We get countless inquiries about puppies from those who are interested in adding a Toller to their family. Here are a few things to remember while you are looking!
1. Learn before you start looking. Yes, we’ve had people call who didn’t even know the name of the breed. We love to educate people, but these pups are members of our family. We pass up lots of people who are willing to pay for one if we feel like they won’t love the breed, or the puppy like we do!
2. Understand what you will be paying and why. Our puppies are priced between $1800-$2000. This is because that is how much they are worth. The parents of our puppies are shown and compete in multiple venues to prove they have the ability and versatility that attracted us to Tollers. They also undergo a regimen of health screenings as is recommended by the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA), and some health screenings that are not–just to ensure that the dogs we are breeding are maintaining great health over generations. This is expensive, and is in the cost of responsible dog breeding. Be cautious of puppies that are priced way over, or way under the average. Chances are the quality of health and temperament won’t be there.
3. If you can’t afford one, seriously, wait until you can instead of shopping. It took us two years to find the right foundation stud. After that it was 4 years before our first breeding. Finding and breeding the best dogs takes time. Especially if you want the puppy for hunting or performance, we are going to have more great litters down the road and the perfect puppy for you. Wait for a good one, you’ll be glad you did.
Puppies retrieving birds at 7 weeks old. From our Dixie/Rosco litter.
4. Don’t expect to choose your puppy. We have been doing this a long time–trust us. We have a good idea by 8 weeks what each puppy’s strength will be, and we know in detail the needs of each potential new family. In essence, we want the new puppy to be in an environment where he thrives, and we want for each new puppy owner to get the puppy that will fit whatever job they have lined up.
5. Don’t be picky about markings, or nose color. Your chances of getting a puppy–at all–go up if you are open to a lightly marked dog. FYI, for every ‘perfectly’ marked Toller, two of them are usually plain faced with no tail tip, or even mismarked! In fact, if we try to breed FOR markings we can end up with these Collie kind of puppies with white all over –definitely not Tollery. So keep this in mind–there is a lot more to a great Toller than markings, and only maybe half are marked with all the ‘chrome.’
6. We do not sell breeding stock to the public. Most reputable Toller breeders do not. Tollers are not easy dogs to breed, from a health standpoint, and doing it right is expensive and takes time–the gene pool is small and they are all related. Now if breeding is something that may interest you down the road, prove it–get a performance puppy from us and show him. Prove that you will put the time into your dog by training, learning about the breed and competing.
7. We might try to convince you not to get a Toller. Don’t take this personally, Tollers aren’t for everyone–they should be hunting dogs with drives, needs and intensity. Although our goal is to breed dogs that will make great family members as well as hunting buddies, our Tollers are talented athletes and will have specific training needs. We want to be sure you are prepared before you get one! You may want to read this before you decide, The Top 10 Reasons NOT to Get a Toller!
So good luck on the journey of looking for your new puppy. As always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you want visit and meet some Tollers, or learn more about this awesome breed!