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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Breed Profile:
Origin: Canada (Nova Scotia)
Physical characteristicsThe Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a medium size dog with a powerful built. This is the smallest Retriever breed. The body is slightly longer than tall. The head is slightly wedge-shaped, in good proportion to the body, with a tapering muzzle. The stop is moderate. The eyes are set well apart, slightly oblique and almond in shape. Their colour fits the coat colour, or may be a bit darker. The eye rims are self-coloured or black. The triangular ears are pendent, with rounded tips. They frame the face nicely and carried slightly erect at the base. The ear should be long enough to reach approximately the inner corner of the eye. The nose is wide, with well-opened nostrils. Its should be either self-coloured (the same colour as the coat) or black. The colour of the eye rims, the nose and the lips should match. The teeth should meet in a tight scissor bite. The tail is carried below the topline unless the dog is alert or excited. The gait is powerful and springy.
Scotties weigh 37 to 51 pounds. The height is 17 to 21 inches. Females tend to be smaller.
TemperamentTollers are very intelligent, alert and determined. They are agile, quick, and ready for action. Their desire to work is very strong. To stay happy, these dogs need vigorous daily exercise. If you don't have time to keep this dog both physically and mentally busy every day, don't get a Toller. A bored dog can find destructive and pesky ways to entertain itself. The owner should be firm, confident, and calm because these dogs will take over at the slightest opportunity. Household rules and discipline must be consistently enforced; all family members should follow them when they communicate with the dog. Well-balanced Tollers are gentle and affectionate with their families, and patient with children. With strangers, Tollers tend to be more reserved than many other Retrievers. Many Tollers live happily with other animals, including cats, but they do have a strong prey drive and this should not be neglected. Proper socialization at an early age and obedience training are highly important. This breed loves water and swimming.
Coat and groomingThe double water-repellent coat is medium length. The hair is generally straight, although some waviness can be present on the back. Winter coats may form a long loose curl at the throat. Feathering is soft and moderate length. The hair on the face is short and fine. Once a week brushing is necessary to prevent matting. Shedding is seasonal. The Toller comes in various shades of red: from a golden red through dark coppery red. The coat usually has at least one of the following white markings: on the tip of the tail, on the feet (not extending above the pasterns), chest, or blaze on the forehead.
HealthBasically healthy, although some instances of thyroid problems, autoimmune problems, and progressive retinal atrophy have been seen. Some late-onset deafness (at about 7-8 years) is surfacing in a few lines. The lifespan is 12 to 14 years.
Other interesting factsThe Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever was originated in Canada. It's said that Tolling Red Decoy Dogs accompanied their masters from Great Britain to Nova Scotia. They were later crossed with retrievers and working spaniels. The breed was developed to toll (lure) ducks in the manner of the fox. The clever manner in which foxes work together to obtain a duck dinner has been observed over the centuries. The Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever is the creation of skilful Canadian hunters.
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