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Two Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers sitting in a tree

He may be the smallest of retrievers, but the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever makes up for it in energy, intelligence, and affection. Fondly called the “Little Red Tornado,” this spirited dog is ready for action, whether working or playing. With his expectant, heart-melting gaze, he’s telling you it’s time for the next adventure. Here are nine reasons why people fall in love with this breed.

1. What exactly is tolling? “Tolling” is from the Middle English “tollen,” Old English “tyllan,”
which means to entice or pull. Accounts of hunters using dogs for tolling ducks go back as far as the 17th century, and the breed, as we know it today, dates to 19th-century Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia.


2. The dog lures waterfowl within range by playing and frolicking along the shoreline. He arouses the curiosity of ducks offshore, so they swim within range of the hunter. After the hunter brings the game down, the dog springs into action to retrieve the bird.

3. They’re superb retrievers, in land and water.

4. With his webbed feet and water-repellent double coat, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (Toller) is always ready for a swim.


5. Along with being an excellent working dog, the Toller is a friendly, outgoing family pet. They’re happiest with an active, outdoorsy family and are patient and loving with kids.

6. They’re also curious, always looking for something to do. Without plenty of physical and mental exercise, they may make their own fun.

7. Because they’re active, intelligent, and love having a job to do, Tollers excel at many dog sports such as agility, dock diving, and obedience.


8. Tollers have an engaging, fun-loving personality, and when they amuse themselves, they’re entertaining for their humans, as well.

9. Because nothing says “I love you,” like the grinning gaze of a Toller!