Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers


Nova Scotia




Redland Kennel originated just outside Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, high on a hill on 20 acres of mixed forest. The main hardwoods on the property are - you guessed it - Red Oaks ! Since Tollers are fondly known as “Little Red Dogs” , we decided to combine the two Reds and came up with Redland for our kennel name. But our kennel name did not exist until we had had Tollers for almost 10 years. That is the story I am about to tell.

Back in 1980, Indy, a Whippet, joined our family. When Indy reached 10 years we started to think of having a second dog in the family. Since we spent our vacation each summer in Nova Scotia on the South Shore, we were familiar with Duck Tollers and fortunate enough to know about Harbourlights Kennels and Avery and Erna Nickerson.

In the summer of 1988 we visited Harbourlights and after several hours talking with Avery and meeting many of his dogs including Gatter (Harbourlights Ala Gatter ) and Big Splash (Harbourlights Big Splash), we were invited into the Nickersons’ home, the signal that we would be able to purchase a Toller. Avery Nickerson was well known for his dislike of “Dog Show People” and it appeared that we were approved as Toller puppy buyers by him for two reasons: first we were not “Dog Show People” and second, with our Whippet we were doing lure coursing, an activity the breed was developed for ( catching game), and this Avery certainly respected.

Later that summer, Swish (Harbourlights Scotia Haven) joined our family. At that time we had no thoughts of becoming involved in breeding Tollers. We just wanted a family pet to keep our aging Whippet company . After Indy died in 1991, Swish and I became involved in Flyball and Swish ended up as the height dog on the “Eastenders” Flyball Team in Toronto. It was while doing flyball that I became interested in having a second Toller and the idea of becoming involved in breeding Tollers was discussed.

In June of 1993 we purchased our foundation stud dog, Harbourlights Salty Dog. After some thoughts about doing flyball with Salty, it was decided that if Salty was eventually to be used in a breeding program it would make sense for him to attend “Duck Camp” to be sure he had the hunting/retrieving instincts for which Harbourlights dogs were known. In the summer of 1995 Salty went to Beartown Kennels in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, where he earned his WC. As with kids in “Canoe Camp”, Mom got to visit Salty only on designated summer weekends!

In June of 1996 we purchased our foundation brood bitch, Harbourlights Cinniman Twist. In October of 1997 we retired to Nova Scotia and Redland Kennels was established. The following summer we had our first litter of Salty/Twister pups, the “A” Litter. Redland’s Alotof Moxie and Redland’s A Lazy Daisy were the two girls from this first litter that we kept as breeding stock.

Our main breeding program objective is to produce healthy Tollers with excellent temperament, good conformation and the retrieving instincts for which the breed is known. Our puppies are whelped and raised in our home and are well socialized with other dogs, adults and children. Since we are retired, we have the time to spend with the pups right from birth until they leave for their new homes at around 9 weeks old.

Many of our puppy buyers are involved in outdoor activities with their Tollers such as hunting, agility, camping and hiking. Two of Salty’s offspring that have made their names in agility are Redland’s Boreas Sailor who attended the Agility Association of Canada’s “Nationals” in August 2002 and Lennoxlove’s Red River Tango who was invited to the Great Outdoor Games in Lake Placid in July 2002.

We feel very fortunate to have as our foundation stock the Harbourlights lines. And with the acquisition of additional Harbourlights dogs when that kennel was dissolved in 1999, we have been able to continue the breeding lines that the Nickersons developed over the years with as little outcrossing as possible.

In September of 2011 we moved to a 10 acre spot at Monkland  ON and Boots, HR UH CH Redland's Rubber Boots CDX SH WCX (Can & USA) returned from a 2 year stay in Germany to sire several more litters of pups for Redland. He also learned some Agility and became a certified Saint John Ambulance Therapy Dog with Sandy as his handler.

In September of 2014 we returned to Nova Scotia to the original location of Redland Kennels where we have continued  our breeding program. Many of our pups go to homes that have already had one or more of our Tollers. In fact one family adopted their 5th Redland Toller this past summer.

As of January 2020, Redland Kennels has 9 Toller's living with us, ranging in age from almost 13 years down to just over 6 months of age and 4 males residing with friends nearby. Our daughter has returned to Nova Scotia and lives nearby and plans to eventually take over the running of Redland Kennels.

We are also continuing to hold our Annual Toller Picnic which occurs on the First Saturday in June after the South Shore Kennel Club Dog Show in Lunenburg Nova Scotia .We invite those living in the Maritimes that have/have had a Toller from us and those who think they might like to adopt sa Redland Toller when one becomes available.

Swish, our 1st Toller, a family pet who actually belonged to our daughter, crossed the Rainbow Bridge in August of 2003 at just over 15 years of age. Daisy, the first Toller whelped at Redland crossed the Bridge in March 2006 and Salty, our foundation stud dog, crossed that Bridge in August 2006 at just over 13 years of age. Gibby passed at 12 in 2010 and Foggy in 2011 at almost 13. Twist, our 1st brood bitch passed in December 2013 at 17 years & 7+ months. The next day Mocha, a Twist granddaughter whelped 8 pups, 1 male and 7 females. The male and 1 female will remain at Redland . Rocket crossed the Rainbow Bridge in January 2017, shortly after his 17th birthday. Mocha passed in 2018 at just over 12 years and Boots passed in 2019 at just over 14 years.

Information about our kennel, our foundation breeding stock and a tribute to Harbourlights Kennels and The Nickersons are on



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