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What It's Like To Hunt For Northwest Truffles With Specially-Trained Dogs

Justin Steyer
Kristin Rosenbach works with Cash, a truffle-hunting sheltie.

It used to be that pigs would roam the fields, nose to the ground, sniffing for the musk of a buried truffle. Once hot on the trail, the hog would rout down and down for the crest of the hidden truffle.

At Seattle-based Truffle Dog Company, it's dogs, not hogs, that do the legwork. Between them, owners Alana McGee and Kristin Rosenbach have seven dogs of various ages and breeds all trained to hunt. The company offers guided foraging expeditions as well as a training program for aspiring canine hunters and their handlers.

The Italians are known to rely on the Lagotto Romagnolo breed to hunt for truffles, but you can teach any dog — even an old dog — the tricks of the trade, says McGee.

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