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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers


BeezSK
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Thought I would post in here as I am looking to get one with competing in agility in mind. I already run one border collie so I wanted to try something a little different. I'm just wondering if anyone has observed or has experience with this breed and using it for agility? Are they a fast/driven dog and how are they to train? How are they compared to a BC (that'll be a loaded question I am sure). I've only seen one compete in agility locally and it was quite good.

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I rarely see them at shows in MI/IN/IL. I'd think if they tended to be great at agility, they'd be more popular. Or maybe they're a hidden treasure right now. At any rate, I'm sure there are individuals who would be stars. I know nothing about their temperaments.

 

Out of curiosity, why are you looking for something different than a BC? I ask because I'm training my first of the breed

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Although I've never seen any dogs compete in agility, I do know a few duck tollers. I really like them. We think that Tiga is mixed with one. Every one that I know has an excellent temperment and are pretty high energy, or were when they were younger. To me, they seem pretty similar to BC's, although some may disagree with that.

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I have a friend with 2 of them (well, 3 now with a new puppy) and they are very fast and high drive and fun to watch. I'd say that her's are very comparable to training a pretty high drive border collie. She's also a very dedicated and talented trainer and handler which is a lot of it. There are others around here that are nowhere near as fast or driven but I don't know if that's the breeding or training or both.

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Who else here has one? I am thinking the BC is Roxy, maybe?

 

I have seen them on the check-in list at a few trials but have never actually SEEN one run in person. However, I have heard from other people around here that they are great dogs to train. And they are really cute! :rolleyes:

 

As for being good at agility, the breed is part of it, yes, but it is really the trainer. Some people say that shih tzus can't do it, yet they do (and get their NATCHs, ADCHs, and MACHs just like any other dog). Any dog can be trained (within reason - age could be an issue), but really any dog can be trained to run JUST like (or faster) then a border collie. It is more in the training then in the dog. If you do things, well, not perfect - you can TRAIN you dog to be slow! But if you do it right, any dog can win the nationals or get on world team. Just saying....

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Originally posted by Kat's Dogs:

It is more in the training then in the dog. If you do things, well, not perfect - you can TRAIN you dog to be slow! But if you do it right, any dog can win the nationals or get on world team. Just saying....

I very much disagree. There is a reason that certain breeds dominate agility. They are much more likely to have the speed, agility, drive, endurance etc. needed to excel. Of course, there will be outstanding individuals in every breed who will make it to the nationals but winning is very hard for even the best teams. I'm trying to remember the last time an unusual breed won at the national level in AKC, for example.

 

The competition at those levels is so fierce that often the top 4 dogs' times are all within the same second. The top handlers don't look for dogs that they will need to put in a lot of extra effort to get to the speed and drive they need. Just like people, dogs even in the same breed vary in their physical and mental abilities.

 

All that said, since most of us are not competing at the highest levels, I think it is important to get the dog you love to be with, not just one you can do agility with. And I agree that there are a lot of things you do as the trainer and handler that can positively or negatively affect your dog's speed. Still the fact is my Lhasa is not physically able to outrun my BC, sheltie or some of the really zippy little dogs half his size out there. Now, my first Lhasa would have kicked butt in the sport and I still really regret I didn't do agility with him. However he was not a typical example of the breed in temperament, energy or build for that matter. But even he wouldn't have been able to outrun my BC.

 

In Quinn's beginner class, there is a little golden who shows incredible promise to give all BC's a run for their money. She's built a lot like a BC, much smaller and lighter boned than most goldens. She doesn't turn like a BC and her movement is different, but she's fast and drivey. Our instructor who runs a high drive lab is totally smitten with her. I'm sure there are Tollers out there that would be perfect for the sport as well.

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If I had to have a retriever of some kind, it would be a Toller. Of all the retrievers, they are the most Border Collie like (from what I've seen -- I've only seen a couple and only one training in agility).

 

I doubt I'll ever have a retriever, though. If all the Border Collies on earth disappeared tomorrow I'd probably have Kelpies or maybe ACDs.

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There is a reason that certain breeds dominate agility. They are much more likely to have the speed, agility, drive, endurance etc. needed to excel.
The "drive" BCs have for agility can be trained into any dog. So can the speed and endurance, etc (other then physical set backs of course). Yeah, speed is an issue, and some dogs ARE more agile, but what I am saying is that almost ANY dog can be trained to run fast and do agility to the best of their abilities. So saying "is ____ breed good at agility" is somewhat trivial. As long as the dog is structurally sound (ruling out some English bulldogs and basset hounds and so on) then they can all be trained to be GREAT at agility!

 

BTW, I never said it was easy to train some breeds to be good, but I stand by the fact that it can be done!

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Originally posted by Kat's Dogs:

BTW, I never said it was easy to train some breeds to be good, but I stand by the fact that it can be done!

We agree there. I just think if you're starting with a Basset or Peke, the chances of winning the Nationals are not so hot. As I said, that's hard for the very best teams to achieve.

 

And it's ok. Most of us aren't trying to win the Nationals. In my case, Quinn's gifts and abilities far outstrip mine. I know he could go much further with a different trainer/handler. I hope he still has fun with me and maybe tells the other dogs, "Well, she is a lot of extra work and her speed will never match Nancy Gyes or Terry Smorch. Her potential is limited. But she does have nice drive and a lot of heart." :rolleyes:

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