Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever – The Little Retriever with the Red Coat

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are little whirlwinds who have been trained to be playful since they were born. The hunting dogs from Nova Scotia in Canada are also called decoy retrievers in their English-speaking homeland because they attract curious ducks with friendly play and retrieve them after the shot. Here you can find out why the dog could be the right companion for active families:

External Characteristics of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is quite small for a retriever, but with an optimal height at the withers of 48 to 51 cm for males and 45 to 48 cm for females, it is not a small dog. The fox-like dogs have a medium-length, soft coat and share some traits with retrievers, while others are more reminiscent of collies. Depending on their size and weight, males weigh around 20 to 23 kilograms, while females usually weigh just under 20 kilograms.

The Decoy Retriever from head to tail

  • Head: The broad skull is reminiscent of that of a retriever, but towards the muzzle, it tapers slightly like that of a German shepherd. The color of the nose matches the coat color or it is black.
  • Eyes: The eyes are widely spaced and separated by a forehead furrow. They should always appear almond-shaped, never large and round.
  • Ears: The medium-sized folded ears are set high and back on the skull. They are well feathered and rather thin. The triangular tips fall sideways.
  • Body: The body is well muscled with ribs reaching to the elbows and the underline is slightly tucked up. The back is short and straight and the loins are very strong and muscular. The croup falls off only slightly.
  • Legs: Forelegs are straight and parallel, hind legs very muscular with well-bent knees.
  • Tail: The tail is carried slack or curled over the body. It is very well feathered and relatively long (should reach at least the hock).

Coat and colors of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

The coat of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was created for bird hunting in icy waters and is very insulating. Both the long topcoat and the fluffy undercoat feel soft and fluffy. The hair on the head is shorter than on the body, feathering appears on the ears, neck, and legs. With a few (wavy) exceptions, the fur is almost smooth.

Red, red, or rather red? Coat colors of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

  • The basic color is red or orange-red (all shades are allowed), and the feathering on the neck, legs, and ears appears a little lighter.
  • White markings are allowed/desired in the following places: paws, chest, and face (blank).
  • There are also brown and white or mostly white puppies, but these are not approved for breeding (despite the small gene pool).

Where Does the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Come From? The Canadians’ Decoy Dog

When hunting, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever uses fox-like methods to attract and irritate. Unlike other retrievers, he doesn’t sit still next to the hunter but rather arouses the curiosity of unsuspecting ducks with playful movements and surprising appearances and disappearances in the tall grass. The animals come closer and the hunter shoots – fearlessly the red retriever rushes out and brings the bird to the hunter. Apart from the Dutch Kooikerhondje, no other hunting dog uses this technique.

The first clubs around the Little River Duck Dog, or Yarmouth Toller as the retriever was formerly known, formed in Canada and the United States in the 1940s. As its early name suggests, the dog is attributed to the Yarmouth region of Nova Scotia. They have only been known in Europe since the 1980s and are sought after as family dogs. Which breeds in Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia, Canada) contributed to the origin of the breed is not exactly documented.

Possible ancestors of the toller

  • Farm Collies (Australian Shepherds, English Shepherds, Old-Time Scotch Collies, Rough Collies)
  • Kooikerhondje
  • Miscellaneous Retrievers (Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Golden Retriever)
  • St. John’s Water Dog
  • spaniel

Nature and Character of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: Always Ready for Action

By nature, the Toller is active, friendly, and obedient. You should not underestimate his endless amount of energy – the dog wants to do meaningful work every day and play, play, play… He doesn’t let any weather disturb him and mud, small rivers, and duck ponds also magically attract him. Can you handle such a stormy temper? Then you will find an irreplaceable friend and companion in the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Who is the Red Retriever the right dog for?

For a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, you need a lot of patience, perseverance, and a desire to play. As a family dog, it follows the “leader of the pack”, but also builds close friendships with other family members and friends. This includes animal companions, although some dogs may also have a distinct hunting instinct. As the owner of the breed, you should enjoy spending time outdoors and plan plenty of time for sporting activities with your dog. Couch potatoes are quickly overwhelmed by the playful tollers.

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