About Truffle Dog Services
Truffle Dog Services is a boutique company that provides personalised truffle surveying of your truffière or Truffle Orchard.
My name is Karen and I have been involved with dogs for 20+ years in a variety of different roles. But this is the most exciting and rewarding of them all. The enjoyment I get from teaching a dog to complete a set of tasks leading to searching for a specific scent. Truffle is only one type of scent, there are so many more that dogs can learn.
Training is reward based using either food or ball rewards. The dogs are enthusiastic learners, and more importantly they are enthusiastic hunters. The dogs utilise both ground and air scenting during their searches to locate the specific scent and gain a reward. They are worked up wind to keep them focussed on hunting close to the ground, as winds swirl and change, the dogs also have the opportunity to air scent as they work, and return up wind if required.
Where did we start?
The business started when friends of mine were discussing owning a dog so they could locate truffles. I offered to train one of my dogs to search my friends truffle orchard (truffière). It was 2011 when Ollie (Sydney Silkie x Maltese) started training, and Truffle Dog Services began.
I have been involved in dogs since 1996. Learning how to train through Paddington Bear, my Tibetan Spaniel. Tibetan Spaniels have a reserved character, but doesn’t necessary mean that they cannot learn.
Paddy was amazing and taught me a lot. We completed Kay Laurences original online Clicker 1 and Clicker 2 courses, and have progressed from there.
In 2005 it led many different directions, including meeting Karen McCarthy from Wellington on the way to attend Kay Laurence’s courses at DogTec in San Francisco. We had the amazing privilege to meet and stay with Kelly Gorman, and Ian Dunbar. Kelly was an incredibly hospitable host who introduced us to local people, including Martha Hoffman from San Francisco Hearing Dogs.
Karen and I then went onto the 2005 San Diego Clicker Expo to meet up again with Kay Laurence. We became know as the “”two Karens from Middle Earth” as we helped Kay Laurence with her lunchtime Clicker Expo demonstrations. It was lots of fun, with incredible learning, and meeting an amazing array of world class trainers, including Karen Pryor, Jesus Rosalez-Ruiz, Ken Ramirez, Kathy Sdao, Jane Orr and Theresa McKeown from TAGTeach, and so many more.
The learnings from then, and the additional learnings since, have sent me on the fascinating journey of scentwork.
Continuing Professional Development:
- Massey University:
- Principles of Canine Behaviour
- Canine Health and Husbandry
- National Certificate of Adult Education and Training – Level 5
- 2017 – Canine Principles – Scentwork Enrichment
Hosted and Attended the following Seminars:
- 2008, 2010, 2014 – Dr Ian Dunbar
- 2008, 2010, 2013 – Dr Susan Friedman
- 2012 – Dr Patricia McConnell
- 2013 – Dr Sophia Yin
- 2014 – Steve and Jen White
- 2015 – Theresa McKeown
- 2015 – Grisha Stewart
- 2017 Dr Bob Bailey
Attended the following seminar:
- 2005 Kay Laurence @ DogTec
- 2005 Clicker Expo – San Diego
- 2017 Jane Killion – Puppy Culture