Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

37-44 lbs
17-20"
Nova Scotia
Little River Duck Dog

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, or the Toller for short, is a small and energetic dog that is found in varying shades of red. Because of his boundless energy, he is not an ideal dog for everyone. He requires a family that is willing to engage him in a lot of daily exercise and even participate in dog sports such as fly ball, dock diving, flying disc games or even agility. He is a problem solver and if his owner is not firm with him, he can become a problem child. The Toller is highly trainable and responds best to positive reinforcement and short training sessions that differ each time. 

Purpose
Duck Hunting and Retrieving
Date of Origin
19th Century
Ancestry
Cocker Spaniels, farm Collies, Irish Setters

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Health

Average Size
Male Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever size stats
Height: 18-21 inches Weight: 44-51 lbs
Female Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever size stats
Height: 17-20 inches Weight: 37-44 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Minor Concerns
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Deafness
Occasional Tests
  • OFA
  • CERF
  • Hearing Tests

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Breed History

The Micmac Indians of Canada documented the first “tollers”. These tollers were wily foxes who patrolled the shores of rivers and lakes and would then snatch the ducks that came close enough to the shore. The Micmac Indians began encouraging their own dogs to lure the ducks closer in a fashion similar to those of the foxes. Some researchers believe that these dogs are a part of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever’s ancestry. Hunters in Yarmouth County located in southwest Nova Scotia’s Little River district created a dog that had the ability to attract ducks and retrieve them from the water. These hunters began mixing hunting and retrieving dogs such as the Golden Retriever, Flat-Coated Retriever, Cocker Spaniel and Irish Setter. Some researchers also believe that some farm Collies also found their way into the bloodlines. These resulting dogs were red in color and called Little River Duck Dogs. These dogs were virtually unknown in other parts of Canada until 1945 when the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) officially recognized the breed and renamed him the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. The first Tollers to be imported into the United States came in the 1960s but still remained unknown until the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1984, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of the United States was formed. It was not until 2001 that the American Kennel Club accepted the Toller into is Foundation Stock Service and officially recognized him in 2003 as a member of the Sporting group. 

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Breed Appearance

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a medium sized dog with an alert expression when he is working or even playing. He has eyes that are slightly oblique and almond shaped and set apart. His eyes should be brown or a color that blends with his coat with his eye rims being either black or self-colored. His nose and lips can be black or self-colored. He has a water resistant double coat that is medium-long with a slightly dense undercoat that is soft to the touch. His coat is mainly straight but he can have a slight wave on his back. When he is in his winter coat, meaning his coat is denser, there may be loose curls at his throat. He should have feathering on his ears, legs and tail but it cannot be overly excessive as to prohibit him from doing his job. The Toller comes in any shade of red that can range from a red-gold to a dark copper. He usually will have white markings on his chest, head, feet and tip of the tail. 

Eye Color Possibilities
hazel Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever eyes
Hazel
brown Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever eyes
Brown
amber Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
black Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever nose
Black
brown Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever nose
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
red Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever coat
Red
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Breed Maintenance

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has a water repellent coat that is a double coat and therefore, he will experience seasonal shedding. Most of the time, the Toller is a wash-and-go dog that generally only requires weekly grooming. He should be brushed with a pin brush and a comb. Pay close attention to his feathering and comb through thoroughly to remove any tangles. A dematter may be necessary if he is not regularly brushed. During the spring and fall, he will shed somewhat heavily and that will require daily brushing to keep him from matting or hair gathering all over the house. The Toller will need to be bathed usually after he has been in the field or water working and then when he is shedding to remove the loose hair. A mild shampoo should be used to ensure that he does not experience skin irritation. His nails should be trimmed regularly and his ears will need to be cleaned weekly.

Brushes for Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Temperament

Tollers are naturally curious and energetic dogs. He can also be an independent thinker and this can get him into big trouble. He is a loyal dog who wants to be with his family. The Toller is great with children and loves to play games. He will generally do well with other pets, but should be watched with pet birds. Unfortunately, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is not ideal for everyone; he is very high energy and requires a lot of exercise to keep him happy. Planning on spending a lot of time interacting with your Toller throughout the day or he may find his own fun and become an annoyance. The Toller loves playing in water so pool safety is advised if you have a pool in your yard. It is best to provide him with plenty of toys that make him think. Many Toller families participate in dog sports such as dock diving, disc flying and agility.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever size stats at six months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 21 lbs
Female Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever size stats at six months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 17 lbs
12 Months
Male Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever size stats at 12 months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 35 lbs
Female Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever size stats at 12 months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 31 lbs
18 Months
Male Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever size stats at 18 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 47 lbs
Female Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever size stats at 18 months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 40 lbs

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Owner Experiences

6 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Run
Walk
Fetch
Since this was a boarding and not just a regular walk, I got to know this dog quite well. He enjoyed being near me at all times whenever I was working or watching TV in the house. When we walked, he was very open to running. He was enthused with fetch as well, but only for a short time. He was really well behaved except for one incident when I left the house and he tried to get into the trash (no harm done). Overall this was a really sweet, loyal, and trainable breed).
9 months, 1 week ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Dog Parks
Explore the woods
Bike ride
Fetch
I rescued a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever about six months ago, and he has been such a good addition to the family! He is very treat motivated and learns very quickly. He is good on his leash and was house trained extremely quick. He is very friendly with other dogs and cats, and he is a great running partner!
9 months, 1 week ago
Book me a walkiee?
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