Truffle Hunting Class – For Dogs

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  service dog academy 4 years, 2 months ago.

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    Youre a truffle connoisseur, I am a dog trainer who LOVES LOVES LOVES LOVES LOVES LOVES LOOOOOOOVES scent work. Lets have some fun together and create a dog training class to help people find truffles with their pups. Email me if you are the truffle hunting connoisseur who wants to help or if you are interested in training your dog to hunt truffles!


    Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS

    Director of Training and Behavior

    Service Dog Academy –



    This sounds fun, but where does one go to take the dog truffle hunting for practice? We have a dog that would love such a thing, though–she took to “go find it” with treats quite well!



    There are plenty of truffles in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Oregon truffles are particularly fine.


    My idea was to do what all other scent trainers do. Set up situations in their training studios, transition to easy live environments (like your back yard or a park) with hidden truffles and then culminate in a trip to Oregon to hunt truffles with our pups!

    Sadly I personally have never eaten a truffle, I just thought it would be a fun culinary outlet for our students and a fun training opportunity for both our students and me.


    Service Dog Academy:

    We would love to talk about working with you for training classes if you are interested, or if there is a group of people in W. Seattle. There are indeed truffles in Washington, and while the basics are very similar to other scent work, as you know working in live environments tends to be much more challenging- and even more so with this work with all the distractions out in the wild. Deer, Elk, squirrels, Vast open spaces, etc.

    It’s not quite as easy as teaching the dogs to locate truffles then going for a walk in the woods and finding them. It can be, sometimes, but that’s unusual.

    Email us, and I can talk to you more about it.


    Please be kind to the environment! I like dogs, but I’m concerned every time I read about this latest truffle fad, imagining more dogs running off leash, off the trails, peeing, pooping, and digging up fragile ecosystems and forest areas!


    Spring Chicken:

    Your concern is valid. When done responsibly and ethically none of those things should happen and therefore the onus falls on the instructor to drill into students the ethics and legal ramifications associated with this as a recreationally hobby. And it really is a hobby. Anyone who thinks this is a get rich quick scheme is incredibly mistaken, which unfortunately is a trend we are seeing. So again, I think you are valid in your concerns.

    When done correctly there should be no visible trace you were there. Also we encourage students to only hunt on private land with permission, and to understand the legality of all public lands where they are going



    PLEASE do not truffle hunt in West Seattle Parks! Places like Schmitz Park or Lincoln Park are precious remnants of forest, and should be preserved as intact as possible for future generations. Truffles are an important part of the forest ecosystem, and the forest floor where they grow is a fragile area. Plus, it is illegal to dig or remove any plant in a Seattle Park, ordinance #124113.


    First of all, No mushroom picking is allowed in ANY parks in Seattle. Second, you wouldn’t find them there anyway. Wrong habitat.



    So glad you agree, toilandtruffle. It was Comment#4’s mention of a “park” that had me worried. Recently, some animal (something with claws) has been digging holes along the side of the trails in Schmitz Park. Also, off-leash dogs in general are ripping up the forest floor off-trail, causing barren areas that are going to turn into little erosion gullies. So, I’m very glad to hear that your truffle-hunting is proceeding without harm to parks.

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