Training Your Dog To Find Black Truffles

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell and can identify smells ten thousand times better than humans. Black Truffles grow under the ground and require a well trained dog or female pig to find them and  Truffles are one of the world’s most treasured culinary delicacies.

Black Truffle

Training your dog to find Black Truffles can be rewarding for both the master and canine as you both will get plenty of exercise. An activity like hunting truffles in the forest is also very good for your dogs mental health, offering the dog a chance to work and please his/her master through the task of searching and finding.

What Dog Breeds Are Best To Hunt Truffles?

Depending on the breed of dog, the number of “Scent Receptors” varies from breed to breed. The smelling abilities of the Dachshund is on the lower side of “Scent Receptors” having about 5 million as to where the Beagle and the German Shepard have 225 million. The Hungarian Vizsla and Bloodhound over 300 million “Scent Receptors” and now knowing this, it is important to realize that the dogs brain is specialized for identifying scents.

In actuality, all dogs have the ability to find the “Black Truffle” although some breeds of dogs have much better nose to hunt by scent. The Lagotto Romagnolo is traditionally a gun dog but is also very well known for hunting truffles as it has a highly developed nose like the Hungarian Vizsla and Bloodhound. Many hunting dog breeds are as well used today in Search & Rescue, and Man Trailing.

Training For Truffle Detection

Training your dog to detect Truffles in the forest successfully can take anywhere from 4-5 weeks and up to a year or longer, depending upon the dogs eagerness to search and its hunting, scent detection abilities. Hunting for Truffles should start at a young age but it is not necessary as contrary to the belief, old dogs can learn new tricks.

Your approach to training your dog to search for Truffles should be consistent, relaxed, done in a way that makes it fun and rewarding for your dog from the very start. Your canine companion should be trained in obedience and be able to obey simple commands before any attempt at scent detection training otherwise you will be fighting an uphill battle all the way. Teaching your dog scent detection is mostly all about focusing on a particular odor or smell, and in this case the pungent aroma of the “Black Truffle”. Once your dog is familiar with the sought after scent, preferably a fresh black truffle shaving, its now time to play hide and seek.

Starting off slowly inside the house, let your dog get well associated with the truffles smell and let your dog know that this will bring him rewards of praise and a nice treats… Reinforce the idea over and over that this training is going to be fun with lots of practice and repetition. Remember that being consequent while training your dog to find truffles is a very important aspect and never be forgotten.