A foxy lit­tle num­ber

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

IWANT to draw peo­ples’ at­ten­tion to the small­est and most in­tel­li­gent re­triever breed: the Nova Sco­tia duck tolling re­triever (above). The dogs are col­lie-sized and shaped, red with white on their face, tail-tip and paws, ath­letic, full of drive and ef­fi­cient at their job. They’ve been bred to look like foxes and, when their owner is duck hunt­ing, they use their bushy tail to lure the ducks in.

Ba­si­cally, the ducks think that the dog is a fox and draw near the shore to pro­tect their young. Then, with the ducks within range, the hunter shoots and his dog re­trieves the bird.

In the UK, only 200 pup­pies are born each year. It’s a shrink­ing fig­ure, which is sad be­cause the only other dog bred for this type of hunt­ing is the Kooik­er­hondje, which is rarer still. I own a toller puppy that’s ex­tremely in­tel­li­gent, with an amaz­ing prey drive. Watch the dis­play team at The Game Fair (July 28–30)—you’ll be cap­ti­vated by these lit­tle red dogs. Flora Wil­son, Wilt­shire, aged 14

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