Hunting for your favorite mushrooms is a great pastime with a very tasty end result. Imagine how much more successful your hunts would be if you had a trained assistant with a nose for mushrooms. Well, good news! Your pup has a nose that is so much more sensitive than yours that it can smell out mushrooms from a distance you wouldn't even be able to see them from. Even if they were in plain view. This makes his nose one the best tools in your toolbox.
For centuries, dogs were used to help people find mushrooms in the wild, but with so many mushroom farms, this skill has all but died out. Training your dog to sniff out patches of mushrooms is easier than teaching him to hunt game, as the mushrooms don't move around. It also takes less time to complete the training.
This is a hunting command or seek-out type of command. You are training your dog to use his sense of smell to sniff out one particular type of mushroom or a range of mushrooms. What you train him to find depends heavily on what varieties of mushrooms happen to grow in your area. As for the exact command word you should use, create a simple command like "go find mushrooms". Choose your word and stick to it, try not to make it to much like any other command to avoid confusion during training.
Whether you hunt mushrooms for the dining room table or are after more valuable varieties like chanterelles, which may sell for up to $30.00 per pound or more on the open market, having a trained nose to help is the only way to go. At the same time, you are training your dog to hunt mushrooms, you should use the time to make sure you recognize the edible ones from the poisonous ones to ensure you don’t make a mistake that could kill you.
For this, you need a place where you can hide mushrooms above ground at first and underground later in the training as they grow under both conditions. Your dog has a natural curiosity that will help him follow a scent to something as long as he thinks there is a reward at the end of the hunt. The reward can be a treat during the early stages of training, but should slowly devolve into simple verbal praise and maybe a pat on the head. However, you will need:
Since you are hunting for stationary fungi instead of a moving animal, you might think this would be easier. But the scent may be fainter, making it harder for your pup to locate its source. Also, note that your dog should already have mastered the basic commands before training him to hunt.