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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Dog

Country/Date of Origin: Canada / 1800s

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was developed in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia as a waterfowl specialist. Its unique role in hunting is to lure (toll) curious ducks within range of the concealed hunter. It does this by running and leaping along the shore. This behavior, for some reason, causes the ducks to approach the dog. Once thought to be a fox / terrier mixture, the breed is genetically a mixture of retriever, spaniel, setter and possibly farm collie breeding. After having bred true for many generations it was given breed recognition by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1945.

FCI Group: 8 (Sporting)

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Little River Duck Dog

AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Breed Club:

Rescue Club:

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Body Type:

  • A medium size spaniel type dog
  • Height: 17-21 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 37-51 pounds
  • The natural tail is long and heavily coated. It is not altered
  • The hanging ears are never altered


  • Intelligent, keen worker
  • An all-purpose dog. It makes a wonderful companion and playmate as well as a happy, working bird dog
  • A good watchdog, but not a guard dog
  • Great sense of humor


  • Medium long with a dense undercoat that is water-repellent
  • The allowed color is various shades of red often with white markings
  • Grooming requires frequent brushing to prevent matting

Health Concerns:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Some thyroid problems
  • Possible auto immune problems
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Will amuse you with its clown like antics. If you are appreciative, the Toller will make up all sorts of amusements
  • An active dog that never tires of retrieving. Will play ball for hours if it finds a sucker who will throw the ball that long
  • Puppies may be difficult to find; best chance is in the Northeast

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