Breeds 101

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


The smallest of the retrievers, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was developed in the 1800's to toll and retrieve waterfowl.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever’s rather unusual job is to entice ducks and geese within shotgun range and to retrieve them from the water after they have been hit. From his concealed blind near the shore, the hunter repeatedly tosses a stick parallel to the shore, which the Toller silently retrieves. When ducks or geese, attracted by the activity, come within shooting range, the hunters calls his dog back to the blind, stands up to put the birds to flight and shoots.

The Toller then acts as an efficient retriever.

It is likely that tolling (from the Old English tollen, to entice) Red Decoy Dogs accompanied their masters from Great Britain to Nova Scotia, Canada. So they were named Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Crossed with retrievers and working spaniels, the breed was recognized in 1945.

The first Tollers arrived in the U.S. in 1984, and the AKC recognized the breed in 2001. Since their arrival, the dogs have proven themselves as able retrievers, skilled competitors and loyal companions.

Medium; females 17 to 20 inches, 35 to 42 pounds; males 18 to 21 inches, 45 to 52 pounds.

Any shade of red, usually with white markings.

Energetic, playful, alert, outgoing, ready for action; fast learners but bored easily. Affectionate and gentle; boisterous when young. Good with other animals and children.

High Energy level.

Active people or family in a suburban or rural home are best owners for Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Needs: Lots of exercise, play, and activity; a job to do, fenced yard, weekly brushing.

Life expectancy: 11 to 13 years.