Scott takes a self portrait with HIS puppy Danny,
from the 2005 Trio x Eddy Litter .
Co-bred, whelped and raised here by us...
This pup is now known as Iko,
Can/AKC/NSDTR (US) CH
Westerlea's Hey Now
AKC MH US/ CKC WCX CD.
He, Iko not Scott, is owned by Laura Hamilton
You are likely in the process of deciding if a toller is the right breed for you and/ or are searching for a reputable breeder...which is GREAT! Read on!
First; Kasomor Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers is NOT a kennel!
What we are is a family of four who have become immersed in everything toller as you can see by the multiple titles, in multiple venues that we have placed on our dogs and by the succes our Puppy People are having with their dogs in various venues. We are also serious duck hunters who hunt our dogs extensively.
We have a litter, usually one per year, with the resulting pups spoken for typically well before they are born. We take great pride in our dogs, our puppies, how they are raised and in the individuals and families that own them.
From the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), "When you have narrowed your breed choices to a short list and are about to move to the next and most important step - the actual purchase of the dog - you must locate a reputable breeder. Purebred dogs are sold through various channels but the only source we recommend is from a knowledgeable breeder who specializes in your breed of choice. Visit a number of breeders and compare the dogs, the facilities and the breeders. Make your final purchase from someone you are comfortable with and who you feel you can trust beyond the day of purchase to be as concerned about your puppy's future as you are."
Please also read the CKC Golden Rules of Finding a Reputable Breeder.
Both the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of Canada and the NSDTRC (USA) have excellent information on what to look for in a pup, choosing a breeder and what to expect in adding a toller to your life. Both clubs can be contacted to see if a particular breeder you are interested in obtaining a puppy from is actually a club member and to see if any complaints or suspensions have occurred. If a breeder is not a club member, there is usually a reason why. Most likely reason is they do NOT comply with the NSDTRCC Code of Ethics (COE).
You may want to read the Code of Practice for CKC Member Breeders as well.
There are no kennel runs here, no dogs rotated in and out of crates, segregated from one and other or living in the garage or basement. We do not have multiple breeds. Our only focus is tollers. Our dogs are members of our family, first and foremost, and have the run of the house.
We do NOT breed puppies to support ourselves or our dog habit.
If our Puppy People are interested in breeding, becoming involved in any dog sport or need help with any kind of training we will fully mentor and support them, in what ever capacity is required, for the life of their toller.
We EXPECT to do this. We WANT to do this and we DO this! For ALL our Puppy People!
If you should be considering a toller for any of the dog sports available look for a breeder who actively competes in these sports. A breeder who is successful in Hunt Tests, hunts their dogs, participates in agility, competitive obedience, conformation etc.. knows what traits to look for in choosing a stud dog to compliment their girls strengths and weaknesses. Just as importantly, if not more so, they will also have a clear idea as to what qualities to look for when selecting your puppy to ensure that you have the greatest opportunity for success with your dog.
They will not be interested in selling you just any pup in the hopes that these traits will magically appear. They will choose the right pup for you that has the best potential to meet your goals and if they don't have that right pup they will send you on to a breeder who may.
It is not unheard of to wait for 6 months to a year for the right puppy to come along. Rarely, will a breeder have puppies on the ground that have not been spoken for long before they were even born. If a breeder does have a puppy available NOW...tread carefully.
I encourage our Puppy People to visit before the puppies are born and then multiple times after the pups are three weeks old.
I expect us to remain in contact with each other for the life of the dog, no matter where they live, so I can keep informed about how the puppy is doing with his/ her new family and help them resolve any possible problems as they arise, if need be.
Photo by Keeley Braun
The goal of every breeding is to produce a better all-around versatile toller. Each breeding is carefully considered so the resulting puppies have the best potential of meeting these requirements.
All dogs we considered for breeding must have earned their Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) or American Kennel Club (AKC) Championship. They must fully meet the Breed Standard for a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.
I am a breeder who is very conscience of the fact that tollers are a working breed. I am striving to keep the intelligence of the breed and working ability intact therefore all dogs used for breeding must be working in another venue such as hunting, hunt tests, obedience, or agility, etc... You should ask to see proof of the toller versatility by seeing either the titles awarded or by watching the dog in action because every breeder, every owner for that matter, thinks their own dog is awesome! The only tangible proof of trainablity, birdiness, desire to please, courage, appropriate temperament, correct conformation etc... is by titles earned. Any toller worth their dinner should fetch a tennis ball with mindless enthusiasm; this does not make him a hunting retriever, demonstrate his trainability or his intelligence!
Just as with any breed, tollers are not without health issues. I want people to be aware of this before setting their hearts on a toller so I tend to stress fully reading the Toller Health Coalition website while researching the breed.
There are pre-breeding health clearances that all responsible breeders will test for.
