One Dog's List of What to  Bring to the Beach

One Dog's List of What to Bring to the Beach

Posted by Lisa Christine Summerville on 26th May 2015

So, I’ve got an amazing 10 1/2 year old Nova Scotia Duck Toller Retriever named Camden. He is a beach connoisseur for sure. “Camden Tucker” is his full name after two of my favorite water places: Camden, Maine and Nantucket, Massachusetts. Often he goes by “Cam” or “Camden” except when he’s in trouble, he is called by both names like most children…

For those of you unfamiliar with the breed, Camden is a medium-sized breed of gundog bred primarily for hunting. It is the smallest of the retrievers, and is often mistaken for a small Golden Retriever. Tollers are known to be intelligent, alert, high-energy dogs and get their name because of their ability to lure waterfowl within gunshot range. The breed originated around the beginning of the 19th century in southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada, where they were used for tolling and retrieving ducks.

Originally, they were known as the Little River Duck Dog or Yarmouth Toller. Tollers are named for their ability to entice or lure waterfowl within gunshot range, called "tolling". The hunter stays hidden in a blind and sends the dog out to romp and play near the water, usually by tossing a ball or stick to be retrieved. The dog's appearance is similar to that of a fox. Its unusual activity and white markings pique the curiosity of ducks and geese, who swim over to investigate.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was bred to "toll", or lure, ducks into shooting range by causing a disturbance near the shore. After the duck is shot, the dog brings it to the hunter. Both Duck Tolling Retrievers, pictured here are Camden and his friend Indy waiting to depart to the beach:

Duck Tollers are well adapted for water with their double coat and webbed paws, and they tend to be very affectionate and outgoing animals with family members - known for being very patient with children. Many times at the beach, Camden runs away from me and right over to any children he sees to play. They have endurance to play for hours (more on that later and how to get the out of the water) and they love the water so a “must have” list of what to bring to the beach was needed. For more information on the breed, check out:

Camden has put together his favorite list of what to bring to the beach – he invites all other doggies in the area to come and play – just don’t try to get his ball!

Here we go:

  1. “Cocktail, Chai or Coffee” – and make sure your beverage of choice is in your favorite mug as this helps prevent spills – large plastic cups are also recommended. A must for Mommy and Daddy to chill after their long day at work. Our favorite walk at the beach are in the hours of 5-8 p.m. hour so perfect for relaxing after a long day at our boring day jobs and for also sunsets too!
  2. “Something to throw” – a tennis ball is Camden’s favorite, but he also likes any rubber toy that squeaks. Some dogs love Frisbees, but I have found that most want to retrieve and a tennis ball (if you invest in the real deals) because they float which is great for tossing and bringing back – retrieving! Camden says this toy is just for him and can get quite grumpy and territorial should another dog try to get his ball. I feel bad sometimes as other times when the ball is thrown by owners for their dogs, he may run and retrieve then too. He always thinks it’s about him…and when I really think about it, I guess it is.
  3. Coat – here in May, the sun is in out on the North Shore of Boston and yes, its 71, maybe 84, but that good old standard windbreaker is perfect. As a “sailoress” myself, I love the wind and the sound of the jacket flapping in the wind, I like to see the whitecaps on the waves, I like the wind blowing strong. Make sure your windbreaker has some pockets – good for the iPhone and doggie do bag. Also good to collect more seashells. I already have hundreds seeing that I live at the beach, but you always need fresh ones and I’m always thinking of a crafty purpose for them.

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