Breed of the Month: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was developed in Nova Scotia, Canada in the 19th century. This sporting breed was developed to toll (entice or lure) and retrieve waterfowl. The breed was made to be more compact in size so that it was easier for them to fit into canoes. When a hunter is hidden behind a blind, the “Toller” plays and frolics at the water’s edge – drawing the attention of the birds with a helicopter motion of their tail – causing them to swim closer to the shore.

When the birds are at a close enough distance, the hunter emerges from the blind and scares the birds into flight. Once in flight, the hunter shoots and the Duck Toller retrieves any fallen birds. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is very intelligent and easy to train. A natural water lover and swimmer, the Toller does well in water agility and land agility. This good-natured and intelligent breed is perfect for an active family. There is never a dull moment when you have a toller!

Male: 45-51 lbs.
Female: 37-43 lbs.
Male: 19-20 in.
Female: 18-19 in.

• Medium sized dog with muscular body
• Medium length, water-repellent double coat
• Soft feathering on ears, legs, and throat
• Coat colour can range from various shades of red and orange
• White markings can be on chest, tail, and feet
• Nose is either flesh-coloured or black
• Almond shaped, expressive eyes
• Long, feathered tail

• Exercise requirements: Two daily long walks or jogs – also a good idea to add retrieval games to burn off some energy
• Lifespan: 10-15 years
• Energy Level: High
• Drool Level: Low
• Bark Level: Moderate/High
• Grooming needs: Moderate/High
• Intelligence: High
• Child-Friendly: High
• Cat/Dog-Friendly: High – has a strong prey drive so may chase cats, but doesn’t mean any harm

Common Health Problems:
• Liver Shunt
• Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
• Juvenile Addison’s Disease (JADD)
Cleft Palate


Written by Kylie, CCR