Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

History

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, also known simply as Tollers, comes from the Little River region of Nova Scotia, Canada. The word “tolling” in this context means to entice, as the white tip of this dog's tail apparently entices ducks to come and have a closer look. The hunters would then shoot the fowl and the Tollers would retrieve the catch. The breed is most likely a mix of local farm dogs that crossed with setters and spaniels to produce this incredibly hard-working breed.

Behaviour

Tollers are a friendly and lively breed that will adapt well to most situations. They are food with children and other dogs and pets in the home, though they can be more reserved with strangers. The dog will look to you for any hints as to how they should act, if you are calm when someone enters the home, they will be too. This is not an aggressive breed, though early socialisation is important to get them used to people coming in the house. If raised with cats from a young age they will get along just fine with them and not see them as prey. They have been described as a mix between a Golden Retriever and Terrier, they have a curious naughty side.

With this breed training should start early. They are highly intelligent and active and will perform best when they have a job to do. Retrieval is natural for them, so start recall training by throwing a toy for them and getting them to bring it back to your feet. They love to learn and love pleasing you, this helps make training easier. They are a playful animal and will happily play with you for hours on end if you give them the chance. They can sometimes latch on to one member of the family in particular, so everyone should take turns with training in order to prevent this. They need firm, kind leadership to get the best out of them.

This breed has high energy levels and will need the respective amount of exercise. Water is one of their favorite things and a swim is a quick and fun way of getting them tired. Games of fetch with a floating dummy will keep them mentally, and physically, content. Once they've had a decent walk, they are calm in the house and will want to sleep it off next to you on the sofa. They do well in agility and retrieval competitions.

This isn’t a super loud breed and they don’t bark too much. The do however have a very distinctive “singing” voice. They will use this when they are excited so it may still be a good idea to teach them the quiet command early on.

Their coats need regular brushing to keep them neat and tidy. Bathing should be kept to a minimum as this will cause them to lose their natural waterproofing.

They are a healthy breed, but due to low numbers leading to a small gene pool, some problems are arising. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is one of them, as are thyroid issues.

Temperament

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are an affectionate and outgoing breed. They are friendly dogs who will make a great addition to any family. They get on well with kids and other pets once the initial “getting-to-know-each-other” phase passes. They are loyal dogs that will form incredibly tight bonds with their close family. They do need a lot of regular exercise to prevent boredom and mischief.

Health Problems

Health problems that may affect Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina which can lead to blindness), autoimmune thyroiditis (dog's immune system attacks its own thyroid), aseptic meningitis and heart problems.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 14 years
  • Weight: 44 - 50 lbs
  • Height: 17 - 21"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium - Double
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Country
  • Minimum Home Size: Small House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Gun Dog
  • Size: Medium
  • Energy Level: High
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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