About Tollers

Some history and facts about ova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever??


One of the few dogs native to Canada, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was developed in Yarmouth County, NS in the late 1800s.  Once known as the "Little River Duck Dog" some believe the toller has retriever, spaniel, setter, and collie blood. The NS Duck Tolling Retriever is the smallest of the retrievers and stands just 20 inches tall at the shoulder. He has a long, thick, double coat that protects him from the cold water. His coat may be red or orange and have white markings on the feet, chest, tip of tail, and/or forehead.   

Like most sporting dogs, the Toller is best suited to an active home where he will be a cherished member of the family. Strong, happy, loyal, energetic, and devoted to his people the toller may be reserved with strangers. He is not a dog who should be left alone for long periods, he is much too fond of people.

He gets along well with children and other most dogs. A responsive, intelligent, willing and fast learner, some Tollers can nevertheless be a little headstrong. Obedience training, manners and socialization should begin early. and continue throughout his lifetime. Best in an active household, the toller requires lots of exercise which includes swimming and running. Preferably, he should live in a home with a fenced backyard with an active owner who can keep up with him, but he can fit into most accommodation provided there is an outlet for his energy. He makes a good watchdog but is too people friendly to be a guard dog.  

What is Tolling?

Tolling means "luring" or "enticing." The hunter sets up several blinds along the lakeshore or even along the river. The dog is sent out to retrieve sticks and other material the hunter throws toward the shore which involves jumping and frisking about on shore.  The Toller goes directly out and fetches the stick. Tollers are lively and animated so their flash and bounce attracts the ducks. After a number of retrieves the ducks are within gunshot range and the Toller is subsequently sent out to retrieve shot ducks.  The tolling (luring) technique was first observed in use by foxes. Hunters wanted a dog that could do the same thing. This led to the development of the Toller.  


An Article about the History of the Toller By H.A.P. Smith in the early 1900's

 The Tolling Dog or Little River Duck Dog 

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