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How to Train Your Dog for Truffle Hunting

Stashed in: Awesome, Dogs!, Luxury, Oregon!, RTFM!, DOGS, Luxury, Dogs!, Truffles

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Almost step by step instructions on how to get your dog to dig up truffles!

Thanks Halibutboy! I want a truffle sniffing dog!!

I wonder if I can train my cat to sniff for truffles...

Great idea (if I ever get a dog ;)

$154 for 4oz at Amazon (+ $18.99 shipping! :( : Fresh Black Italian Summer Truffles (4 ounce) : Grocery & Gourmet Food

Do you live in a place where dogs can sniff out truffles for you? Where do truffles grow?

This article is about Oregon, close enough ;)

Is Eugene close to you?

Not that close, I'm at Lake Tahoe in California, but if I had a truffle dog, I'd make a trip to Oregon every year to go truffle hunting ;)

The dog asks for so little in return:

Around January 2011, while Ilsa was still undergoing therapy, Jacobson ran across a notice for the Oregon Truffle Festival—which promotes the state’s increasingly popular native fungi (think butter, hazelnuts, and a hint of garlic), which James Beard in 1977 said was the equal of its European counterpart. But what Jacobson honed in on was the part that mentioned truffle-hunting training for dogs.

“I didn’t even know we had truffles in this part of the world,” Jacobson says. “And the chance to have Ilsa find truffles in my own backyard? I signed up for the seminar right away. And the very next day, she was finding truffles on her own in the forest.”

Ilsa took to truffle hunting as if she’d been born to it. So much so that Jacobson turned Ilsa’s therapy into a new business, Umami Truffle Dogs, where they lead truffle lovers out on hunting expeditions in Oregon’s forests. On a single two-to-four-hour foray, Ilsa can help bag a whopping six to eight pounds of perfectly ripe native Oregon truffles—not a bad haul for a middle-aged dog who couldn’t even walk a few years ago. (Oregon whites are expected to fetch $560 per pound for the upcoming season.)

“Ilsa will put her nose down on the ground and get right on top of that truffle and dig it up out of the ground,” Jacobson says. “Then, when she gets right to the very top of it, she’ll stop and will literally sneeze-exhale and look at me.”

And since Ilsa doesn’t actually like to eat the mushrooms, all she asks in return is for a couple minutes of play with her favorite toy, an orange rubber ball.

“She get it, tosses it a foot or two away from her, then she gets it again and gives it back to me, and we’re on to the next truffle.”

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