- Black truffles vary in size from the size of a pea to bigger than a Custard Apple. The biggest our dogs have found was 332gms in July 2017. We do not own a trufferie and initially started training one of our dogs as he needed a sport where he didnt have to deal with other dogs (he can be reactive) so we started K9 Nose Works, his confidence grew and he loved this game almost as much as he loves me. I couldnt find any information on how to train a 'truffle dog' so did quite a bit of reseach (thanks Cat Warrnen and her book 'what the Dog knows', Arson Detection Dog training, etc). We now have two Australian Koolies who can locate ripe truffle and they are the first of their breed in the World to achieve such at time of writing this.
- We use positive reinforcement when training and our dogs are not trained to alert us with any fancy tricks. Both our dogs have been allowed to develop their own 'alert' it's our jobs as handlers to watch our dogs for some very subtle changes in them while they are working and when they start to pick up a scent in the air or near the ground we notice. So if you are walking with us do keep this in mind and if we dont look at you when talking it's for good reason.
- The weather and it's conditions (wind, heat, cold, lay of the land, etc) play a vital part in how the odour (scent) travels and it's tough work for the dogs (though they do make it look simple). We like to work our dogs for no longger than 30 mins max then allow them to have a break.
- We offer truffle detection services with our two Koolies. Kat has a background in Animal Husbandry and Agriculture and has always held a keen interest over the years in such. We are very aware of biosecurity issues and ensure boots, clothing and equipment is washed, where possible, between farm visits in a bleach soloution. If you have any special requirements please discuss this with us. Every visit is exciting for us and the dogs as it should be for the owner. Our dogs are not 'truffle finding machines' they have good days and not so good days.
- Currently Kat is assisting a truffle farmer train two dogs for their farms future. If you are interested in this service please do contact us.
Kat is an approved Collection Agent for Orivet - Agents are accepted as independent collectors. Agents are nominated by member bodies or breed clubs and take part in an accreditation training scheme. Training requires all non-vets’ agents attend an accreditation course to be trained in establishing positive identification, collection/process, basic genetics and a demonstration on how to carry out a collection. Once completed participants receive a Certificate of Accreditation and issued with an ID number.
Kat is a member of the Australian Truffle Growers Association