(Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever)

(Sporting Group)

"Temperament: The Toller is highly intelligent, alert, outgoing, and ready for action, though not to the point of nervousness or hyperactivity. He is affectionate and loving with family members and is good with children, showing patience" (AKC Standard).

"The smallest of the retrievers, he's an eye-catching redhead--a jaunty little Jimmy Cagney with a spring in his step. But he's also the acutely intelligent obedience dog; and the nimble red tornado of the agility course...

Sue Van Sloun of West Point, Massachusetts saved the Tollers from extinction, "founder and past president of the NSDTRC-USA" -- her Sylvan kennel... a sort of spiritual godmother to the breed...

"Tollers are active dogs, very busy. They need something to keep them occupied...

"Health issues include autoimmune problems, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia to some extent, PRA--although we do have a DNA test for that now--and some epilepsy" (Boccone, Bud. "The Red Tornado." AKC Gazette, July 2003, pp. 32-37).


"...Canada's bright and lively Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. On July 1, the Toller receives full AKC recognition...

"...ancestry can be traced to the small Dutch decoy or piper dogs used by hunters in the late Middle Ages to lure ducks into nets called pipes... descending from the same origins as the Dutch Kooikerhondje (Kooikerhondje Club of Canada, Kooikerhondje (Finland), Het Nederlandse Kooikerhondje (Switzerland), Suomen Kooikerhondje Ry (Finland)) ... brought over by early French settlers...

"The Toller, smallest of all the retrievers, is a high-energy dog... make wonderful pets for active families.

"The bright, active, alert, and intelligent Tollers are also keen swimmers and tireless retrievers...

"Because of their high energy level, demanding exercise requirements, and keen intelligence, Tollers are not for everyone...

"Tollers are more like Border Collies than the Golden Retrievers with whom they are often compared" (Strang, Alison. "The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever." Dog World, July 2003, 8-11).

See Toller Health Coalition.

Top Ten Reasons to Not Own a Toller

1. Shedding and Mess.
"They are not a dog for the fastidious or the allergic."

2. Watch Your Cat
"They do have a strong prey drive. If you don't want your cat chased, this may not be the dog for you."

3. Don't expect me to protect you.

4. The Scream...
"Many Tollers have a penetrating scream which they produce to indicate excitement and eagerness. To the uninitiated, this can sound like the dog is being fed into a wood chipper; it's high pitched, frantic and loud."

5. Drive
"They have a frantic drive to work, and will retrieve until your arm is ready to fall off. Tendinitis in Toller owners is not unusual."

6. Not be everyone's best friend.

7. Did you say no?
"If you give a Toller an inch, they will take a mile... They sense power vacuums, and exploit them... They don't have a mean bone in their bodies, but they are opportunistic..."

8. "..they are not always as easy to train as other breeds..."

9. Smart, smart, smart.
"These dogs MUST be given at least basic obedience training... Keeping all that intelligence focused and busy is a big challenge."

10. Vroom
" energetic dog... needs plenty of exercise... Better behavior through exhaustion is the rule for living with a Toller. If you don't have time to give this breed at least an hour of exercise a day, every day, with plenty of swimming and fetching, look elsewhere. A Toller with excess energy will find another outlet for his drive, and the results are seldom pleasant. If you can't keep this dog busy, don't get this dog. More than many breeds, a Toller is a mental and physical commitment" (from About Tollers--

"The AKC's Foundation Stock Service records indicate that all of the approximately 1,900 Tolling Retrievers recorded prior to registration had the required three-generation pedigree for automatic registration status on May 1 of this year" (Trotter, Patricia V. "Better Breeding." AKC Gazette, June 2003, 17).

AKC Breeder locator for Tollers:
Bexar County Kennel Club, Inc.
Contact: Gerald Yarbrough
Phone: (210) 435-5932


Addison's in Tollers
AKC Standard for the Breed
Cold Water Tail mentioned on Toller-l
Danish Toller Club
Decoymans Kennels in the UK
Dog Breed Info: Tollers
Dog Owner's Guide: NSDTR
Dreamworker Kennels near Saarbrucken, Germany
Duck Dogs Kennels in northern Sweden
Elvenwood Kennels in Portsmouth, VA
George Fraser's Page on Tollers from Canada
HyFlyer Kennels Ontario, Canada
ILP Program - Indefinite Listing Privilege allows rescue dogs and unregistered dogs to participate in AKC events; "Once enrolled in the ILP program, entering AKC events is as easy as with a registrable dog. The only difference is that instead of an AKC registration number, you would list the dog's ILP number on the Entry form"
Keepsake Tollers - breeders Grady, Alabama
Kennel Club Books publishes a book on the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Kylador Kennels Orangeville, Ontario, CA
The "Love" of Tollers book by Douglas Coldwell; ebook version here
Micmaq Kennels in Australia
NSDTRC-USA Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever Club (USA)
NSDTRC of Canada
NSDTRC Breed Standard
Redland Kennels pictures of puppies
Rescue, Toller personal notes
Rideau Kennels Perth, Ontario, CA
Skylark Tollers great photos, breeder in Enderlin, North Dakota
Swampwater Kennels near Indianapolis
Swedish Breeder Site
Toller-L listserv for Tollers
Toller Club of Canada
Toller Clubs Around the World
Toller Health Coalition
Toller Pictures many varieties shown; great for rescue comparison
Toller Training in Switzerland
Toller Webring
Toller Zone breeders in Pleasanton, California
Tollers International
UK Standard for Tollers

Colby Glass, MLIS