These fun and informative workshops are aimed at beginners with no previous scent-work experience. Their focus will be field-based exercises for you and your dog using truffle scent. There are no pre-requisites for dogs or handlers, attending these workshops.
So attendees can carry on the training in their local environment, handlers will receive a truffle dog training kit, a bottle of truffle oil and extensive notes after the workshop. Please read customer reviews and the FAQ as well as browsing the gallery of photos on the above tabs.
Many attendees have gone on to find truffles in the wild. One handler and dog team found their first truffles within a week of their workshop!
- Theoretical presentations including the training process and finding truffles.
- Practical sessions where participants start training their dogs to find truffle scent based on our explanations and methods.
We are pleased to announce some new workshop dates for August albeit with some modifications and changes to venues:
- Current Government regulations mean our group size will have to drop from 8 dogs and handlers plus a number of related spectators to just 5 people in total (handlers and spectators). With limited spaces, priority will be given to handlers. If close to the workshop dates we still have spaces available, we will offer spectator places to family members of handlers.
- The venue near Yeovil is not re-opening yet, so we have had to find an alternative. We have swapped to one near Taunton but will be only running the outdoor, practical exercise there (three hours). The indoor talks will be undertaken on-line during the evening a few days before the session and a few days after it. The overall content will be very similar to a face to face workshop.
- The workshop at Chichester has sufficient space so will include classroom and practical sessions.
- At Banbury, due to the size of the classroom not being compatible with social distancing, we will run only the outdoor practical exercises on the day and again move the indoor talks online.
Our new programme is:
- 1st August – near Taunton – 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM – practical exercises only. Online talk dates and times to be agreed.
- 8th August – near Chichester – 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM – full workshop.
- 9th August – near Banbury – AM session – 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM – practical exercises only. Online talk dates and times to be agreed.
- 9th August – near Banbury – PM session – 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM – practical exercises only. Online talk dates and times to be agreed.
We are working with venue providers to operate these sessions as safely as possible and will provide details nearer the time of additional precautions that need to be taken / rules to be followed. Clearly, if you are self-isolating or you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of the virus you must not attend.
Places are currently limited to 5 dogs plus handlers. Refreshments (tea / coffee etc.) will be provided but you will need to bring your own lunch or go to a nearby shop / café.
Thank you very much for the training course on Sunday, I found it really helpful and I am sure my dog (Lux) really enjoyed it. Neal, East Riding of Yorkshire
… although I was already familiar with positive reinforcement and clicker training, you provided extremely clear instruction and exercises to follow for scent work, and it was enormously useful to get Laiko doing this outside in the field… so it was very encouraging to see him focussed, working, and progressing in this context. You were calm and sympathetic with each of the dogs… Concepta, Staffordshire
I have just arrived back from a great truffle hunting course with James, I thoroughly recommend to anyone wishing to hunt truffles to book a woodland lesson with James after doing a lot of work using training aids and oil James gave me the knowledge and confidence to go and try it alone. Be warned , James is in demand and the days get booked up very quickly !! DM, Lancashire
Thank you for the photo and for a fantastic morning hunting truffles! Paul and I loved your relaxed style and all the information and tips, so much so the time flew by. KK, Oxfordshire
Just a quick note to say thank you for a very enjoyable and informative day, your passion for all things truffle was contagious and both Moira and I are looking forward to developing our dogs truffling skills further, We not only thoroughly enjoyed the day but have come away feeling confident that we have gained knowledge and practical skills to allow us to develop our dog further. I would have no hesitation in recommending the day [workshop] to anyone with an interest in truffles or alternatively developing a rewarding relationship with their dog. You have a great ability to teach in a relaxed and positive manner. We look forward to seeing you in September and becoming proud owners of our very own truffle hound. JT, Berkshire
It was a real pleasure to meet you and learn about your commitment and passion for educating people about the British Truffle. I found the workshop extremely informative and enjoyable.
Once again, a big thank you for your time yesterday and sharing your knowledge with us all. HA, London
I found it far more informative than expected. Well explained with maximum encouragement for the dog, who enjoyed the day as much as we did. Thank you very much indeed for a brilliant day out. JLW, Oxfordshire
I am really pleased I went, it was full of valuable information and practical help from someone who deeply understands dogs and truffles and crucially how to explain how to make the combination live for beginners, (dogs and humans). Anon.
Thank you so much for a very good day. We really enjoyed it all, and I can honestly say not many single days are life changing for a dog and owner, but this one was. BG, Kent
I booked the workshop as a Birthday gift for my husband and came along myself as a spectator. James ran the day well and the lectures were interesting, the practical exercises worked well and the whole day was as we hoped it would be – fun but informative. MT, Hertfordshire
Thank you so much! We had such a great time, and I don’t think I’ve enjoyed researching a UK story so much. Thanks for being patient and fun, and a great teacher. I can’t wait to write it. Hannah Summers, Young Travel Writer of the Year 2015 – having a lesson for a forthcoming national newspaper feature.
Excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed my day, lovely drive down to a sleepy village, and the lesson has given me great insight into Truffles. TF, Wilts
My German Shepherd dog Malik and I have had the pleasure to be trained in truffle hunting by James. The gentle but thorough, force-free method used leads to an exceptionally accelerated understanding by the dog. It’s a truly joyful learning experience for both handler and canine companion. I can’t wait for the Autumn to put all our training into practice. KD, Hampshire.
I tagged along with a friend to one of the English Truffle Company’s training sessions not really thinking my Jack Russell would ever learn to be a truffle hound but James’ step by step method of training proved me wrong. The dog quickly learnt to identify truffle scent and went on to recover a hidden lure [frozen truffle] without difficulty. Obviously the dog will need more training but I’m pretty confident I’ll be selling truffles on line later this year… SB, Wiltshire.
Through trying different strategies in a fun way, James was able to help Pippa form associations with the truffle scent and a treat – so really pleased we went home having achieved more than I had hoped in just one training session. MP, Dorset.
Can an older dog be taught to find truffles?
Yes, contrary to the old saying you can “teach an old dog new tricks”. Our own dogs have learnt to find truffles at 6, 6 and 4. Dogs on our woodland lessons that have found truffles have all been adults.
What age should I start truffle dog training for a puppy? A key consideration is not over-exercising a growing puppy. This risks overtiring it and damaging developing joints which might lead to arthritis. A rule of thumb from the Kennel Club is that puppies need five minutes of exercise per month of age up to twice a day, In other words, a 3-month-old puppy will need 15 minutes of exercise while a 4-month-old will need 20 minutes etc.
At 3-4 months, as well as teaching obedience (especially recall!) you can introduce scent games such as hide and seek for their favourite treat. As dogs are naturally inclined to use their noses and are often motivated by food at an early age, it is an ideal time to make a start. Age, however is not what determines if they are ready for truffle training; they need to be motivated by food or toys, be keen to please and be able to concentrate for brief periods.
Is there a good time of the year for training?
Our main period for finding truffles is September – the end of January. Training can however, happen at any time of the year. For workshops, we use truffle oil and fresh or frozen truffle (depending on if they are in season / we have any).
Which breeds of dog are best for truffle hunting?
The Italian breed Lagotto romagnolo is the only breed history defined as a truffle hunter. They resemble a cross between a poodle and a terrier. Poodles are also associated with truffle hunting. However, it is more about the attitude of the individual dog than it’s breed. They should be motivated by food or toys, have a desire to please and be very keen to use their nose. They should not be too distracted by visual stimuli or other animals such as squirrels and game. We have trained many breeds from Jack Russells and Terriers to German Shepherds and many more.