Activities For Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

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Introduction

Originating from the island of Nova Scotia in Canada, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, or simply Toller, is a dog breed that has been around since the 1800s. The Toller was a prized dog of duck hunters and was mainly used to attract ducks and get them closer so hunters can shoot them more accurately. The Toller will then retrieve the duck and bring it to the hunter, which is how the breed earned their name. Although the Toller’s main purpose was originally for hunting, this breed now serves many purposes and is even a favorite choice for a family pet. Active, well-rounded and fun-loving, the Toller is a wonderful dog to have. 

Hunting

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Doggy Safety Vest
Doggy Waste Bags
Activity description

When trying to think of activities that you can do with a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, the first thing that immediately comes to mind is hunting. The Tollers serve as the best hunting partner since they were literally bred for this purpose. Doing some hunting with your Toller also helps them utilize their natural instinct for hunting and retrieving. For Toller owners who are also hunting enthusiasts, this activity is a great way to exercise your dog while also spending some quality time together. For non-hunters who own a Toller, you can substitute prey or fowl with non-living targets such as clay targets. 

Step
1
Expose your dog to the outdoors
Although Tollers were made for hunting, it does not necessarily mean that they can go hunting without difficulty. This is especially true if your Toller is still a puppy. Get out there and explore the outdoors so that your pooch can get familiar with the surroundings. The more exposure your dog gets, the more they become more accustomed to wildlife and other creatures.
Step
2
Practice basic obedience
As with most sports and activities involving dogs, a good grasp of basic obedience commands is a must. In hunting, the most commonly used commands are “come”, “sit” and “stay”. Practice this with your dog and make sure that they perfectly understand what you mean with each command.
Step
3
Start hunting
When you have the basics down, you can then start going on a hunt. Find a safe hunting spot where you can easily find some wildlife. If you choose not to hunt for living creatures, find a wide open space where you can shoot clay targets. After getting your shot, command your dog to retrieve your target. Reward your Toller with a treat.
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Dog Carting

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Wagon or cart
Harness
Cable
Activity description

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are known for being strong, energetic and athletic. With that said, they need to clock in a good amount of exercise on a daily basis. A fun and unique way to get your Toller working while also having some fun together is through dog carting. Also known as drafting, this activity involves a cart or wagon that is being pulled by a dog. The wagon can be a small one, mostly for transporting items, or a bigger one, which a small person (for example, a child) can ride. While most medium-sized and large dogs can take part in this activity, the working-class breeds are the most commonly used dogs for carting. This includes the Toller, among others breeds.

Step
1
Acquire the needed equipment
Aside from the cart or wagon and the leash on your dog, there are other types of equipment needed for dog carting. There is a special type of harness that is used specifically for carting. Other items that you need to buy include shafts, brakes, wheels and tracers. You can buy this separately or, if you have no knowledge at all, you can simply go to an outdoor shop and have them do all the work for you.
Step
2
Practice the basic commands
In dog carting, you cannot set up the cart and just expect your Toller to start pulling for you. To start with this activity, your dog must have a good understanding of basic commands. For dog carting, the essential commands are “go”, “stop”, “heel”, “sit” and “stay”. Practice these commands with your Toller regularly.
Step
3
Start carting
When you have your equipment all set up and your dog has mastered all the basic commands, you can start to have some carting fun. Start off with an empty cart and command your dog to pull. This will let your pooch get used to the sensation of pulling a cart. Over time, you can start to add items into the cart for your dog to carry.
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Dock Diving

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Floating toy
Activity description

Apart from their hunting prowess, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are also known for their love of water. With a history of swimming in search of ducks, the Tollers have developed a liking for swimming. Fetching is another activity that Tollers seem to enjoy. In fact, they are willing to chase and retrieve any item that you are willing to throw. If you want to give your Toller the best time, what you can do is combine two of their favorite activities by doing dock diving. This canine sport involves throwing an item into the water. You will then have your dog chase this item and retrieve it in the water. Tollers are perfect for this sport because it utilizes all of the breed’s strengths and skills. 

Step
1
Find a spot for swimming
As its name suggests, dock diving is best done in a calm body of water with a dock to jump from. Most dock diving enthusiasts opt for lakes or rivers. Find a dock diving spot near your area. If you cannot find a spot, you may settle for a dog-friendly pool.
Step
2
Get your dog diving
Tollers, like most dogs, have a natural instinct to chase after an item that’s been thrown away, which is why fetch is such a popular dog game. In dock diving, you essentially play fetch but in the water. Find a floating item, such as a toy, and throw it into the water. Your Toller will chase after this item, jump into the water and retrieve it for you.
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More Fun Ideas...

Go on a Run

Since the Toller is a breed that requires a good amount of exercise, a regular walk in the park might not be sufficient. Take things up a notch by going on a run with your Toller. When going running, however, make sure you have the right harness or collar to keep your pooch safely attached to you. 

Hiking

Curious and active are two words that best describe a Toller. This combination makes this breed a great choice for a hiking partner. They are smart and athletic enough to take on the more challenging trails. Just choose a dog-friendly hiking spot and bring needs for yourself and your pooch before you go on your hike.

Conclusion

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an impressive, all-around dog that can bring lots of joy and adventure into your life. However, their needs should not be taken lightly. As an owner of this lovely breed, you need to make sure that the Toller gets their fair share of physical and mental stimulation through a variety of exciting activities.