Avalanche dogs play an extremely important role in any mountain search and rescue team, sniffing out trouble and helping to find individuals buried in the snow. While we pray that no skier, snowboarder, or general outdoor adventurer is unfortunate enough to have an interaction with one of these in a real-life scenario, we here at Unofficial Networks are big fans of the puppies. who work hard, and whenever a search and rescue dog of importance comes across our screen, we love to share their story.
The Loveland ski area currently has three avalanche dogs. Otis, who joined the team at the end of 2021, Bandit and Zuma, 10. For most dogs, the life of hard work and training would be over and they would enjoy a relaxing retirement at age 10, but Zuma isn’t most dogs. He is part Akita, part husky and, believe it or not, part wolf. Its status as a wolf-dog made for the winter alone gives it significant advantages as an avalanche dog.
Zuma continues his work with Loveland Search and Rescue by helping to train the other two dogs employed by the area, creating a sense of competition. Zuma is one of the first, if not the first, older dogs to participate in this type of training.
“They are like athletes. They want to be on the pitch, they want to be called up. So if a working dog is on the sidelines and sees other dogs playing, it creates some competition and speeds up their behavior. – Tanner Franti, Zuma manager, according to CBS Colorado
Luckily for us, Puma’s career as an avalanche dog isn’t limited to the mountains, as he likes to pop up on his Facebook page to give everyone an update on his life once in a while. It is absolutely worth following.
Image Credit: Zuma the Loveland Ski Patrol Dog on Facebook