The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

For information on this breed contact the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA) at

The following information comes from the American Kennel Club.

Medium sized, powerful and compact, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is the smallest of the retrievers. He developed in the early 19th century to toll, lure, and retrieve waterfowl. The playful action of the Toller retrieving a stick or ball along the shoreline arouses the curiosity of the ducks offshore. This lures them within gunshot range, and then the dog is sent out to retrieve the dead or wounded birds. Their water-repellant double coat is any shade of red, often with white markings.

A Look Back
There is no authentic record of the development of the Toller, but present day thinking is that the basic stock was the red decoy dog, probably brought to Nova Scotia with the early settlers from Europe. Crosses with other breeds, possibly spaniel and setter-type dogs, retriever-type dogs, and farm collie, produced today’s Toller. Originally known as the Little River Duck Dog after the district of Yarmouth County, or as a Yarmouth Toller, the Toller has now bred true for generations.

Right Breed for You?
If you are considering purchasing a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy, learn more here.

  • Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 2003.
  • Ranging in size from 17 to 21 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Water dog.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc.