About Our Truffle Dogs
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. There is nothing more rewarding than teaching your dog to complete a set of tasks leading to searching for a specific scent.
Training is reward based with either food or ball rewards. The dogs are enthusiastic learners, and more importantly they are enthusiastic truffle hunters. The dogs utilise both ground and air scenting during their searches. 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 as required.
But how did the business all start? When I offered to train one of my dogs to search a friends truffle orchard (truffière). It was 2011 when Ollie (Sydney Silkie x Maltese) started training, and Truffle Dog Services began.
Ollie completed two truffle hunting seasons, and represented Truffle Dogs in the book Dogs in Action by Maria Alomajan. In Nov 2013 he appeared in the Waikato Times whilst truffle hunting at my friends truffière.
The dog team grew with Indigo, an enthusiastic Cocker Spaniel, and Haggis and Tigga, both Spring Spaniels.
Indigo (Indi) was a family dog that was always looking for, and successfully finding, trouble. Since being trained to hunt for truffles, Indy has calmed down, kind of, and is a fast and focussed hunter.
Indy checks each tree thoroughly and quickly, and thrives on her work. The 2017 season was steady for Indy with locating first time truffles in three different truffière’s in the North Island. Indi can locate truffles in a variety of sizes from approx. 180 grams through to the size of half-a-pea 10 cm under ground…now that’s impressive. Indi has located T. melanosporum (Périgord), T. uncinatum (Burgundy), and T. borchii (Bianchetto).
Haggis was the new boy on the block, but that role has now been taken by Tigga. Haggis has been successful in the 2017 season in Bay of Plenty locating approximately 2 kg of Perigord truffle for a client over a couple of sessions.
Haggis finds both T. melanosporum (Périgord) and T. borchii (Bianchetto).
Tigga is new and only 19 weeks old. Tigga flew from the south island to join the team and is settling in well. In her first week with us, she joined us for a demonstration at Unitec to show the students how to search for truffles. Tigga was introduced to the truffle smell at the demonstration, and took her new role with enthusiasm. She enjoyed all of the pats and treats from the students.