How to Choose a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Puppy?

How to choose a nova scotia duck tolling retriever puppy

How to choose a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Puppy?

Bringing a puppy in your home is a very big step and not one to take lightly. A puppy can be such an enrichment to your life, however, besides the costs of a puppy, there are many other things to consider and be aware of before you buy or take home a cute, little fluffy puppy.

Thinking of Buying a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Puppy?

Always do your research. Ask yourself, is this the right breed for me? When my husband and I decided we wanted a dog in our life we first determined what type of dog matches us and our lifestyle so first ask yourself what do you want from a dog? Do you want an active dog that is full of energy, can play with the kids, take him or her running with you, to train & work with or do you prefer a more laid-back dog to cuddle & snuggle with and doesn’t need much exercise? I did a lot of research before we decided that a Toller was our dog. Besides the fact we fell in love with the look of the Toller breed we also love the breed’s character. After the choice for a Toller was made I searched for a good breeder.

How to choose a nova scotia duck tolling retriever puppy research

How do I find the best Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Breeder?

When we decided on a Toller puppy I started doing more research on the internet about breeders. I recommend getting your puppy from a good, responsible breeder who loves the breed and is committed to maintain and protect the health and integrity of the breed. If you’re considering buying a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Puppy via internet be very careful. On the internet you can find many Toller puppies for sale for a very attractive price, cheaper than breeder puppies, but don’t let the price fool you!

Whatever they say, in their “attractive” ads, you have no idea if the parents of these puppies have been tested for hereditary diseases and if the puppies are healthy. So what is the definition of a good breeder? Here are a few guidelines of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club:

  • Passion – A good, reliable breeder is passionate about Tollers and committed to maintaining the health and integrity of the breed. They are knowledgeable about the history and health of the breed. They are members of the NSDTRC (USA), AKC and / or Canadian Kennel Club and / or United Kennel Club. They participate in dog events and / or hunt with their dog.
  • Honesty – The breeder accurately represents what they do or do not know about the health and genetics of both the puppy and the parents. They are willing to let you into their home and / or kennel to meet their dogs, including the mother of the litter.
  • Communication – The breeder is comfortable answering all of your questions. They are responsive to your inquiries and open to meeting you.
  • Contact – The breeder provides you with a contract that guarantees the health of the puppy and they are willing to take the puppy back is something appears to be wrong.


When you pick up your puppy the Breeder should give you the following:

  • Copy of the contract
  • Health guarantee
  • The puppy’s pedigree
  • AKC Registration Application


Source: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club USA


Most good breeders have waiting lists. Our breeder where our Toller came from did. It’s so tempting to want to buy a puppy from the internet because they are available now and you don’t have to wait but don’t let that influence you. It’s better to wait a little while longer for a healthy, strong puppy born and raised with love and care. Waiting a little longer also has its upsides. Looking forward to something great that’s going to happen gives the best feeling! Also, you’ll have time to prepare everything for your puppy, read all about raising him or her, buy the cute stuff you’ll need for your furbaby, pick out a name for your pup and count the days he or she will finally come home!

How to choose a nova scotia duck tolling retriever puppy breeder

How to pick a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Puppy – How Do I Choose The Right Puppy From a Litter?

Each breeder has a different approach to choosing or matching a puppy to an owner or the other way around. If you choose your puppy yourself it’s important to consider the following:


Look at how the puppies are handled at the breeder – Ideally, they are raised inside the home with the family so they are used to everyday life and the people and sounds that come with it. They also have to be in a clean environment, smell nice and look healthy and bright. The mother dog should be present and preferably the father too.

The parents should be friendly and relaxed and the puppies should have plenty of human contacts. Some breeders even begin with potty training, getting used to riding in the car, etc. before the puppies are old enough to go home with you. The puppies need to be healthy and checked by the breeder’s vet before they go to their new forever homes.


Male or Female? – This is a matter of personal taste. Some people say females have a sweeter temperament and males are more “headstrong” than females but most of these comments contradict each other. A female will come into season twice a year from the age of 6 – 12 months which can be inconvenient so if you don’t want that you can have a spayed but this is a major operation so also consider that.

Males can show more dominant behavior especially in their early years however you can have them neutered which in many cases makes them less dominant but it’s not a guarantee. Most people simply prefer a male or a female but if you are not sure that’s ok. Tell your breeder. You’ll have more puppies to choose from!


Ask the breeder questions about the puppies – A good breeder will know at least a little bit about the character of each puppy, will answer any question you have, is open and honest. The breeder should know which puppy is a bit adventurous, the shy, naughty, active, ringleader, etc. As little as they are, they each show their character a little bit in these early weeks.

Also, ask the breeder about the health of the pup. They need to have a clean bill of health before you take him or her home. If you have doubts about the breeder or the health of the puppies ask for time to think about it and don’t be pressured by the breeder. Because your dog will be with you the next 10 to 14 years (hopefully longer) your choice is very important, mostly when it comes to pup’s health.

How to choose a nova scotia duck tolling retriever puppy litter

When the Breeder Selects the Puppy for You

In our case the breeder where our Toller Stippy comes from matched the puppies to the new owners herself. She first met with all of the possible future owners and wanted to know about our family situation and of course, we could tell her our wishes for a puppy and also what kind of lifestyle the dog would have if the dog would become a therapy dog, etc. When the litter was born she called us to tell that we were selected for a puppy. We were over the moon!

