Medium sized, powerful and compact, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is the smallest of the retrievers. He developed in the early 19th century to toll, lure, and retrieve waterfowl. The playful action of the Toller retrieving a stick or ball along the shoreline arouses the curiosity of the ducks offshore. This lures them within gunshot range, and then the dog is sent out to retrieve the dead or wounded birds. Their water-repellant double coat is any shade of red, often with white markings.
A Look Back
There is no authentic record of the development of the Toller, but present day thinking is that the basic stock was the red decoy dog, probably brought to Nova Scotia with the early settlers from Europe. Crosses with other breeds, possibly spaniel and setter-type dogs, retriever-type dogs, and farm collie, produced today's Toller. Originally known as the Little River Duck Dog after the district of Yarmouth County, or as a Yarmouth Toller, the Toller has now bred true for generations.
Right Breed for You?
Highly intelligent, alert and outgoing, the Toller is normally ready for action, desiring a job to do or some kind of activity. He is affectionate and loving with family members and is good with children, showing patience. A natural-looking breed, the Toller does not require much coat maintenance beyond occasional brushing and baths.
- Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 2003.
- Ranging in size from 17 to 21 inches tall at the shoulder.
- Water dog.
AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.