Looking like a smaller version of the Golden Retriever, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has a medium-sized, sturdy, muscular frame covered in a soft, medium-length coat that comes in various shades of red. It has a broad, wedge-shaped head with almond-shaped eyes and hanging triangular-shaped ears. Its thick, feathered tail hangs low. Overall, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever combines strength and cuddliness.
Around the home, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a charming, outgoing and protective pal. It loves to play outside and makes a patient playmate for children—get it started on a game of fetch and it will keep going and going and going. Though active and outdoorsy, Tollers will be perfectly happy in apartments. Just make sure they get several daily walks and lots of attention. Some Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers may be reserved with strangers, but they are not usually shy.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers can live as long as 12 years. Generally healthy, some Tollers can develop eye and thyroid problems. Grooming is fairly simple: Regularly comb the Toller’s thick, double coat with a wire brush and shampoo only when necessary—too much exposure to soap can remove its natural waterproofing.
Originating in 17th century Canada, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever probably derived from a mix of setters, spaniels, retrievers and collies. “Tolling” is a hunting practice in which the dog lures waterfowl within range, and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever proved to be especially good at it. Tollers lived and worked quietly in their native lands for hundreds of years, not making a splash in the U.S. until the 1980s.