A Nova Scotia Duck Tolling WHAT?

by Melissa R. on October 10, 2009

Puppy Maggie with 16 yr old Annie

Puppy Maggie with 16 yr old Annie

What’s red, white, and works well with ducks? A Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever dog. My parents recently picked up a “Toller” after hearing about the new AKC breed on television in hopes that the pup will take on the warm, loving traits of their 16-year-old Golden Retriever, Annie, who doesn’t get around as well these days.

A bit about the Toller: Often referred to as the “Little Red Dog”, a “Toller” or a “Duck Toller”, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever originated in Nova Scotia in the early 19th century. They would toll (lure) and retrieve waterfowl. They are medium-sized at about 40 lbs. and 17-20 inches in height, with a water-repellent double coat of medium length. They are varying shades of red, with at least one white marking and have flesh-colored nose, lips and eye rims which blends with their coat.

My mom began researching Tollers, and soon enough, she found a breeder a few hours away and started to get in contact with them. My parents then went through a very extensive pre-screening process where they had to fill out several pages of a questionnaire about their lifestyle and what they were looking for. Then they had to go visit the breeders and be introduced to the breed itself. After all this, they were finally accepted and put on the list for a litter about 6 months away. Initially my dad was hesitant: the breeder would pick their puppy for them and he was not into that. However, we convinced him it would be for the best that way and the breeder would pick the best puppy for them! He seemed skeptical, but finally gave in.

Eventually the litter my parents would get a puppy from was born, and the breeders updated their photo album weekly with puppy pictures. It was a daily habit to check the website to see if any new photos were posted! Finally the date was chosen that they could come pick up their puppy and off they went!

They were given “Miss Green”, who would now be known as Maggie. Coincidentally, my uncle was also able to receive a puppy from the same litter. His name is Jesse, and Maggie & Jesse get together often for play dates. We marvel everyday at the ability the breeders had to pick the right puppy for the right person. Jesse is laid back and cool as a cucumber – very well suited to my uncle’s life. Maggie is outgoing and adventurous – perfect for my parents who are always going somewhere and meeting new people.

Maggie & Jesse at 8 weeks

Maggie & Jesse at 8 weeks

Right now my parents and uncle are deep into potty training, and remembering how much work a puppy is! Stay tuned for more Maggie & Jesse stories!

If you are interested in learning more about Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers visit the Official Club Website: www.nsdtrc-usa.org/

Related articles you might enjoy:
In the Market For a New Dog
Puppy Socialization: The Critical First Month
Puppy Story: Where’s Maggie?


About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the DrsFosterSmith.com and LiveAquaria.com websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: