Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Standing at only 17-21 inches, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, or the Toller for short, is the smallest retriever. He may be small, but he had to do a big job when he was developed.

In the 19th century, the Toller was bred to lure, toll, and retrieve waterfowl, usually ducks and geese. The breed was bred in Nova Scotia, Canada. He was welcome into the Canadian Kennel Club in 1945, and in the 1960's, they were first introduced to the US.

The breed has heavily feathered tail that would help to lure ducks to shore, and then the dog's owners could shoot it once lured into gun range. Another thing that helped the breed do his job is his coat. The Toller was also used to retrieve ducks from icy waters, so the breed has a double coat medium in length that's water-resistant. It comes in any shade of red with white markings on the chest, muzzle, tail, and belly. He also has well arched toes with thick pads. The breed should always have tight scissors bite.

His coat needs regular brushing and grooming. If you put the breed on show, remember that his coat needs to have a natural appearance, not a barbered one. Breeders have been trying to breed out health issues of the breed. But be aware of hip dysplasia, eye problems, autoimmune deficiency, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a breed is best when given a job, even if he isn't told too. So if you live near a lake, and you Toller comes back with a duck in its mouth, don't be surprised; this instinct hasn't been bred out of the breed. As a result, the breed does best with more active families.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a breed of fun and work. He could be a great dog for you if you give him attention. It'll be worth it for sure.


  1. Lucy, what I liked most about this post was the description of how this dog's tail can lure ducks to the hunters! What an amazing fact. Thanks for the great post!

  2. What a great blog! I love dogs and have three of my own. The last one I adopted is a Bluetick. I thought it was just another sad - eyed mut, looking for a mommy and daddy. I had to have him. He is a big boy now. One year old and 55 lbs. Phew!
    Great that you are doing this blog so people know what to expect. I love all my three dogs.