"A little dog with a big heart" 

 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 a flock 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.

T he Toller is a medium-sized, powerful, compact, balanced, well-muscled dog. They should show a high degree of agility, alertness, and determination. Many Tollers have a slightly sad expression until they go to work, then their appearance changes to intense concentration and excitement. At work, the dog has a speedy, rushing action, with the head carried out almost level with the back and heavily-feathered tail in constant motion.

   Correct adult temperament of the Toller is gentleness, intelligence and outgoing in the field. Adult Tollers generally are somewhat standoffish at first with strangers, especially if the owner is distant. There should be no sign of aggressiveness in a general situation with people or with other animals.

The Toller was bred to retrieve from icy waters and must have a water-repellant double coat of medium length and softness with softer dense undercoat. Due to the density of the coat tollers do "shed". A Tollers topcoat will seasonally shed with a "coat-blow" of their undercoat once to twice a year.

Tollers are not a small version of a Golden! Many people who have owned both breeds have found there are major difference in the personalities of the breeds. On Average Tollers tend to be higher energy then the average Golden/Lab, have less of the "love me" cuddle in your lap attitude, have a more independent nature and are leary of strangers.

Puppy selection from a litter is usually up to the breeder. Most breeders listen and learn from the owner what they want and expect from their Toller puppy; study their pups and during the seven to eight weeks of early life select the individual puppy for each home. Many breeders do "temperment evaluations" at 7 weeks of age to better evaluate the puppies for their homes. Check with your breeder to see what "tests" they preform on puppies to select which puppy goes to which homes. 

Tollers are not plagued with many of the genetic problems present in other popular retriever breeds. Presently, breeders are working to keep problems to a minimum. Tollers who are part of the breeding pool should be certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) to be free of hip dysplasia, have current CERF examinations (This should be done every 12-18 months before they are bred and a clean bill of health produced and given to puppy buyers) and be tested for PRA. This does not guarantee that the puppies will be free of the problem, but it does go a very long way in insuring that breeders are doing everything they can to keep it limited. Many breeders will offer written guarantees with their puppies, check with your breeder before getting a puppy to see what health guarantees they offer and what healtch clearances they have on the parents of the litter.

photo by seawildControl is needed with firmness not harshness. You must let your Toller know you are the leader of the pack and worthy of its respect and loyalty. Harshness only meets stubbornness. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers  are very intelligent and will work well with a happy, gentle hand most times.

Tollers can live in all weather conditions - humid atmosphere, the desert areas, heavy winter areas, and all over the world. Tollers live in cities and out in the country. Tollers must have adaquate shade and housing in hot climates as some tollers are prone to heat stroke. Make sure your toller has access to shad and water at all times when you are travelling or living in hot climates.  

Tollers are considered the "swiss army knife" of the retrievers as they enjoy a wide variety of activities. Tollers have shown they have abilities to be not just wonderful family companions but also good show dogs, obedience dogs, agility dogs, flyball dogs, lure coursing dogs, dock diving dogs, therapy dogs, field dogs and pretty much any venue their owner desires! Many Toller owners who compete in obedience/ field/ agility/ flyball/ tracking/ conformation report that the dog is happiest when working. However, they also report the Toller has its own timetable for learning. They are bright, intelligent, and easy to train if you are experienced. However, they are ardent observers of life and as young dogs are easily distracted in the ring. While they learn quickly, they also bore quickly. Training sessions must be kept short, fun and challenging.

Today the Toller is multi-faceted. You get the ideal dog...a retriever, a hunter, a loyal watchdog, a show dog (obedience or conformation) and a wonderful loving pet all rolled into one!