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New trick for ambitious dogs: Truffle hunting

November 18, 2010 |  6:02 am


Send Spot back to school to learn a new trick.

As part of the sixth-annual Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene, held Jan. 28-30, you and your pooch can take a two-day "Truffle Dog Training Seminar." Taught by truffle-dog handler Jim Sanford of the Blackberry Farm Resort in Walland, Tenn., the class purports to teach dogs and their owners "how to find truffles in woodlands and truffle orchards across the continent."

That doesn't necessarily mean Griffith Park or the Santa Monica Mountains, unless some sort of Johnny Appleseed has been planting truffle trees there in secret. But it certainly does mean Oregon. Last year, one dog found 70 truffles. They didn't go home with the proud owner, though: They were served that night at the festival's "Grand Truffle Dinner."

For more information, check www.oregontrufflefestival.com.

-- S. Irene Virbila

Photo: A truffle hunter leads his dogs. Credit: Krista Simmons / For The Times