Jackson Hole has a new puppy in training for the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol. Tater, an 8-week-old Golden Retriever, showed up in Jackson two days ago.
His full name is Sir Tater Tot of the Tetons.
An avalanche dog can search one hectare (2.5 acres) in about 30 minutes. It would take 20 humans around 4 hours to cover an equivalent area using avalanche probes.
The speed with which an “avy dog” locates an avalanche victim is absolutely vital. Around 90% of avalanche victims will survive if recovered in the first 15 minutes after burial (without fatal trauma). This drops to 30% after a half-hour, and just 10% after two hours.
Becoming a certified avalanche dog takes years of training and the right dog. It’s important for an avalanche dog to not be too big as the handler often has to ski with the dog to the site of the accident.
Check back to jacksonhole.com for updates on Tater growing up in Jackson Hole.