Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Information

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(Little River Duck Dog) (Yarmouth Toller) The Nova Scotia Ducking-Tolling Retriever is an alert and agile looking dog.  Small almond-shaped eyes sit deep into their broad square head.  Sticking straight out from their face is their rectangular muzzle.  Sitting on the top of their head are two medium size ears that are folded over into a triangular shape.  All of these features give their face a unique and attentive appearance.  A thick neck which usually has loose folds of skin on it leads down to their shoulders and deep chest.  Oval shaped feet rest at the bottom of this breed’s short skinny leads.  Medium length shaggy hair covers their body with an abundance of fur covering their long tail.  The coat color does not vary much and is mostly red with white accents.

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The Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever is a serious looking dog, however, they are fun and very playful.  This is a friendly dog that loves its owner and will do anything to please them.  Great around children of all ages this dog just wants to be with people.  However, they become rather reserved around people they have never met.  Being with their family is one thing this breed enjoys but they also like being with other dogs and do well with small animals.  Intelligence makes this dog great for hunting, training, or just playing fetch.

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17 – 21 inches
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37 – 51 pounds
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General Health

With more people breeding this dog, more and more diseases are becoming a problem.  A few of the common problems involve their autoimmune system and their thyroid.  One disease that is now a problem is retinal atrophy.  Even with this rise in illness, this breed is still pretty healthy and lives about 12-14 years.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is no longer a problem in the breed since dedicated breeders helped to develop a DNA test and all breeding stock are tested so that no affected puppies are being produced by reputable breeders.

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As their name suggests, the Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever came from Nova Scotia, Canada.  Most likely, English immigrants were bringing their tolling dogs with them to Canada where they end up being bred with retrievers and other hunting dogs.  The breed’s name was changed from the Little River Duck Dog after the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) recognized the breed in the 1950’s.  About thirty years later, the AKC and other international clubs accepted the breed as well.

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Grooming is particularly simple with this breed.  Brushing should be done often especially to the undercoat.  Baths should be done on rare occasions because they remove natural oils from the coat which makes it water repellent.  However, dry shampooing is fine and can be done regularly.  Exercise is definitely necessary for a retriever.  The Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever needs tons of exercise, but the best way to help them release energy is with a long game of fetch.

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Ideal Environment

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever does great in many environments.  This breed loves their family and children and they will eagerly do what is asked of them.  Dogs and small animals will also find a fun, playful companion in this dog.  However, with complete strangers this dog will be very reserved.  Great for apartments, houses, cold weather, or even warm weather, this dog can easily adjust to almost any family.  Most important to this dog is that they receive lots of love and exercise. For the latter, playing fetch is perfect.

This breed needs plenty of room to run and get proper exercise. If a large yard is not available, this breed will require several leash walks a day.

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Dog Training!

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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Q&A

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Do they have hair or fur?



Do they bark alot?

I've had two. In my limited experience, they do not bark a great deal. Mine will bark at strangers who approach their fence or yard, but are generally quiet in the house and around people in general.


I own bantam chickens that have free range of our yard. Will a Toller want to chase/catch them? Can they be taught not to?

They are bird dogs, and will want to play and chase the chickens. The best way to make sure your dogs are not feasting on a chicken dinner is to keep them seperated, I would never trust ANY dog to not chase chickens.

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