Is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever right for me?

Is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever right for me?

Is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Right For Me?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are intelligent, outgoing, and affectionate dogs. Before you start looking where to get a cute, fluffy Toller puppy, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself first.

From my own experience with our dog Stippy, I know that Tollers like to stay busy and they are a mental and physical commitment. If you think they may be right for you, read on to discover why a smart little ginger retriever may or may not be a good match for you.

They are a wonderful breed with great personalities. They’re highly intelligent, versatile, sensitive and happy to be wherever their people are. Tollers learn amazingly fast and they remember things that are important to them. They will never cease to amaze you. When your Toller looks into your eyes, you can see their intelligence and you know they love you.

There are so many reasons why Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are an amazing breed, however, they are not for everyone. Read on to discover more about the Toller to see if it’s the right breed for you.

Is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever right for me?

12 Reasons Why a Duck Tolling Retriever Might Be The Breed For You. 

1. Tollers are great family dogs, if they get the exercise they need. They are able to go from lazy snuggling on the couch to an energized, ready-to-go retriever in seconds. They love new experiences, adventures and are easy to take on trips or traveling.
2. Tollers are generally healthy dogs. Because the Toller community is small, most breeders work with each other to breed healthy puppies. It’s very important to find a good breeder, if there is a waiting list it’s definitely worth it, who has health clearances for both your puppy’s parents. These clearances prove that the dog is tested for and proved clear of that particular disease or condition. A good breeder always has their new born puppies tested by a vet as well. If you want to know more about possible health issues Tollers are sensitive to you can click here for more detailed information.
3. The Duck Tolling Retriever is very versatile. Tollers are up for anything! Hiking, playing, running, learning new tricks or skills, camping, hunting and of course, swimming (for which they are made for). Tollers are intelligent, beautiful, lovable companions but these red whirl winds need a lot of exercise and mental challenges so if you own a Toller you need to spend time and energy to keep them occupied and satisfied. If they get enough and the right (mental) exercise they are very quiet, peaceful dogs in the house and can be very lazy and real couch potatoes.
4. Tollers are highly intelligent. They learn so very fast. Working with them and learning them new skills or fun tricks is so easy and they love to learn new things! They will never cease to amaze you and they especially remember things that are important to them. I always train and teach my Toller Stippy new things using “positive” training. I use a clicker fore clicker training and of course yummy dog treats when I train with Stippy. He remembers and learns so quickly it’s amazing.
5. They are so joyful. If you’re feeling down they will lift your spirit in seconds! Tollers are exploding with life and enthusiasm. They love playing with you. If they come to you with their toy or ball it’s hard to resist them. If you throw it away and they retrieve it and bring it back to you for another go and another you can’t feel anything but joyful and full of energy yourself.
6. They love sports, training and working for and with you. Tollers love to work with people that love to work with them. They will be your best companion in the agility ring, the field, obedience ring or going hiking, running with you. As long as they are with you doing something fun they are the happiest hey can be. Red furballs full of endless energy!
7. They are great communicators. Tollers will “tell “you what they want or what is the matter. They can communicate in different ways with us humans. They communicate with their eyes, body language, voice (the famous Toller Scream is amongst this) and with their fluffy tail.
8. They are easily motivated. Tollers are eager to please by nature. Food, toys, ridiculous high pitched sounds that humans can make when talking to – or trying to motivate a dog, anything that moves or squeaks can be used to get the Toller involved and enthusiastic. Many Duck Tolling Retrievers are eager to please and all Tollers are goal oriented.
9. That beautiful red, copper, orange, ginger furry coat. Their natural drip-dry coat is low maintenance. If they are muddy or dirty, rinse them off and they are ready to go. Brushing them once a week is enough.
10. They are born to retrieve. Tollers are born with the best of (mostly cute, pink) noses and have the instinct to find and retrieve the object they are told or taught to retrieve. Some Tollers are born with an instinct to toll naturally – They “dance” on the shore like a wild fox does and lure in waterfowl with their movement and tail. Once trained, the Toller can be a great asset to your hunting party if you’re into hunting.
11. Tollers are very photogenic. It’s such a gorgeous looking breed. From cute little teddy bear like puppy till they are grown adults. Their stunning ginger red coat, soulful almond- shaped eyes you can drown in, fluffy full tails and beautiful physique makes a Duck Toller the perfect model for your camera. I can’t stop taking pictures of my Toller Stippy, my phone memory is bursting with pics!
12. Tollers are emotionally sensitive. This can sometimes be a bit difficult especially when you train them because you have to be careful with how much pressure you apply when training or raising them but I personally find it a very positive aspect most of the time. Because they are so sensitive, they really connect with you. Look you deep in your eyes, feel if you’re happy or feeling sad. They can be a great comfort to you if you’re feeling unwell or sad. It’s really a beautiful thing to experience. They are so loyal and sweet.
Nova Scotia Ducvk Tolling Retriever puppy looking at you

What more should I know about the Toller before I get a puppy?

