Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health


Race Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever or Spanish Retriever Nova Scotia, is the least known and the most unique of the retrievers. Due to its characteristics, appearance, size and presence, it is completely different from the other five. Thanks to its character sensitive and playful, in recent years it has grown in popularity. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the Nova Scotia collector.


Characteristics of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever breed

Medium to large in size, it is a powerful, compact, muscular and well balanced dog. It has great agility and determination, and is always alert. It is a very intelligent dog, easy to train and with great resistance. It is enthusiastic about work, and is playful, sensitive, and somewhat reserved.

At times, It may appear mildly sad, but when It works or does something that It enjoys, its appearance changes completely and It is especially focused and very enthusiastic.

He adapts to living anywhere, as long as It has its human family with them and has the possibility to exercise on a daily basis.

Originally from Canada, it stands out for its main work in hunting, where it is not limited to being a mere collector, but also moves among the reed beds on the banks of rivers and lakes attracting the attention of ducks to put them within the hunter’s shot .

The breed was practically disappeared, but between the end of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century it has experienced an increase in its popularity and breeding.

It is more widespread in North America, but on the European continent it is still considered a fairly rare breed. Let’s take a closer look at their physical appearance and what their character is like :


Nova Scotia Retriever breed character

It is a very affectionate dog and dedicated to its family, as well as very receptive to training, so it can carry out a multitude of tasks. Also, thanks to its nature and its physical characteristics, it is an ideal dog for children and the elderly .

It combines the good temperament of other retriever breeds with less physical power, making it more manageable and less susceptible to inadvertent harm.

But, on the other hand, it is a very active breed with a more agitated temperament than other retrievers, so its exercise needs are also greater. These must be inescapably satisfied if you want to have a healthy and balanced dog.

On the contrary, it is also more suspicious of strangers than the golden or the labrador retriever, which forces to intensify social work at an early age.

  • Energy: high level. Very active, needs to run and loves to swim.
  • Temperament: it is a pet with a very intelligent behaviour , it has a great facility for learning and responds very well to training. It is a strong, skilful and strong swimmer, as well as a tenacious, enthusiastic and playful collector. It is always ready to take action as soon as It receives the slightest hint from its master.
  • Adaptability: high.
  • Sociability: high. It is very sociable, patient and not very barking.
  • Health: good. You may have a genetic condition.
  • Longevity: high. Live between 12 and 15 years.
  • Utility: very versatile. Above all hunting and also company. It is a very good utility dog: therapy, drug and explosives detection, or search for victims in catastrophes.
  • Use: auxiliary dog ​​and hunting retriever.

Nova Scotia loves to work, does it intensely and tirelessly and enjoys everything that its master demands of them.

The deceptive expression on its face, which may appear sad or lazy, automatically transforms when it starts working, as It then becomes the happiest of animals. As it is a fairly new and not very widespread breed, it retains its racial characteristics intact: its ability to collect and its innate talent to attract the attention of ducks, or anyone who observes it, with its fast, graceful and changeable movements. , carrying the tail very high.

Thus, it is advisable for young specimens to receive a good training to curb their enthusiasm a little and to always remain under the control of their guide.

Obviously, hunting is an activity that is not available to everyone, nor is it to the taste of all owners of a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, so it can be dedicated to other tasks.

But even in this case, its hunting and collecting skills can also be used in other activities, especially in the practice of flyball , games with Frisbee and agility exercises , a sport in which It is the best of retrievers.

A fun and cheap way of working with young individuals, which also lends itself to the collaboration of children, whom the dog adores, is to have the little ones throw different objects at them so that It can retrieve them, and how It is a collector Unrepentant, the dog will be delighted with such games.

In addition to children, this dog is an extraordinary companion animal that gets along perfectly with other dogs and even with individuals of different species . It is attentive, kind, funny and very patient, so It can handle children’s games well.

