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I know miniature poodles were (and still are) used as truffle hunting dogs. I think the gift runs strong in Misha because he is obsessed with mushrooms. We had a spell where it rained heavily every day for a week, so there have been a fair number of mushrooms around. Misha is particularly enamored with this one species of bolete mushroom that I think is an edible one. He has already found at least 4-5 of them, including when we're out on walks. And they're uncommon enough that I haven't seen any of them until he finds them. I have found him carrying them around and also digging them up when they are buried. Maybe nosework is in his future. Does anybody else have poodles with this obsession? It does concern me a bit because I worry that he could swallow one of the not-so-edible species. So far he's only been interested in the one I'm fairly sure is edible, but that also seems to be the most common around our property.
 

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Oh my. That is interesting, but nerve wracking. I would be really worried over collecting mushrooms since I am not expert of which are safe and not safe. I used to go birding in the spring in a park where we always ran into mushroom hunters. I was always fairly amazed when we saw the same people each year. I guess they knew what they were doing.
 

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Oh my. That is interesting, but nerve wracking. I would be really worried over collecting mushrooms since I am not expert of which are safe and not safe. I used to go birding in the spring in a park where we always ran into mushroom hunters. I was always fairly amazed when we saw the same people each year. I guess they knew what they were doing.
Yes I feel the same haha. I know these boletes have a very tasty meaty smell, so I'm hoping he isn't equally crazy about all mushrooms. I can identify a small number well enough to be safe eating them, but I still don't know the majority. Whenever I find him carrying a mushroom I confiscate it, but I'm pretty sure he's downed small pieces of them given that he tries to eat most things. I don't think any of the boletes are deadly, so not too worried about these ones, but it's still unnerving for sure. It'd be nice if I could teach him to only go after chanterelles.

Also my boyfriend and I are birders as well!
 

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The Lagotto Romagnolo was specifically bred for truffle hunting and is probably the best at the job. They were the ancestors of poodles, golden retrievers and Portuguese water dogs. So it makes sense that the poodle would make a great truffle hunter. I see you live in Florida. Well, surprisingly enough, truffles grow in southwest Florida. You could find someone to show you how to enhance or train your dog to hunt truffles and you could make a bundle of cash. They're like gold to fine restaurants. I would actively train for this...the specific fungi that the dog will be reinforced for finding. And prevent the interest in other mushrooms since you don't know which are safe and which are not. Many are deadly. Prevention keeps the dog from practicing and being reinforced for finding the mushrooms you don't know about. So lots of supervision or trying to remove them from your yard. The spores are next to impossible to get so they'll come back very soon even if you pick off the visible part. Most of the fungi is under the surface spreading all over the place. You could spend some time learning about the various fungi that grows in your yard. Maybe there aren't any poisonous ones. But I'd sure want to find out if your dog is obsessed. There are some that are very dangerous. Best wishes.

My dogs show no interest in the fungi that grows in my yard at times. Knock on wood. At least so far.
 

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LOL, well I'd be concerned as I'm sure my dog wouldn't care and would just as well eat a bad one. Good txt you have some knowledge about mushrooms. My granddad I remember he would walk and walk go fishing, and hunt down mushrooms. He never got sick from one so I guess he knew the difference.
 

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https://www.google.com/search?q=ide.....69i57j33.12878j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


I have a small book on mushrooms/fungi that I got when I lived in north Idaho where they have something like 400 species of mushrooms, including the prized Morel mushroom. I had those growing in my woods on my property. They are very valuable. And gross looking. Phallic. lol. You can't mistake a Morel. There were people who went hunting for them up in the higher elevations and sold them to the restaurants around Priest Lake where I lived for LOADS of money. Incredible. At one of the resorts around there, every fall they had a big mushroom show where people brought there collection and laid them all out on many tables for people to come and learn and see. Anyhow, it's something that takes some serious study to become proficient at identifying them to make sure you don't mistake an edible one for a deadly one. They can be very similar looking.
 

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https://www.google.com/search?q=ide.....69i57j33.12878j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


I have a small book on mushrooms/fungi that I got when I lived in north Idaho where they have something like 400 species of mushrooms, including the prized Morel mushroom. I had those growing in my woods on my property. They are very valuable. And gross looking. Phallic. lol. You can't mistake a Morel. There were people who went hunting for them up in the higher elevations and sold them to the restaurants around Priest Lake where I lived for LOADS of money. Incredible. At one of the resorts around there, every fall they had a big mushroom show where people brought there collection and laid them all out on many tables for people to come and learn and see. Anyhow, it's something that takes some serious study to become proficient at identifying them to make sure you don't mistake an edible one for a deadly one. They can be very similar looking.
There is a truffle training school for dogs in Washington.......what a fun way to have a nice hike and put some cash in your pocket!
I believe one of the places for training is called 'The Truffle Dog Company'
 

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I would be concerned because I’m ignorant of the various mushrooms and this or another could be poisonous. However if you have an interest in mushrooms I would look to develop this into a functional safe sport with your dog.

You might want to start nose work class. This is one dog sport you can start with a young puppy. Most organizations use birch, anise, clove and cypress essential oils. Dogs are rewarded heavily with food for finding those scents and they are taught to ignore other potentially exciting smells. Sounds like your puppy might be highly competitive.

In the meantime you should be training “leave it” and keep your puppy on a leash so he’s doesn’t have the opportunity to dig up mushrooms. Reward him for looking away from mushrooms and looking at you, similar to what you would train if you found hamburger or chicken on the ground of unknown origin. Teach him that giving you attention is more valuable to him than investigating and eating random food on the ground.
 

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There is a truffle training school for dogs in Washington.......what a fun way to have a nice hike and put some cash in your pocket!
I believe one of the places for training is called 'The Truffle Dog Company'
MMM...(haha) I saw that once. I forget what I was looking for...maybe truffle training in Washington. lol. I believe it crossed my mind at one time. But it's been a while so naturally, it's all a fuzzy memory. But yeah...wouldn't that be cool?!

https://truffledogcompany.com/

Private lessons
https://truffledogcompany.com/product/private-lesson/
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Poodlebequiled, thanks so much for the info! I had no idea truffles grew in Florida. I'll have to look into that. And Skylar thanks for the tips as well. I'll definitely look into nosework. I know we have stuff like agility and rally, but I haven't seen nosework classes so I hope we can find some around here. It would be lots of fun. As a field biologist I've been interested in working with a dog in nosework to find stuff like box turtles which can be tricky to locate. I've heard of spaniels used for this very purpose, and also labs trained to locate snakes. So there are plenty of applications for nosework!

I am going to have to be very careful about the mushrooms we have growing around the yard :afraid: Luckily I haven't seen any that I know are highly poisonous, though I'm sure some of the ones I've seen in our neighborhood are probably mildly toxic. Thankfully our property isn't too bad for them. I'll have to try to locate some before Misha does and see if I can train him to leave them alone. He's still working on his leave it skills.
 
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