An amazing personality and remarkable spirit are dominant traits in the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Intelligent, obedient, and good-natured, this hardy little dog is easy to train and a pleasure to have as a companion. With an innate eagerness to please, a Toller will quickly and happily master any feats that he is capable of performing once he has grasped the concept of what is expected of him. A Renaissance dog among retrievers, he is as versatile as he is quick witted.
This razor-sharp intelligence is evidenced in the number of Tollers earning Companion Dog (CD) and Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) titles at an early age and by their success in mastering sports such as flyball, tracking, and scent hurdling. Frequently compared to the Border Collie, a canine reputed to have the problem-solving ability of a twelve-year-old child, the Toller is as swift to master any new situation or circumstance that might suddenly confront him.
This ability to cope makes the Toller an excellent traveling companion. Not only does he take up less space in a vehicle, he readily adapts to hotels, motels, camps, cottages, and even tents. City, village, forest, or marsh – as long as a Toller is with the master to whom he has wholeheartedly devoted himself, this compact little dog is always at home.
…When strangers come into the vicinity, a Toller immediately lets his master know with a few of his famous foxlike barks and yelps. But while they are good watchdogs, they most definitely are not guard dogs. A Toller is too good-natured and too people-loving to take on such a violent task.
This good-natured aspect of the Toller personality renders them desirable companions for children. Tollers frequently visit schools, providing some children with their important first contact with animals. The laid-back, fun-loving nature of Tollers ensure that these visits will always be reassuring, pleasant experiences.
One reason why these dogs get on so well with children is because of their fun-loving nature. A Toller lives by a simple credo: I love everybody and everything; therefore, everybody and everything must love me.
The hardy little Toller lives much of his life in joyful leaps and bounds; indeed, it is his uniquely animated movements that make him a Toller and not just another retriever. He is so intense in his activities that he becomes oblivious to other things – even pain. High-powered and happy, a Toller can hit the waters of lakes and streams either in August’s clammy heat or November’s icy chill with equal zest.
The tough yet tender Toller, however, seems innately sensitive to when he must curb his exuberant nature in deference to the needs of those around him. As a result, many Tollers have proven to be excellent visitors to senior citizen homes and hospitals. With the very young and elderly, the Toller behaves with the gentleness and attention that the situation demands.
Excerpted from The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever by Alison Strang and Gail MacMillan.