Training protocol: research dogs for boletus mushrooms
The present study describes the principles steps and results of a training program designed to train dogs for researching mushroom of Boletus genus. Two females and adult dogs, a Labrador Retriever and a Rottweiler, were trained by Clicker Training method. For the training were used intact and frozen mushrooms to ensure their preservation. The training process includes a basic education phase. After this, there was a phase in which the signalling targets are taught, that will be used by the subjects to indicate the finding mushroom. In the next phase the dog learns olfactory research. Simulated research on whole and fresh mushrooms are organized with progressively increasing of the difficulty to simulate an exit in woods with the placement of various mushrooms.
The final phase involves olfactory discrimination towards other mushrooms species and poisonous species. Our results demonstrate that dogs can be trained for mushroom detection.