Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Breed and Grooming Tips

Medium sized, powerful and compact, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is the smallest of the retrievers. He developed in the early 19th century to toll, lure, and retrieve waterfowl. The playful action of the Toller retrieving a stick or ball along the shoreline arouses the curiosity of the ducks offshore. This lures them within gunshot range, and then the dog is sent out to retrieve the dead or wounded birds. Their water-repellant double coat is any shade of red, often with white markings.

Source: American Kennel Club


The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has a weather proof outer guard coat with a lot of undercoat to help keep them warm with two distinct shedding cycles; spring and fall. We recommend Simple Shed Shampoo, which has oat proteins to help loosen the undercoat. Follow that up with Simple Shed Treatment. After the Simple Shed Treatment is worked into the fur, use an undercoat rake and brush through the coat while the Simple Shed Treatment is still present. This will pull out the undercoat and help prevent drain clogs when bathing in a tub. If you are bathing your dog outside, it will release the coat and dramatically cut down on brush out time.

If you notice that the undercoat is matted on the hind end of the dog, then work in some Aloe Silk Hair Restore or spray with Quick Finish Styling Spray. This routine will help prevent hot spots and skin irritations. Between shedding cycles shampooing may be needed, since this breed loves water and can easily get muddy. We recommend Plum Perfect Shampoo for a great smell that lasts for days after the bath.

Between Bath Coat Care: During the dry winter months, or in generally dry climates, use Aloe Hydrating Spray to hydrate and moisturize the skin and coat. For a quick bath in between regular “full baths”, use Oatmeal Baking Soda Waterless Bath. Simply spray on and wipe with a towel for an easy clean. For added fragrance and conditioning, use any of Espree’s fragrant leave-in conditioning colognes.

Ears: For monthly ear cleaning, use Espree Ear Care. If weekly care is needed for an existing chronic ear condition, use Espree Ear Care Aloe Wipes. This routine will help keep any ear problems at bay. Remember, never clean further than you can see inside the ear.

Eyes: Optisoothe Eye Wash can be used to help flush foreign matter, such as leftover shampoo, as well as help rinse common eye allergens while soothing any irritation. Remember, always check the eyes every time your pet comes in from running outside or romping in the field.

Paws: Paw Balm should be applied regularly to keep the paws soft and pliable, which will help keep them from cracking.

Tools: During shedding season, an undercoat rake is the tool of choice to help remove unwanted dead hair and help prevent hot spots, while a brush and a comb should be used between shedding cycles to keep the coat in good shape. A coat king will help pull up the dead fur, as well as thin the hair for the hot summer months.

Common Problems

Skin and Coat: Hot spots are a common problem for this breed, especially during the summer. To prevent hot spots, you must remove the dead undercoat so the air can get down to the skin. If moisture is trapped in the coat, hot spots are possible. Hot Spot Foam is a very effective treatment for this condition.

Fleas and ticks are also a common problem for these athletic and active dogs. Our Flea and Tick Shampoo eliminates fleas & ticks, while the Flea and Tick Pet Spray keeps them away for up to twelve days. There is also the Flea and Tick Repellent Wipes for added convenience between baths and before outdoor activities.

Skin abrasions and bug bites while playing outside are bound to happen. Keep 3 in 1 Healing Cream and Bug Bite Relief on hand for when those accidents happen and your dog will thank you.

Thyroid problems also are common to this breed. If excess dandruff or flakes are prominent then use Dead Sea Mineral Mud Bath to exfoliate and hydrate the skin.

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