Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Group: Sporting Group

Origin: Canada

– Male: 19 to 20 inches (48-51 cm)
– Female: 18-19 inches (45-48 cm)

– Male: 45 to 51 lbs (20.5-23 kg)
– Female: 37-43 lb. (17-20 kg)

Commonly Referred to as: Toller

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Image by Meg … from Pixabay

CLICK HERE to View Breeder Listings

Breed Profile

Native to Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is one of four recognized Canadian breeds of purebred dogs. (The other three are the Newfoundland, Canadian Eskimo Dog and the now extinct Tahltan Bear Dog.) First recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1945, the Toller is also the official dog of Nova Scotia.

Tolling is a technique used to entice game to approach within firing range of the hunter by arousing their curiosity. The Toller is a highly intelligent and easily trained dog. He is a dog of great endurance and an excellent swimmer with natural retriever instincts both on land and in the water. Physically, the Toller is a medium-sized, well-muscled dog. He is very agile, alert and determined.

The Toller is very versatile and is often seen participating in many competitive dog activities and sports including: Conformation, Obedience, Field Trials, Tracking, Flyball and Agility.

As a family companion, the Toller is loving and playful. He may be somewhat reserved with strangers but is never aggressive or overly shy.

He has a double coat of medium length that is water-repellent. Tollers come in a variety of shades of red or orange and may have white markings on the chest, feet, tip of the tail, and the head/face, but there is no requirement to have any white.

It should be noted that the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a high-energy and active dog who requires plenty of exercise, both physical and mental. This is not the breed for everyone and if you are considering bringing a Toller into your home, be aware that a commitment to keep the dog busy is extremely important.


Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

  • Grooming the Toller — in PDF format from the NSDTRC-USA
  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a very intelligent dog who is easily trained and is happiest when working. While quick to learn, the Toller is also easily bored. Training sessions should be kept relatively short, fun and challenging.

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

— is an Amazon Associate as well as a participant in various affiliate programs, as such fees are earned from qualifying purchases.