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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

IntelligentEnergetic & Affectionate

A Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever dog breed was developed to lure and retrieve waterfowl. As a companion to an active family and in the field, this breed excels in obedience, agility, and in the show ring. These dogs are highly adaptable and affectionate and can even live in apartments if they are provided with enough exercise and daily walks.

Lifetime Care

Breed Profile





35-40 pound


Life Span





Hip Dysplasia

of dogs

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a genetically inherited disease that changes hip joint function dramatically.

Clinical Signs

  • Decreased activity

  • Decreased range of motion

  • Difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs

  • Lameness in the hind end

  • Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait

  • Grating in the joint during movement


Dogs with hip dysplasia have a variety of treatment options available including:

  • Chiropractic therapy

  • Supplements for joints

  • Anti-inflammatory medications

  • Surgery

Average vet bill for Hip Dysplasia


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


Your Net payment


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*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.


Progressive Retinal Atrophy

of dogs

What is PRA?

Atrophy refers to the partial or complete wasting of a body part. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a group of degenerative diseases that affects the photoreceptor cells in the retina. The cells of the affected dog's body deteriorate over time because of this disease, eventually resulting in the dog becoming blind.

Clinical Signs

  • Progressive loss of night vision

  • Day vision degeneration

  • Cloudy eyes

  • Grey eyes with a slight sheen appear

  • Walls and unfamiliar obstructions may be bumped into by your dog

  • Having difficulty with stairs or jumping down steps

  • Decreased pigmentation of the eyes

  • Formation of retinal cataracts

  • Dilated pupils


PRA does not currently have an effective treatment available. Antioxidant supplements and vitamins have not shown any measurable effect on this disease, although they are not harmful to your pet and may help reduce the stress on the lens cells and potentially delay the development of cataracts. Your dog's blindness could be prevented or delayed if the underlying causes such as cataracts or retinal detachment are caught and treated early.

Average vet bill for Progressive Retinal Atrophy


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


Your Net payment


Click For Price

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.


Intelligent, Playful, Energetic

They have a personality somewhere between a Golden Retriever and a Terrier. They have an outgoing, upbeat attitude, and a sense of humor is not uncommon for this breed.


They are energetic and playful around family and kids


They share their affectionate relationship with their families

Lifetime Care


The Toller has a medium-length, water-repellent double coat.


It appears that they are a fox-retriever cross because of their reddish, orange coloring.




A weekly brushing should be all that is needed to help keep the coat from matting and to remove dead hair.


These dogs are easy to train but needs to be trained from the start of puppyhood.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are the smallest retriever breed. They are highly intelligent, alert, and outgoing. The energetic breed was developed in the 19th century to lure, toll, and retrieve waterfowl. In addition to being agile, quick, and determined, he has a desire to work and please. A loving and affectionate companion, the Toller is patient with children. His coat is soft and low maintenance.

In response to stimulation, excitement, or frustration, the Toller yelps out. Birds or squirrels often trigger screams. Other than that, they don't bark excessively. This breed screams, sheds, loves to roll in dead fish and other stinky things, and is generally smarter than the average person. You should look for another breed if any of these things concern you. However, if you are looking for a fun-loving, hard-working dog who enjoys exercise and spending time with family, then the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an excellent choice.

It is impossible to mention the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever without wondering what "tolling" means. Tolling comes from the Middle English word tollen, which means "to entice.” The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever lures game by tolling.

Nova Scottish Duck Tolling Retriever: Introduction to the Breed

Families make one of the biggest decisions in their lives when it comes to adopting new pets. You should spend time and effort investigating the variety of puppies available before purchasing a puppy and determining which will be most beneficial to your family. Think carefully about what you want in a dog, and what you would prefer the dog didn't have. Here are a few things you should know about Nova Scottish Duck Tolling Retrievers:

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever are generally:

  • Active

  • Playful

  • Intelligent

  • Affectionate

  • Energetic

Tollers are intelligent, independent, and curious. They have a personality somewhere between a Golden Retriever and a terrier. In general, they are outgoing, upbeat, and can have a sense of humor. They like to lie down and be quiet when they're not working or playing. It is common for adult dogs to be gentle with children, especially when they are older.

