Description: When you go on a hunt, you’ll want to take your dog with you. Whether it’s a treasure hunt or some sort of sports-related activity, there are things that you’ll want to train your dog to do. This article explains how to teach a puppy to find nature’s gold — truffles.
Truffles are the treasures of nature, and if you manage to teach your beloved dog to follow the treasure trail map, you’ll really reap the rewards. Finding truffles is the ultimate treasure hunt, and each piece of fungi will earn you a large sum. Even though it is relatively simple to find common mushrooms in your area, truffles are elusive, and treasure hunters find it difficult to locate them. The fungi themselves have a powerful and distinct scent that makes for a delicious topping on a pasta dish or a Michelin star menu. Once you can train your dog to spot them, you can go on various hunts and even create a prosperous business. You’ll find that it’s just as exciting for your pup as a prey treasure hunt. Imagine bonding with your pet when they discover this money-making natural treasure!
It can be challenging to find truffles, especially as they are underground and don’t grow in the same place twice. Many people have been using pigs for this purpose, but the problem is that they can eat them once found — you could have hundreds of dollars eaten in front of your very own eyes! One of the best treasure hunt ideas is to use dogs. Dogs make for much better companions on the adventure, and they’re not going to eat the prize.
Defining Your Pup’s Tasks
If you want to train up your ultimate truffle dog, it’s important to start as early as you can when it is very young. It’s even better if you can include your puppy’s mother in your training — this will make it easier for a little one to learn. You’ll find that the training will take a long time as it is difficult to spot truffles, but be patient with it.
Any dog will do for training, but in reality, the best pups are those that like to sniff at the ground. While they are learning, you will always need to have some truffle oil on hand so that they can get used to smelling the scent. As truffle oil is synthetic most of the time, try to go for an expensive and potent product or buy some truffle flakes if it’s possible.
We’re here to tell you that these things take time and you should be prepared for this. You and your pet will need to put in a lot of energy, and it will require persistence on both sides to find the proverbial treasure hunt clues. Make sure that you have enough treats before entering the world of truffle hunting. Get some oil, usual dog treats, a ball, cotton balls, a stuffed toy, and a sock that you can use to help soak some cotton balls in truffle oil.
So what methods are used in training? We’ll take you through the two most popular — the find and the puppy methods. Let’s find out how they work and how you can use them in the hunt game.
The “Find” Method
Take a truffle and introduce it to your dog in order for them to get the scent. If you’re not able to get an actual truffle, soak a cotton ball in some truffle oil and give it to them. Keep these cotton balls handy in a jar so that the scent can remain, and the balls are easy to access.
Once your pup begins to show some interest and starts sniffing a lot more, make use of the keyword “find” to ingrain it into their mind.
Take your little pup down to an area where truffles are known to grow and let them sniff either the truffle or infused balls. Repeat the command “find” — it is the secret a treasure hunt needs.
Stay close to your pet when you’re in training mode. It’s best to keep them on a leash — this will allow you to control the situation. If you don’t have one, stay near them and wait till they dig or sniff incessantly.
Reward your dog with a chosen treat once you have an area to dig up.
Repeat all of the steps every time you’re examining a new area. It’s important to repeat the procedure as frequently as you can.
The “Puppy” Method
Nurse your pup, applying truffle oil on the nursing mother’s teats in order for the scent to be introduced to them from early on.
When the pup gets a bit older, you can use a ball as a toy but soak this in truffle oil. Play the “fetch” game using the ball.
Repeat that until your dog can bring your ball back without any coaxing.
Begin hiding your ball and asking doggie to go find it. Reward them every time they succeed.
Repeat the same; this time, hide the ball in soil.
After enough repetitions, try out in an area known for truffles and see if your dog can find any.
Go and Treasure Hunt Nature’s Gold
It may take some patience, but if you stick with these steps long enough, you’ll be able to find truffles in no time. After a while, you’ll be able to know how to organize a treasure hunt that reaps some solid “nature’s gold.”
Have you ever had a successful hunt? Have you got any tips that we could add? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Thomas Quarry has always been interested in finding treasure ever since he was a little kid. Now he is still going out and looking for it! Thomas has recently published an e-book, “The Lost Treasure Hunters,” which looks at some of the most renowned treasure hunting stories and the culture behind them.
Read Next: 10 Reasons Dogs are Good for Your Health