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Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling) Mobile

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

The ‘Toller’ is a medium-sized retriever with a thick, water repellent coat, soft undercoat and webbed feet. Ranging from a light orange to a deep red and moderately feathered around the ears, chest, and backs of legs. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever features a magnificent waving tail, usually with a white tip, and may have white markings on the feet and face. This is a bright, alert and active little retriever, full of fun but capable of working hard all day.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Basic training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking more than two hours a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • Great family dog

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10 – 14 years
Weight: 17 – 23kg
Height: Adult males stand 48-51cm, females 45-48cm
Colours: Light orange to a deep red
Size: Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Gundog


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5


The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever loves the great outdoors and is ideally suited to the active, country-dwelling family. They respond well to training and can excel in the dog sports of flyball, agility, obedience along with many others. The Toller is a playful, energetic companion who is a joy to be around.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Canada

A relatively new breed, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (NSDTR or Toller) was developed in Canada in the early part of the 20th Century, to fulfil the rather unique dual role of both decoy dog and retriever. It is likely that many breeds went into the creation of the Toller, including spaniels, setters, collies and retrievers, but it was not until 1945 that the breed was recognised by the Canadian Kennel Club, and they didn’t gain international recognition till the 1980s.

Did You Know?

The term ‘toll’ means ‘to entice’ and this is where the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever gets their name – their job is to lure in ducks with their waving white tipped tail, so that hunters can get their shot. Then fulfilling the second part of their name, the Toller finds and retrieves the shot birds to the hunter.

Dog with red collar looking out the window
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