Meet Canada’s 16 most popular breeds of hunting dog


Photo: Karsten Madsen/Pixabay


The smallest of the retrieving breeds, the energetic Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever (also known as “the decoy dog”) is descended from 17th-century European dogs. It was developed by 19th-century outdoorsman in—you guessed it—our own beautiful Nova Scotia, where it was declared the provincial dog in 1995.

The word “tolling” in the name refers to the breed’s ability to use its fox-like colouring and fast erratic movements along the shoreline to lure curious waterfowl into shotgun range. Equipped with web feet and a water-repellent double coat, this strong swimmer will then retrieve any downed birds from the frigid waters. Sometimes mistaken for small golden retrievers, this quick learner can excel at almost anything if presented with focused, positive training.