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I first learned of "tolling" when I was looking at different types of retrievers. I was curious about the origins of the name of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and was immediately bewildered by the concept of tolling.

Does anyone toll for waterfowl with their dogs? How does it work? Does anyone have videos? How do you train for tolling? When was it popular (if at all)?

I'm sorry if it's been discussed before but I didn't find anything on the technique. I'm more interested in tolling than the breed itself.
 

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The little dog apparently swims around in the shallows flicking it's tail and this is supposed to (for some reason) be attractive to ducks who fly in to see a little dog swimming in the shallows flicking it's tail whereupon the hunters shoot the ducks and the dog retrieves them.
 

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The little dog apparently swims around in the shallows flicking it's tail and this is supposed to (for some reason) be attractive to ducks who fly in to see a little dog swimming in the shallows flicking it's tail whereupon the hunters shoot the ducks and the dog retrieves them.
Ahhh...WRONG... :D

Hunter is in blind along the shore line.... ducks are rafting off shore.... out of gun range... which have been drawn into the pond by the usual method of decoys and calling..... the hidden hunter throws a stick or ball for their toller ON THE SHORE, dog darts out of blind and retrieves the thrown object, returning to hunter so they can toss it again. The dogs playful retrieves along the shoreline attract the ducks and the ducks SWIM in for a closer look... once in range, hunter stands up, birds flush, bang, bang and dog retrieves.

Tollers do not swim with their tails in the air... their tails float behind them and are used as a rudder just like any of the other retrievers.

Flying birds flare ANYTHING, including tollers, that are in sight of anywhere they want to land... do not ask me how I know this :p

It is thought that the white tail tip that some tollers have attracts the ducks but ducks will toll to plane red/ orange tollers and godforbid to black dogs too!!

Hunting regards,
 

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You can toll ducks with just about any breed of dog so long as they move quickly and pay no interest in the ducks till after the shooting is done. Just stay hidden throw a ball or a stick let them run back and forth and if you have two hunters who both know the dog dog they have it can run back and forth between two blinds. This also works well for geese but hate say this but red or fox colored or light colored bouncy like dogs seem to work the best. Used this on the St. Lawrence and lakes wit an open shore close to cover.
 

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Wow. I learned something this morning. Thanks.
I have only seen a NSDTR at a hunt test. The little guy was the test dog. It was cool to see him completely disappear into cover and come out with the bird.
 

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Wow. I learned something this morning. Thanks.
I have only seen a NSDTR at a hunt test. The little guy was the test dog. It was cool to see him completely disappear into cover and come out with the bird.
That is far better than most I have seen
 

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Ahhh...WRONG... :D

Hunter is in blind along the shore line.... ducks are rafting off shore.... out of gun range... which have been drawn into the pond by the usual method of decoys and calling..... the hidden hunter throws a stick or ball for their toller ON THE SHORE, dog darts out of blind and retrieves the thrown object, returning to hunter so they can toss it again. The dogs playful retrieves along the shoreline attract the ducks and the ducks SWIM in for a closer look... once in range, hunter stands up, birds flush, bang, bang and dog retrieves.

Tollers do not swim with their tails in the air... their tails float behind them and are used as a rudder just like any of the other retrievers.

Flying birds flare ANYTHING, including tollers, that are in sight of anywhere they want to land... do not ask me how I know this :p

It is thought that the white tail tip that some tollers have attracts the ducks but ducks will toll to plane red/ orange tollers and godforbid to black dogs too!!

Hunting regards,
Correct. I would add that it was Popular back in the east coast market hunt days. Punt guns were the cannon of choice.
Don
 

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Rick, recall telling the "operator" of another ancient decoy in the UK what a perfectly good waste of ingenuity and British resolve the piping system seemed to be. I mean, c'mon, if you've got the open water (and most island nations do),



"play" the dog, and the ducks play the victim - en masse. It's as simple as that.

The Hale Duck Decoy season bag at its peak was what a punt gunner might shoot over tollers in a day or two to our north.

MG

PS Said "operator" in UK had tollers (not pipers or kooikers) but did not use them for fowling, or in tests or trials, only for putting on their tolling show. But Corey might be apprised that the opposite has occurred in North America, tollers are running more tests (doing pretty well on the whole) if not FTs, even as their luring (tolling) ability and appearance for which they were bred goes unused except as a party trick. And it's unlikely to be revived, unless somebody comes up with a market hunting gig for starlings, and tolling takes on a new dimension. Tolling is required for passing the breed club's working certificate tests, as I recall.
 

