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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
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"Tolling" is a Middle English word meaning to "lure or decoy game." To the hunter, this means to draw the waterfowl within range by using the playful action of a tolling dog, much as a fox will lure ducks within range. The curiosity of the waterfowl causes them to swim in close to shore to more closely observe the dog. Decoy dogs were used in Europe to lure ducks into nets, and as hunting companions since the 17th century, in eastern North America from Chesapeake Bay to the Maritimes. Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada, is considered the place of origin of the purebred dog officially known as the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

There is no authentic record of the development of the Toller, but present day thinking is that the basic stock was the red decoy dog, probably brought to Nova Scotia with the early settlers from Europe. Crosses with other breeds, possibly spaniel and setter-type dogs, retriever-type dogs, and farm collie, produced todays Toller. Originally known as the Little River Duck Dog after the district of Yarmouth County, or as a Yarmouth Toller, the Toller has bred true for generations, and was granted official breed status by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1945, when fifteen were registered. For a number of years Tollers were seldom seen outside of Nova Scotia, but today they are spread all across Canada, and the United States, as well as in Europe and Australia.

A few Tollers were introduced into the United States in the 1960's, but it wasn't until the late 1970's and early 1980's that serious breeders became interested.

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