The Countryman's Weekly

Duck Tolling Retriever

Duck Tolling Retriever
February 20
08:10 2019

Tolling the bell for the ducks

By Bill Beckett.

ONE of the most interesting breeds of all the gundogs we associate with duck shooting is arguably the rarest breed of gundog seen in the British Isles today. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever hails from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia on the country’s eastern coastline where it is used as a dog for attracting rather than flushing ducks and as a retriever also.

There are just a few working examples of these fascinating dogs found in the UK and Ireland. I say working examples because I believe they are used more for retrieving than actually tolling duck. I may regret that statement but I stand to be proved wrong by their handlers!

Let’s face it, they are not exactly mainstream and are certainly not a very common breed, rarely if ever seen in the shooting field in this country. That said, some of the breed’s enthusiasts I have met at Game Fairs at Ragely Hall and Weston Park over the last few years would argue to the contrary and who am I to doubt them?

In the excellent Working Gundog pavilion at both venues the array of working breeds is a delight to see and their owners are equally as nice and well behaved. There were Brittany Spaniels, the French Hunt, Point, Retrieve (HPR) breed, and Field and Sussex Spaniels, both of which are breeds of British spaniels which are rarely seen working these days.




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