April 06, 2012
The Truffle Dogs are coming to the NW Pet and Companion Fair on May 5th and 6th at the Portland Metropolitan Expo Center, each hoping to prove that he or she has the best gourmet nose in the business. The tournament, sponsored by NW Truffle Dogs, takes place over both days of the fair, with each contestant having one opportunity to work an indoor truffle patch in which Oregon White and Oregon Black truffles are hidden. Each dog will have five minutes to locate and indicate to his or her handler the location of three hidden truffles, differentiating them from “distraction scents” that are also placed in the test area. The dog that locates all of the truffles in the shortest amount of time and with the fewest indications on distraction scent will go home with top honors, a trophy, and a $200 prize purse.
The use of trained dogs for locating culinary truffles has been on the rise from Canada to Northern California, and across the Midwest to the East Coast, with pet dog owners beginning to realize that recreational K9 scent work can have a practical application as well as being an enjoyable activity. Fragrant, gourmet truffles are surprisingly abundant in many North American forests where they grow underground, giving a hunting advantage to those working with a K9 partner that can pinpoint the location of ripe fruits. From those who hunt truffles for personal use to commercial truffle harvesters, the use of truffle-trained detection dogs is gaining popularity.
Virtually any dog with sufficient drive to hunt or play can be trained to locate truffles, and the tournament promises to be a showcase of pedigrees and mutts likely to surprise those accustomed to detection dogs being limited to traditional working breeds. There will certainly be a number of retrievers and German Shepherds strutting their stuff, but a pug/beagle mix from British Columbia will be giving all of them a run for their money! The mature dogs, too, will be keeping the young pups on their toes, with one of the region’s most prodigious truffle hunters, a 9 year old Golden Retriever, ready to show that she has what it takes to bring home the top prize.
If you’d like more information about this event, or to schedule an interview, email Elizabeth Kalik (Elizabeth(at)NWTruffledogs(dot)com) or Kelly Slocum (Kelly(at)NWTruffleDogs(dot)com), or phone at (503) 664-0364.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/4/prweb9370972.htm