Our Collectors

Tuber Melasnosporum

Truffle hunters

The black truffle is found underground throughout its germination and development. It is usually found at a depth of between 15 and 25 cm from the surface. This means that it is not possible to check its location and state of maturation with the naked eye and opening the ground blindly is not a viable option, because we can cut off the truffle’s maturation process and invalidate the corresponding bushes for a season.

Therefore, we knew that just as it was very important to have a selection of species, a suitable soil and climate for the development of a quality fruit, it was no less important to have a system that would serve to harvest the truffle at its optimum moment, and always using 100% natural methods that respected the production times and did not affect the characteristics of the soil.

With this idea in mind and after seeing first-hand that, after a positive learning process, our dogs participated in the harvest as if it was a game, we decided to create a canine training area, dedicated to awakening our animals’ interest in “hunting” truffles by taking advantage of their natural search instincts and their fine sense of smell. Nowadays, their ability to detect a ripe truffle buried several centimetes below the surface in often frozen ground never ceases to amaze us.
From an early age, by playing with truffle-impregnated objects, puppies are taught to sniff and track the ground, marking where there is a ripe truffle, and are rewarded with a prize each time they indicate the location of the truffle.

During the harvesting period, a trained dog scours the farm in search of truffles for short periods of time, always leaving them wanting more. For them it is a game, and they must never lose that character. Of course, the rest of the time, our dogs spend their time playing, eating, walking and resting. Our objective, as truffle farmers, is the harvest, but, as animal lovers, our priority is always to look after and pamper our animals, respecting their time and their needs. In this they are in charge.

They cannot speak, but they say a lot if you know how to listen to them, and without them none of this would be possible.

Selecting dogs with special olfactory qualities and a taste for this “game” we mainly use breeds such as Cocker Spaniel, Drahthaar and Lagotto Romagnolo.

The mythical Ikatz was our first dog trained to search for and mark ripe truffles, and since then we have incorporated several dogs into our school.

This is a team sport; they say “here” and, after giving them their prize and having a party, our task of harvesting begins, in which we must take special care not to damage the fruit in the process, as the Tuber Melanosporum is very delicate.

We periodically carry out Animal Welfare courses.

"They are our 4-legged superheros".