The other part is played by the English Cocker Spaniels from our farm. Every truffle we dig tells a story of passion and tradition. At Cocker Truffle Italia we train English Spaniel Cockers to find truffles. Recognized and accredited by ENCI (Italian National Dog Association) and FCI (Italian Cynological Federation), our breeding farm was born out of an inherited passion for dogs and of a desire to find a breed suitable for truffle hunting.
Our business started with (Clara: the cocker is very good at finding truffles – especially the white ones – even in the most adverse conditions. We carefully preserve and aim at transmitting Clara’s hunting skills, which the dog never seems to get tired of showing, in order to please the handler.
An affectionate and outgoing personality make the cocker the perfect companion dog and we are we are so fond of this breed that we have appointed our cockers as the heart and the protagonists of all our work, as well as honorary members of the family. Our truffle hunting business keeps going thanks to them, to the point that we decided to open an agritourism in 2020, where we always taste the truffles we find together.
Within our estate, there is a large controlled natural truffle ground, a gym for our puppies, but also for the puppies of anyone who would love to hunt truffles, either as a hobby or as a job. For this reason, we have decided to breed two bloodlines: a calmer one, and a more energetic one suitable for future professional truffle hunters.
From this perspective, we also hold courses for those handlers who would like to train their dogs – -of any age.
Our dogs’ sense of smell is essential to find the most hidden truffles, sometimes even a meter underground or embedded in the roots of a tree.
Truffle hunting is an extremely exciting activity: it is difficult to control the excitement that we and the dogs feel when they start digging for a truffle, which becomes like a precious jewel that we cannot wait to hold in our hands.
When we train the dogs it is essential that we manage to curb their excitement, teaching them to stop digging before compromising the truffle, in order to allow the handler to continue the work like an archaeologist who carefully digs to unearth their find.
Given the close bond that we have with our cockers, both in our work and family life, we strongly believe that only perfectly healthy dogs are to be chosen for reproduction. This is why we carry out all necessary checks to avoid hip and knee dysplasia (all our dogs take X-rays) and any genetic disease that can be handed down (for which we have specific tests performed).
We also make sure that we only select dogs with a lively and even-tempered character, essential features to a perfect companion dog. English Spaniel cockers are especially friendly with children, and they easily become their great friends and teachers!