VIDEO: How Avalanche Dogs Save Lives

SnowBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche

We all know that avalanche dogs are key.  They can sniff you, find you, and dig you out of an avalanche, right?  Well, it’s not quite that simple.  There are a major interactions between the dog handler, the dog, the wind, the debris, the mountain, and more.

This video is a great explanation of how the entire process works and what the dogs do to find people.  For the dog, it’s really just all a fun game.  For us, it can be life or death.

This is what you want to see if you're ever in an avalanche.  photo:  kim kircher
This is what you want to see if you’re ever in an avalanche. photo: kim kircher

As long as the avalanche debris site isn’t contaminated with human scent (non-buried humans) a well trained avalanche dog is the single best way to locate a buried avalanche victim.  At ski resorts, where almost no one is wearing an avalanche beacon, an avalanche dog can be your only hope for being located and rescued.

A Special thanks to all the avalanche dogs and avalanche dog handlers out there.  You guys rock.

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3 thoughts on “VIDEO: How Avalanche Dogs Save Lives

  1. Unless handler and dog are on scene, it is ridiculous to think these will save you. Nothing beats a companion rescue, or even better, avoiding the avalanche risk. People think that tools like beacons, snowmobiles, and other enablers such as an enthusiast AVY course are the tools needed to safely travel in the back country, what they don’t understand is the best tool we have sits between our shoulders…

  2. Yes they’re trained to save lives, but do they actually save any lives? By the time a dog and handler get to a scene isn’t it pretty much always too late?

  3. Thanks for the interesting lifesaving, mountain rescue by a dog. It is such pleasure for an 87 year old lady to wake up to outstanding views of nature and physical fit outdoors men.

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