Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Meet the breed: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle is the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for an active and affectionate outdoors dog to add to your family, learn all you need to know about the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Breed at a glance

  • Patient
  • Loving
  • Energetic
  • Devoted
  • Water dog

Find a breeder in your area>>

Find a breeder


Originally known as the Little River Duck Dog for its ability to lure ducks, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was bred in Canada, as its name suggests. Nicknamed the Toller, it was bred from retrievers and spaniels for supreme agility and gait when hunting. Still used as a hunter and retriever, the breed is an excellent swimmer, hunting partner and family dog. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever prefers colder climates and the great outdoors.

Photo gallery

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Sporting Group
  • UKC group: Gun Dog
  • Average lifespan: 11 – 14 years
  • Average size: 37 – 52 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Soft, medium-length; straight, water-resistant double coat
  • Coloration: Gold, red, reddish-orange and copper; possible white markings on body
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Muscular body similar to a Golden Retriever; light-colored eyes and nose; triangular high-set ears; and long tail
  • Possible alterations: Coat may have small wave to it.

Is this breed right for you?

An intelligent and affectionate breed, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever requires a lot of activity, and not just playing. The breed enjoys retrieving and obedience training, which is advised to avoid behavioral problems. Loving, it gets along well with children and other animals, but it will need a lot of socialization to maintain its happiness. Energetic, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever does OK with apartment life if it is given daily walks, but it does best with a large yard with a body of water to roam, swim and play fetch in. Since it is an average shedder, it is easy to groom but should be given a regular dry shampoo bath to maintain the natural oils in its coat.

breed characteristics

A dream day-in-the-life

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever would adore to wake up with a nice pat down and session with its owner. Running outside to romp around in the yard, it’ll run inside for an affectionate hour of playtime with the kid. After its long daily walk, this breed will go for a swim in the backyard pool or be happy with a game of fetch. In the evening, it’ll settle in with its family, running outside to burn off energy whenever it feels the need.

Other breeds you might like

Meet the breed: Golden Retriever
Meet the breed: Tibetan Terrier
Meet the breed: English Springer Spaniel

Leave a Comment