About Tollers

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, a True Canadian Breed


The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, also known as the Toller, is a medium sized breed. It is a powerful, compact, balanced, and well muscled dog, with a high degree of agility, alertness and determination. This breed is still of a size which makes for an ideal pet for an active family, as well as an agile and eager sporting or hunting companion.

The Toller is highly intelligent, easy to train, has great endurance, and is a strong and able swimmer. It is a natural and a persistent retriever both on land and in the water.

The Toller is quite a versatile breed. They make great sporting dogs, are excellent at agility trials and most of all, they make loyal and loving companions.

Smallest of the retrieving breeds, the Toller was developed in southwest Nova Scotia to entice ducks and geese within gunshot range by duplicating the actions of the eastern red fox. The fox uses the natural curiosity of the ducks and geese, by engaging in all sorts of antics causing the waterfowl to swim closer until they are near enough to provide the fox with a meal. Today, more and more Tollers are successfully competing in the varied Hunt Tests of North America, Great Britain, Europe, and Australia. Being fast, agile, intelligent, and competitive, Tollers also excel in agility trials and flyball competitions , which are a two of today’s fastest growing dog sports.

Physical Characteristics

According to the Canadian Kennel Club breed standard, the ideal size for males is 19 to 20 inches in height and 45 to 51 pounds in weight. Females are 1 to 2 inches smaller in height and 8 to 10 pounds lighter than the males. Varying shades of bright coppery red are preferred, usually with white markings on the chest, feet and tip of the tail. They often have a white blaze or snip on the head. The medium length, double coat is dense, water repellent, and thick enough to keep the Toller well insulated in the intense cold waters in and around Nova Scotia.