Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a mouthful of a name for a dog breed with a very specialized purpose. The Toller, as their friends call them, was bred to lure (toll) ducks and geese out into the range of the hunters and to then, you guessed it, retrieve the birds from the water. I swear I am not making this up about the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever's history - these dogs would play and jump around on the shore and lure the curious ducks closer and boom! hunters got them.
The term Tolling is from the old Middle English Tollen or Tyllan which means to entice or pull. For example: "The tolling of the bells alerted the Hobbits to the presence of dragons."
Canadian hunters in the Little River area of Nova Scotia developed the breed from small red retrievers brought over from England. Originally called the Little River Duck Dog, the Canadian Kennel Club renamed them their present name in the 1950s when they were accepted for CKC status. For whatever reason, Canadian Hunters have a penchant for naming their dog breeds after the area they hunt in. Like the Labrador Retriever or the Chesapeake Retriever.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever's temperament is that of high-energy, when-the-heck-do-they-ever-slow-down breeds that need to be in a household that is ready to enjoy all of that energy. Think Border Collie energy level in a small Golden Retriever body with Ginger hair and you've got the Toller. They need exercise and plenty of it...you have been warned.
While they may look like a mini-me Golden Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are not like them in temperament. There is not the same eager to please attitude, like the Golden has and the Toller loves to get his own way. Hmmm, maybe I was a Roller in a past life...I do LOVE the hair color.
There are not very many of these little retrievers registered every year with the AKC, so be careful you are buying from a reputable breeder if you are seriously considering a Roller. Visit the National Breed Club - the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club for more info.