By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 18th October 2022

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th October 2022

Purebred gundog Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, primarily used by the hunters, is characterized by a smaller body than other retrievers, strong jaws for carrying ducks and long tail feathers emphasizing its frequently wagging tail especially during hunting. Their compact, powerful build, along with their characteristic agility, helps them run, swim, jump and retrieve untiringly.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Pictures

Quick Information

NicknamesNovie, Scotty, Toller
Other namesTolling Retriever, Yarmouth Toller, Little River Duck Dog, Little Red Duck Dog
CoatMedium-length, water-repellant double coat; soft, dense undercoat
ColorDifferent shades of orange or red
Breed TypePurebred
Group of BreedSporting, Gun Dog
Life span10-14 years
WeightMale 44-51 lb; Female 37-44 lb
Size and HeightMale 19-20 inches; Female 17-19 inches
TemperamentAlert, Responsive, Intelligent
Good with ChildrenYes
Size of Litter6-10 puppies
BarkingYes when frustrated, stimulated, or excited 
Country Originated inCanada (Nova Scotia)
Competitive RegistrationAKC, ACA, NAPR, DRA, NZKC, NKC, ACR, APRI, UKC, CKC, FCI

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Video


This dog breed had developed in Yarmouth County, in the Canadian Province Nova Scotia, during the early 19th century. Although the precise information about its origins is unavailable, these waterfowl Tollers were probably crossed with working spaniels, farm collies, and retriever-type dogs. In 1945, this dog breed acquired official registration from the Canadian Kennel Club.


Temperament and Intelligence

Being obedient, smart, and sensible, the Tollers are always dedicated to their family. Their shyness and reticence behavior around strangers can be controlled with appropriate training and exercise, which help them in making friends with other dog breeds and cats. With strong retrieving desire, playful attitude and tolling abilities as natural traits, they demonstrate intense passion and eagerness about their duty. Although they don’t bark aggressively, they produce a distinctive high-pitched sound, called the “Toller scream”, to express pleasure and excitement.

Although suited to live in houses with access to fenced yards, Tollers can be trained to live happily in apartments and city high-rises. The puppies need special care, as they are highly active during the first year.



These highly energetic Duck Tollers can become destructive without adequate exercise. To keep them rejuvenated, they should be taken on long, brisk walks or hikes regularly, however, the owner must hold the leading position with the dog heeling behind or beside. Walking on rough grounds is recommended to keep their footpads tight, which prevents damage caused by rubbles.


Since they have dense coat, weekly brushing or combing with a firm brush is recommended for the prevention of tangling or knotting of fur. During the shedding seasons, regular brushing is necessary to get rid of dead hair. Occasional bathing with dry shampoo, cleaning the footpads, and trimming the nails are also recommended.

Health Problems

Even though they are normally healthy, Tollers are vulnerable to some health conditions including deafness, collie eye anomaly, progressive retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia. When buying a puppy, it is advisable to look for good breeders who provide health clearances for the puppy’s parents.


The owner should be flexible, creative, patient and firm while training his dog. He shouldn’t employ physical force, intimidation or anger in order to earn respect and trust of his dog. Since the Tollers don’t do well under pressure, they should be motivated and trained by food rewards, play, and praise. These dogs enjoy it if a stick or ball is thrown for them to bring back, for which they may even use their natural swimming ability. Crate training is also necessary for making housetraining simple and keeping away bad habits.


Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers should be provided with 2.5-3 cups of dry food every day, divided into 2 meals.

Interesting Facts

  • In 1980, two Nova Scotia Tollers received the Best in Show award at the championship events, which earned them national recognition in Canada.
  • Their unusual activities combined with white markings on the body lures the geese and ducks within the gunshot range of the hunter.
  • Breeders who raise the puppies for breed shows consider wedge-shaped clean cut head with a fox-like appearance to be an essential feature.

4 responses to “Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever”

  1. Leah McKenzie says:

    Hi, I am very interested in Nova Scotia Toller and would like to know how long they shed for over the year, is it constant or is there a particular season in Australia. Also do they like being indoors or are they mainly an outdoors dog? Do they need exercise all day, or would a couple of long daily walks be enough exercise?
    Thank you, Leah

  2. Terri fithian says:

    I am looking for a toller or mix breed toller,.

  3. cwatson32 says:

    I am looking for a puppy like this or similar for my daughters 20th birthday.

  4. tiago says:

    I have a dog

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