Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, or Toller,
was developed in the early 19th century to toll (lure)
and retrieve waterfowl. The tolling dog runs, jumps
and plays along the shoreline, occasionally
disappearing from sight and quickly reappearing.
He is aided by the hunter, who is out of sight and
throwing small sticks or a ball. 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 to retrieve the shot game.
The Toller is a medium-sized, powerful, compact, balanced, well-muscled dog. He should show a high degree
of agility and determination. He was bred to retrieve in icy waters, and must have a water-repellant coat of
medium length. Color is various shades of red, and white markings are allowed on the feet, chest, tip of tail,
and/or blaze. The pigment of the nose and lips is flesh-colored, or black. Ideal height for a male is 19-20
inches at the shoulder, and 45-51 lbs. The female is slightly smaller, 18-19 inches and 37-43 pounds.

One of the major differences in this breed, when compared to the other retrievers, is it's personality. Tollers
have a spark of unique individualism. Most puppies are on the high energy side. Owners should channel this
energy with regular walks and playtime. Tollers are happiest when working, and love to retrieve. The correct
temperament for an adult Toller is gentleness (especially with children), intelligence, and outgoing in the field.
With strangers, adult Tollers may be leery at first, but there should be no sign of shyness or aggression.
Tollers are very intelligent, and will work well when trained with a gentle hand.
Tollers are not plagued with many of the
health problems present in popular retriever
breeds. Tollers who are part of a breeding
program should have hips certified clear of
hip dysplasia, and eyes cleared of PRA by a
veterinary ophthalomologist. Most Tollers
sold in the US and Canada are sold on Non-
Breeding Agreements, and must meet
certain requirements before they can be used
Copyright 2003 Skylark Tollers

for breeding. Breeders are careful to make sure that dogs used for breeding are healthy and possess the
qualities important in the breed.

Tollers can be used for upland game as well as waterfowl. They are adaptable, and the perfect size to fit in the
boat or car. Their drip-dry coats seem to shed dirt and they are generally clean dogs. Even though they are
smaller than the other retrievers, they are tenacious, and not afraid to retrieve larger geese or wounded birds.
They are very animated when working, and will happily retrieve all day. Their enthusiasm can lead to
vocalizations, but they can be trained to be quiet if started at a young age.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has been recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club since 1945, and can
compete in any CKC events. In the United States, The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA)
was founded in 1984, and titles can be earned in conformation, obedience, agility and field. The US club
recently applied for American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition, and can now be shown in AKC obedience, agility,
and in the Miscellaneous class. On July 1, 2003, they will become fully recognized by the AKC, and will be the
newest AKC breed. The breeders who have strived so hard to protect the breed and keep the working abilities
strong hope the new people drawn to the breed will be careful in their search for a breeder, and keep health and
working instinct foremost on their list of requirements. While appealing in appearance and size, the Toller is not
for everyone, and is happiest in an active home.



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This page last modified on Friday, June 06, 2003
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