunted or run in hunt test. Several are. It’s to say that there has been a noticeable split and you would be able to find several that would argue that a portion of versatility has been lost on both sides of the split.
Fortunately, The Toller remains as it was bred. The Toller was originally a versatile all in one type of dog for the Scots that inhabited the great Northeast. They were used as the name states for hunting waterfowl, but also excelled in upland and small game hunting. Several European countries still include a small game and tracking test as a part of their regular hunt test.
Tollers are a highly intelligent, so much so `that I think that they look at life as a chess game, always 4 to 6 moves ahead of you. They are eager to please and look for ways to do it all while maintaining a very independent streak. They are high energy but unlike most sporting breeds, they have an “Off Switch”. Tollers need a purpose, they need a job. They are not the kind of dog you get for just a family pet. They need to be a pet with a job or a dog with a purpose.