Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


A medium sized Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Quick Summary
Also Known AsTollers
Height (at withers)17-21in (43-53cm)
Weight35-50lbs (16-23kg)
Hair Colour(s)Red shades
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size4-8
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityHigh
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a medium sized compact but powerful dog, and the smallest of the retrievers. The body is well-muscled and medium boned, with a deep chest, sturdy and solid legs, webbed feet and a well-feathered tail. The wedge-shaped head is fox-like, with a rectangular muzzle, high-set triangular ears and small almond-shaped eyes. The long coat is silky and close with a wavy undercoat, and and the colouring tends to be shades of red, often with white markings.


Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are outgoing, cheerful and reliable dogs with enthusiastic but mild-mannered natures. Being spirited and energetic, they love to play and exercise but early socialisation is often required to avoid timidness. These dogs also require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them alert and interested, especially as they have a tendency to chew. They are also prone to whine when excited, and they love to dig, which must be controlled. Intelligent and eager to please, they are quick learners but can sometimes be headstrong and can also be easily bored and distracted, which can sometimes make training more difficult. Owners need to be confident and assertive, but these dogs are still well suited to novice owners as well as those with more experience. This sociable and friendly breed gets along well with older, more considerate children, and also with other pets. They will often be a little wary of strangers initally, especially when their owners are distant, but will relax when owners show friendliness to these strangers. These dogs make effective watchdogs and will bark to raise the alarm, but are too gentle and good-natured to be guard dogs.

History & Skills

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers originate from Canada, and were developed in Nova Scotia in the early 1800s to toll, lure and retrieve waterfowl. The term Tolling refers to the old hunting style of drawing ducks and other waterfowl towards hunters, bringing them into the range of the guns by alternating between baiting and hiding. They are thought to be a mix of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and Flat-Coated Retrievers, with a hint of Cocker Spaniel and Irish Setter, as well as small farm Collies and Spitzes. These days they retain these skills and make good companions and family pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers tend to live between 12-15 years and are a relatively healthy breed. Some of health problems to look out for include hip dysplasia, PRA, heart defects, thyroid problems, and epilepsy.


Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are year-round medium shedders, and so are not terribly suited to those with allergies. Their grooming requirements are moderate too, and the coat will need brushing around twice a week. Hair around the bottom area will need to be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons, and the ears will need to be kept clean and dry to reduce the chance of any infections.

Exercise & Environment

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are adaptable dogs and are suitable for urban and rural life and many climates. They require about half an hour of outdoor exercise each day, which can be a walk on the leash and access to a secure yard or garden area. They enjoy plenty of play and exercise, their favourite activities including playing fetch and swimming.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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