Avalanche Dogs 101

by | Nov 22, 2022

When training avalanche rescue dogs we drill voice and gesture commands while keeping direct control of the dogs with leashes and other restraint devices. Gradually leash control is reduced as we work toward the goal of 100% control of your dog through voice and gestures even from afar. Even after you have “bombproof” behavior from your dog the leash never goes away entirely. There are always situations where you need quick direct control of your dog for their safety and the safety of others. Situations like walking through parking lots and crowded base areas of ski resorts. Or, when approaching rescue vehicles, heavy equipment, or a helicopter on a rescue scene. Even a solid working dog can spook in such stressful situations.

When searching, avalanche dogs must be unfettered so they can quickly follow their noses to someone buried underneath the snow. However, before they go to work their handler must keep them 100% under control, so that they do not disturb the rescue scene, hurt themselves or hurt others. A high-drive dog may not be able to resist the urge to work. In this situation a leashed dog is a must.

With Releash, your leash is always where you need it – on your dog! It isn’t under the couch at home, in the back of your car at the trailhead, stuffed in your pocket, tied around your waist or bandolier over your head and shoulder. It is right where you need it – on your dog!

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