Tim & Molly

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    Alana McGee

    Hi Tim. Thanks for the photos. Yes, we would suggest you start to hide some targets on the orchard. Again, some of it is about generalizing. Because the grasses are different here and the way they are laid out will create some barriers, you are correct, it doesn’t hurt.

    Also has a handler you need to get used to digging under those grasses. They create soil mats which can be a pain to get through for you and Molly.

    It is not ‘that’ different as you say, but the more you can practice here the more she’ll feel confident in this environment. Mostly we aren’t concerned about her failing to alert as much as gaining experience working in this specific scenario, as you mentioned, because those grasses will create some scent barriers she’s going to have to work through.

    Bare minimum on the orchard have a target with you to throw out.


    You are right Tim that throwing a target out on the orchard is different than targets in the ground there- another reason to practice that (burying some) on the orchard. See how she moves when you plant a few right at the base of trees. And do do that. They aren’t always at the base of trees, but plant a couple that way.

    As for how to manufacture, yes, just throw one out. Success is success, and that’s the goal in that scenario, not necessarily working through soil to find a target, but success in the game and generalizing to an area.

    You timing on encouragement looks great. We think you are reading her well, and it is fine to encourage here, that is what her behavior looks like when on scent.

    3:17 she is working SO well on this.much harder for her to find in this scenario. She’s doing well, and we think you are correct. There are mixed odors here, which is why it is a complicated scenario. The more this is practiced the more versed she will get at parsing out just one and following it to source, and then doing it again discriminating against the ones she has previously found.

    Well done on the last one- that timing was just fine.

    Here’s a link to the third class- Email us and we get you the info you need for sign up- as some of this material will be pertinent to you on the orchard.



    Hi Alana, Have just received some fresh truffle, whats the best way to store? i’m thinking in the fridge?
    what do I look for to tell me its time to stop using it and get some new ones?
    Right I’m off to the orchrad to try with the fresh stuff! video coming soon

    Alana McGee

    Hey Tim, sorry for delay.

    Hope you had fun on the orchard!

    We should have a link to truffle care somewhere in a lesson, but I’ll have to dig through. Until then this is a PDF of how to care for your Burgundies.

    Alana McGee

    So yes, Fridge

    As I said, summer truffles are incredibly hardy if they were given to you fresh. We ran some tests and in a cool fridge in a closed container with paper towels we had samples for training last over a month!.

    Brush off that white fuzz. When they start to smell gross, that’s when you want to ditch them. Also a good indication is the interior. It should be marbled. If it is not and is one color solid- that means it is starting to break down.

    Do NOT store on rice.


    Thanks for info.

    All the trees on the orchard have this matting around the base, is this going to be an issue?

    Molly has been working well this week, we are doing cooks of 5hrs at the moment. One issue that has arisen is she has made the link between the disturbed earth and truffles. at first she just started checking out every spot that I’d disturbed and any mole hills! now she has started having a bit of a dig at each one. i suppose when I’m on the orchard for real there won’t be any disturbed earth. But my concern is she is using the scent of disturbed ground as a short cut to finding the truffle, rather than focusing on looking for truffle scent.

    I’ve been really careful to always contaminate the area and dig false holes, was doing that before i started burying the targets. we have been doing a lot of training recently and she has made the connection that the ground is always disturbed.

    Should i be concerned to much about this? any suggestions


    Oh yes, tried the fresh truffle, no problem at all. Molly hit on it without any issues.

    Alana McGee

    Hi Tim

    Yes, the matting is an issue for harvesting. It needs to come up depending on what it looks like around the tree prior to actually harvesting. Thanks for photos. Is the weed fabric just in a small square section around the tree or down the whole row? Either way, it’ll need to come out. While scent can permeate it, accessing truffle should molly alert there is a pain, among other things. It makes harvesting difficult as well and makes odor move oddly and pool in odd spots. So if you’re ready to start checking, we recommend it coming out.

    As for the disurturbed earth.
    It is something to be aware of. As soon as you start finding real ones that point will be moot. Make sure when you plant some to really compress the ground around it.

    It also depends on what you want, but as far as overall training goes, a little dig is fine IF you can tell the difference between exploratory digging and alerts. You are really good at reading her, so if you can do that, then yeah it’s fine (and as long as it is a little dig, not a pit). If you have a hard time telling the difference between exploratory digs and alerts then we should address it by you investigating each time when she manifests the behavior proving that you will come in and check whenever that behavior is offered. She won’t get rewarded unless there is a target.

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