Meet the Life-Saving Ski Patrol Dogs of Northern California

We all know that dogs are man’s best friend. Well, now dogs can be a skier’s best friend, and they might even save your life.

Many resorts in Northern California have a team of ski patrol dogs who are highly trained to find and rescue people in the rare case of an inbound avalanche. The dogs use their speed, agility and sense of smell to find and rescue people buried in snow faster than any team of humans. In fact, it is said that one dog and its handler can do the job of 150 trained human searchers in the same amount of time.

These dogs are not only hand-picked by their trainers, they also must undergo rigorous training exercises to stay in tip-top shape in case of an emergency. Heavenly ski patroller Colton Terry identifies the top five characteristics of a good avalanche rescue dog:

  1. Good prey drive, which is their desire and drive to locate a victim.
  2. Good victim loyalty, which will help them to better identify a victims location. With good victim loyalty, they will not leave the area until the handler comes and investigates what they have found. It helps eliminate false indications.
  3. High energy is a plus. This gives them the ability to search for extended periods of time.
  4. Obedience. Professional rescues are very serious and involve a lot of distractions and people. The dog needs to stay focused on the task at hand.
  5. Good physical condition. Avalanche rescue can be very demanding on a dog and requires good physical fitness and agility.This would cover general health, which would include a good sense of smell.

In the past, these dogs were kept hidden behind the scenes, but today the resorts are giving them a public persona. Let’s meet ski patrol dogs of Northern California:

Palisades Tahoe

Palisades Tahoe probably boasts the largest team of ski patrol dogs in the area, and rightfully so. With the large, robust terrain of backcountry mountain at Squaw, it would be safe to assume that it would have a higher risk of inbound avalanches compared to other resorts.

Enter the all-star group of four-legged ski patrol:

These mutts are highly trained and ready to save some lives! For more info go to


Heavenly’s ski patrol dogs have become a cult following among Tahoe locals. It’s no surprise that Heavenly found maybe the best looking dogs for their team. While any avalanche trouble at this resort would be extremely rare, it is always good to have these mutts on your team.

Learn about their training regimen with Truckee the dog:


While having these dogs around the resort are a lot of fun, just know that they take their jobs extremely seriously. Take a look at just how fast they rescue someone in a training exercise:

Sugar Bowl

While we love having these awesome dogs around our ski areas, let’s not forget they play a crucial role in the ski patrols at these resorts. A few seasons ago, they helped find a buried ski instructor just outside the boundary of the resort.


While none of the dogs or the terrain on which they patrol are the same, handlers use the same tactics with their dogs to keep them trained and ready for action.

These really are some awesome dogs and for many reasons, we’re happy to have them on the hill with us!

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


    1. I’m writing a book. Could I please have some contact info for at least one of the ski resorts using avi dogs?

  1. I am so. Glad you shared this story! God does not make junk! The people who are training them deserve
    Excellent Praise for their work!⛷️

  2. Freundliche Rezension dieses erstaunlichen Shape-Shifting Cube, dies ist die Shashibo Cube Rezension. Hergestellt von Fun in Motion Toys, können Sie den SHASHIBO bei Amazon kaufen. Es ist nur ein wenig größer als ein Zauberwürfel und beginnt als kleine Schachtel in einer einzigen Farbe. Nach dem Öffnen enthüllen Sie die 4 verschiedenen Farben/Muster und die Größe erweitert sich, wenn Sie über 70 Formen erstellen. Die Teile des Würfels rasten durch die im Inneren verborgenen hinteren Erdmagnete ein. Shashibo-Würfel 60 % Rabatt Der SHASHIBO-Würfel ist ein tolles Schreibtischspielzeug, da er wie ein Kunstwerk aussieht und somit ein toller Gesprächsstoff ist. Als Zappelspielzeug ist das SHASHIBO zu groß für eine Hand, funktioniert aber super mit 2 Händen. Sie können es auch als Puzzle verwenden, wenn Sie versuchen, bestimmte Formen zu erstellen. Shashibo, Form, Verschiebung, Schachtel, Würfel, Verwandlung, Spaß, in, Bewegung, Spielzeug, Zappeln, Stern, Rubiks, Geometrie, Geobender, Andreas, Stiel, Dampf, Shashibo, offizielles Shashibo, Puzzlewürfel, Puzzlebox, Zappelspielzeug, Zappelspielzeug, neues Zappelspielzeug, Zappelfieber, Zappelwürfel, Zappelleben, Zappeln, Kunstspielzeug, Fun in Motion Toys, Wissenschaftsspielzeug, STEM, STEAM, Puzzle, ADHS-Spielzeug, Gehirnstimulationsspielzeug, sensorisches Spielzeug, Gehirnspielzeug, Geometriespielzeug, Lernspielzeug, Puzzle für Erwachsene, Puzzle für Kinder, Puzzle-Spielzeug

  3. Wow, awesome weblog layout! How lengthy have you
    been blogging for? you make blogging glance easy.
    The entire glance of your website is magnificent, let alone the content material!
    You can see similar: sklep internetowy and here sklep internetowy

  4. Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I’m impressed!
    Very helpful information specifically the last phase 🙂
    I take care of such information much. I used to be seeking this particular
    info for a very lengthy time. Thanks and good luck.

  5. That is a really good tip especially to those new to
    the blogosphere. Simple but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing
    this one. A must read article!

  6. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading
    it, you may be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and may come back someday.
    I want to encourage you continue your great job,
    have a nice evening!

  7. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a
    lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or
    something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home
    a little bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog.
    A great read. I will definitely be back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button