We were allowed to visit the litter 2 times together with the other future owners and she matched us with our Toller Stippy. He was the most naughty little rascal of the litter and was matched with us because my husband and I have no children and could provide him with a stable, home situation without any external stimuli. Other, more quiet puppies from his litter were placed in homes with children and more busy environments because they were a little more relaxed by nature. It was a match made in heaven!

Our Toller Stippy has become the sweetest, laid back, happy dog! Of course, he loves to play and work with me and he can get excited in a heartbeat as any Toller will, but he is so gentle and relaxed. Choosing your puppy yourself also has benefits of course but I prefer the breeder choosing for me also due to the experience my parents had when I was a kid.

We had a Labrador Retriever when I was young and I remember visiting the litter and we were allowed to choose a puppy ourselves. My Dad fell in love with the first puppy than ran up to him. That puppy was very excited and active whilst my Mom felt a connection with a very quiet puppy sitting alone in a corner watching us and all her brothers and sisters jumping in front of us. So what do you do?

We ended up taking the little devil home and a little devil it was! My Mom did all the raising and in the first year of his life, she sometimes had a difficult time she later told me. Although she loved him to bits and he was really sweet, she sometimes thought of that little quiet puppy looking at us in the corner. Of course, this is personal and some people prefer to choose themselves and some prefer the breeder makes the choice. There is no right or wrong in this case.

Gear You’ll Need before your Puppy arrives

14 Puppy Gear Suggestions

What does a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Cost?

If you want to adopt a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever the costs are much lower than buying a puppy from a breeder. The cost of adopting a Toller is around $300 to cover all expenses. These expenses can be the costs made when caring for the dog before adoption and/ or costs for spading or neutering if that needed to be done.

When you want to buy a puppy from a good, reliable breeder the cost can be anywhere between $1500 to $2500. I know it’s a lot of money but you can be sure that if you have found a good, committed breeder you’ll get a healthy, happy puppy which you can enjoy without health issues for many years to come.

Our breeder also has a reunion every year. All the Tollers from every litter the breeder has had come together and we have a great hike together where the dogs can play, run and have fun. The humans can talk about their dogs, admire all the Tollers (of course everyone thinks theirs is the cutest) and have a cup of coffee afterward.

It’s always so much fun to see Stippy’s (that’s the name of our Toller) parents, brothers and sisters! How they are alike! You can imagine the look on other people’s faces when about 40 red tornados are running through that park!

How to choose a nova scotia duck tolling retriever puppy breeder reunion

When can I bring my puppy home?

So you have found a good, reliable breeder and you choose your puppy or the breeder has chosen a puppy for you Kennel Clubs recommend that your puppy can go home with you when he or she is 8 weeks old.

A lot of od research has been done over the past years on a dog’s mental and physical development during all the stages and phases of their lives. If a young puppy is separated from its mother to soon the following behavioral problems can occur later in life:

  • Fearfulness
  • Destructiveness 
  • Reactivity to noises
  • Excessive Barking
  • Food and Toy possessiveness
  • Attention – seeking


For breeders, puppies are a hand full and hard work especially from the age of 6 to 8 weeks when they have become messy, wanting to run around everywhere and noisy. A breeder which is committed to the pups in this difficult phase is a responsible breeder who cares about the puppies and means you have selected the right breeder.

Any breeder who wants to get rid of the puppies as soon as possible and sooner than 8 weeks is just breeding for profit and I recommend staying away from that type of breeder.

Our top 10 Recommended Grooming Items RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

How to choose a nova scotia duck tolling retriever puppy cute

Is My Puppy too Old to Bring Home When 10 Weeks or Older?

Sometimes a breeder is left with a few puppies and you are offered an older puppy that is 10 weeks or even 12 weeks or older. With a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever this is less likely because most breeders have waiting lists but what if it does happen?

If the breeder is a good, responsible breeder who loves his dogs and puppies there shouldn’t be any problems with taking an older puppy home. If there is an issue it will be the lack of socialization your pup missed out on after he or she was 8 weeks old.

After 8 weeks a puppy should be socialized and get used to all kinds of different people, surroundings, situations, sounds, smells, and experiences. If he or she has missed out on that it will take some extra hard work from you as a dog mom or dog dad to socialize your pup.

Check with the breeder what he or she has done to socialize the puppy so you’ll know how much catching up there is to do in terms of socialization. Don’t worry, you’ll get there!

See below, also interesting to read RetrieverPlanet Vivicon 1

Recipe Bowls Meet Ollie
Nova Scotia Ducvk Tolling Retriever

About us

Hi, welcome to my blog about the amazing breed Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever!

My name is Eline van Stiphout and I live in The Netherlands. Together with my husband Arthur and our sweet Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Stippy, the three of us love to travel and go on outdoor adventures. 

Currently, I’m a professional, fully licensed dog walker since 2017. I gave up my stressful fulltime office job to follow my dream which is working and walking with dogs.


Latest posts

Our top 10 Recommended Grooming Items

Protect your car seats

4Knines Dog Seat Cover with Hammock for Cars, Trucks, and SUVs – Heavy Duty, Non-Slip, Waterproof