Dog Breeds

Nova scotia duck tolling retriever

Nova scotia duck tolling retriever (Nova Scotia retriever) is a breed that is popular all over the world. Originally tolls were used for duck hunting, today due to their charm and friendly character they are gaining popularity as great family dogs. Growers are more and more interested in them due to their joyful disposition and spontaneity.


Nova Scotia Retrievers are agile and willing to work dogs. They learn very quickly and love to follow the orders of their guardian. Tollers, because the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever breed is known under this short name, they are very intelligent, child-friendly and affectionate dogs. When they work in the field, they can move far away from the owner. The Retriever is a born retriever who works persistently on land and in water.


Toller is – and always will be instinctively –  a hunting dog. He perfectly performs the owner’s instructions, but as a smart, agile and lively dog, ​​he needs a guardian who will provide him with interesting and varied activities. Due to the fact that this is a very active breed, it requires daily satisfaction of the movement, which needs for proper functioning. A minimum one hour walk each day is a must for a Nova Scotia retriever, but a walk full of attractions, not walking.

Nova scotia duck tolling retriever is created to lure ducks and geese to the shore in such a way that the hunter can shoot the birds. Another task the dog performs is to take the shot bird out of land or water and bring it to the hunter.

Toller loves water and swims great. So he will not be happy if we deprive him of the possibility of practicing (even recreational) this sport. This retriever, as an extremely intelligent dog, will definitely shine on the course of obedience. We can develop it in this field, practicing with it obedience, for example. As a lively and agile animal with a sports soul, it also works well in agility, flyball or frisbee. Because the toller feels great in the forest and has an excellent sense of smell, he will be pleased when we take him to a tracking class.

Nova scotia duck tolling retriever

Training and education

Tollers are balanced, joyful and spontaneous dogs who love working with people. It is important that from the beginning they are properly socialized and have the opportunity to learn about the world around them. Thanks to this, they will not react later to anxiety about new situations. Although most tollers don’t mind meeting strangers, you have to keep in mind that these dogs are not as effusive to all people as labradors or goldens. For this reason, they can keep a distance from strangers. Training sessions for this breed should be short, because these dogs are easily bored and distract quickly. If we are not attractive to the dog and we lack patience, the toller may refuse to cooperate with us. Retrievers love a variety of games on a walk, from retrieving toys (also from water), tracking hidden objects, to obedience exercises or performing various tricks.

When working with a dog of this breed, you must not forget that they are extremely sensitive individuals. By putting pressure on them, we will achieve nothing. Learning to decide should be through play, only with positive methods. Then we bring up a joyful and active companion.

Who is this race for?

Dogs of this breed are intended primarily for hunters who hunt waterfowl. Currently, they are also popular among families who like physical activity. Tollers will love running a bike or jogging with the owner. A Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever dog should reach a person who will provide him with regular physical and mental activity, i.e. regular, long walks with elements of dog sports. The Nova Scotia Retriever is a dog that may also be interested in amateur agility or obedience, or someone who is looking for a four-legged companion to track.

Advantages and disadvantages

Nova scotia duck tolling retriever – how is it? Learn its pros and cons!


  • extremely sensitive, sometimes shy
  • needs daily movement and activity
  • requires careful socialization


  • intelligent, learns quickly
  • friendly towards people and animals
  • ideal for dog sports
  • good for families with children


Nova Scotia Retrievers retain activity until old age, but this is a breed with quite a few hereditary diseases. These include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), collie eye anomaly (CEA), hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism. Dogs of this breed are also prone to such diseases as cryptorchidism, double-row eyelash, deafness, cataracts or autoimmune diseases.

Nova scotia duck tolling retriever


Nova scotia duck tolling retriever should be provided with basic nutrients, which include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, micro- and macroelements, as well as unlimited access to fresh water. When it comes to the way of feeding tollers, we have a choice of both dry and wet food, which dogs of this breed tolerate well. However, no matter what nutrition model we choose, it is worth remembering to feed the dog at fixed times and never before or immediately after physical exertion. The frequency and type of nutrition is selected according to the age, level of activity and possible diseases of the dog.


The most important element of toller care is combing the hair – this should be done at least once a week. Nova scotia duck tolling retriever has a rich undercoat which makes itself felt especially during molting. Then it is worth combing the dog even every day. Toller does not need to be bathed using shampoo more often than dogs of other breeds (so it is enough once a year). Especially since in the summer, this retriever will bathe itself in the first thing it encounters, so the superficial dirt will wash itself.

Due to the frequent occurrence of ear infections, it is worth cleaning them regularly. Especially if we feed a dog with wet food – but not only then – we should brush his teeth to remove accumulated tartar. A variety of teethers are available at pet stores to help prevent scale build-up. In this breed, it is also recommended to control the eye area and remove accumulated secretions with a moistened cotton swab.

Nova scotia duck tolling retriever


Band collars are recommended for this breed, which is available in many different colors, as well as guard braces. A physiological muzzle may also be useful, especially if you travel by public transport, which is worth getting used to from a small age. Numerous toys and teethers will be useful because it is a breed that gets bored quickly. Let’s put cords, congas, natural teethers and biting root in the layette.


The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever breed was established at the southwestern tip of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia in the early 1900s (although it is also said that its roots can date back to the 17th century). The origins of this breed are poorly documented, but it is likely that Europeans brought red dogs from travel, which were then crossed with local retrievers and spaniels. The first Kennel Club that registered this breed in 1945 was the Canadian Kennel Club. American Kennel Club initially entered this breed in the group “other dogs”, but in 2003 they went to the group of sport dogs. It is worth adding that this is the official breed of the province of Nova Scotia.

The name of the breed – nova scotia duck tolling retriever – literally means “Nova Scotia retriever luring a duck”. These dogs worked in such a way that they played at the shore, running after the hunter thrown out of hiding. Those interested in the unusual view of the duck swam to the shore to take a close look at the phenomenon. When they were close enough, hunters fired at them. Then the tollers retrieved the shot birds and brought them to the hunter.

One theory is that Canadian retrievers are descendants of a breed called Kooikerhondje. They are even similar in appearance and also appear in red-white. Dutch flatworms were designed to lure ducks into cages, appearing to the birds at the shore, and the function of these birds also indicates that they can have a lot in common with tollers.

Although there is no evidence for this, it is said that the blood of the retriever from Nova Scotia flows, among others flat coated retrieverlabradorirish setter and border collie.

Nova scotia duck tolling retriever


Nova scotia duck tolling retriever – group VIII FCI, section 1, reference number 312

  • Country of origin: Canada
  • Size: male 43-51 cm, female 45-53 cm
  • Coat: dense coat with abundant undercoat; the hair can be wavy only on the back
  • Color: coat color is different shades of red and orange; white markings quite often appear on the coat – mask, chest, feet and tail tip
  • Maturity: 2 years
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Weather resistance: high

Interesting facts

Nova scotia duck tolling retrievers were also referred to as Yarmouth toller and little river duck dog – after the name of the small town of Little River Harbor in the Yarmouth Country.

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