The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, most commonly referred to as Toller, is an extremely intelligent and active breed. Although they have been developed and bred primarily to toll (lure) and retrieve ducks, they are quite successful in numerous other dog venues including: conformation, obedience, agility, Rally-O, fly-ball, tracking and or course, as an extremely gentle family pet.
In appearance, they resemble a red-ish colored Golden Retriever but are about half their size and far more active. Typically they will be red, or red-ish orange in color with white on the paws, nose, between the eyes and have a white blaze. Sometimes you will see them with a white tipped tail. They are about 18-20 inches tall and weight between 40 – 50 pounds.
Tollers are a Canadian Kennel Club recognized breed, originally developed in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia CANADA, and are a member of the Sporting Group. The Toller was originally bred to mimic the hunting behavior of the Little Red Fox. This behavior has two steps. Firstly, one fox would play and jump about on the beach to lure, or toll the ducks in close to shore. Secondly, another fox would be lying in wait in the nearby bushes until the ducks were close enough to catch and when they were, the second fox would rush out and well… you get the idea. So, the Toller would toll the ducks in close and a hunter would down them. The Toller, would then retrieve the fallen ducks.
At 18-20 inches tall, Tollers are the smallest of the retriever breeds, but don't let this fool you. Many new, and would be dog owners mistake the Toller and its behavior for being that of a small Golden Retriever. Nothing could be farther from reality. Their activity, energy, and intelligence levels rival that of an Australian Sheppard and Border Collie.