However, we must be aware of the rights and needs of any animal and educate with the same intensity and responsibility that is done with it to the little ones in the house so that they too learn to know and respect their dog and thus establish between the one and the other a much more intense and lasting relationship.

The Nova Scotia is a silent breed that only barks when it warns of a danger or considers it really necessary to communicate something to its family, which also makes it an ideal animal to live in urban areas, apartments or with close neighbors that it never usually bother.

But, despite its great adaptability and being able to live anywhere as long as it has permanent contact with its family, we must not forget that it is a very active dog and, therefore, its exercise needs are very high. probably the largest among retrievers.


Physical characteristics of the Nova Scotia Retriever

  • General Appearance: Powerful, compact, well balanced and muscular, possessing great agility and determination, and always alert. Its expression of slight sadness changes to that of great concentration and enthusiasm when working.
  • Size: medium / large.
  • Height at the withers: between 46 and 53 cm for males and between 43 and 50 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 20 and 23 kg for males and between 17 and 20 kg for females.
  • Origin: Canada.
  • Body: the body length of the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever is longer than the height at the withers, so its body structure is rectangular. It is a robust and corpulent dog, with strong bones and good muscles. However, its figure does not denote heaviness but rather agility. It is very active and enthusiastic about work.
  • Head: powerful and slightly wedge-shaped, it has a broad, slightly rounded skull and a moderate stop.
  • Muzzle: short, ending in a nose with wide windows, tapering from the stop to the nose.
  • Skull: slightly domed, broad, with flat cheeks.
  • Nose: it is black, or it harmonizes with the coat, and the nostrils are wide open.
  • Eyes: wide apart, almond-shaped and of medium size. Its color ranges from amber to brown, and the expression is friendly, alert and intelligent.
  • Ears: triangular, with a rounded tip and of medium size, they are set high and well back on the skull. The base is slightly upright, but then they bend and fall. They have soft fringes at the back of the fold of the ear, while the hair is short on the rounded tip.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): it is moderate.
  • Jaws: they are strong, to be able to grasp large birds, but with a delicate scissor bite. The denture is complete. The lips are quite tight and form a gentle curve when viewed in profile.
  • Neck: of medium width, it is muscular, well set and does not present a dewlap.
  • Chest: it is deep, descends to the elbows and has well-fitted and arched ribs.
  • Back: short and straight, it has a strong and muscular back.
  • Forelimbs: straight, parallel and with strong bones. The shoulders are very muscular, the shoulder blade is well attached and tilted back. The forearms and arms are strong and slightly sloping.
  • Hind limbs: muscular and broad. The legs are strong and muscular. The knees are well angled and the hocks are low, they do not deviate inwards or outwards.
  • Feet: they are of medium size, rounded and with the toes close together and arched. The skin between the toes is well developed and the pads are thick
  • Tail: thick at the base, it has abundant and exuberant fringe of hairs. The last vertebra reaches at least to the hock and follows the natural inclination of the rump. When the dog is on alert, It raises it and the curve, if not, it usually takes it low.
  • Skin: smooth and close to the body.
  • Hair: double-coated, highly resistant to water, moderately long and fairly soft in texture. The undercoat is denser and smoother. On the back the coat may be slightly wavy, but on the rest of the body it is smooth. It has fringes of soft fur on the throat, behind the ears and on the thighs. Where the fringes are most developed is behind the front legs.
  • Color: the specimens of this breed can adopt various shades of red or orange, but the fringes and the lower part of the tail are usually lighter. They often have white markings on the tip of the tail, feet, chest, or forehead.
  • Movement: it is powerful, elastic and energetic. The front legs have good reach and the back legs provide great momentum. At higher speeds, the feet tend to come closer when landing on the ground, forming a single footprint. The top line remains uniform during the feed.
  • Classification: FCI No. 312. FCI CLASSIFICATION. GROUP 8 Retriever hunting dogs, lifting hunting dogs and water dogs. Section 1 Hunting retriever dogs.
  • Other names: Retriever de la Nouvelle-Écosse, Nova Scotia retriever.

