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Home wanted for rare gun dog brothers

PUBLISHED: 19:39 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:11 12 July 2010

THEY were traditionally bred as decoy dogs to lure waterfowl in the North American outback.

But two rare-breed Canadian gun dogs are now hoping to attract the attentions of potential owners in East Anglia after being put up for rehoming.

THEY were traditionally bred as decoy dogs to lure waterfowl in the North American outback.

But two rare-breed Canadian gun dogs are now hoping to attract the attentions of potential owners in East Anglia after being put up for rehoming.

Three-year-old brothers Harry and Potter are amongst a select band of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers to reside in the UK, which are more commonly found across the Atlantic.

The intelligent, lively, fox-like gun dogs are seeking their third new family after being made homeless by a marriage break-up and a young family who were unable to look after them.

The Toller Club of Great Britain is calling on dog lovers to come forward to give a fresh chance to Harry and Potter, who are currently staying at kennels in Brockdish.

Helen Withey, rescue coordinator, who owns seven tollers and breeds the rare gun dogs, said the two dogs would have to be rehomed together because they have been inseparable since birth. She added that they would make excellent family pets and agility dogs.

“They have always been together. They drink out of the same bowl and sleep in the same bed. They love each other, which is quite unusual for two brothers. They are a wonderful happy go lucky pair and deserve a nice active home. They are quite active dogs and need lots of walks.”

“They (the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever) have been in the country since 1989. They have got more popular over the last five or six years and unfortunately with the numbers increasing we are getting some rescue cases,” she said.

The gun dogs, which were only recognised as a breed in Canada following the end of the second world war, first arrived on British shores in the late 1980s. The Toller Club of Great Britain currently has around a thousand on its database, with Norfolk and Suffolk housing the largest number of tollers in the country.

The “red decoy dog” or “little river duck dog” is thought to have originated in the Yarmouth County district of Nova Scotia province in Canada. They serve as hunting dogs by playing along the shoreline in full view of ducks or geese. The dogs arouse the curiosity of the waterfowl swimming offshore and lure them into traps or gunshot range. They are also used to retrieve the dead or injured birds.

For more information, contact Helen Withey on 07831 664259 or visit www.thetollerclub.org.uk.

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