Truffle Hunting Shiba Inu 11/10/12 Foray and Hunt
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3432
    What involves pigs, hunting and dogs?

    Truffles!

    I've been keeping a little secret. I have been learning the art of truffle hunting with my Shibas and Kai over the last few months. I have definitly become a fungus fan and the Pacific Northwest hosts it's own special variety of truffles which rival the traditional Italian truffle in fine dining. This region also boasts some select wild edible mushrooms that people are having luck searching for using dogs, and the season for fungus finding is now upon us.

    I've been working with Beebe and Farrah (Shibas) and Akuma (Kai) and it seems as of now that Beebe is the best and most keen to it. I did some research on how truffle dogs are traditionally trained, and enrolled in classes. I began with simple retrieve games using a hollow ball with scent inside, and then feeding and praise with retrieves and successful finds in the yard. Then I started burying it in duff (the strata that truffles like to fruit in) in wooded areas and under the pine trees in my yard.

    This week in class, Beebe located her first real truffles in duff boxes and became the world's first truffle hunting Shiba. I am super proud of her. She definitly knows the scent and what to look for and has a good work ethic, so it will be up to me to keep her exposed to the scent and searching in various environments, and make sure it's rewarding for her.

    Next week we hit the woods and setup some hides under the trees rain or shine. Regardless of our success with finding any wild edibles, it's a great excuse to get outdoors and enjoy nature with a trusted companion.

    This thread will document our mushroom and truffle hunting progress.

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    Post edited by lindsayt at 2012-11-11 16:49:45
  • NekopanNekopan
    Posts: 869
    Very cool!

    I've heard that dogs are easier to use than pigs, because the pigs will eat the truffles if you don't intervene quickly.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2082
    That's so cool!

    I'd totally get into that if I wasn't going to Alaska.
    image
  • that's so cool! You're full of cool things to do with the dogs! And I love that it's Beebe, too, that is so good at this!
    Lisa, Toby (Shiba), Oskar and Zora (American Akita), and Leo (Kai Ken)
  • WhoBitMeWhoBitMe
    Posts: 1925
    Awesome! I didn't know there were classes for that. That definitely sounds like fun.
    1 Human + 1 Hokkaido
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  • ttddinhttddinh
    Posts: 1990
    OMG, that is so awesome!!! It so great to hear about the diverse projects that you engage your dogs in!
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3432
    If I remember correctly, pigs are no longer allowed to hunt truffles in Europe because they are damaging to the fragile truffle ecosystem and they will eat what they find. Most truffleurs use dogs now (in Europe) and the old timey guys are so good at it they go by scent alone without dogs. I can believe it, these things have a very distinct aroma, especially the white truffles. It's slowly catching on here in the PNW.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I try and make sure each of the dogs has their own fun thing to do with me that gets them out of the house routinely. Beebe is the matron of the house and has had the most training (although Farrah is catching up). She is super undemanding and reliable and sometimes I underappreciate that since the show dogs and young dogs are a huge time theif. I wanted to find something just for her and me to do and I'm glad she is really enthusiastic about it.

    I'm addicted to finding oddball activities for my dogs to try, lol.
    info@hokkaidoken.org
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  • neato! Go, Beebe!
  • Jbm0024Jbm0024
    Posts: 155
    That is AWESOME! Congrats to you and Beebe and I wish y'all the best of luck!
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3013
    Congratulations! Beebe is a good truffle dog! :)
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • ceziegcezieg
    Posts: 1050
    Pretty awesome! Will be cool to hear if you guys find some out in the woods. Good to see Beebe getting the spotlight instead of just the young un's :)
    Ren, Kai Ken (f, intact) 02-01-2012
    Kirin, Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (f, intact) 05-04-2015
  • TrzcinaTrzcina
    Posts: 331
    That's really cool! I never even realized that truffle hunting existed in North America, haha.
  • Beebe is a mycologist, is she? :)
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3013
    All this truffle talk reminds me of the goonies! lol

    Do the truffle shuffle!
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3432
    Lol, Beebe is a good girl.
    info@hokkaidoken.org
    www.hokkaidoken.com
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  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3432
    @saya

    YES!!!
    info@hokkaidoken.org
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  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3013
    :) I love the goonies awesome movie.

    I'm glad Beebe enjoys it maybe she can find you some truffles for yummy treats I hope training goes well.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3432
    11/10/12 Update:

    Beebe the Shiba went Truffle hunting yesterday in the Washington boons somewhere mysterious and secret ;). The terrain was in the foothills of a small mountain and it was about 35 degrees and clear, so it was a crispy invigorating experience. I love being out in the woods, and this place was just beautiful. There were lots of steep slopes and scenic paths to explore.

    She successfully located some black truffles and she definitely knows what she is doing. Mostly, I had a great time just watching her work and explore the wooded slopes on such a nice day. I really got a good sense of how the Shiba Inu is truly a versatile sturdy breed, and it was great fun seeing her in hunting mode zigzagging up and down the hills (and in some cases pulling me along with her).

    She had a tracker on, and next time I'm letting her off as she can cover better ground without the long line getting tangled, and she has a good recall. I'm really looking into getting a Garmin for these types of adventures. I can't wait to go back! The season lasts till early spring.

    It didn't take much stretch for me to imagine her scent tracking wild game in some picturesque Japanese mountainscape ;) The more of these outlets I can find, the better understanding I gain of working with this breed. I can better see for myself how certain dogs are more successful than others, and that gives me food for thought when selecting dogs I want. Anyways, pictures:

    On the scent
    Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

    Busy searching with her nosy nose
    Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

    Catching up to the group
    Photobucket

    The Truffle Party
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    Old Man Forrest
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    Here there be truffles
    Photobucket

    Marking with a flag
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    Digging it out with a spade
    Photobucket

    The goods, a black truffle carefully stowed in a small breathable bag for transport
    Photobucket

    We found some other fungi as well. This one could be a deadly Amanita (which is...deadly...but probably tastes like candy or something unfair like that), but it sort of looks like S.ambigua (which tasts like old leaves, and is edible). Either way, we will leave it.
    Photobucket

    My little mushroom <3<br />Photobucket
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    Post edited by lindsayt at 2012-11-11 16:47:02
  • ceziegcezieg
    Posts: 1050
    Ah man that looks like a great time, Beebe certainly looks focused! I saw elsewhere that you mentioned some were planted so the dogs would still be successful even if they didn't find wild ones. Is that black one wild?
    Ren, Kai Ken (f, intact) 02-01-2012
    Kirin, Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (f, intact) 05-04-2015
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3432
    That one was found by another team earlier (a golden retriever), so we reused it and some others so the other dogs could still get rewarded after all the searching. The area had been picked pretty clean unfortunately, and we found another groups markers, so, onwards to new spots.
    info@hokkaidoken.org
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  • ceziegcezieg
    Posts: 1050
    Truffles must be like surfing, everyone has their "secret spots" lol
    Ren, Kai Ken (f, intact) 02-01-2012
    Kirin, Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (f, intact) 05-04-2015
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3013
    Love the pictures.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3432
    Lol, everybody finds their own place to search and keeps it secret. Thanks!
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    www.hokkaidoken.com
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  • Looking good!! I like your signature picture (or whatever it's called) with Grym and the Shibas!
    photo 10428883_10202259399228531_564340254_n_zps82bfd9ba.jpg
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3432
    Thanks! They are a good crew together.
    info@hokkaidoken.org
    www.hokkaidoken.com
    www.hokkaidousa.wordpress.com
  • that's a cool thing to do with Beebe! and its outside in the world, too :) happy hunting!

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