Video – Teach Your Dog to Find Truffles in the Back Yard
Once your dog can find the truffles that you hide around the house, you can move the game outdoors.
Find an enclosed area where the dog will be safe – your garden will do fine (provided there is soil as you will be burying the truffles).
Before you start, give the dog a chance to explore. If he has not been exercised, he will want to have a run about. Also, these training sessions should take place before you feed the dog. If he is slightly hungry, he will be more alert, more willing to work for the treats.
Use some high value snacks that the dog particulary enjoys. You will be teaching the dog to sniff out a fresh truffle or a truffle ball. If you are not sure what to use, watch the previous indoor training video.
Begin by placing the truffle on the ground. When the dog approaches and sniffs, you should praise him profusely and of course, reward him. Don’t forget to hold the truffle to the dog’s nose when you feed him the treat. Do this several times over the course of a few days. There is no need to hurry, consistency is important though.
When you feel your dog has mastered the first stage, you can move onto phase 2. In this part you are going to hide the truffle and have the dog find it. Cover the truffle using natural materials like twigs and leaves. As the dog catches on, you should make the game gradually more difficult. Continue to reward the dog as in the first stage and respond to his successes enthusiatically! If you find that you are responding to his failures patiently, then you are doing your job well and deserve a treat too!
The final part is the most difficult part especially for younger pups. You will be burying the truffle in the ground, the dog not only has to sniff it out but he must also learn to dig it up. This will take time. You may have to get down on your hands and knees and dig. Show the dog what you want him to do. Start with very shallow holes and an extremely light covering of soil. Again you should make the game more challenging as the dog progresses in skill
The best advice I can give is this – don’t get frustrated, this can be a tricky stage but the dog will master it if you make training fun! The next video examines the main problems you will encounter during the outdoor phase and the best ways to solve them.