From Pig to Dog
Did you know that for centuries, humans have relied on the keen smelling sense of pigs and dogs to locate truffles?
However dogs have overtaken the role in the last century and here is why:
"Dogs are more obedient and trainable than pigs and have less of an affinity towards the taste of truffles."
In fact, for pigs, the musky aroma is similar to that of a potential mate’s pheromone and makes them go crazy.
So crazy that in the past it wasn’t rare for a truffle hunter to be missing a couple of fingers, eaten by pigs while trying to grab the truffles.
Using pigs to find truffles has been banned in Italy since 1985.
Pigs’ hooves damage root systems, making it less likely the same host-tree will yield truffles another year.
Dogs have been specifically bred for truffle hunting.
One of the most broadly used in Italy is the Lagotto Romagno - The Romagna water dog.
Truffle dogs are very valuable
The right dog with the right owner can make tens of thousands of dollars a year.
However the bond between the two is beyond any monetary value, a lifelong relationship.