Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


Learned, Persevering, Outgoing
Size: Medium
Height: 45-51 cm
Weight: 17-23 kg
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Coat: Medium Hair
Colors: Shades, red, orange, white markings on tail, head, chest, paws
FCI Group: Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - known as the Toller or Nova Scotia Retriever for short - is one of the lesser-known representatives of the retriever family. Wrongly so, because these retrievers are intelligent and playful companions. If you are looking for a dog that is willing to learn and needs a lot of activity, you should get to know this breed. The retriever is the smallest member of the retriever family.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
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The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a handsome, medium-sized dog. In contrast to the large retrievers, this breed is rather small and light. Males weigh between 20 and 23 kg, females sometimes only 17 kg.

The coat color of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is red to orange with some white markings. As the breed's coat must be suitable for retrieving in water, it is dense and water-repellent. It therefore has a so-called double coat, which is slightly wavy on the upper side.

These friendly dogs have a very harmonious build. They were bred for retrieving on land and in water. They are therefore very persistent and intelligent and work with concentration. Sometimes the facial expression of this dog appears somewhat sad. However, this impression changes when the animals are able to live out their play instinct.

The play instinct of this breed is used to lure ducks to the shore. The dog "romps" along the bank and plays with the hunter. Curious ducks come closer and can be shot by the hunter. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever then retrieves the shot birds. Some dogs of this breed also have an innate herding instinct.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an intelligent and capable working dog. He enjoys working with his owner if he is treated well. Then he is a sensitive dog who enjoys playing and challenges. Thanks to his intelligence, he reads his owner's thoughts and adapts to their mood.

You should only adopt this dog if you have enough time and patience. Although the working dog is a great family dog, it should also have a proper job. You should spend a lot of time with your dog every day, especially in the early days. The hunting instinct in particular brings with it some special features in training. That's why you should be consistent right from the start.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an affectionate dog. He needs a close bond with his family. It should therefore be involved in family life. It is also important that you keep him busy on a regular basis. Thanks to its versatility, you can use it for almost all dog sports. He is also generally friendly towards other dogs.

A special feature of this dog is that it is suspicious of strangers. He is not aggressive, but avoids strangers. In its native Scotland, it is therefore also used as a guard dog. The dogs hardly ever bite, but they do alert strangers loudly.

Coat care:




Energy level:




Children suitable:

With supervision

The right food

When choosing food, make sure that it contains high-quality ingredients, is balanced and meets your dog's requirements. Age, size or weight, activity and health status play an important role. You should follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the amount of food.

Treats should only be fed in moderation and deducted from the basic diet to avoid obesity.

Puppies can be fed 4-6 times a day. The number of meals should be gradually reduced to 2 per day until the dog is fully grown. A rest period should be observed after meals.

Fresh drinking water should be available at all times.

Unfortunately, there are dogs of this breed that suffer from autoimmune diseases that are probably genetic. Some of these diseases require a special diet. This can mean that your dog's diet becomes expensive and regular check-ups with the vet are necessary. You should be aware of this before adopting a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Health & Care

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has a dense coat that is perfectly adapted to cold water. It sheds its coat in fall and spring. During these seasons in particular, it makes sense to brush him daily. This prevents the dense coat from matting. It also makes vacuuming easier.

Characteristic of this breed are the long, fine hairs on the ears and the back of the legs. This coat can become matted and must therefore be regularly detangled and combed. Burrs and sticks can also get caught in it.

This breed is suitable for keeping indoors if it is walked several times a day. As the dog likes to play in water, it will often get dirty. In addition to the daily walk, you should therefore expect additional cleaning in the apartment. However, as exercise in the great outdoors is the dog's greatest joy, you should never restrict it.

After a long walk, it may be necessary to shower him with water. As his coat is water-repellent, shampoo must not be used. Grooming products can destroy the natural protective layer. After a walk, check your dog for ticks, which like to hide in thick fur.

Eyes and ears should be checked and cleaned regularly.

The hair between the pads and claws should be trimmed regularly.

Suitable accessories

As the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an active dog, it should be given daily exercise. Initially, a drag lead should be used to prevent chasing. A collar is usually sufficient for an adult Toller. However, if your dog pulls on the lead, a harness is advisable. Only well-trained dogs should be let off the lead, as the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a fast and agile hunter.

You can offer him various toys to keep him occupied. He loves to fetch. Retrieving training is therefore a sensible activity. This playful dog should be given enough stimulation to be able to live out his natural hunting and play instinct.

Like every dog, your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever needs the following basic equipment: dog basket or dog mat as a retreat, water and food bowl, tick tweezers, claw clippers, brush and comb, toothbrush and toothpaste for the dog, transport box for transportation in the car and a first aid kit. It is best to ask your vet what belongs in the first aid kit.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever History

Origin & History

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a Canadian breed with various ancestors. The exact origin of the dog is no longer known. The lively and playful dog is the national dog of the Nova Scotia peninsula.

It has the ability to make ducks curious through its play and lure them to the shore.

It is not known how humans bred this ability. However, it is known that foxes also exhibited this behavior. Tolling is an effective means of hunting ducks in large bodies of water. It is possible that humans took advantage of this observation and bred dogs with similar abilities. This breed is also often compared to foxes because of its color.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever probably originated from several breeds. This may also include the Kooikerhondje, which was also used for duck hunting. Although the relationship is not certain, the dog breeds are relatively similar.

Other ancestors are the retriever and probably the cocker spaniel and the red Irish setter. The breed was threatened with extinction at the end of the 19th century, as most dogs contracted distemper. However, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was preserved through targeted breeding.

It was not until 1981 that the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was recognized by the FCI. Since then, this working dog has also spread to Europe. The originally Canadian dog is now mainly bred and used for hunting in Sweden.

When breeding the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, it is often criticized that the population is very small. For this reason, it is often discussed whether dogs of other breeds can also be used for breeding. Some breeders would like to achieve greater genetic diversity in the breed. However, many friends of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever are against the crossbreeding of other dog breeds.