German Shorthair Toller

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35-45 lbs
United States
German Shorthaired Pointer 
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

The German Shorthair Toller is a mixture of the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever parent breeds. He is a large dog who loves to hunt. His parent breeds have origins in Germany and Nova Scotia, Canada and both excel when in the field or in the water. The German Shorthaired Pointer is an avid tracker, seeking out game on both land and from the water. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is the smallest of the retrievers, but he is great at both luring and retrieving waterfowl. He is highly energetic and must have daily activity.  The German Shorthair Toller is a great combination of both breeds and is perfect for those who enjoy hunting or simply want a companion dog. 

Companion, Hunting Dog
Date of Origin
German Shorthaired Pointer and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

German Shorthair Toller Health

Average Size
Male German Shorthair Toller size stats
Height: 15-20 inches Weight: 40-50 lbs
Female German Shorthair Toller size stats
Height: 13-18 inches Weight: 35-45 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Minor Concerns
  • None Known
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • CT Scan
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

German Shorthair Toller Breed History

There is not a lot of information on the German Shorthair Toller breed itself, but we can learn about the parent breeds in order to understand what to expect from the hybrid breed. The German Shorthaired Pointer finds it origins in the seventeenth century; however, the dog that we know today did not come into existence for another two hundred years. Most likely, the German Bird Dog was crossed with Spanish Pointers and Bloodhounds. It is from this combination that experts believe the German Shorthaired Pointer inherited his keen nose and size. In 1925, the first German Shorthaired Pointer was brought to the United States. Shortly after, Dr. Charles Thornton of Montana began a German Shorthaired Pointer breeding program. Five years later, the American Kennel Club registered its first German Shorthaired Pointer. During World War II, the breed almost became extinct in Europe. People affected by the war had to hid the German Shorthaired Pointer (along with other valuables). Even after the war had ended, people who lived in Europe had difficulty breeding them (people who lived on one side of the Iron Curtain could not travel to the other side to explore breeding options). However, the German Shorthaired Pointer thrived in the United States. Writer Robert B. Parker featured a German Shorthaired Pointer in his mystery novels, and Rick Bass immortalized his dog in a book titled  Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever originates in Canada. It is thought, however, that the ancestor of the Toller came to Nova Scotia by way of owners who moved from Great Britain and was then interbred with retrievers and working spaniels. The result was the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (keep in mind that tolling means “lure,” so the dog not only retrieved waterfowl, but it also assisted in the hunt). The “tolling” part of his job comes as an interaction with the hunter. The hunter generally throws a stick (Indians who utilized the dog threw fox-hides) and the dog creates enough of a disturbance that the ducks will be drawn to the area out of curiosity. Once the ducks are close, the hunter will startle them and put them in flight so that he can take aim at the ducks. Once the prey has fallen, the Toller then retrieves the ducks. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a rare breed, and it was only recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2003.

German Shorthair Toller Breed Appearance

The German Shorthair Toller will be a combination of both parent breeds, the sleek German Shorthaired Pointer and the beautiful Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. The coat of this beautiful hybrid will vary in color and may include liver, and a combination of liver and white like the Pointer parent. The Toller parent is often red or orange and because the Pointer parent can be red as well, this is a likely color to see. The coat may be roaned or ticked, or may have the white markings on the feet, chest, tail tip and face as seen in the Toller dog. Your German Shorthair Toller will be of medium size and of solid bone structure. His chest is deep and his legs are sturdy. This hybrid may have high-set, triangular ears or ears that flop down to the sides of the face. His teeth will be well defined, the eyes brown, and the nose may match the coat.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown German Shorthair Toller eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black German Shorthair Toller nose
brown German Shorthair Toller nose
isabella German Shorthair Toller nose
Coat Color Possibilities
white German Shorthair Toller coat
red German Shorthair Toller coat
brown German Shorthair Toller coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
German Shorthair Toller straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

German Shorthair Toller Breed Maintenance

The German Shorthair Toller has a short, thick, water-repellent coat which will most likely have a dense undercoat. It may be slightly longer on the underside of the tail and haunches and the hair of the head may be softer and shorter. This hybrid's coat should be easy to maintain as he does not shed excessively. Brush him with a pin brush once a week. Bathe him only as needed or risk losing natural oils that help keep the coat naturally soft and shiny. It is also important to check his feet if he has been on a hunt to ensure they are in tip-top shape. Check for cuts or cracks and keep the nails trimmed to a good length. If your dog loves the water and you take him swimming often, be sure to check his ears for excess moisture that may cause yeast or bacteria to form. Keep his teeth clean by brushing them a few times a week.

Brushes for German Shorthair Toller
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
German Shorthair Toller requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

German Shorthair Toller Temperament

The German Shorthair Toller is smart and only wants to please his owner. He is easy going, though he may be reserved at times. He may develop separation anxiety if left alone for long hours at a time. While he is a large dog, he is most definitely a house dog and is very devoted to his family. He will be very unhappy if left outside in the yard or in a kennel. He is a hard-working hunter who can also be playful when not on the hunt. The tolling is a natural trait; it is born into the Toller parent, which makes him invaluable to his hunting partner. They are great dogs with children and often have much more patience with children than other hybrids. He is not a good guard dog, but he will bark to alert you to something out of the ordinary. Owners must be pack leaders and must not mishandle their authority over the dog.

German Shorthair Toller Activity Requirements

The German Shorthair Toller is a fairly active dog. It is recommended that he gets ample exercise to ensure that he maintains a healthy weight. He may have a tendency to gain weight if he is not exposed to regular activity. He will do better in a home with a large yard that he can be allowed to run and play in, but if he is kept in an apartment, ample exercise is a must. He may also enjoy joining you for a leisurely walk. The dog park is a great place for the German Shorthair Toller; he will enjoy the ability to get out and run and play with other dogs. He needs regular exercise so that he does not chew excessively. He may have a tendency to chew or be otherwise destructive if he is not properly exercised. Some experts recommend two hours of exercise in order to wear the mischief out of the German Shorthair Toller. It is important to remember that the German Shorthair Toller does best with plenty of room to play in, and a space of his own inside your home.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
12 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

German Shorthair Toller Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$39 - $52

German Shorthair Toller Owner Experiences

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