The tradition of hunting for truffles
Recently we sent our farm dog, Barry, away to a truffle dog trainer so that he can learn the basics on how to find truffles. Barry is a Kelpie and is almost 3 years of age so has reached the right level of maturity to concentrate on the task at hand.
You may not realise that all breed of dogs have the same ability to smell, which is hundreds of times better than us humans, due to the fact that their noses contain approx. 300 million olfactory receptors.
A dog’s brain that is devoted to analysing smells is, proportionally speaking, is 40 times greater than a human and their nose functions quite differently to ours, splitting the air they inhale into separate directions therefore allowing them to find an odour as far away as 1800kms. Fortunately, our truffles aren’t that far away and being such a strong and unique odour, dogs are the best animal for sniffing out these delicacies during the hunt.
I hear you ask, Why not a Pig? I know some of you would know that European tradition and history shows these animals being used, however that was many many years ago. Some truffieres might use them for the novelty effect, however, most truffle hunters aren’t brave enough to put their hand between a hungry pig and a truffle, the risk of losing a finger or two is a serious concern. Nor are most strong enough to hold off a ravaging pig on a mission for a truffle feast. Therefore, today we use dogs and they are a welcome addition to the family. Of all odours, truffle, is one of the easiest to train them on, enjoy a quick video of Barry 2 weeks into his truffle training.