• Sep 28, 2018

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the Italian company delivers many years the most expensive mushrooms in the world, truffles, for judges around the world. And though in staff of the company there are three professional seekers of mushrooms, without the aid of specially trained dogs their work would not bring special results.
photo: people.com
Breed of a Lagotto Romagnolo which is known as "truffle dogs", the best-known in this sphere.

However, the Alfagia di Volterra company prefers "to employ" for search of truffles of dogs of metises, in particular springer spaniels whom throughout many generations crossed to traditional "truffle dogs". Four-footed assistants to "hunters" for mushrooms for years learn to distinguish delicate aroma of truffles and to ignore all other possible irritants.

photo: people.com

The company describes process of education of such dogs so:

"Trainings begin with the earliest childhood. Already then puppies are acquainted with a smell of mushrooms. In two months, trainers suggest them a new game – to bring a toy in which the small piece of truffle is hidden. When the puppy begins to associate a game with a certain smell, it becomes more difficult: to dogs suggest to find a smell source independently, and then to bring it, competing with each other on speed. Soon such trainings and games become an integral part of life of dogs. Then there comes the moment when entertainment smoothly turns into the status of the most real hunting behind truffles".

On such hunting people entirely depend on the workmates having a tail who catch tonchashchy aroma of the truffles growing deeply underground – up to a half a meter. When the mushroom is found, the dog starts its unearthing. On it its work comes to an end. The person adopts a task to pull a mushroom out of the ground and does it very carefully not to damage expensive product.

the Representative of the company explains why dogs are so important in this industry:

"The only type of truffle which the person did not learn to grow up independently yet — white truffle. It our employees – people and dogs are also engaged in search. As for artificially grown up truffles, there is no need for the help of dogs, they need to be dug out only. They grow at the whole groups therefore there is a big difference between those which are on a surface and a darkness which grow under them, deeply underground. Only the top layers manage to ripen. Also is explained it by the fact that it is possible to come across often absolutely fresh and tasteless, truffle. Hunting for these mushrooms with dogs is the only way helping to make sure of quality and naturalness of truffles".

photo: people.com

Work of the hunter for mushrooms difficult also demands many forces and concentration. Therefore dogs of the company work only several hours a day then enjoy rest, games and attention from employees.

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