Truffle Hunting Offers New Life for Shelter Dogs in Australia

Truffle Hunting Offers New Life for Shelter Dogs in Australia

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Truffle Hunting Dog released Jayson Mesman

An Australian farmer is giving abandoned dogs new life as farm hands — and they work for hugs.

Jayson Mesman, who once trained dogs to work for the country’s customs department, now trains them to look for truffles on his farm.

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He’s even created his own “Truffle Dog University” to rescue and train as many shelter dogs as he can for other farms around Australia.

Many of the dogs he adopts have been shunned for digging up people’s yards. Now, they get rewards to dig for the “black gold” that sells for as much as $1,000 a pound.

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It’s almost impossible to find truffles without a pig or dog, and their super sense of smell. Dogs, however, are easier to train — and easier to keep from eating the precious truffles, when compared with a 200-pound pig.

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The dogs on Mesman’s farm — Nala, Simba, Willow, and Samson — all have their own “pay scale.” They each prefer different rewards.

Simba ignored treats and toys during training, but as soon as Messman’s partner Danielle gave the pup a hug, Simba found his first truffle.

“All he wants is a hug,” Mesman told ABC News.

Fetch This Story For Your Friends…. (Photo courtesy of Jayson Mesman)