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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever  (Cold Game Working Test) 10th May 1998

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                        2nd Place                                               1st Place                                                  3rd Place  

         Pierre Andren ( Kanadickens Dear Sir )       Marie Theorin ( Swinging Tails Lansen )             Aji Franzen  ( Drogstas Cat-Ri-Ona )

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Toller assessment on young Dogs

More Photo's taken on the day

Judges Report

Well what a day.  The weather was kind apart from a little wind that made the water retrieves just that little bit more difficult in the afternoon.   I think everybody who participated had certain qualities and only a few were lacking in what was required. 
Sweden is a very big place so I know some of the participants travelled long distances.  It was nice to see entries from as far away as Switzerland and this was Elsbeth Wittwer with Kanadickens Felicia and also from Germany,Gunter Walkemeyer with Flottatjarn's Prima Inuit-Tuffy and I would like to applaud their efforts especially after making such a long journey. 
Anyway, to the top three dogs.

First Place

Swinging Tails Lansen owned by Marie Theorin.

On the heel work the maximum points of 5 were awarded .  On the tolling test the first five tolls received the maximum 5 points but you lost 1 point on the second set of 5 tolls due to some handling.  Switching from tolling to retrieving and reaction to gunfire was again met with full marks.  There was no problem with this dogs entry into the water and again full marks were awarded for this.   Marking ability, again full marks on all 4 retrieves.  Reaction to game, again full marks.  Delivery-the first 2 retrieves were delivered with some support from the handler, where you lost 2 points, but the next 2 deliveries were fast and full marks were awarded.  Delivery to hand-all 4 retrieves were delivered to the hand and full marks were awarded again.  Searching (time allowed, 3 minutes for each retrieve) this dog passed with full marks on all 3 retrieves and managed to retrieve all the ducks in under 3 minutes.  The dog worked independently in the searching area and no commands were given.  Delivery was fast with all birds delivered to hand. 
This in my opinion was an excellent display of what you really want from a Toller and only a few points were lost in the whole test.  You further lost 2 points for the dog being unable to stay quiet while the next dog took his test.

Second Place

Kanadickens Dear Sir owned by Pierre Andren.

Once again the heel work was excellent and full marks were given.   The tolling test, full marks were given as both sets of the tolling test were excellent.  Switching from tolling to retrieving- again here, full marks were given for being steady to gunshot.  The dog's entry into water was very fast on 4 retrieves, again, full marks were given.  On the marking ability your dog remembered and located 3 of the retrieves and was awarded full points.  You only lost 3 points because your dog demanded directions.  All 4 retrieves were picked up fast and all deliveries were made to hand, again full marks were awarded here.  At the searching area the first of the 3 ducks was retrieved with continuous interest throughout and only on the last 2 retrieves did you lose a point on each because some support from the handler was required.  Independency was varied and again you lost a total of 3 points due to the dog working outside the search area and requiring some handling.  Once birds were found a fast delivery was made to the hand and full marks were awarded again.
This again was a very nice display and with a little more work at keeping him quiet after his test and staying in the search area things may well have been different.

Third Place

Drogstas Cat-Ri-Ona owned by Aji Franzen.

Well, after last years display I thought that  Cat-Ri-Ona was going to be unbeatable. I fully expected this dog to win.  I believe this dog will go down in history as being one of the finest examples of a working toller and I am sure that next time the Toller Test comes round that this will be the dog to put your money on.   Anyway, this time it was to be a third place and here is your report.
Again, walking to heel full marks were awarded.  The tolling test- the dog retrieved objects thrown very fast and in a nice playful manner and full marks were awarded here also.  This dog remained steady for all of the gunshots, full marks were awarded here also. There was no problem with entering the water and two of the retrieves were retrieved very fast.  It was only the second of each of the 2 retrieves that your dog demanded directions in order to find the birds and a total of 6 points were lost here.  Reaction to game, full marks were awarded as was delivery, full marks for a fast delivery.  All retrieves were delivered to hand except for the third retrieve where the dog dropped the duck and again, 3 points were lost.  In the blind searching area your dog had continuous interest throughout and full marks were given.  The dog worked independently of the handler and delivery was very fast and all retrieves were delivered to hand.  This dog remained quiet throughout the next dogs tolling test and was awarded full points. 
Again, another nice display of a  Toller at work with only a few hiccups.


Diplomas were awarded to several dogs and I will have these listed here as soon as possible.

Special thanks to the organisers for looking after me so well, especially Pierre Andren for his cooking and cleaning up (I think he will make a nice wife for somebody someday!)
Thanks also go out to the duck throwers: Arto Hissa, Johan Korge, Axel Sanno and Emil Theorin.
And the man with the gun(and a sore shoulder) Thomas Rorge.
Also thanks to my co-judges, Marie Theorin and Aji Franzen.              

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Test

" And Why "

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was born to this world by devoted hunters of the past. They were bred to do a job and this job was to entice ducks from far out on a lake to within shooting range whereupon they would be shot and the dead and wounded would be retrieved. This is where you need a Toller to prance around crazy like a fox and then to stay calm when the shooting takes place and then to enter the water without hesitation for the retrieves.

It is not the intention of this test to toll ducks. Ducks are automatically turned from a state of rest to a state of being alert and wanting to mob (similar to that of small birds mobbing an owl) any strange movement especially when it resembles a fox. It is to put a dog and handler in an as much a  realistic situation as possible to do tolling work and this is what happens.

1st.  Your toller is to walk to heel to the place of shooting which is a blind by a lake where you are hidden from view of any potential ducks rafting out there. ( ok so here your dog has to be calm say like a Labrador.)

2nd. Your dog has to make five retrieves of your tolling object say a stick or ball in a playful manner and in quick succession.  ( ok so here your dog has to be crazy like a fox and indeed encouraged to be almost out of control).

3rd. Your dog now has to sit to heel and two 12 g shotgun shots are taken and two marked ducks are thrown from a boat 50 metres from shore. Both birds now have to be delivered to hand and not dropped. ( ok so here your dog has to sit to heel, not easy when you have had him running around after his sticks or ball.)

4th. Your Toller now has to be crazy again and retrieve his stick or ball in the same manner as before five times back and forth running quickly. ( ok your dog has already done more than is expected of any  other Gundog, your dog drops and even throws his stick or ball back at you eager to do some more play, he is tense with excitement and raring to go.

5th. Your dog has to sit to heel again on the opposite side of the blind.  Again two shots from a 12g shotgun ring out and two more marked ducks are thrown from the boat and again both retrieves need to be brought to hand. ( ok you have at this stage taken your dog from close control heel work to tolling his stick and being almost out of control, back to being calm to gunshot,back out to work, with a duck delivered to hand twice again after he has dropped his stick at your  feet in excitement with the tolling test )

6th. Back to heel work some 30 metres to the next part of the test. Three blind retrieves with no shot taken in an area about 40 metres on both land and water you have a total of nine minutes to get the lot.( I have seen one get them all in a third of that time and that was the winner of this test.)

7th.  Now your dog has to sit near the blind where he started and stay calm while the next dog goes through his test.

I have now judged this working test twice and can say without any doubt that it is the base to which all tollers should strive to have as their own working test.

It is not the intention that Toller people want to be left out in the cold from other retriever tests.  We just want to have a test all of our own based on the background and history of our little friend The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

The Toller Test was devised and implemented by: Johan Stenebo Maria Stenebo & Pierre Andren. I know that a lot of time and effort has gone into this and more than a few hours lost sleep and would like to applaud the work you have all done.

Please Email Johan Stenebo with any comments

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