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I've judged a few Toller's at every level of HRC. Just like any other breed, some were good; some not so good (needed a little more work). The good ones all did very good work.
 

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I've judged a few Toller's at every level of HRC. Just like any other breed, some were good; some not so good (needed a little more work). The good ones all did very good work.
While I like to have fun at the other breeds expense, I have truly yet to see a NSDT that I would spend a day hunting with. This is the only breed I can say that about. I have seen good Boykins, Flatcoats, Curly coats, Poodles, and just about every other breed eligible to run retriever HT. Perhaps it is regional. I know that the majority go them I have seen came from the same breeder and she had no idea how to train a retriever. They were good looking dogs, but I would probably shoot them in a blind.
I believe they are out there, I have just not seen one.
 

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I know several very accomplished Tollers here in CA. Three ran as set up dogs for this year's MN, and two were qualified for MN but not entered. Fun little dogs to watch work!
 

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Interesting information, I always love to judge a Toller, if you want to have fun with a Started test and a few Tollers you put a point slightly off to the side of a water retrieve. A young Toller will usually hit that point and toll a bit, either on the way out or the way back, makes the handler nervous, but really fun to watch; and YES in the West there are good ones in the upper levels, more of them than some other minority breed. As with most dogs, the good ones all fall down to who is training & running them; and whatever particular quirk in their personality has them choose which ever minority breed. Still there's a certain handler in the west who has the Toller quirk and always has very nice dogs. I've also seen Brittany's who excel at tolling, I'm not sure they know what they are doing, but a little red and white dog running up and down a bank seems to make ducks curious ;).
 

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There is an interesting anecdote about the unnamed Brit. It is likely to be John Norris and he's the keeper of what is called the last of the decoys as these purpose built ponds were called. In the day when waterfowl were a primary meat source, the hunters would kill 30-40 per day,

Anyway, he was looking for a dog. He found one at the pound. When that dog passed away, he was looking for a replacement and heard about the NSDTR. When he got pictures he found the photo looked exactly like the dog he'd picked up in the pound several years earlier. On his website, you can compare a photo of the original dog and those of his breeding.

His website is sort of dated but you can get the drift at http://www.tollers.com/ and particularly http://www.tollers.com/decoy.htm

Unfortunately, Sir R Payne-Gallweys book on Duck Decoys seems to have vanished from the site. I'll have to see if I can find where he's hidden it. It's a digest of all the duck decoys still existing at the turn of the last century.
 

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Eric, would seem the "red dogs" have been around for a while in the UK - maybe as Red Cross dogs from this vantage and the specimen on the far left


This article by the way includes the namesake for my old toller girl - and some of the motivation for how she got her name. Hey, speaking of, what did Pat Dye name his Boykin, "Bourbon" or "Snort?" (j/k...;-) - if Dye's got a mud poodle, I can forgive him for a lot of other transgressions. Better watch out if he gets a toller, though - it'll be endlessly retrieving his "'nother dead soldiers"...)

MG
 

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Rick, recall telling the "operator" of another ancient decoy in the UK what a perfectly good waste of ingenuity and British resolve the piping system seemed to be. I mean, c'mon, if you've got the open water (and most island nations do),



"play" the dog, and the ducks play the victim - en masse. It's as simple as that.

The Hale Duck Decoy season bag at its peak was what a punt gunner might shoot over tollers in a day or two to our north.

MG
Believe I'd much rather eat a trapped duck than one that's been shot with some of the projectiles attributed to punt gunnery.

Also believe it was probably you who first brought the use of such decoys to my attention, for which I'm grateful.
 

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Eric, would seem the "red dogs" have been around for a while in the UK - maybe as Red Cross dogs from this vantage and the specimen on the far left


This article by the way includes the namesake for my old toller girl - and some of the motivation for how she got her name. Hey, speaking of, what did Pat Dye name his Boykin, "Bourbon" or "Snort?" (j/k...;-) - if Dye's got a mud poodle, I can forgive him for a lot of other transgressions. Better watch out if he gets a toller, though - it'll be endlessly retrieving his "'nother dead soldiers"...)

MG
Two comments. 1) I can pick out 2 that are clearly relatives and a third that possibly is. 2) Is that what is called an English slip lead? Can you take dogs to the line like that?

Where's the article?
 

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Its neat to see them disappear.......all the ones I've seen take so long to come back you wonder if they ever will.
 

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