“The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is one of the most unusual breeds of gundog.”
Body: Compact, sturdy, well-balanced, well-boned, and well-muscled, with a strong back, well-sprung ribs, and deep chest.
Coat: Water-repellent outer coat and a dense, soft undercoat. Provides protection when he retrieves from cold, frigid waters.
Color: Any shade of red with small amounts of white.
Ears: Triangular-shaped drop-ear, high set and placed back on the head.
Eyes: Almond-shaped, wide set, and oblique (outer corners higher than inner corners). Color varies with the color of the coat.
Feet: Medium size, somewhat oval-shaped, and webbed; toes are close and well-arched.
Head: Well-proportioned, and wedge-shaped with a broad, slightly rounded skull, tapering muzzle, strong jaws, and broad nose.
Legs: Forelegs are strong with sloping pasterns. Hindquarters are muscular, broad, and square. Stifles are well bent and hocks well let down.
Neck: Moderately long, muscular, strong, and well set into the shoulders.
Weight: 45 – 51 pounds
Height: 17 – 21 inches
Tail: Thick at the base tapering to the tip and slightly curved.
- Recommended for novice dog handlers
- Not recommended for the stay-at-home owner
- Good with other animals
- Good with children if raised with them
- Some love to dig; usually out of boredom
- Love to chew
The smallest of the retrievers, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an athletic, intelligent, and highly energetic dog with a mischievous, tireless, lets-get-going, what-are-we-waiting-for personality. You won’t find him being a couch potato. You are more likely to find him using his devilish mind to find ways to get the food off the table or coax you into heading out for a long arduous hike, a good swim, and (not or) a game of fetch. He isn’t a dog for the stay-at-home owner. Once the hike, swim, and game of fetch are over, he’ll be waiting in anticipation of the next event.
AKC Standard says he is “a retriever, hunter, loyal watchdog, competition dog, and wonderful loving pet. Weather stealing from the counter, chasing a ball, breaking ice to get a bird, or curling up on the couch, everything is done 100 percent.”
The Toller has an unusual approach to luring prey to the hunter. He engages in a game of fetch with the hunter who is hidden behind the brush and trees. The Toller quietly retrieves a tossed stick from along side the water bank, tossing and playing with it until the ducks and geese become curious enough to investigate what is going on. Once near enough, the hunter commands the dog back to the brush and puts the birds to flight for the kill. The Yarmouth Toller then swims out to retrieve the prey.
He is a highly intelligent dog who needs both physical and mental stimulation. Early obedience training and socialization will help shape his temperament, and advanced obedience training including agility exercises and field work is recommended.
Chewing can be a problem with any retriever so be sure to have a good supply of toys and rawhide chewies available for him to carry around in his mouth. He is not a dog to sit around with nothing to do and will easily become bored if not provided with various forms of exercise and mind-stimulating games or work.