Nova Scotia Retriever Pup

The first recommendation for anyone who wants to acquire a copy of this breed is that, before making this important decision, try to obtain as much information as possible about the needs of your dog.

You have to assess whether you will have the time necessary to train the puppy, whether you will be able to combine your schedules with your pet’s meal, grooming and walking routines. And, if It will be able to dedicate all the time and attention that the animal requires.

And it is that raising a Nova Scotia puppy may imply having to give up other activities that were carried out previously. Since the care of the dog becomes a priority and so it must be assumed.

Also, as with young children, it may be necessary to adopt certain security measures at home, with the consequent changes that this entails, which may be minimal or of some consideration.

Another thing that should be taken into account when choosing to bring a puppy at home is the extra expense that it will entail throughout its life.

These expenses range from the basic maintenance of the animal: food, grooming, routine visits to the vet, etc., to other extraordinary and unforeseen events that you have to be willing to cover.

If you are not willing to dedicate quality time every day to the new puppy and make the personal sacrifices mentioned, it is better not to start an adventure that can become a failure and the consequent emotional exhaustion, especially if it is a house with children that they become fond of a dog that they will later have to part with.

However, if none of these conditions hinder the will of the potential owner, then the time has come to seek a responsible breeder with time and patience. This connoisseur of the breed to provide you with a good puppy and guide you in the first steps that you have to take once the animal is home.

If you do not know trusted breeders, you can always turn to dog societies and breed clubs for accurate information.


Nova Scotia retriever education and training

It is an excellent swimmer, like the other members of the family. It loves taking long walks every day, and even going for a run. It only takes a few sessions to learn to walk with its owner, restraining its enthusiasm and without pulling.

Of course, it is imperative to be able to go somewhere safe to drop it so that it can run free. And, recover the objects that are thrown at him.

In this sense, and as with any active and working breed, the best way to get the most out of the dog and, incidentally, make it much happier, is to enroll it in an organized activity. It is highly recommended that owners look for suitable people or associations to work in their area.

Despite not being very widespread, this dog can work perfectly as a therapy dog, in drug and explosives detection tasks, and also as a rescue dog in disaster situations.


Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever feeding

The Nova Scotia duck tollíng retriever is a very active dog, so its food needs are demanding. It is not that It eats a large amount of food, as It does so according to its size, but It does need to follow a high energy diet, which allows them to keep its muscles in good condition.

Also with a good supply of high quality fats that guarantee the health of your skin and hair, the main protectors against the elements.


Nova Scotia Retriever health and diseases

In general, it is a healthy dog ​​with a longevity that is above the average, although it is true that its recent popularity and the limited variety of its genetic heritage has caused some conditions to have become more general than necessary.

Visits to the vet should be made as a matter of course to complete vaccination programs (it is especially important to keep it protected against rabies, especially if it is a dog that is dedicated to hunting, since it can be found from time to time with some vermin that bites it) and of de-parasitization, both externally and internally, as in this way the immune system is kept active and receptivity to the effects of vaccines is increased.

Other points that should be controlled in visits to the veterinarian are eyes, ears, mouth and weight, as it is convenient to avoid fattening more than necessary.


Specific care of the Nova Scotia Collector

Regarding the care and aesthetic arrangement, it does not need any, so its maintenance is simple. One intense brushing a week is enough. It should be more frequent in shedding periods, since having a very dense undercoat, shedding is abundant.

Thus, the best way to avoid having a house full of hair is to brush it daily to speed up the process and remove the hair in a controlled way.

Brushing should include specific work on the undercoat. Using a rake or a king coat type tool , and the covering mantle is brushed using a card or a long metal bristle brush.

On the other hand, the bathroom is left for when it is strictly necessary. You should use a shampoo that does not alter the natural texture of the hair, taking extreme care when rinsing the soap to avoid leaving any residue.


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