Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever



The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (primarily referred to as the Little River Duck Dog) originated in Nova Scotia, the second-smallest province in Canada. This breed was developed by hunters who were looking for a multipurpose hunting dog. Hence, this breed was bred with fluffy tails and white markings so that they resemble foxes. This helps them to attract and lure ducks and to eventually retrieve them. In 2003, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Height: 17-21 inches  Weight: 35-50 pounds  Lifespan: 13-16 years


Very playful and alert, The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an athletic, well-muscled and compactly build dog. This breed is very strong, always willing to perform any given task. The Toller loves to play ball and can do it for hours. Also, he enjoys spending time with children and other pets.  Due to extremely high energy potential, these dogs need a large amount of physical activity. Comparable Breeds: Golden Retriever, Newfoundland.


Many dog breeders believe that these dogs have a remarkably similar character to Golden Retrievers. However, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is much more shy and wary of strangers and animals. At the same time, Tollers enjoy being around small children, and they coexist peacefully with their four-legged friends, provided that they grew up in the same house.

Coat / Care:

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers have a unique, water-repellent coat of two layers, which can successfully withstand extremely cold temperatures. The soft outer layer reaches an average length. The undercoat is dense and rather fluffy. The dog’s tail and the back surface of the hind legs are decorated with beautiful, heavy feathering. In order to make the Tollers’s coat look smooth and beautiful, but also healthy, it is very important to groom him on everyday basis. Make sure not to expose your pet to frequent bathing, since it may disrupt water-repellent properties of its unique coat. Also, make sure to use a dry shampoo.


Since this is a very energetic dog, it requires constant motion. Therefore, in order to keep the Toller’s interest in learning, training should be built upon short and varied lessons. The teacher must me consistent, patient and yet strict. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers excel at obedience and agility competitions.


Due to their traditional role, most of these red gold Retriever love to swim. They will even try to retrieve anything they find in the water. If they exercise intensely enough, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers will be in shape, healthy and joyful. Hence, this lively breed thrives best in medium or large, well-fenced yard.

Photo credit: Harold Meerveld/Flickr

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