Read Chelsea's story
Congenital deafness is known to occur in Tollers, the frequency and mode of inheritance is unknown. The following web page explains congenital deafness in dogs and the possible modes of inheritance, it also provides links to other deafness information on the web.
This link has a list of breeds with reported congenital deafness - the Toller is included:
In 1992 Barb and Paul Henry wrote the following article for "Ontario Toller", the newsletter of the NSDTR Club of Ontario. It is reprinted here with the authors permission.
We started obedience training in October of 1991 when Chelsea was 5 months old, and since she seemed to adapt to the weekly schedule of classes (with the attendant increase in both contact with other dogs and the receipt of attention and treats) we carried on through the winter and spring.
By the time summer rolled around, Chelsea was demonstrating an apparent readiness to tackle the rigours of "THE TRIAL RING." Practice matches are fun, sanction matches can test your nerves (as a handler) but trials are the REAL THING. So...we entered her in her first Novice class at the Capital Schutzhund Club sanction match in at Kars. She showed with a respectable score of 190.5 and surprised us by being awarded the HQS (Highest Qualifying Score) in class.
On to the REAL THING...We registered in two trials at the Ottawa and Area German Shepherd Club trials in Kanata on July 11 and 12. For first official trial she earned 189.5 one leg for her CD title and one HQS. Chelsea didn't want us to get too excited though and in the second trial kept our expectations in check by going down during the Long Sit exercise and receiving a NQS (Non-Qualifying Score).
Three more weeks of practice and Chelsea was back in the trial ring again at the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Obedience Trials in Alexandria on August 3rd. This time she earned a score of 195.5, leg two of her CD, another HQS as well as the added bonus of a booster trophy for highest scoring Group 1 dog in trial. We were on a roll... September 11 found us at the Save the Children Canada trials in Carp. Once again Chelsea performed beyond our expectations, earning a score of 194.5, Novice leg number 3, her CD qualifications complete (according to the judges) and another HQS. In the September 12 trial she reminded us that we're in it for the fun and stood (without wandering) during the Long Down exercise (NQ number 2).
On to Arnprior and the Arnprior Canine Association Obedience trials on September 20 where Chelsea earned one more HQS with a 190 score.
We are ever so proud of our little Toller. In seven trials and one sanction match she met and exceeded her CD title requirements and picked up 5 HQS awards. We feel this is an impressive performance since we originally took her to obedience school because we simply wanted to communicate with her. You see, our wonderful and responsive Chelsea was born deaf.