'Little red dog' gains major recognition

'Little red dog' gains major recognition with official pure breed status from the American Kennel Club

On Canada's birthday, a purely Canadian dog became the 150th breed officially recognized by the world's largest purebred dog registry.

Well-known in Nova Scotia's Yarmouth County, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was first bred by Acadians in the early 19th century. The breed lures, or "tolls," waterfowl into the range of hunters and retrieves them from the water.

The Canadian Kennel Club recognized the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever as a pure breed in 1945.

Now with official recognition from the American Kennel Club, Tollers will have their own category in U.S. show rings.

Owners and breeders say it will draw more attention to the speedy, reddish-brown dog.

"It's kind of been a hidden little breed in Yarmouth," said owner Carol Doane.

Toller breeder Emerson Smith says 50 per cent of his clients are from the United States. Customers often travel to Nova Scotia, believing the dog has to be bred in the province to be authentic.

Smith says he always has a waiting list for his dogs and credits their personalities. "They are always happy, always smiling," said Smith.