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Intelligent, outgoing, affectionate: that's the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Check out nine fun facts you might not have known about this sporting breed.

1. “Tolling” is a Middle English Word Meaning to Entice or Pull

The Toller was developed to toll, lure, and retrieve waterfowl. The playful action of the Toller retrieving a stick or ball along the shoreline arouses the curiosity of the ducks offshore. They are lured within gunshot range, and the dog is sent out to retrieve the dead or wounded birds.

2. They Were Originally Known as the Little River Duck Dog

The breed was developed in the community of Little River Harbour in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada, around the beginning of the 19th century, to toll waterfowl and as an all-purpose hunting dog. The breed was originally known as the Little River Duck Dog or the Yarmouth Toller.

toller tennis ball

3. One of Only Two Dog Breeds Used for Decoy Purposes – While their methods are a bit different, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and the Nderlandse Kooikerhondje are the only two breeds of dogs used for decoy purposes.

4. They Are the Smallest of the Retriever Breeds

The Toller is medium sized, compact, powerful, and balanced. Males are 18-21 inches and females 17-20 at the withers, with medium bone and weight proportion to the height and bone of the dog, which makes them the smallest of the retriever breeds.

5. They Have Webbed Feet and a Double Coat

The Toller is well adapted for water, and they love it!

tollers swimming

6. This Breed Is Versatile

The Toller is happy to be wherever his people are — whether that is in the conformation ring, hunting, watching a movie, etc. They are able to go from couch potato to bounding retriever in mere seconds. They like new experiences and are easy to take traveling.

7. They “Scream!”

Tollers have a penetrating high-pitched bark that sounds like a scream, which they produce to indicate excitement and eagerness. To the uninitiated, this can sound like something terrible; it is high-pitched, frantic, and loud. Owners, with persistence, can train their Toller not to scream.

toller barking

8. They are AKC’s 150 Recognized Breed

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was officially recognized by the AKC in 2003 and was the 150 recognized breed.

9. They Have the Longest AKC Breed Name – The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever breed name, with 5 words and 34 characters including spaces, is the longest name of all of the AKC recognized breeds.
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