12 Different Dogs That Hunt Truffles (With Pictures)

Dubbed ‘Edible Gold’, Truffles are the fruiting body of a subterranean ascomycete fungus, one of the many varieties of the genus Tuber. In layman’s terms, they are edible fungus that grows underground and are regarded internationally as a delicacy.

Truffles are most often used in Italian, French, and other ‘Haute Cuisines’. As below-ground treats, truffles are tricky for humans to find with the naked eye. A special nose is required for such an endeavor.

Traditionally, pigs were employed for the task, but being pigs, they had a habit of sniffing out the truffles and promptly eating them. As an alternative, we’re now going to look at 12 Different dogs that hunt truffles.

12 Different Types of Dogs That Hunt Truffles

Truffle hunters have learned to train dogs to hone in on the scent of ripe truffles and sit, bark or gently dig the ground at its location, leaving unripe truffles undisturbed. Unlike pigs, you can trust a trained dog not to eat your entire haul!

1. Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherd on the grass
Australian shepherd on the grass | image by madaise via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 40-65 pounds
Coat: Medium, Double

Like the country that is their namesake, Australian Shepherds are known for their rugged, down-to-earth sensibility. Part of the herding group, they are sought-after as rodeo dogs.

In addition to their ingrained work ethic, they are exquisitely beautiful. The Australian Shepherd breed comes in many coats, including the highly coveted merle. They often have striking, light-colored eyes or the characteristic of heterochromia, which adds to their appeal.

Not just a pretty face, the intelligence, trainability, and keen nose make the Australian Shepherd a standout breed for hunting truffles.

2. Poodle

poodle | image by: Sonyuser

Average Lifespan: 10-18 years
Average Size: 40-70 pounds
Coat: Long, curly

The glamorous poodle breed possesses a reputation for regality, so is it any wonder they are one of the dogs that hunt truffles?

Although often characterized by their aristocratic bouffant hairstyles, the standard poodle breed is far from uptight. Athletic, intelligent, and highly trainable, they excel in agility and tracking tasks. They are also excellent water retrievers who don’t mind getting all that beautiful hair wet.

With guidance, this versatile and gorgeous breed will delight in truffle hunting!

3. Beagle

english bulldog | image by: Edy Rung

Average Lifespan: 10-15 years
Average Size: 20-30 pounds
Coat: Short, smooth

Who is more charming than the beagle? This beloved breed has an impish disposition and playful spirit. It’s near-impossible not to fall in love with their big brown or hazel eyes, framed by those famous floppy ears.

Often called ‘The Merry Beagle’, these pups also know when to get down to business. This surprisingly ancient dog breed was purportedly hunting rabbit and hare in packs as early as 55 B.C in England.

Along with their ingrained enthusiasm for the hunt, beagles have excellent noses, all the better to sniff out those truffles.

4. Springer Spaniel

english bulldog | image by: Amorhunter

Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Average Size: 40-50 pounds
Coat: Medium, double

With sweet, slightly sorrowful expressions and long ears that frame their faces like human hair, the Springer Spaniel is immensely adorable. Behind the cuteness though, is another efficient member of the ranks of dogs that hunt truffles.

Working Springer Spaniels are muscular and nimble, bred for the fields of England as far back as the 1500s. Springer Spaniels earned a reputation for excelling at flushing out game, sometimes causing the game to “spring”.

A Spaniel making truffles spring out of the ground? Now that sounds like fun!

5. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever at dog's park
Golden retriever at dog’s park | image by Aidan Mak via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Average Size: 40-50 pounds
Coat: Medium, double

The iconic Golden Retriever breed needs no introduction. Gregarious, affectionate, and utterly devoted, they have enjoyed enduring popularity as a pet. The Golden Retriever has consistently ranked among the top ten dog breeds by the number of registrations in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada.

The definition of ‘sunny’, with their flaxen coats and ubiquitous smile, Goldens also have a tenacious work ethic. They excel at hunting, search and rescue operations, competitive events, and in their role as a guide for the blind.

The versatility, physicality, and exuberant spirit of this esteemed breed make them natural truffle seekers.

6. German Shorthaired Pointer

German shorthaired pointer
German shorthaired pointer | image by Harold Meerveld via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Average Size: 45-70 pounds
Coat: Short, smooth

Amongst the dogs that hunt truffles, the German Shorthaired Pointer enjoys a stellar reputation. Known for their enthusiasm for every type of physical activity, they are a natural ‘dog of all trades’.

