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.
Ollie was the most amazing dog to teach me so much about searching for truffles but has since retired.
The dog team has grown with Indigo, an enthusiastic Cocker Spaniel, and Haggis, a Spring Spaniel.
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 and is a fast and focussed hunter. Indy checks each tree thoroughly and quickly, and thrives on her work. The 2017 season has been 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 is the new boy on the block. He was born in January 2015, and joined the family at 10 weeks old. He immediately started learning the truffle scent and by six months was well in the swing of truffle hunting. He has had many opportunities to search for truffle in a number of truffieres the past two seasons and was successful in locating the valuable buried truffle.
Haggis finds both T. melanosporum (Périgord) and T. borchii (Bianchetto).