February 2022: Truffle Dog Training. Sansa the 18 month old Kelpie. Kovu’s new apprentice.

I open my training session to one or two dogs per year during the off season. I am too busy hunting during the truffle season to do training and the off season is the perfect time to train up a truffle dog. There isn’t a feeling of having to rush the training to get it done before the season is over. This allows enough time and a low stress environment to really be able to give the dog the best chance to be a excellent truffle dog.

Last year we trained a beagle puppy named Peri. He has done exceptional well and taken to the truffle hunting game very quickly. A fast pace searcher with a abundance of energy. Once his owners start finding truffle from their young trees in the next year or so, Peri will be a pro. We will be doing refresher courses for Peri over the next year or so.

This year is it Sansa’s turn to shine. She is a 18 month old kelpie who is a naturally shy dog, with alot of energy and a strong desire to please. When a dog learns a new game and is successful in it and grows confident in their ability to succeed, their confidence in their general life also benefits. They become a well rounded dog who isn’t as nervous and can learn to adapt in stressful situations.

Owner Kevin, has a producing truffle farm and Kovu did his first search there last year in 2021. Prior to Kovu’s search one or two truffles had been found. Kovu found at least 3 kg worth that season. Kevin was over the moon and was ready to start Sansa’s training.

Kevin started session 1 in late January 2022. By the 19th February Sansa was accurately finding the truffle hides. Although as you can see in the video below she is still learning to tune out distracting sounds and smells and developing stronger focus. In this video she is on a paired hide (a hide with truffle scent and a reward).

She is accurate and quick to ignore distractions when she gets wiff of the truffle hide with reward.

A mere few weeks into the course and she is quick, accurate and her ability to get back to business even when another dog walks past on the street is excellent!

If you think that was impressive you should see her next video. Wow how she has changed!!

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