Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. – Ogden Nash
One of the few dogs native to Canada, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, or Toller, was developed in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia in the late 1800s and is now recognized as the official dog of the province of Nova Scotia.
The Toller uses a technique called “tolling” which involves jumping and frisking about on shore. The Toller creates a disturbance at the edge of the water and thus lures curious ducks within range of the concealed hunters’ rifles. This technique was first observed in use by foxes. Hunters wanted a dog that could do the same thing. This led to the development of the Toller. Once known as the “Little River Duck Dog”, the Toller is believed to have retriever, spaniel, setter, and collie blood.
Photos displayed courtesy of Wendy & Jerry Lee, Lealee Reg’d, British Columbia
The NS Duck Tolling Retriever is the smallest of the retrievers and stands just 20 inches (51 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 51 pounds (23 kg). He has a medium length, water-repellent, thick double coat that protects him from the cold water. His coat may be shades of red or orange and have white markings on the feet, chest, tip of tail, and forehead.
Toller is a friendly and playful family pet. He gets along well with children and other dogs. He is responsive, intelligent, easy to train, and quick to learn. He can fit into most accommodation provided there is an outlet for his energy. Strong, loyal, and reliable he makes a good watchdog.
Best in an active household, the Toller needs lots of exercise and activity including swimming and running. As with all retrievers, he will retrieve sticks or balls from the water all day long!
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of Canada
National Retriever Club of Canada (field trials)
Vancouver Island Retriever Club
Mountain Valley Retriever Training Club
Saskatoon Retriever Club
Manitoba Gun Dog Association
Retrievers ONLINE Magazine (field trials/hunting)
theRetriever News (field trials)