Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Because Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever runs as much as they swim when hunting, they are smaller and more agile than most other retrievers.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Tollers require weeklybrushingto keep their coat looking its best. Duringsheddingseason, daily brushing is often in order. Pay special attention to the coat around and under the ears, as in these areas, it is finer and more likely to knot. Because Tollers should be presented as naturally as possible, minimal additional grooming is preferred, and this is generally limited to neatening the areas around the ears and feet. Special care should be taken to remove excess hair from between the pads of the feet, as this will help your Toller maintain traction on indoor surfaces. Attention should also be paid to trimmingnails, preferably weekly.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails regularly, usually every week or two. Keep the ears clean and dry, and brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Exercise Tips

Tollers are active dogs and need at least an hour’s worth of extensive playtime daily or at the very least, a few brisk walks or jogs through the neighborhood. A fenced yard is a necessity for Tollers as they need to romp and run. Families with children find this breed to be excellent playmates for their kids. The Toller will happily play ball or fetch for hours, keeping both the dog and the kids active.
Swimming is another activity loved by Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. A home on the lake or one with a swimming pool would be like heaven for this breed. Water play and retrieving will keep the Toller in tiptop shape.
With this said, Toller puppies should not be given too much exercise because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs because this puts too much pressure on their still growing joints and limbs.

Feeding Tips

If you get a Toller puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it’s important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy’s diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don’t develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it’s best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It’s best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it’s good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements.
Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
The average life span of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is 13 to 16 years. Breed health concerns may includeAddison’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism), autoimmune thyroiditis,cataracts, Collie eye anomaly, andprogressive retinal atrophy.


The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is eager to work for its handlers, so training is usually straightforward. It learns quickly but can grow bored easily if training is not dynamic. In addition to hunting and tracking, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever excels at obedience and agility trials.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers do well in many forms of canine competition. Of course, they excel in obedience trials but they also do well on agility courses. Agility is a great way to bond with the Toller as well as let him get the exercise he needs to stay healthy.


The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was developed in Nova Scotia in the early 19th century to toll (or lure) and retrieve waterfowl. The tolling dog runs, jumps, and plays along the shoreline in full view of flocks of ducks, occasionally disappearing from sight and then quickly reappearing, aided by the hunter, who throws small sticks or a ball for the dog. The dog’s playful actions arouse the curiosity of the ducks swimming offshore and they are lured within gunshot range. The Toller is subsequently sent out to retrieve the dead or wounded birds.
For more than a century, the Little River Duck Dog was a secret known only to the hunters of Yarmouth County. But in 1945, the Canadian Kennel Club recognized the breed and gave it a new name: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2003. It currently ranks 107th among the breeds registered by the AKC.