The Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers are an intelligent, outgoing, active dog that loves their human family, is patient, and easy to train. This breed is excellent in events such as agility, fly ball events, tracking, hunting trials, and obedience trials. Many clubs and organizations now offer dog agility competitions, which have continued to increase in popularity making it one of the fastest growing of all events or dog sports. People are finding it a wonderful way to combine the thrill of competing with the love of their tolling retriever. Regardless of whether a dog and handler qualify for a run, most are thrilled just because they had such a wonderful time. Unlike many dog sports that are boring for the spectators, people love watching agility events because they are so fast paced, full of action, and entertaining. The great thing about this sport is that everyone, including the dogs, handlers, judges, and spectators, has a terrific time.
In dog agility training, the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever has to negotiate obstacles while following commands. Although the obstacle requirements in each dog club or organization may differ, most have the same basic obstacles, which include crossbar jumps, weave poles, A-frame, tunnel, hoop, pause table, dog walk, and seesaw. It is up to the judge at agility events to predetermine the flow and direction of the agility course. With the dog off leash, the handler must direct him successfully through the obstacles without the use of treats or toys. The trainer does this strictly by using hand signals, voice commands, clapping, cheering, and other means, as long as there is no physical contact with the dog. Passing through the obstacles successfully and quickly is important but various locations have safety or contact points that a dog has to touch or he ends up with faults. The winners of each timed course for each height/class division are the dogs that have the fastest time and fewest course faults.
Flyball is a relay race consisting of a team of four dogs. The first dog on the team runs along the racing lane, clears four jumps, and hits a trigger, which throws a ball to the dog. He catches the ball, runs back along the racing lane, clears four jumps, and as he passes over the finish line, the next dog on the team passes over the start line and does the same thing. This continues until all four dogs have completed the run. Approximately fifteen or twenty feet away are another team of four dogs doing exactly the same as the other team but both teams are trying to do it faster. When they compete, the handlers and dogs earn points based upon their team's speed. When a dog reaches a certain number of points, he receives a title such as Flyball Dog, Flyball Dog Champion, Flyball Master, and Flyball Grand Champion.