MONTPELLIER, France (AP) _ A 5-year-old German shepherd with a fondness for ferreting out fungi was named France's champion truffle sniffer for 1988, nosing out 14 other dogs.

Ulmer, one of three entrants belonging to Jerome and Paulette Tedesco of Cahors, unearthed six hidden truffles in a minute and 22 seconds in Sunday's contest at Grammont outside the southern French city of Montpellier.

The Tedescos' other two German shepherds, Oscar and Chico, finished third and fourth in the 15th annual competition.

Truffles, an expensive delicacy, are fleshy, potato-shaped fungi which grow underground near the roots of trees. They are found by dogs and hogs, which are able to sniff them out.