Origin and Purpose The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was developed in Nova Scotia in the early 19th century to toll (or lure) and retrieve waterfowl. The tolling dog runs, jumps, and plays along the shoreline in full view of a flock of ducks, occasionally disappearing from sight and then quickly reappearing, aided by the hidden hunter, who throws small sticks or a ball for the dog. The dog’s playful actions lure the curious ducks within gunshot range. The dog is then sent to retrieve the downed bird.
General Appearance The Toller is a medium-sized, powerful, compact, balanced, wellmuscled dog; medium to heavy in bone, with a high degree of agility, alertness, and determination. Many Tollers have a slightly sad expression until they go to work, when their aspect changes to intense concentration and excitement. At work, the dog has a speeding, rushing action, with the head carried out almost level with the back and heavily-feathered tail in constant motion.
Temperament The Toller is highly intelligent, easy to train, and has great endurance. A strong and able swimmer, he is a natural and tenacious retriever on land and from water, setting himself for springy action the moment the slightest indication is given that retrieving is required. His strong retrieving desire and playfulness are qualities essential to his tolling ability. Loving and playful to his family, he can be reserved with strangers without being aggressive or overly shy. Aggression is not to be tolerated.
*This description of the breed is taken off of the CKC breed standard. if you wish to read more following this link https://www.ckc.ca/CanadianKennelClub/media/Breed-Standards/Group%201/Retriever-Nova-Scotia-Duck-Tolling.pdf
The NSDT retriever is a medium to small size breed with lots of energy, but can come with an off switch. The toller breed is highly intelligent and easy to train. They live to please it's owner. It is a loyal breed and will stick with it's pack unless trained otherwise. The breed can be aloof with strangers, but for the most part friendly with socializing. They love to hike, walk, run, swim and play. Really what ever you are doing they want to do it too. If you like the outdoors, go on regular walks in your neighborhood, being evolved with your new family member and having a friend who will always listening to your troubles with open ears then a toller sounds like a good fit for you.
Before you think of getting a toller I want you to try something. Get a blender, plug it in, put some metal bolts in it and turn it on high. The sound your listening to is what a toller can sound like when overly stimulated, in fear or anxiety. Sounds pretty bad doesn't it?
If you're looking for a puppy that you can leave for hours on end to entertain itself with no training. You're mistaken in getting this breed, because they can be high energy and very intelligent problem solvers they will find things to do while you're away and it will not be what you want them to do.
If you want a puppy that can get along with everyone and everything with out a problem with no socializing and training this breed is not for you. In early stages of a puppies life it needs a stable environment with care, proper training and socializing. Without these fundamental things any puppy will have a very hard time in your home.