Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


The smallest of the retrievers, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was developed in the 1800s to toll and retrieve waterfowl. Tolling — having dogs play and retrieve sticks or balls along the shoreline — aroused the curiosity of ducks offshore and lured them within gunshot range. The first Tollers arrived in the U.S. in 1984, and the AKC recognized the breed in 2001. Since their arrival, the dogs have proven themselves as able retrievers, skilled competitors, and loyal companions.

Medium; females 17 to 20 inches, 35 to 42 pounds; males 18 to 21 inches, 45 to 52 pounds.


Any shade of red, usually with white markings.


Energetic, playful, alert, outgoing, ready for action; fast learners but bored easily. Affectionate and gentle; boisterous when young. Good with other animals and children.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Active owner or family in a suburban or rural home.


Lots of exercise, play, and activity; a job to do, fenced yard, weekly brushing.

Life expectancy:

11 to 13 years.