Species group: Sporting Group dogs
Other name(s): Toller; Tollers; Duck Toller; Little River Dog
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an energetic, athletic outdoor dog which shares many of the characteristics of the better-known retrievers like the Golden and the Labrador. This is an intelligent, hardy, people-loving dog with the same desire to fetch and to swim as the other retrievers. It isn't just a specialty dog for the waterfowl hunters, but a choice worth considering by any outdoorsy owner who loves running, jogging, biking, and training with an enthusiastic canine companion.
And, just like its cousins, if you neglect this active animal and refuse to give it exercise or attention, it can become very destructive. If you're looking for a dog to help you watch TV, pass the Toller by.
Awareness of this fine breed is growing. The Toller was honored as the official dog of Nova Scotia in 1995, and it was recognized by the AKC in 2003.
Appearance / health:
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are the smallest of all breeds of retriever. They are medium-sized dogs with a wedge shaped head and a feathered tail. The color of eyes is either black or the same as that of the coat. Ears are triangular and pendent. Feet are webbed for swimming.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are average shedders but the coat requires regular brushing and combing. Bathing them often is not advisable, as this could remove water-resistant oils from their coat. Standard care is needed for eyes, ears, pads, and nails.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers may be taken along while hiking, jogging, and other outdoor activities. If not given sufficient exercise, they may turn boisterous and unruly and could make a mess of the garden and house.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia (a hereditary disease which may eventually cause crippling lameness and arthritis of joints) and eye problems.
Behavior / temperament:
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are versatile working dogs and are very intelligent. The breed is unique among retrievers for its hunting action. Typically, the dog runs and jumps when a flock of birds is sighted. It occasionally disappears from sight and quickly reappears, arousing the curiosity of the birds, and getting them within the range of the hunter's gun. After the bird is shot, it functions as a retriever.
Tolling Retrievers are very fast learners and are easy to train. They are independent and may be self-willed at times. Training needs to be firm and consistent. They respond well to gentle, training methods without any harshness.
Tolling Retrievers are average barkers. They make a penetrating, high pitch sound when excited.
beautiful dogs, perfect size, excellent dispositions, kids, loyal family dog, lap dog
weaker owner, hip problems
incredibly thick fur, high energy, regular exercise, fun dog sports, Toller scream
When I was first brought this little neon orange and white fluff ball named Fox. I was more than a bit apprehensive about it. What on earth was I going to be doing with this? What even WAS this? Back then I hadn't even heard the word "toller", let alone their full-fledged names which most people still double take in reaction to.
But Fox was a gift. Right away he was the most friendly, sweet tempered puppy I had ever known. When most people think of "puppies" they think of hyperactive, wiggly, little barking, peeing everywhere, licking everything, eating or chewing on everything in sight (Save the cords!), and defecating in unusual and unpleasant places.
Fox, was... Well. He was honestly all of the above for the first week. That was it. Just a week. But even in that week, he only had accidents in the house a number of times less than 5. He learned quickly to not chew on things or people unless it was playtime. Wires and cords were safe from his needle sharp puppy teeth. We kennel trained him and he did not howl or cry or whine passed the first three days. He grasped speech quickly, understanding "No" and all versions of his name.
One area that did wear him down however was the mass-socializing. We have two other dogs (Our pets) that live in the house- both very old King Charles Spaniels. He got along with those fine, and with all other animals he came across (including a stray kitten we picked up once upon a time) and made friends with other dogs both big and small quickly and easily. He was fine with new people and being both picked up and held as a whole, but when we took him to a fairgrounds (He was a couple months older), the number of people hugging him and holding him and petting him made him grow weary after a few hours. After that he became almost rag-doll like and hid in a corner of the cage, but displayed -zero- hostile qualities even when pressed passed his limits.
We did have a slight bump in terms of leash training, but when coupled with the 'stance' training required for show dogs he adjusted rather quickly. When walking on a leash however, he tended to trail behind for a little bit until he realized (eventually) he could run up ahead and explore. He actually did far better without the leash, having easily and rapidly picked up to walk alongside or directly behind myself or the other trainer in both indoor and outdoor settings, so the sudden leashing confused him at first.
After only a few weeks he was outdoor-bathroom trained on his own, all cords and other items were safe from marking, chewing, and urination. Later on he could be left alone both inside and outside without any household destruction. He was not much one for barking/loud whining unless incredibly excited (Coming home greetings as an example), and he also was not a "scratch-er" in terms of doors and other surfaces.
As he got older the oily buildup and "dog smell" most people complain about, as well as the "oily/greasy" feel to the coats did begin. (Puppies don't have this), but it was not unbearable and I found they smelled/looked better than the Charles Spaniels who need to be bathed every month or so before they start to get -very- smelly. They do need their nails clipped, and they need to be brushed and combed and trimmed if you have a long-haired version (Fox was a long-haired), but those with shorter hair require much less grooming. Fox enjoyed his brushings- less so the nail clippings and the baths but he took to water eventually.
All in all he was the easiest dog I have ever trained, and the one I fell in love with the most. He completed his training and was sold by the breeder as a pet to a new family who fell in love with him even faster than I did, and bought him on day one of the trial. He is doing very well in his new family and enjoys his daily sprinting sessions with his owner.
The breed itself: Tollers are hunting dogs, especially duck hunters. They excel at fetch and learn quickly so training them cannot be slack or lazily done but they can be trained even later in life. All bad habits can be broken as long as you have some patience with this breed- including fear born or mistreatment habits from before you came into possession of the dog. This breed flourishes under love and like all other retriever breeds believe they are smaller than they are- they love hiding or squeezing into small places and are convinced they are lap dogs. They are also very active, even when laid back. All in all, an amazing and fun breed..
From AstoriasAbyss Nov 28 2014 6:41PM
Duck Tolling Retriever - A Lovely Dog!
These dogs are nearly perfect, in my opinion! They are a perfect size - not small and not quite medium. They are a bit smaller than the Golden Retriever, and better looking if I do say so myself.
They are easy to train, love to learn new things and typically are great at Agility and other fun dog sports. They do need to let off some steam. You could spend hours throwing a ball in the river for them to retrieve.
Though high energy, they are not as intense as other high energy breeds. They can chill out with the best of them.
The Duck Tolling Retriever makes a great family pet. A friendly, obedient (when well trained) and fun dog..
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