“If you really care about your dog you will give him meaningful work to do”.
City folk need to be reminded of this advise often, and dog trainers tire from repeating it hundreds of times throughout a career. Country folk don’t need this advise since dogs are living with us because of their ability to work, and every dog has a job. And here in the High Tiber Valley men take this advice to heart. They have dogs hunt boar, dogs who guard the house, dog that hunt pheasant, and my favorite: dogs that find truffles. A truffle dog gives new meaning to a stroll with the dogs, and transforms an ordinary walk into a treasure hunting expedition. Owning a competent truffle dog is a great experience for a man because it encourages him to get out and exercise, to spend time with the dog, and to bring home delicious jewels to bedazzle the kitchen.
A truffle dog is treated better than other dogs because of his special training and ability, but finding truffles is a team effort and the leader must learn to put his trust in the dog. Great patients is required, and men must discover and embrace the feminine part of their personality, the “mamma” inside them, in order to create the right relationship which allows the puppy to be a teammate.
It is very gratifying when your dog can do something important, something other than shit and piss, eat expensive dog food, and destroy tennis balls and rawhides. Finding truffles transforms your dog into a contributing member of the family. This is what living with man’s best friend is supposed to be like. It is why men and wolves first started hanging out together: mutual benefit.
I want to contradict some popular ideas about what makes a good truffle dog.
- Only certain breeds are good at finding truffles.
Nonsense. Hunting for truffles is a learned behavior, not a genetic one, so it must be taught. In order to teach something to a dog you will need a training method which is easy for your pup to understand.
- A dog won’t work until it is grown up.
Poppycock! A well trained puppy is easier for a human to manage because it is still young and submissive. His youth increases the possibility that he will follow your lead.
- You must be tough and demanding with a truffle dog. You must starve him.
No way! A man must embrace his femininity, his caretaking nature, in order to create a team mentality with a dog. This means letting the dog be a dog. We mustn’t be harsh and insistent with every deviation from the task.
Training a dog is hard. Ruining a dog is easy. Most of the time dogs are not very good at finding truffles because we impose the task on them with too much frustration and anger. Dog and man can live together happily, gratified by stimulating work and ample rewards. A job is a reason for living. This is what we dog trainers have been saying to our clients for years. Truffles make it true.