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Snow? No Problem for Dogs!

We've heard all about the different types of service dogs. From K-9 units in police programs to dogs that help their owners through a seizure, canines have proven that they're pretty outstanding. And in Utah, they're proving that they can help in another way - through disastrous snowy conditions.

No, we're not talking about your dog shoveling your driveway or sledding you to work - but we are talking about the danger of avalanches. 

The tall, beautiful mountains in Utah and other mountainous states are full of ski resorts and, of course, tons of snow. While going on a skiing trip should be filled with fun and bonding time, the weather can sometimes mean disasters can happen. Namely, avalanches. 

On Monday, January 14th, Alta Ski Resort hosted an event that welcomed dogs from all over the country and even across the Atlantic. This event was explicitly for the purpose of training the dozens of dog teams to help rescue skiers, snowboarders, or anyone else trapped in emergency avalanche situations. 

The training isn't just for the dogs - it's for their owners, too! Part of training is training the owners to work together with their dog to become top-notch rescuers. 

Many of the dogs that attended the program were already service dogs or dogs that were trained in basic rescue skills. Together, the event taught owner and dog how to collaborate to be able to rescue trapped people in a timely and ultimately life-saving manner. To make it more accessible and fun for the pups, the rescue-training was done through games. 

With everything they've learned, these dogs and owners can take their skills back to their mountainous hometowns and be on call for when emergency strikes. Just another way that dogs prove they're truly remarkable!

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Jenna Gomes

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Jenna Gomes