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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


Life span: 12-14 Years

Height: 19 -22 inches (male), 17 – 20 inches (female)

Weight: 34 – 55 lbs.

With one of the longest names of any breed, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a breed of the retriever type. As the name suggests, the Duck Tolling Retriever is well-adapted to hunting and retrieving waterfowl. They are particularly suited for water, as their dense red and white double coat has properties that act as a water repellent.

This loyal dog is loving and playful with children and other pets alike. It enjoys spending time with its family, especially doing activities that require high energy levels. They are especially fond of water and will always keep you entertained!

Physical Characteristics

Their ears are large and flop down, with a large and feathered tail that has a slight curve and remains upright. The eyes can be hazel, brown or light brown, with a black or brown nose. Their double coat is made up of a dense undercoat, and a weatherproof overcoat that is soft to the touch. Coat colors include red and white bicolored.


Owned by the Micmac Indians of Canada, this breed began when the indians noticed sly foxes that would walk near rivers and capture any ducks they found. Then, they encouraged their dogs to do the same. These dogs are believed to be the ancestors of this breed. In Yarmouth County, Southwest Nova Scotia’s Little River district, hunters created a breed that could attract the dogs towards them and then retrieve them in water without difficulty. In order to create this breed they crossbred several dogs, such as the Golden Retriever, the Irish Setter, Cocker Spaniel, and Flat-coated retriever. The resulting breed was named Little River Duck Dogs, but was unknown for most of the world, including many parts of Canada. However, its popularity within Canada rose in 1945, when the Canadian Kennel Club recognized the breed and gave it its current name. In 1960, they were brought into the United States, but were popular until 1970, and in 1984, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of the United States was created. In 2001 it was accepted into the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service, and in 2003 it was accepted into its Sporting group.


This loving breed is affectionate with its family, and gets along extremely well with children. They also get along well with any household pet that does not fly. They are high energy dogs and must be exercised properly, or will become destructive. They especially love water, so if you have a pool you don’t want them swimming in, you might want to consider another breed.


Although generally healthy, this breed may suffer from:

Deafness, complete loss of hearing since birth.

Eye Anomaly, which can cause many eye related diseases, changes and abnormalities, as well as lead to blindness in extreme cases. There is no treatment, and it appears when the dog is around two years old.

Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.


This breed must be brushed weekly, and daily during shedding season. The hair in their paws and ears should be trimmed. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They should be exercised daily, approximately 30 minutes and preferably in the form of a long walk. Training can be difficult, given that they can be stubborn at times. Patience, and especially food, are the key to training this breed.



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