Bred for hunting in Germany in the nineteenth century, they are employed for land and water work. Their sturdy legs and water-resistant coat make them highly adaptable. Supremely trainable, speedy, and quick-witted, the German Shorthaired Pointer is the ultimate truffle-hunting and adventure companion!

7. Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto romagnolo on stage
Lagotto romagnolo on stage | image by Svenska Mässan via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 15-17 years
Average Size: 24-35 pounds
Coat: Curly, double

The Lagotto Romagnolo has well and truly earned its place on the list of dogs that hunt truffles. With the nickname “Truffle Dog”, they might be the leaders of this list!

The Lagotto Romagnolo is easily recognized by the beautiful, wooly curls covering their body head to tail. The breed can be traced back to Renaissance Italy, where they were originally developed as waterfowl retrievers. However, it swiftly became apparent that they had a phenomenal nose, perfect for hunting that delicious delicacy, the truffle.

As we have established, many breeds of dogs can be trained to hunt truffles, but the Lagotto Romagnolo practically lives for it.

8. Labrador Retriever

Labrador retriever
Labrador retriever | image by Kevin Rodriguez Ortiz via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Average Size: 55-80 pounds
Coat: Short, double

The Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular dog for many well-deserved reasons. High-spirited, loving, and faithful, the Labrador Retriever seems synonymous with the expression ‘Family Dog’.

Instantly endearing for their soulful dark eyes and ‘smiling’ mouths, they are also inherently athletic. Bred in the United Kingdom as a sporting and hunting dog, they are also wonderfully adept at guide and rescue tasks.

The virtues of Labrador Retrievers are immense, and with some training, they can add ‘digging for delicious delicacies’ to their impressive repertoire of skills!

9. Border Collie

border collie | image by: jorgland24

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 30-55 pounds
Coat: Medium, wavy, double

Known as the ‘workaholic’ of dog breeds, the Border Collie will get the job done. They are the preeminent herding breed and find it difficult to rest if they haven’t put in a hard day’s work.

Bred to work in the rugged highlands of Scotland and Wales, Borders have dominated competitive sheepdog and agility events for centuries. They regularly top ‘Most Intelligent Dog Breed’ lists, while, of course, making some of the cutest puppies you’ve ever seen!

Teachable and tenacious, the Border Collie is one of the most hardworking of the dogs that hunt truffles.

10. German Shepherd

German Shepherd
German Shepherd | image by Ronoli via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 7-10 years
Average Size: 50-90 pounds
Coat: Medium, double

Courageous, noble, sometimes intimidating; the reputation of the German Shepherd precedes it.

Originally bred to herd sheep, the German Shephard has since proven itself as a remarkably versatile working dog. They excel at assisting the disabled, performing search-and-rescue operations, and as police dogs. A properly trained German Shepherd is without peer in terms of character and loyalty. They will risk their own life gladly for those they love.

For the German Shepherd owner seeking a less dangerous, but just as absorbing vocation for their pet, truffle hunting could be just the ticket.

11. Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terrier
Wire Fox Terrier | image by State Farm via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Average Size: 15-18 pounds
Coat: Medium, double, wiry, smooth

The Wire Fox Terrier and the Smooth Fox Terrier are two closely-related but distinct breeds developed for fox hunts in Britain. The Wire Fox is perhaps more popular today as a show-dog, with their distinguished ‘beard’ often giving them the appearance of a wise old man.

The Smooth Fox, on the other hand, has an equally intelligent but more streamlined appearance.

Graceful and petite, the first terriers excelled at driving foxes from the lairs. They were small enough to ride in the saddlebags of the hunters and easily distinguished from the foxes by their white coats.

Fox hunting is now illegal in England, Scotland and Wales, but there’s still the far more innocent pursuit of truffles.

12. Dachshund

Dachshund | image by Nick S via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
Average Size: 11-32 pounds
Coat: Short, medium, smooth

One of the most adorable dogs that hunt truffles, The Dachshund cuts an unmistakable figure. It’s almost impossible to see one of these adorable pups taking their brisk but tiny strides and not exclaim out loud “It’s a sausage dog!”

Dachshund means ‘Badger Dog’, with the breed’s unique physicality developed to help them dig into badger dens. The notably endearing appearance of the breed offsets a startlingly loud bark, which evolved to help them scare off the wild badger.

A less formidable opponent than the claws and sharp teeth of the badger is a field full of truffles. This pocket-rocket pup is equally handy in both.