9. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
That this breed isn’t more popular is kind of a surprise. Tollers are like smaller, more dynamic Labs, about the size and color of a red fox — which is intentional. Canadian hunters noticed that foxes often played along lakes to lure birds. The birds, which seemed mesmerized by their behavior, wandered close to shore and were soon eaten. Tollers mimic this behavior to help hunters, then also swim out to retrieve their prey.
Weight: 35–50 lbs.
Best Qualities: They’re cute, playful, and extremely energetic, possessing the good temperament, trainability, and hunting aptitude of a Lab but with better endurance.
Drawbacks: All retrievers have an instinct to carry and gnaw on things, so keep a supply of chew toys around. Like every dog on this list, a toller needs frequent exercise and isn’t happy being home alone. They can be prone to separation anxiety, which often causes a unique whine/screech known as the toller scream.
What to Do With Them: Give them something to retrieve, for starters. They can also keep up on long runs, and their comfort in water makes Tollers good all-around boating dogs.
Buyers Guide: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club.
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