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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

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Breed Organization
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA)
Native Country
Other Names
Little River Duck Dog, Yarmouth Toller, Tolling Retriever, Little Red Duck Dog, Toller, Tolling Red Decoy Dog
Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-14 Years
Litter Size
Average 3-6 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Sporting
Breed Appearance
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a medium-sized breed of gundog bred primarily for hunting. It is the smallest of the retrievers, and is often mistaken for a small Golden Retriever. Tollers are known to be intelligent, alert, high-energy dogs. Tollers get their name because of their ability to lure waterfowl within gunshot range. The breed originated in southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada, where they were used for tolling and retrieving ducks

Breed Description
Head: Broad. Slightly domed skull. Pronounced stop. Brown nose.
Ears: Set on high, triangular.
Eyes: Almond-shaped, widely spaced, amber or brown.
Body: Strong. Deep chest.
Tail: Well-feathered.
Hair: Medium in length, somewhat wavy, slightly oily, waterproof. Undercoat. Feathering on the backs of the legs.
Coat: Rust with white markings on the chest, feet, tip of the tail, and sometimes the foreface.
Size: Dog: 49 to 55 cm. (19-21.5 in).Bitch: 43 to 49 cm. (17-19.5 in).
Weight: Approx. 25 kg (55 kg).

The breed was developed in the community of Little River Harbour in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, around the beginning of the 19th century to toll waterfowl. The breed was originally known as the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever or the Yarmouth Toller. Its exact origins are not known but it appears that some possibly spaniel and setter-type dogs, retriever-type dogs, and farm collie may have gone into the mix. It may share origins with the smaller Kooikerhondje, which has a similar method of work.

The Toller was officially admitted to the Canadian Kennel Club in 1945. Declared the provincial dog of Nova Scotia in 1955, the breed gained national recognition in 1980, when two Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers were awarded Best in Show at championship events that included many breeds. On June 11, 2001, it was approved for admission into the Miscellaneous Class of the American Kennel Club and was granted full recognition into the Sporting Group on July 1, 2003.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are known to be very intelligent, alert, high-energy dogs. They tend to be very affectionate and outgoing animals with family members and are known for being very patient with children. Some dogs may be reserved in new situations but shyness in adult dogs is considered a flaw.

Duck Tollers are working animals and are happiest when they have a job to do. Tollers are excellent hunting companions. Their keen sense of smell, intelligence, working drive, and small size, also make them perfect search and rescue dogs.

Physical stimulation should be provided for these dogs each day since they may become destructive when they are not exercised enough or left alone for too long. The breed standard states that the dog should have a strong retrieving drive, intense birdiness, endurance and a love for water.

Tollers do not have an aggressive bark. Some have a unique sounding bark known as the "Toller scream", a high-pitched, howl-like sound which is often referred to as their "singing". They do not use this in violent situations, however; for these they have a harsh growl. The Toller scream is used to express excitement.

This is a healthy working breed that is increasing in popularity. With its limited gene pool, a corresponding increase in some health dangers has occurred. Besides some thyroid and autoimmune problems, progressive retinal atrophy is starting to show up.

He needs space and exercise for his well-being, as well as regular brushing and combing.

They excel at many types of sporting competitions, such as agility, dock diving and obedience. Their keen sense of smell, intelligence, working drive, and small size, also make them perfect search and rescue dogs.

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