I require CURRENT health clearances on the sire and dam before breeding. You should be freely shown and provide with copies of these results; Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) Hip report or Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) Hip report, OFA Cardiac report, , OFA Eye Certification Registry (CAER) and DNA results report for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) , Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) and Juvenile Addison's Disease (JADD) for BOTH the sire and the dam BEFORE you purchase your puppy.
As of 2014/ 2015 breeders have many DNA tests available to them to determine if their dogs are carriers or clear for specific diseases and health conditions. Cleft palette and cleft palette lip/ syndactyly are considered "breeders" issues because pups born with either of these defects are typically humanely euthanized. However, most breeders are DNA testing their sires and dams so that there is no possibility of affected offspring being born. Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) and Degenerative Encephalopathy(DEN), while rare in Tollers, are two DNA tests that all breeding stock should be tested for as these two preventable diseases are not evident in puppies until they mature.
Make sure you understand what it is you are being shown. Click on the above links and educate yourself!! Ensure that ALL tests have been passed and ask questions!
Look at the list of health clearances on Tikka's page, at a MINIMUM those are the health clearances that all sires and dams should have BEFORE being bred.
Ask for proof; see the test certificates! Wording on websites such as... test or results "pending"... after a dog has been bred or whelped a litter means the breeder has not done the test and this wording is meant to mislead buyers. Testing is expensive and because or this, there ARE tollers being bred who have not had basic health clearances done, have expired CAER certificates and/ or have failed tests.
Toller breeders have a number of DNA based tests available to us. The most vital ones that could affect a puppy after purchase is PRA, CEA, JADD, DM and DEN. Both PRA and CEA are eye diseases that may blind a dog if it is affected. JADD, DM and DEN will kill a pup if it is affected. Ethical breeders will have tested the sire and dam, will know if sire or dam is Clear By Parentage or will have determined the individual pups status to ensure it will never be affected by any of these diseases BEFORE selling the puppy.
Please don't go away after reading this believing that the Toller breed has numerous health issues. Tollers are not unique. What the Toller breed has going for it is a very dedicated, vocal, passionate, world wide group of breeders who when scientists request assistance with a particular field of interest, we are very quick to assist in what ever we can. Thus a number of DNA tests specific to our breed have been developed and will continue to be developed. However, DNA testing for a specific disease/ condition and the other health clearances we do, does nothing to prevent the other health issues that dogs can be affected with. Unfortunately, any dog can have health problems during their life time as they are living animals.
Puppies love tunnels!
Our yard is on a slight slope so if the tunnel was in the right position the pups could get it rolling down the hill.
They'd roll it down, I'd bring it back up, and....
they'd roll it down again!
I turned the sprinkler on low to see what the puppies would do. Andy walked right up to it, getting sprayed in the face in the process and grabbed on to one of the spinning arms!
OFA will also not give full clearances for hip dysplasia before the dog is 24 months old and the NSDTRCC Code of Ethics states dogs must be over 18 months old to be bred. I fully abide by this COE and I require the dogs to have full clearances BEFORE being bred.
I use that time wisely to determine if the dog is actually worthy of being bred. What do they have to offer the breed? Do they have enough merit to keep their genes in the breed?
An average toller litter is 5-6 puppies but is not unheard of for a single pup or two to be born or of litters of 10!
Ask your breeder how many litters a bitch has had, the dates of each litter and the size of each litter. You want to make sure that the breeder is maintaining the health of the bitch to ensure the health of the puppies. If the bitch is spending her life pregnant or with a litter of pups at her feet continuously, obviously her health and the health of her puppies are not the foremost thought on the breeder's mind.
When planning a breeding I also inquire and take into consideration the health status of any offspring, siblings, grandparents and any other relatives that may have a bearing on the health of a puppy.
Temperament of the sire and dam is also carefully considered. I'm looking for a solid, stable temperament; a playful dog, a dog who is calm in the house, with high retrieving drive and a zest for life. A dog that wants to learn, recovers quickly from being shown the right way to do things and is, overall, easy to train. That is a special combination and one that I strive for.
A common toller trait is to be reserved with strangers but loving with their family. If you met my dogs out on a walk they may check you out and then they will ignore you unless you had something to throw for them or food. Come to my house and they will try to jump in to your lap because of course, you are here just to see them! Unfortunately as can happen with any breed of dog, there are tollers that are spooky, aggressive or scared by new people and/ or dogs, places and sounds. I will not breed a dog nor breed to a dog with questionable temperament.
Before you contact any breeder and ask them about their upcoming litters, please read these thought provoking Blog posts on Puppy Buyer Etiquette and Puppy Buyer Etiquette (slightly) Continued ; Expressing Preferences.
I do NOT take deposits on puppies before or after they are born. I do not need the money to provide care for the bitch or the puppies. As stated most, if not all, my puppies are spoken for before they are born. I develop a relationship through phone calls and/ or visits and/ or email following the progress of the mom and pups with all my Puppy People. If at anytime they should feel that a pup is not for them, I want them to feel free to change their mind and not worry about loosing any monies. If someone is ever having second thoughts about a pup, it is certainly in the best interests of everyone, and the pup, to have the pup go elsewhere.
