Zara’s Truffle Dog Training

This year was the first year I really started putting the proper amount of training in for Zara (Kovu’s little sister). As always I started off in a low distraction environment and slowly worked up from there to allow her to learn to ignore other distractions and focus on the game.

Starting in the back yard and working our way up to the front yard then the street then local park. Once she was getting good at alerting without being distracted in foreign environments, I felt ready to take her out with me to the real truffle hunts.

This 2022 season she was ready. Starting off by taking her with me when I took Kovu out for hunts and letting her have a go. Once she was getting more confident, I would run Kovu down a row find a location where Kovu alerted to and confirmed by smelling the soil that there was a strong ripe truffle there. I would leave it there, mark the tree (not the exact location) and then run Zara over that row. She did so well and pulled me straight to it. At the moment I am keeping Zara on lead as I am not super confident about her ability to stay focused like Kovu. But towards the end of the season I was trying her off lead and she stayed focus alas searched a little bit to fast for my liking so I kept her onlead if I needed to slow her down.

Towards the end of the season I had the confidence to take her down rows which were not checked by Kovu as I felt she was alerting to everything Kovu had.

One of my last hunts of the season in late August was purely for Zara to hunt. I didn’t have Kovu run over the rows first, so anything she found was purely her find and she did so well.

See the below video of Zara’s first independent find:

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