By Vanessa Salvia

Winter is truffle season in Oregon, which means now is the time for truffle dogs and their handlers to find Oregon black truffles (Leucangium carthusianum) in our local forests. The Joriad North American Truffle Dog Championship for 2023, part of the Oregon Truffle Festival, was held January 28 at the Lane Events Center’s Large Animal Arena. This event determines which dog wears the crown for the North American Truffle Dog Championship. The Joriad is the only event of its kind that allows dogs the chance to show off how well they can locate truffles. Many truffle dog owners put a lot of effort into training their dogs and winning this event comes with a lot of prestige, even if not a lot of name recognition for non-participants. The Lagotto Romagnolo dog has been bred specifically to hunt for truffles, but any type of dog can compete in The Joriad, which is the only competition of its kind in North America. The Joriad’s first round welcomes spectators at the Lane County Events Center in the morning, and the top five dogs go on to compete in a second and final round in the field which is not open to the public.

Afterwards, the pet parents and their dogs met at Party Downtown for a lot of tail wagging and barking for the dogs, and truffle-based appetizers from Party and beer from Alesong. The results are in!

1st place: Pixel the 3-year-old border collie⁠, and Courtney
⁠Pixel found 14 truffles in one hour during the final round in the woods.

2nd place: Stevie the almost 2-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo⁠


3rd place: Bunny the 2-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo⁠

Dungeness crab, black truffle, apple, and celeriac on a puff (left). White beans on sourdough, white truffle olive oil, truffled water, and buffalo cheese (middle). Cornbread, truffled country ham, avocado, and crema (right).

Party Downtown prepared some delicious food.

Leslie Scott, Oregon Truffle Festival co-founder, speaks about the championships, with trainer and Kristina Leipzig on her left and festival co-founder Charles Lefevre on Leslie’s right.


Rachel and Bunny
Some of the truffle dogs meet.


Truffle dog trainer Bob Wallker talks about the dogs and the event.


Nora, with Stevie the truffle dog.
Raji came in fifth place.