Top 10 Reasons not to get a Toller

                              Top Ten Reasons Why Not to Get a Toller

1.  Vrooom . -    The  toller is an energetic dog, and needs plenty of exercise.  While they  aren't quite as hyperactive as some breeds, they do need lots of  exercise, physical and mental.  If you are looking for a dog who is  content with nothing more than a pleasant walk in the evening, go  elsewhere.  Better behaviour through exhaustion is the rule for living  with a Toller.  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.  A Toller with excess energy will find another outlet  for his drive, and the results are seldom pleasant.
2.  Smart, smartsmart -   It cannot be stressed enough that this is a dog with brains to  spare.  Keeping all that intelligence focused and busy is a big  challenge.  These dogs MUST be given at least basic obedience training,  and many toller owners are active in several dog activities (hunting,  agility, flyball, tracking, competitive obedience) just to keep their  Tollers occupied.  Even a Toller who is "just a pet" MUST have basic  obedience training and the chance to use their brains (teach them to  bring the paper, have them carry the mail in, teach them tricks) or they  become downright obnoxious around the house.
3. Just do what I  tell you - Tollers love to work, but they are not always as easy to  train as other breeds.  They need to be challenged and engaged by their  work, or they get bored and stop paying attention.  They may also try  things a dozen ways before they get around to doing what you're looking  for.  Patience, inventiveness and flexibility are the rules.  If you  want a dog who's going to learn by the book, or if you're at all unsure  about your ability to train a dog who's a little different from the  norm, the toller may not be for you.
4. Did you say no? -    If you give a Toller an inch, they will take a mile and come back for  another. 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.  They don't have a mean  bone in their bodies, but they are opportunistic and stunningly smart.   If you aren't in charge, they will be.
5. Not be everyone's  best friend -   If you are looking for a dog who wants to be the world's  best friend, the Toller may not be for you. Tollers are gentle and  kindly and many can be quite outgoing, but if you are looking for a dog  with that Lab "I just met you and you're my best friend" attitude, the  Toller may be wrong for your.  The Toller will greet strangers happily,  but generally reserve true enthusiasm for their family and special  people.
6. Drive - Tollers  are a hunting breed, and are bred to be working dogs. They have a  frantic drive to work, and will retrieve until your arm is ready to fall  off. Tendonitis in Toller owners is not unusual. This dog is a  retrieving fool who will climb trees to get to a ball stuck there. This may sound cute now, but after the 400th throw, you  may change your mind.
7. The scream - Some 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's high pitched, frantic and  loud. Not all Tollers scream, but some do. If you are unable to teach  quiet manners, or live in a neighbourhood where dog noise will get you in  trouble, or just don't like dogs who make noise, this is not the breed  for you. The scream is usually a reaction to an exciting stimulus  (water, a toy, a ball) rather than a constant behaviour, but it can be  annoying.
8. Don't expect me to  protect you -   Tollers are generally wary of strangers, but if you want a  dog to serve as protection, look elsewhere. While they are excellent  natural watch dogs, and their barking may be more than enough to scare  away a burglar, these dogs are not cut out to protect. They may not lead  the burglar to your silver, wagging all the while like a lab or golden,  but they also aren't likely to go for his leg.
9. Watch your cat -   many tollers do just fine in households with cats or other animals.   They do have a strong prey drive, however.  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.
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.
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