It is easy for Tollers to adapt to different environments, and they are usually tolerant of crate training and travel as well. When it comes to strangers, they can be standoffish, but they take their cues from their people. Tollers will be friendly if you are friendly to them.

You'll be notified if someone is approaching your home by Tollers who monitor everything going on. Although aggression can sometimes be a problem, they usually get along well with other animals.

What are the Origins of Nova Scottish Duck Tolling Retrievers?

Foxes were the original Tollers. The Micmac Indians of Canada observed foxes tolling, then snatching ducks foolish enough to get too close to them. This behavior was encouraged in Micmac dogs, who also learned how to lure inquisitive ducks. Hunters in England and Canada developed dogs to bring back downed birds in the 19th century. Their names were derived from the places where they were developed, such as Labrador and Chesapeake Bay.

However, hunters in Yarmouth County, southwest Nova Scotia, went a step further. They created a dog that would attract birds as well as retrieve them. Using Micmac Indian dogs as a starting point, they blended in various other retriever breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters, and perhaps even farm collies. As a result, the Little River Duck Dog was born.

The Little River Duck Dog was known only in the area where he was developed for years. The Canadian Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1945, giving it a new name: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. When the breed first arrived in the United States in the 1960s, they didn't garner much attention. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club USA was formed in 1984 because of the breed's growing popularity. The American Kennel Club accepted the breed into the Miscellaneous Class in 2001 and into the Sporting Group in 2003.

Among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club, the Toller ranks 110th.

What are the Risks for the Duck Tolling Retriever Dog Breed?

Tollers, like all breeds, are at risk of developing certain health conditions during their lifetimes. While not all Tollers may develop these conditions, it is important to know about them if you're considering this breed. Look for a breeder who can show your health clearances for both your puppy's parents if you are buying a puppy. Dogs with health clearances have been tested and cleared of specific conditions.

Some common Nova Scottish Duck Tolling Retrievers health problems may include:

It is best for the Toller to live in a house with a securely fenced yard. In a city high rise, however, the can live happily if they get a few daily walks. It is possible to find Tollers in the country as well as Tollers who live in apartments and are paper-trained to potty on the balcony. They are usually highly active during their first year, but eventually their activity level tends to taper off.

If not properly supervised, Tollers can be destructive as puppies. The use of a crate is recommended. When adult dogs don't get enough exercise, they can also be destructive. Every day, you should give them at least an hour of exercise. Whether it's a 30-minute walk or run, a 30-minute walk and 30 minutes of fetch, a hike of an hour or two, or any other combination of exercise the two of you can do together, they'll enjoy it.

Make sure your Toller walks on rough ground once in a while to help keep their feet healthy. Keeping the foot pads tight helps prevent them from picking up debris that could damage the foot. As puppies grow, monitor their activity, and don't let them overdo things. It's a good rule of thumb to limit a 6-month-old puppy to 30 minutes of play or other exercise during the day. Be firm but gentle when training your Toller, and be creative, patient, and flexible. Without using anger, intimidation, or physical force, you must earn their trust and respect. With this breed, harshness can breed stubbornness, and you don't want to get into a battle of wills.

It is better to train them with a light touch. Under pressure, they usually don’t perform well. In contrast, the Toller learns quickly and easily when motivated by praise, play, and food rewards. Given a consistent schedule, no opportunities for accidents in the house, and positive reinforcement when they potty outdoors, they shouldn't be difficult to housetrain.

Unfortunately, your Retriever can still get sick even if you do everything to keep them healthy. That's why it's so important to be prepared for the things you can't control. Spot Pet Insurance is committed to helping you give your dog a long, happy, and healthy life. Learn more about our range of well-rounded pet insurance plans for your Nova Scottish Duck Tolling Retriever by requesting a free quote today.