Avalanche Dogs

Well, we had a great fall after a scorching summer, but eventually we had to have a winter.  I have written in the past about winter time hazards, and how to keep your pet happy and healthy during the winter months.  But, despite how I may sound in  my gloomy, cautionary posts,  I actually love winter.  I love to ski, especially in Deer Valley Utah.  It is beautiful!  The sky is a blue that everyone needs to experience.  

avalanche dogs

I also wish more people knew about the life-saving work that avalanche rescue dogs do.  I always say, and truly believe, that dogs have senses that we do not have.  These wonderful dogs prove that point.   They are amazing! 

If you can’t make it to Deer Valley in person, I hope you’ll take a second to read this post from JF Landers from last year. Landers introduces us to three of these “mountain saviors” and talks a bit about what qualities and traits go into being an avalanche dog, and how their owners and trainers work with them on socialization and obedience. It’s a physically-demanding job for both dog and handler, but rewarding for so many visitors and residents of Deer Valley.

avalanche dogs 2It’s fascinating that in this age of technology and global-positioning devices we still look to man’s best friend to get us out of a dangerous situation.

Maybe the post will inspire you to make your next ski-trip to the beautiful mountains in Utah, even if just for a chance to spot one of these remarkable dogs on patrol.

Other posts by Dr. Riggs


Dr_RiggsDr. Rex Riggs grew up in Wadsworth, Ohio, near Akron. Dr Riggs is co-owner of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital in Powell, Ohio. He is also on the board of the North Central Region of Canine Companions of Independence, a board member of The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society and Small Animal Practitioner Advancement Board at The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Riggs lives in Lewis Center, OH with his wife Nancy, their dogs Maggie and Ossa, and cat Franklin. Outside of work, Dr. Riggs is an avid golfer and cyclist, and enjoys travel and photography.


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