Country of Origin
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, also known as the Yarmouth Toller, Little River Duck Dog, or Little Red Duck Dog, originated in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, southeast Canada. ‘Duck Tolling’ refers to the breed’s unusual hunting technique—the dog splashes around in a lake, running in and out of sight on shore, which attracts the curiosity of nearby ducks. Once the duck nears, the hunter jumps out to shoot the unsuspecting fowl, which the dog then retrieves. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was developed in the early 19th century, with likely influence from the Irish Setter, Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, and Kooikerhondje. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1915, but was not recognized into the American Kennel Club’s Miscellaneous Class until 2001, with full recognition following in 2003. It is the official dog breed of Nova Scotia.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has a shoulder height of 17-20 in (43-53 cm) and weighs 37-51 lbs (17-23 kg). Traditionally the smallest of Retriever breeds, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has increased in size in recent years. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers have a wedge-shaped head, almond-shaped eyes, and high set, triangular ears. They are slightly longer than they are tall with a flat back, muscular legs, and curved, feathered tail. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is lithe and powerful.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has a medium-length coat with a softer, dense undercoat. The coat should be fairly straight, but a slight waviness is permitted. It has soft, moderately long featherings on the chest, underside, and tail. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever can be any shade of red from golden to dark copper or reddish-orange. A white blaze and white markings on the chest, tip of the tail, and feet are common. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever sheds seasonally. The long hair on the ears is commonly trimmed on show dogs.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is high-spirited, lively, friendly, and intelligent. It is always ready for a game or a romp, throwing copious energy into everything it does, but it is not hyperactive and is happy to spend time relaxing or cuddling. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is highly affectionate with its family, and will misbehave if frequently ignored or left alone.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever gets along well with children, other dogs, and any household pets. It may be too energetic to play with young children. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are initially suspicious of strangers, but grow comfortable with them quickly.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers require a thorough weekly grooming with a pin brush and slicker. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has a lifespan of 10-13 years. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are generally healthy, but susceptible to common canine problems such as PRA (a retinal disorder), hip dysplasia (malformed hip joint which can cause lameness or arthritis), and Addison’s Disease, a glandular disorder.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is eager to work for its handlers, so training is usually straightforward. It learns quickly, but can grow bored easily if training is not dynamic. In addition to hunting and tracking, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever excels at obedience and agility trials.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever requires about an hour a day of strenuous exercise. It enjoys hunting or going for a walk, but swimming and retrieving are its favorite activities.