White powder fills every hill and valley in Big Cottonwood Canyon while the beat of helicopter rotors blow back the ears of the eager Avalanche Rescue Dogs in training.  It is here that local Wasatch Backcountry Rescue dog handlers train pups and handlers alike on the basics of avalanche rescues and helicopter safety in mock scenarios. For an AVI dog, the standards are high and training school is intense.

As an avid sponsor of Avalanche Rescue dogs around the country, Ruffwear is well-represented with Greg, Patrick, and Colin in attendance.

© Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Here you see our team working with the WBR rescue school on a perfect day for training in Brighton, Utah.

On a quiet day at the Ruffwear headquarters we received an email from Greg who was playing the role of the ‘rescue victim’ in a mock avalanche rescue training drill. In what appears to be a car, Greg had time to fill us in as he sat patiently, awaiting his four-pawed rescue.

After an originally blank email with ONLY this photo, Greg quickly responds to the inquiring minds at Ruffwear with a humorous description, “I am sitting in a buried car waiting for Angus to save me. I am still waiting.”

Here at the Ruffwear office, you’d be surprised how many of us have been ‘avalanche victims’ in one scenario or another. One thing we can say is that these dogs are driven to be experts in fieldwork, ranging, beacon search, probing techniques, and obedience. Working like a dog shows its true colors when you notice the small paw shaped tracks littering the snowfields of the mountains. These AVI dogs mean business and they show it.

Greg is probably patiently waiting for his rescue as this is filmed 🙂

We find that these dogs have an amazing tenacity to learn, be trained, and provide services that save lives. As we continue to support these teams, we’re most impressed by each individual AVI dog we cross paths with. It’s the passion in their eyes as they perform successful drills in preparation for when it’s truly needed in the big White Mountains across the world.

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2 thoughts

  1. I’m a dog lover and also a skier. I admire this avalanche rescue dogs who have gone comprehensive training to save lives.

    They have been saving lives since 1800’s and before the most common avalanche rescue dogs back there were St. Bernards because of their size and abilities.

    Today, almost any breed can be trained as avalanche rescue dogs so kudos to people who do their best to train these amazing dogs.

    Info source: http://www.mountainyahoos.com/Avalanche-Rescue-Dogs.html

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