Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Breeders, Price, and Puppies For Sale


Sensitivity to strangers
Affection for family
Suitable for first-time owners
Ease of grooming
Energy level

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The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, often referred to as a “Toller”, is the least known of the retriever family.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has a charming character and size, characteristics that make it not only a perfect dog for city life but also a bit more original than its retriever cousins, the Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever.

But remember, the city will only be an option as long as you assure your Toller long walks outdoors, at the countryside, near lakes, rivers, in the mountains or at the beach. In these places, it will be able to run and play happily, as it is in its nature as an athlete and hunter. Besides, it is a tireless breed.



Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Origins

The breed was developed by the community living in Little River Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, in the early 19th century.

The Toller was “created” because they were looking for a multi-faceted hunting dog, specialized in retrieving game prey and “tolling” (the activity from which it derives its name). Tolling is the act of luring game. the dog plays at the water’s edge, romping and retrieving. These antics draw the attention of the birds, who swim closer to shore. When the birds are close enough, the Toller retreats to the blind, the hunter stands, scaring the birds into flight, and then fires.

The breeds from which the toller originated are unknown. However, it is believed that some spaniels, such as the Pointer, the Setter, participated in its creation, along with retrievers and some Collies that were used on farms.

The breed became extremely popular in the middle of the 20th century, exclusively in Canada and the United States. In fact, this breed has been found in England as well as in Australia, South Africa, and India for only a few years.

The Toller was recognized by the FCI in 1999, but since 1945, it is an official breed for the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club).

Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Characteristics

According to the official FCI standard, it is a medium-sized dog that is strong, compact, balanced, well-muscled, agile, determined and alert. In addition, it has a “medium heavy” bone structure. Many specimens of this breed have a slightly sad expression, but only even when they are not working. Their appearance changes to intense concentration and excitement when hunting.

When working, the dog has a fast and impetuous action, the head is almost level with the back, the tail, on the other hand, has many bangs and is in constant movement.

According to the standard:

  • Males stand 19-20 inches (48-51 cm) at the shoulders, while females are 17-19 inches (45-48 cm) tall. Up to 1 inch (2,5 cm) difference can be accepted.
  • The weight is proportional to the height and build of the dog. Males weigh between 44 and 50 lbs (20-23 kg); females weigh between 37 and 44 lbs (17-20 kg).

The head has marked profiles. The stop is moderate. The jaw is strong, as it must be able to carry a bird of considerable size, but delicately enough. The eyes are almond-shaped and amber to brown in color. The expression is friendly, intelligent, and alert. The ears are triangular and fringed.

In motion, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has an elastic and energetic gait, which expresses power. The Toller has a medium-length, water-repellent double coat. Both topcoat and undercoat are soft. It may be wavy on the back but smooth on the rest of the body. Bangs are present on the neck, behind the ears and on the back of the legs. And although the front legs also have bangs, these are more moderate.

The Toller’s trademark is a coat of stunning crimson, ranging from golden red to a dark coppery color. The stripes and the underside of the tail are lighter. It usually has one or more white spots on the feet, chest, tip of the tail and head. The Toller without white markings should not be penalized. The nose, lips and outline of the eyelids are flesh colored or black, matching the coat.

Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Temperament

As a rule, the Toller is an extremely intelligent and easy-to-train dog. It is a hardy, strong, and excellent swimmer… a tenacious retriever, both on land and in water. It is alert, energetic, extrovert, and affectionate.

Some dogs may be reserved in unfamiliar situations. However, we remind you that shyness in adult dogs is considered a fault. Like most retrievers, they are born to work; therefore, they are more than happy when they have something to do. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, as mentioned above, are extremely extroverted at home, but may be more reserved in the presence of strangers.

To avoid turning this reservedness into shyness and fear, it is necessary to socialize and introduce them from puppyhood to people, stimuli, smells, places, and different animals from the usual family nucleus.

The Toller: a hyperactive dog

Being hunting dogs and having the instinct to chase prey, they could have problems with cats and other small pets, such as rabbits, guinea pigs. Coexistence with cats may be possible if socialization is done when the toller is a puppy.

Since Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are tireless, they must be properly stimulated mentally and physically, otherwise they tend to become bored and destructive, especially if left alone for long periods of time.

The standard states that the Toller has a great aptitude for retrieving hunting prey, physical dexterity, and fondness for water. This means that you must be ready for spending long hours outdoors with it, so that it will have fun and return home satisfied, tired, and happy.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was born as a retriever in water. In Canada, it is still used as a valuable help to hunters. In our country it is bought mainly as a companion pet, but being an extremely intelligent dog, it is possible to perform various dog sports with it (agility, coursing, canicross, etc.).

Its sharp sense of smell, together with its intelligence, desire to work and small size, make it an excellent dog for tracking, for example, missing persons under rubble.

Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Health and Diseases

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is usually a very robust and healthy dog. Unfortunately, being a rather rare breed, the genetic pool with which it is reproduced is limited, which increases the risk of hereditary pathologies.

In some countries, the pertinent institutions require testing of stallions and breeding tests to exclude hip dysplasia and oculopathies. Approximately, 40% of Tollers are carriers of progressive retinal atrophy, while approximately 7% of Tollers are affected by it. Other pathologies found in this canine breed are epilepsy, thyroid problems, and aseptic meningitis. The latter is mainly found in Tollers living in Norway.

In a survey conducted by the breed club in Canada, where 1180 Tollers from all over the world were analyzed, it was found that 73% of these dogs were in excellent health, while only 7.5% of them were classified as being in poor health. Life expectancy of this breed is 10 to 14 years.

Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Relationship with Its Owner

Thanks to its cheerful, jovial character and energy, it is a suitable dog for family life, as long as it is allowed to exercise as much as it needs.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, as mentioned, needs to be physically active and be an integral part of the family. Therefore, it is not suitable for elderly, sedentary people, or those who intend to make it live in the garden, without the possibility to enter the house and be part of the family.

Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Relationship with Children

Playful, affectionate, gentle, tireless, and patient, Tollers are excellent playmates for children. We must remind our readers of the importance of teaching our children to respectfully and correctly approach dogs.

Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Relationship with Other Dogs

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever usually has no problem interacting with other dogs, but it should be socialized from puppyhood to avoid excessive adult shyness. Remember that shyness often leads to aggression.

Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Price, Breeders, and Puppies for Sale

Being a little-known breed, it is difficult to find a puppy Toller in pet stores or kennels specialized in various dog breeds. In addition, we always recommend visiting a reputable and reliable breeder.

It is essential to ensure that stallions and breeding females have health tests to confirm that they are not carriers of the genetic pathologies described above.

An Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy cannot cost less than 900 dollars, about 700 English pounds. Please go to certified breeding establishments as they can provide you with all the necessary documentation together with the puppy’s pedigree.

Now that we have clarified all the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.


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