So these were all positive reasons why a Toller is so amazing and can be a match for you however, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever might not be for everyone. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Tollers shed and can be messy. Tollers blow their coat seasonally, and they are dogs who like to swim and many will get dirty. If you aren’t a fan of doghair, sand and dirty pawprints a Toller is not the dog for you.


  • They are not everyone’s best friend. Most Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers will approach strangers carefully or with reserve. They generally save their true enthusiasm and love for their family and special people with whom they have a special connection. Our Toller Stippy also approaches most strangers with caution and first observes or ignores them before letting them pet or touch him. There is nothing wrong with that of course, however if you like to own a dog who likes everyone than a Toller is generally not that kind of dog.


  • Because Tollers need so much exercise and (mental) challenge which is mainly a positive thing, they aren’t a match made in heaven for people who don’t have the time for that or aren’t that active. Nothing wrong with that of course but if you’re not a very active person and don’t want to change that way of life, a Toller is not the dog for you.


  • Just like all dogs, no matter which breed, a Toller needs to know the rules in your household and needs consistency. I don’t think this is a “negative” thing about this breed or any breed for that matter but it’s very important you raise them consistently, kind but firm. They are so very smart and if you’re not clear about the rules a Toller will end up ruling you instead of the other way around. Again, being consistent, having clear rules and order in your household goes for all dog breeds, also for a Toller.
How much exercise does a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever need

How Much Exercise Does a Toller Need?

A tired Toller is a good Toller. A Duck Toller needs at least one hour of good exercise per day apart from the shorter walks to do a pee and a poo. If you can’t exercise your Toller at least one hour on a daily basis than they need to be taken for a longer hike, run, swim, or training at least 3 of 4 times per week so their energy can be released. Play fetch with him, explore the great outdoors together, take him running with you, the Toller loves to do fun things together with his family.

If you’re the type of person who is very active, loves to be outdoors (yes, even when it’s raining) and loves hiking, running, playing with your dog on a daily basis, then a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is definitely the right dog for you.

How much exercise does a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever need

Do I Need a Garden to Own a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever?

The ideal situation for a Toller Retriever (and for any other dog breed) is a home with a securely fenced yard where your Toller can play and isn’t able to wander off alone. As an owner you still need to devote plenty of time every day to exercising, training and playing with your Toller outside of the garden. The Toller can, however, live happily in a city apartment as long as he or she gets a couple of daily walks and enough exercise.

Can I afford to keep a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever?

Besides the costs of a Toller puppy from a good breeder, there are other considerable costs involved which you need to be aware of.

You need to be prepared to pay for at least the following:

  • Licensing and an ID tag / Microchip
  • Annual vaccination shots
  • Spading / Neutering costs
  • Grooming products
  • Dog Grooming Salon costs
  • Good quality food
  • Toys and chews
  • Training courses
  • Collars and Leashes
  • A Dog Bed and / or crate
  • Dog Holiday Kennel or Dog Walker costs
  • Pet insurance – Though not essential, highly recommended

So, Should You get a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever?

Before making this very important decision to have a sweet, fluffy Toller puppy in your life I recommend to really do your homework on the breed and look at all the pro’s and cons a Toller brings with him or her. You owe it to yourself and to your potential future puppy, it’s a big decision.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever breed is an amazing breed with lots to offer. I hope this article has helped you to get to know the Toller, the good and some of the less desirable things a Toller can bring with him or her. It’s also important to keep in mind and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have the time, patience and energy to raise a puppy, train, play and take good care of your Toller every day?
  • Are you, and your family, able and willing to take care of a dog for the next 10 to 14 years?
  • Can you deal with the hair shedding, dirty paws, wet coat and muddy mess they sometimes make?
  • Will you be able to pay for all your dogs needs, medical bills, trainer(s), good quality food etc. your dog needs to live a happy, comfortable life?
  • Do you have the space in your home, garden or if you don’t have a garden do you have parks, outdoor area’s where you can walk and exercise your dog?


If your answers to above questions are yes than YES! A Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever might be the right breed for you!

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