June 2022: Truffle Dog Training. Sansa Session 3.

Sansa is now up to Session 3 of the 12 week truffle dog training course. As we are at the start of the 2022 season we decided to to run this session at the truffle farm so Kovu can do a run through the trees and hopefully find some early ripe truffle to use as training for Sansa.

To start with I went through the course work for session 3, then a practice search with Sansa around the property. She found 2 of the 3 hides quickly but got a little distracted after that. As she is learning, distractions and loss of focus are one of the biggest hurdles for truffle dog trainer to get over. It is all about adding in distractions slowly at the pace the dog needs to go. Some dogs are more easily distracted and others not so much. You have to adapt your training of the dog based on their temperament. With Sansa we move nice a slow and are going to try a few different types of training environments to see if that will help with her focus. A calmer environment versus an exciting environment to see which one will get her more ready for search for the truffles.

After this practise run we took Kovu down to the farm to check a few rows of trees. Low and behold he found many locations of unripe truffle and one location with ripe truffle. After Kovu indicated the location, I got down and had a smell and yes the soil smelt like truffle, so this truffle is ripe for digging. I didn’t disturb the soil as we wanted to run Sansa over the area. Unfortunately, Kovu doesn’t like to share truffle hunting with any other dogs as he loves the game so much and was howling when it wasn’t his turn which wasn’t a distraction I wanted to add at this early stage. When Sansa’s owner took her back to the area the next day she found the truffle and preformed her alert which is a drop in front of the truffle with the truffle location between her paws. I absolutely love Sansa’s choice of alert, it is so easy to understand and very accurate. See the picture below which shows her alert. What a lovely truffle is was as well!!

Well done Kovu for first finding this beauty and very well done Sansa for relocating it as your first real truffle hide!!!

Sansa is young dog and everything around her is exciting but even so she is becoming quite the apprentice truffle dog and I think by the end of this season she will be finding truffles all by herself without Kovu’s help.

Sansa preforming her choice of alert

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