CHOOSE YOUR TRUFFLE DOG: HOW TO DO IT?
A complete guide that suggests how to choose the truffle dog
Truffles are among the most expensive delicacies in the world, with the peculiarity that grow underground near the roots of different species of trees. Finding them is not easy, and for this reason there is need of dogs with a strengthened sense of smell to locate them with a percentage close to zero failure. We propose a number of key points that will help you on choosing the truffle dog, who will support you in the challenging but rewarding process of hunting all black gold.
The choice of buying a truffle dog is not easy, since there is a race that has specific characteristics only for this type of work. In fact, there is no one best excellent race among others, each has its own features for quest, character and each has its strengths and weaknesses.
The subjective factor of the truffle hunter affects a lot the choice of truffle dog. In fact, all dogs fit in one way or in other in carring out research and excavation, but it is up to the driver the choice among those dog who best suit his way to take the excursion to truffles.
Some truffle hunters walk a lot or very fast, others are targeted to a known place, truffle hunters who have strong personality and therefore have no difficulty in establishing itself as leader of the group, while others need a docile dog to controll his by “4 legged” friend. There are truffle hunters young and old, patients and fewer patients, in short, a real variety of people to whom one race certainly can not adapt.
There are also external factors that affect this choice.
Often it can be noted that in some areas the majority of truffle hunters use a variety of dog and in other zones there are quite different races. This is also due to the morphology of the territory.
In the lowlands or hills any kind of dog – no matter how small he is – will have no problem working for more time, while in mountainous areas, he would put a strain earlier than a robust and largest one.
The habitat itself can affect the choice of truffle dog; if you go per pinewoods or areas without a dense undergrowth, this can be good from long-haired dogs. Otherwise, it is better to choose a short-haired puppy. For example in the Tuscan Apennines and Marche, where wooded areas there are many gullies, the favorite dogs are Bracchi, Pointer and Pointer Bracchi. This is due to the fact that they have the peculiarity of being rapid seekers, with a very long step avoiding the truffle hunter to do many climbs and therefore, less fatigue. In other areas, such as Ferrara and Ravenna, truffle hunters prefer the Lagotto being a dog with shorter stepand and less frantic search, because the land is flat and often along the strate there are countless stretches of lime trees and poplars that rise between the road and ditches,
Even the resistance to cold and damp should not be underestimated.
In short, there is a real labyrinth in which disentangle and from which you can go out keeping in mind the above factors.
For those who want a robust and resistant dog, for a quick search, they can be directed toward the braccoidi (bloodhound German family, Hungarian, Italian), the pointer or even crosses between the two (beagle / pointer).
For people who prefer a more docile dog, who has a meticulous but slower search, he can be directed on the Lagotto Romagnolo (that is’ becoming the breed selected for searching for truffles).
There are also other races characterized by a mixed of the qualities mentioned above.
Such as the springer spaniel, with small size but by fast seeking, the Breton, the Korthals up to the Labrador, medium dog / large size but with a tame spirit or jack russell, on the contrary, with its very small size but with a great temperament.
In short, all breeds can be trained to search for truffles; the main important fact is to choose the dog that most resembles us and fits our philosophy of research.
It is crucial the training or purchase of puppies with a highly developed sense of smell, if you are willing to make him share the hunt for this precious fungus, whose frantic search can be greatly facilitated by the presence of a suitable dog.
For those who use truffles to make business, the choice of the dog must be prudent, so as to save time and maximize the gains.
The most common dogs used by professional truffle hunters are:
– Bracchi, with preference for Germans and Hungarians.
– Bracchi Pointer ( mix of the two races)
– Lagotto romagnolo
– Jack Russel
Our knowledge of the world of truffles and everything that surrounds it, derived from the passion that over the years has led us to love and appreciate these product, sought and desidered for its strong aroma.