Currently browsing tag

truffle dog training

What Makes a Great Truffle Dog?

One of the first things people tell me when describing their dog’s scent detection potential is that their dog “has a really great nose!” and I smile and nod.  The truth is, barring any abnormalities or medical issues, all dogs have really great noses.  And the variation between breeds is so minute as to be irellevant, particularly in the realm of an aroma as potent as a truffle.

The real talent comes in your dogs desire to barter their skills for whatever is in your goody bag.  Your job is to make sure that it is the BEST TREAT EVER.  But outside of the scope of the nose and your dogs inclination to trade their skill for your cookie, what characteristics make a great scent detection dog?

In classe as I begin to describe characteristics of what dogs have been successful in our program in the past, people begin to giggle.  They think I am describing the attributes about their dog that drive them nuts.

    • dexterDoesn’t Listen
    • Exists in Own World
    • Looking for the Next Adventure
    • Doesn’t Make Eye Contact
    • Total User
    • Couldn’t Care Less if I Exist

The less needy, clingy and dependent a dog, the more independent, curious and distracted a dog, the easier it is to turn them into a scent detection dog. But you have on job to find that ONE SPECTACULAR TREAT. This treat will make your dog flip. Wallow at your feet. It is the treat that your dog will take a momentary pause in their busy schedule to retrieve from you. But the treat is another blog. Today we are talking about the dog.

This dog is a total user and only wants one thing from you. Your cookie! They aren’t interested in your scratches or even your praises. Affection is fine but superfluous, the bottom line is this dog does what this dog does and and no amount of ASB (attention seeking behavior) from you is going dissuade them from being a total user.

When it comes to scent detection training, we love these guys. They know what they want in life and they know how to get it. They are smart and independent problem solvers who think you apparently need the help they are prepared to give. They like you on their own terms and tolerate your quirky need to touch them. Does this describe your dog?

If you find you are living with one of these rogues, help them find their purpose. Put their aimless wander to good use and train yourself a truffle dog!

Free Truffle Dog Class – WHY?

People keep asking me why we have started providing truffle dog training free at Kalik Acre. We have fumbled around the answer and decided to try to better answer it here. It is a multipart answer really, no single reason really stands out for us.


1. Our truffle training patch was clear cut.  We had a very reliable, highly accessible location six miles from NW Truffle Dogs HQ. It made moving truffle dog teams from the classroom to the field a breeze.

2. Laws changed.  While NW Truffle Dogs always sought and received permission to foray on properties we practiced on, new Oregon laws make it more challenging:

3. Competition.   A number of our clients and former students started truffle dog training businesses of their own, thereby diluting a relatively small pool potential clients.

4. Ethics.  Deception and dishonesty amongst some people in truffle community created a distasteful atmosphere. If we are no longer accepting payment for training we no longer have a dog in the fight and can be honest with our students without appearing biased.

We are glad classes are full, we hope people are learning a lot and having fun. You are always welcome to give feedback about the training or the content by sending us an email or completing an on-line review.