The Barbet as a Truffle dog.
Those who own a barbet will soon become aware of their keen sense of smell. Originally used to locate waterfowl amongst dense rushes and reeds, the barbet or French waterdog has lost none of its natural ability even though these days it is rarely called upon.
As with all of the more intelligent dog breeds, and the barbet is no exception, they love being given a task to perform. There are references dating back to the mid 1800`s of barbets or poodles being trained for the purpose of locating truffles, the most sought after and valuable of all the fungi to be found. So it is no surprise to find barbet being trained to put their nose to good use today.
what can start as a quick training session in the garden, with your barbet locating hidden objects scented with truffle oil can go on to become a lucrative pastime. The trick is to get your barbet to signal to you when it has located the scent it has been trained to find and let you do the careful digging for the truffle. There are organised training days available in the UK and a barbet is already proving her worth in this country (see Di Di below).