About 25 years ago, I "met" Eric on Compuserve when looking for a family dog and thought we might like a retriever. While Kurt was pushing Flat Coats, Eric slipped in and introduced me to Tollers. The rest as they say is history. My first Toller was Ember, a buff male from Canada who arrived on my youngest daughter's 9th birthday. Ember introduced me to obedience, and together we earned an AKC High in Trial, shortly after Tollers were recognized by the AKC.
Yes, my Annie (UH HR WR Whitecliff Red Hot Animation SH US/Can WCX) was the first Toller to earn an HRC Upland Hunter title on September 11, 2005. Her niece, my Port (UH HRCH MHR Whitecliff's Vintage Brandywine SH US/Can WCX) was the second. They were both excellent hunting dogs as well as competition dogs. I learned how to train and handle the girls in upland from Pat Perry in Athol, MA. He is an excellent trainer and became a good friend.
When I started with Tollers, I was told that they couldn't do the work, couldn't handle the training, not to expect more than barely qualifying in obedience, etc. Evelyn WIlliams, another blast from the past, told me that was not true. Just like any dog it took work and training, but Tollers could excel, as Evelyn's dogs certainly did. I've been pleased to see more and more Tollers having success in the field over the years.
We lost Port at the age of 15 in 2019. It's the first time in 25 years I've been without a Toller.
Whoever says Tollers can't do the work hasn't been around them much. Not that I've been around a huge number of them, but enough to see they can do the work. There's been a couple very talented Tollers here in the valley where I live.
It's not that Tollers can't work but rather that the motivation hasn't been given them to work. A common facial expression seems as if to say "I know what you want but why?" Without a good answer, Tollers will make their own fun. This was evidenced by the successes of Evelyn Williams. If ever there was a milking contest for Tollers, we'd learn that Evelyn had been training a dog for just that for about a year.