These fun and informative truffle dog training 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.
Workshops run from 10:00 AM to around 4:30 PM. Refreshments (tea / coffee etc.) will be provided but you will need to bring your own lunch or go to a nearby shop / café.
For course dates and place availability please see the “Dates” tab. We currently run 4 or 5 workshops per year, one near Banbury, one or two near Chichester and two near Yeovil. Demand is very high. We announce the dates via our newsletter and they are booked up very quickly. We strongly recommend that you sign up to hear these announcements. Places are limited to 8 dogs plus handlers. Additional family members can attend as spectators but a charge is made. Spectating may not suit children, please see relevant points in our workshop terms and conditions. Sorry, but you cannot spectate unless you are accompanying a dog plus handler.
Please see the “FAQ” tab for the questions we are asked most commonly, including at what age dogs should start their training.
Thank you so much for this weekend. It was great to meet you and all the other dogs and their owners. I think it was the most fun I’ve ever had with my dog Myrtle! I wondered how well she’d take to it as a Corgi, but was so pleased to see her really enjoying working in that way. As she’s a bit high energy I’ve been looking for a really fun activity we could do together that would give her the mental stimulation she needs, and this was exactly what we’ve been looking for. I kept on catching her expression during the class – it was pure joy. She loved every minute, so we will definitely be pursuing our new hobby! Your teaching was wonderful, and you made the day feel so fun, calm and achievable – so a huge thank you! Selina, London
Rachel, Max, Buddy and I all had a super day. We all enjoyed learning new things and having a go. We thought the interchange between classroom and practical work was ideal and kept all our brains working. On a personal note, your preparation, knowledge and style were superb; both humans and dogs really appreciated it. We enjoyed ourselves very much and are now looking to come on one of your foraging courses. Rachel and Andrew, Hampshire
Thanks James for a great day – we all enjoyed it. Helen and Paul, Hampshire
I really enjoyed the training day last weekend and Coco is enjoying practising her new found skills. Duncan, London
Another great day and a super bunch of people and dogs. Carolyn, West Sussex
Many thanks for Saturday, Alfie and I really enjoyed it! Not only did we get greater success than I dreamt we ever would in just one hour, it was also great fun for us both – and also reminded me of some of the basics of dog training that I had forgotten! Tim, Worcestershire
Thanks for today an amazing experience and what a nice group of people. Gordon, Oxfordshire
Thanks for a great day yesterday. I really enjoyed it. Chris, Gloucestershire
Just a short note to let you know how chuffed we were that yesterday’s truffle hunt was a success. Peter could not stop beaming when he got back – he was so pleased that Lily found this truffle. I really did not think she would come up with the goods – o me of little faith! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Gertie, Berkshire
Many thanks for forwarding the notes to aid Daisy and myself to continue with the training. We had a fabulous day, very informative and hopefully with a bit more work and practice we will be proficient truffle hunters! Thanks again for all your patience and hard work. Jill, West Yorkshire
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.