Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Dog Breed Profile
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

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• High energy level
• High exercise needs
• Very playful
• Very affectionate
• Very friendly towards other dogs
• Very friendly around other pets
• Friendly around strangers
• Difficult to train
• Not watchdogs
• Not very protective
• Low grooming requirements
• Medium tolerance to heat
• High tolerance to cold


This compact dog breed never seems to tire, and he’s easily bored, which explains his boisterous tenancies. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is very high energy, and he loves to spend his time constantly on the move, playing and retrieving. He’s a very capable swimmer, and he’s smaller than most retrievers, but he’s agile and completely able to carry a duck in his jaw. His double coat makes an excellent water-repelling protective layer, and his medium coat requires only the occasional bath and brush.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is great with children, and is perfect for yard play, never tiring of retrieving a toy, ball or stick. These dogs are not hyperactive, although their energy might lead one to think so. He’s extremely intelligent and will prefer to be kept busy with a job, helping to exercise his mind at the same time as his body.

  • Best suited to being a part of the family as opposed to living outdoors
  • Health conditions that need to be tested for include hips and eyes
  • Grooming needs include weekly thorough brushing
  • The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a very affectionate and friendly, energetic animal that can be trained to be great family pets
  • Has a great relationship with family members, is not very protective and not watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 45 to 52lbs and 18 to 21 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 35 to 42lbs and 17 to 20 inches tall

Care & Health:

Your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever will be happy and content if you keep him busy with lots of retrieving and play activities. Better yet, have him fetch from the water and you’ll see his instincts in action.

They may be physically able to live outdoors, they are much happier when they can spend time indoors with their family. He’s not suited to being in a kennel.

Brush his double coat well at least once a week.

Major Health Concerns:


Minor Health Concerns:

–CHD and PRA

Test for:

–hips and eyes

Life Span:

– 11 to 13 years

Breed History:

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers have a long history of being active little duck decoys, intriguing the waterfowl as they play along the shoreline. This particular breed was developed in the early 1800s, when it’s believed that a European decoy dog bred with various other dogs, resulting in this Yarmouth born and bred dog.

This breed was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1915, and was imported to the US in the 60s. Originally in 2001 they were recognized as a miscellaneous class breed in the AKC, but in 2003 became a sporting group member. They’ve proven over the years that they are just as good companions as they are Trollers.

  • Family history is gundog, retriever
  • Originally from Nova Scotia
  • First bred in the 1800’s
  • Original purpose was Duck tolling and retrieving
  • Today they are used for Duck tolling and retrieving
  • Also known as Little River Duck Dog