The ancestors of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever of today have been recorded since at least the 1890’s. The breed was further developed in the early part of the 20th century to lure and retrieve waterfowl. It is thought that they were the result of several crosses involving Golden, Chesapeake Bay, Labrador, and Flat-Coated Retrievers. It is possible that they may also have small amounts of Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter, and working collies and maybe even a variety or two of the spitz type breeds in them too. They used to be called the Little River Duck Dog or the Yarmouth Toller. When they were first registered by the Canadian Kennel Club in the late 1950’s they were called the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. They began to arrive in the UK in the late 1980’s and are slowly gaining in popularity. 



The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a medium sized, active dog with a distinctively feathered tail and webbed feet.

Size Medium
Colour They range in colour from all shades of red or orange, with the feathering under the tail being lighter and some have white on the tip of the tail, feet and chest.
Coat Length Short Medium
Weight/Height Range Dogs should measure between 48-51cms at the withers and bitches should ideally measure between 45-48cms at the withers. They weigh between 17-23kgs.
Ailments There appears to be little health problems in the breed. However breeders will get their stock eye tested on a yearly basis, also breeding stock have their hips x-rayed for hip dysplasia before being used for breeding. 
Breed Classification The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a member of the gundog group. They were originally used for flushing waterfowl and retrieving game; today they are used as gundogs and as companions.

Feeding & Ownership


As puppies the Toller should have a nutritious diet to ensure the proper formation of the bones and joints.
Food Cost $10 to $15



The Toller is an intelligent dog, which gets on well with children, and enjoys being outdoors. They are ideally suited to the active country dwelling family. They should be socialised from an early age.


Intelligence The Toller is not a difficult dog to train as it is highly intelligent and a fast learner that likes to work for its handler. With the correct training this dog will do well in flyball and agility trials, they also seem to show a talent for tracking and obedience.
Energy High
Suitability for Children High
Tendency to Bark Low
Overall Exercise Requirement This little terrier will adapt to life in the city but does prefer the country life. They love the outdoors and like nothing better than to be allowed to dig for hours.
Suitability as a Guard Dog Medium
Ease of Transportation Medium
Level of Aggression Low
Other Animal Compatibility Medium



The coat of the Toller is of medium length, water proof with a soft, dense undercoat. The coat does need to be brushed regularly, once a week should be sufficient, however during moulting more attention may be required. They may need the longer hair on their feet and ears tidied up from time to time.

Grooming RequirementsOnce a week
Amount of Hair ShedModerate

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