How Our Puppies Are Raised
How Our Puppies Are Raised
I teach companion and competitive obedience to students at Janice Gunn's TNT Training Center a few hours each week. This gives me the luxury to focus my complete care and attention on the dam and the puppies.
I fully believe that a puppy's temperament is continually shaped while at the breeders. The socialization they receive while in my families care and the environment they are raised in, until they are placed in your home, will affect them for the rest of their lives.
Each pup receives individual attention through out the day so the pup's personality has the opportunity to develop to the fullest.
I've been asked time and time again if we do Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) also known as Bio Sensor or Super Puppy Program and the answer is... yes, of course. However, I have to wonder is it really necessary considering the number of times the pups are handled during the day? The puppies are born in our formal dinning room; right beside the Royal Albert china. (DOGwood pattern...go figure on that pattern choice!) They all get weighed daily, bedding changed at least twice daily, helped to get a better position at the milk bar multiple times a day, cuddled, their nails trimmed once a week and the family hangs over the whelping box for hours on end. I don't go out training at all, away to dogs shows, obedience classes or leave town, etc... When I have puppies, I'm home. Ask my training friends...they are not impressed! Anywho, does formal ENS really make a difference with all this going on? You decide, but I do it anyways. Everyday, starting on the third day after they are born until the sixteenth day.
When the puppies are about three weeks old and ready to leave the whelping box... we dismantle the kitchen table and they are moved into the kitchen. The puppies are not in a basement, an out building or a dog room...they are in the heart of the household.
I'm very serious about proper exposure / socialization the puppies to as many different sounds, objects, textures, sights, and smells as possible. Pups will be familiar with riding in the car, to crates, to everything in between and will be coming to you when you blow a recall whistle....as all little retriever puppies should! They will meet and spend time with many, many different people. At last count there were 30+ children on our street and, of course, we become the most popular house to visit when we have pups. Personally I think it's the parents that want to see the pups and they are using their kids as an excuse to get in the front door!
Once the pups are 4 to 5 weeks old they have daily access to our yard. Grass, trees, twigs and DIRT all come into play as our garden gets destroyed! They also are exposed to water in a tray, agility equipment, other dogs, toys galore and anything else the we can think of.
Puppies with the potential to hunt, participate in Hunt Test or Working Certificate Tests are a BIG priority at Kasomor. I don't want to see the breed lose the original purpose it was intended for, besides I hunt! The yard is where the wonderful world of BIRDS is introduced to the pups. Yes, I have been known to toss a dead pigeon or two in the house but I DO try to avoid that! Bumpers, duck wings, whole ducks and live pigeons are brought out on a regular basis for the puppies to try their retrieving skills on. This is not just a once in a while occurrence with a pack of puppies. It is done on an individual basis with each puppy every other day, if not every day, to assess their skills as little duck dogs.
Go find your own duck Mom, this one is MINE!
A behavioral evaluation is done following the Volhard's Puppy Aptitude Test with a few extra's added in, by me.
This assists us in picking the best puppy to meet the lifestyle and requirements of our Puppy People. Sitting glued to the puppies for the previous 8 - 9 weeks really helps too! I breed and want a versatile toller that can go from the field to ring, however, a show career, once the dog has finished his/her Championship, is usually short lived. Therefore, I place priority on homes that are ACTIVE, doing or interested in becoming involved in dog sports and/ or hunting homes.
Of course, there are likely to be pups in any given litter which do not have show and/ or working potential. These pups would be perfect for active homes. They are for people and families who hike, camp, run; who have an excellent throwing arm because my tollers will retrieve till they drop! For families that have the time and energy to keep their dog as an integrated part of their daily lives tollers are wonderful additions....and you just never know... many owners start out only wanting a companion and get bitten by the dog sport bug!
Our puppies will have limited vaccinations at around eight weeks. Pups are wormed as necessary and will be checked by our professional Veterinarian before going to their new homes at about 8 - 9 weeks of age.
All puppies are CKC registered (that is a Canadian Federal law) and are sold on a CKC Non-Breeding Agreement or in Co-ownership. Each pup, which stays in Canada, is also covered by 6 weeks of Pet Secure Pet Health Insurance. This is made available by the CKC at no charge. A comprehensive written contract and warranty also goes with each puppy, which will be provided to you BEFORE you agree to purchase a puppy. Copies are available upon request.
You've made it to the end of the page!
It's almost an overwhelming amount of information to take in, isn't it?
Would you believe this is just the start?!!
I am sure you have come to realize that my ultimate goal is that you are as happy with your toller as I am with mine .
If you are interested in a Kasomor bred puppy or would like any further information regarding tollers, please, contact me directly by phone or e-mail and we can talk tollers......some more.
"An outfit is not complete without dog hair on it"