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Gun Dog Breeders: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Facts

By    |   Tuesday, 29 Dec 2015 11:36 PM

The Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever is one of the lesser-known members of the retriever family, but it is highly sought after for its distinctive red fur, playful disposition, and its instinctive duck-attracting dance, called tolling. Tolling is an uncommon trait, making Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers, commonly known as tollers, attractive to gun dog breeders, hunters, and dog enthusiasts.

Here are a few facts about tollers, according to the Dog Breed Info Center, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club and DogTime.

1. The breed was originally known as the Little River Duck Dog, after the Nova Scotia community of Little River Harbor, where the breed was first developed in the early 1800s.

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2. Tolling originated after hunters observed foxes “dance” on the shoreline, luring ducks in for the kill. Tolling retrievers were trained to do this by having them retrieve sticks along the shoreline.

3. Tollers are the smallest of the retriever breeds, weighing an average of 37 to 51 pounds.

4. The bright red coat – somewhere between the color of a Golden Retriever and an Irish Setter – is often accented with white on the chest, feet, head, and/or tail; though all-red tollers are not uncommon.

5. Tollers are a highly intelligent and trainable breed. They learn very quickly with the right kind of training.

6. Tollers are naturally drawn to water and love to swim.

7. Having been bred for work for centuries, tollers have a strong work ethic. This often translates into the drive to retrieve anything and everything as often as possible.

8. Tollers shed their fur seasonally, so require moderate grooming maintenance.

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9. While they are not aggressive or confrontational enough to make good guard dogs, Tollers, with their high-pitched bark, are good watch dogs.

10. The bark of an excited toller is often referred to as a “screech” or “the scream,” because of its high loud tone. This is a toller trait that takes some getting used to.

11. Tollers are very energetic dogs that need room to run and are best suited for people who spend a lot of time outdoors.

12. A well-trained toller is as comfortable playing with the kids as it is on a hunting trip or a dog show.

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The Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever is one of the lesser-known members of the retriever family, but it is highly sought after for its distinctive red fur, playful disposition, and its instinctive duck-attracting dance, called tolling.
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