In order to find the precious mushroom in the truffière, called “pasture”, the truffle hunter relies on the help of a dog, whose sense of smell is essential in spotting the truffle (it has a 120 cm olfactory area compared to man’s, which is only 3cm).
Any purebred or mongrel is fine for truffle hunting purposes, provided that it does not have any behavior problem. Every breed has its own hunting and character features, with their flaws and virtues. There may also be substantial differences in specimen of the same species or litter. Hence, the decision to adopt a dog needs to be a well-thought choice: taking in consideration the attitudes and behavior needed and the work desired is very important, it will require choosing the right size and type depending on the future conditions one will have to operate in.
A very important element is the age of the dog that will be trai- ned – choosing a puppy that is between four and eight years old is preferable – and the type of training. It must not be scolded or kept with other dogs that are not truffle dogs; it must be educated to play fetch and must get used to getting a reward so that feelings of complicity and friendship can develop and the dog can see in its owner the “leader of the pack”.