Morels have a distinct scent. They also have an extremely distinct appearance. With their cone shape and honeycomb appearance, morel mushrooms are strong smelling but tasty fungi. Though the morel mushroom season is short, about three months long, finding them when they appear can be rewarding and exciting. They can appear overnight, so you and your pup need to be ready for an exciting search. Training your dog to help you search for and find morel mushrooms can increase your productivity for such a short season. Teaching your dog to hunt for morel mushrooms specifically can not only help you to grow a business but can also keep your dog safe from eating mushrooms which are not edible. Dogs like to please their owners, and they enjoy the excitement of a chase and the reward of a hunt.
Because morel mushroom season is so short in most areas, you will need to take your dog hunting with you and train off-season to teach your dog to search, find, fetch, and retrieve. To do this offseason, you can use treats and toys for your dog to hunt. During morel season, take your dog to areas where you know morels grow. Introduce the mushroom and the strong scent to your dog with excitement and enthusiasm. Many dog owners who hunt morel mushrooms with their dogs will rub the scent of the mushroom onto their dog’s cheeks and on their own hands and arms to build the excitement with the dog. You can teach any dog to hunt morel mushrooms with you. However, you will need a dog who is focused, knows basic commands already, and has an interest in pleasing you and learning new things. Be patient, enjoy the hunt together, and be prepared to find the first few morel mushrooms on your own and reward your dog for the discovery.
Your dog will need to know basic training commands. If you plan to hunt in an area off leash, be sure your dog knows more advanced commands such as ‘come’ and ‘heel’. You will need an area where you are certain morel mushrooms will grow. If you cannot find morel mushrooms for training in the wild, purchase some so your dog can have the scent. Come prepared with lots of treats to reward your pup for a job well done.