Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

  • Overview

    The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a natural toller and a skilled retriever, but what exactly does that mean? It means that these dogs have been bred to hunt with their owners, helping entice birds by frolicking and romping at the water's edge. After they've attracted birds to have some good-natured fun with them, they run back to find their owners, who are hidden out of sight. Once their owners shoot at the startled birds, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever returns to the shore to retrieve the fallen birds his owner has shot. These small retrievers weigh between 37 to 50 pounds and stand up to 20 inches tall.

    Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are attentive, happy family dogs who are enthusiastic, animated retrievers. In an active family who gives them plenty of opportunities to run, retrieve and play, these dogs can live up to their potential as cheerful, friendly companions.

  • Personality

    Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are not to be confused with small Golden Retrievers. They have different temperaments and distinctive looks. They are upbeat and easy-going, but they are also bold and outgoing. They love to explore and chase, and they tend to be more inquisitive and curiously busy than other retrievers. These adaptable, friendly dogs love to greet friends with enthusiasm and they play energetically with children. Tollers need plenty of exercise in order to refrain from inventing entertaining mischief for themselves. They tend to sulk and often appear to be frowning until they are engaged in a task or activity. Performing for their owners comes naturally to them, but they do need to be trained to be polite and calm indoors. They take pride in learning, especially with positive reinforcement.

    One of the unique features of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is his characteristic yelp. Their piercing bark sounds almost like a scream, and they will bark to announce trouble or visitors or to proudly announce a successful hunt. Therefore, they aren't well-suited to apartment living because they can cause disturbances.

  • Coat Care

    The Toller's distinctive coat comes in beautiful shades of red, from tannish to deep orange. Most of them have some white markings on their feet, tail or chest. The long tail is feathered and slightly lighter in color along the feathering. Their water-resistant coat and webbed feet make them effective swimmers.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
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Tollers shed throughout the year. Their undercoat needs brushing with a large bristle brush to remove tangles and stay shiny.

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The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever's weather-resistant coat does not need to be bathed because bathing strips it of its natural protective oils.

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Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with combination coats generally require routine trimming. It lessens the chances of matting, tangles and the infestation of fleas and other pests, thus reducing the risk of skin infections. There is no set timetable. Judgment should be made on an individual basis, depending on functionality and owner preference. There are a wide array of trimmers available that will make each snip a snap. It’s a good idea to take your dog for a short walk to calm him down before you groom him. Thoroughly brush the coat to remove tangles and mats. Use trimmers to trim excess fur off the dog's body, choosing the appropriate clip attachment to achieve desired length. Start with the shoulders and progress towards the tail. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. Groom the head and face last, being watchful for sudden movement. Trim with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever's ears should be inspected and cleaned periodically to avoid infection.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.