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Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever - Temperament & Personality

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


The Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever has a most interesting way of luring ducks within a hunter's range. They will frolic along the water's edge, hopping in and out of the water, chasing sticks and balls that the hunters throw from their blinds. Eventually, the water fowl will become curious, and move toward the happy dog, right into the hunter's trap. These retrievers have a never-ending reserve of energy, making them a great companion for hunters and active families. They are easy going, happy dogs who love to play and are excellent around kids.

Activity Requirements

Trollers need a lot of vigorous activity to maintain health and happiness, and the biggest mistake people make with this breed is not exercising them enough. Simple walks around the block are not going to cut it for Trollers. They need time to run several hours a day, as they were bred for endurance. They had to be able to spend long hours working in the field, so their stamina is high. Those with active lifestyles will find their Troller makes an excellent jogging companion, can keep up with bike riders, and will never tire of hiking, especially if there is water nearby.

Fetching is the Troller's favorite activity and they will fetch sticks and balls for as long as you are willing to toss them. They prefer you toss the sticks and balls into a lake or pond, as they are water dogs who love to swim. If you do not properly exercise your Troller, be prepared for destruction. These dogs will chew, chew, and chew some more when they are bored and have pent up energy to burn off, and you aren't likely to approve of the items they decide to chew in your absence.


Trollers are relatively easy to train, but can be a handful for beginners. Firm leadership and patience are required for training sessions, as these rambunctious animals can test the patience of even a saint. They should not be treated with harshness and they don't respond do discipline, but they must know who is in charge, or they will assume the role themselves. Consistency is key – if you give a Troller an inch, he'll take a mile.

Once leadership has been established and basic obedience has been mastered, you can enroll your Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever in agility training. They aren't as reliable on the obstacle course as a Golden Retriever, but Trollers love the activity and the chance to use their brains.

Behavioral Traits

Trollers do not like to be left alone all day, and even if properly exercised, they can develop Separation Anxiety. They are best suited for homes where his people have flexible work schedules, or there is a stay at home parent. Like other retrievers, Trollers experience an extended puppyhood and are rambunctious and rowdy well into their adult years. Teaching your Troller to obey “down” and “stay” commands should be a priority early on, though it may be difficult to stop them from excitedly swinging their long, feathered tails and knocking things over.

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