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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.

10 – 14 years
17 – 23kg
Adult males stand 48-51cm, females 45-48cm
Light orange to a deep red
UK Kennel Club Groups
The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Quiet dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

Duck Tolling Retrievers can suffer from:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindness.
- Collie eye anomaly which is an inherited condition where the eye does not develop properly, potentially leading to blindness.
- Degenerative encephalopathy which is a disorder where part of the brain degenerates and can result in loss of coordination and behavioural changes. 
- Degenerative myelopathy, a condition which causes progressive paralysis in a dog's hindlimbs.
- Inherited Addison's disease¹ which is an inherited disease where the adrenal glands stop working properly and don't produce a normal amount of natural steroid.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme 
- Eye screening scheme 
- DNA tests for progressive rod cone degeneration/progressive retinal atrophy, collie eye anomaly/choroidal hypoplasia and degenerative encephalopathy. These tests help to differentiate whether or not a dog has the potential to be affected by this condition.

¹B. D. Eason,' Influence of Beta Blockers on Survival in Dogs with Severe Subaortic Stenosis', 2014, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 
²S. Comazzi, 'Breed-associated risks for developing canine lymphoma differ among countries: an European canine lymphoma network study', Aug 2018, BMC Veterinary Research


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.

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.

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