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Truffle dog looks to the past

March 31, 2009 |  7:53 pm

Truffle dog

Submitter Sean Montes explains that his photo, taken in France, shows a retired truffle dog who "felt left out when the younger dogs were taken inside for training.  She sneaks a peek through a window at the training inside."

In the past, specially trained truffle pigs were used to find the valuable (and tasty) fungi.  More recently, dogs have been tasked with sniffing out truffles, in part because they're more easily trained not to eat the truffles when they find them.

Dogs of many different breeds (including, obviously, Labrador retrievers) have been used as truffle hunters, but only one breed -- the Lagotto Romagnolo -- is specially recognized for its truffle-finding skills.  The Italian breed, which vaguely resembles a poodle, is thought to be a foundation breed for all water retrievers.  It's currently in the lengthy process to receive American Kennel Club recognition.

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Sean Montes / Your Scene

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