We train our dogs to seek truffles, using techniques that produce reliable, controlled dogs that know exactly what to look for.
We check every tree and take time to ensure the trees and surrounds are searched for truffles. We search on and off lead to ensure all available truffles are found and the dogs are focused and intent on their work. The dogs are rested at intervals so their noses are refreshed and they is ready to search again when asked.
The dogs use a combination of air and ground scenting to locate truffles. When a truffle is located, a light pawing at the ground indicates the find. We can then decide whether or not to harvest the truffle at that time or leave it to further mature. We have very close bonds with our dogs and we notice small changes in their behaviours which may not be noticed by an observer.
In the truffle season, we recommend searching the truffiere at regular intervals. Once the dog indicates a find, we mark the spot and move on to search the whole area. The decision to harvest is made finally on the odour and we don’t want to disturb the truffle until the optimal ripeness is reached. If truffles are not mature when indicated, then a follow up search can be scheduled.
Truffle odour radiates from the source and more truffles are likely to be found when the dogs work methodically through the truffiere. We work through all trees to give the dogs the best chance of scenting and finding truffle. Customs, police and drug dogs work in a similar way. Methodical searching means that the dogs get the best opportunity to succeed in the task they have been trained to do.
Sirius, our black Labrador Retriever, is an experienced, proven truffle hunter. She’s been hunting successfully in New Zealand and Australia for seven years.
Sirius is a calm, thinking, methodical, hunter and has the ability to work long days.
Perigord (Peri) is a feisty little Jack Russell rescue dog, who has been hunting for five seasons. Commonly called the “Jack Terrorist”, she’s an enthusiastic hunter and gets very excited when she finds truffles. Peri is very accurate when it comes to locating truffles.
Caph, our Belgian Malinois, has proven a very good truffle hunter. Unlike the other dogs, she sits and points her nose at the spot. This year, she found the only tree in 600 with truffle underneath. One very excited grower!