Resorts in Northern California often have teams of specially trained ski patrol dogs who can save the lives of skiers, hikers and snowboarders caught in avalanches.

Meet the Squaw Dogs!

Using their excellent sense of smell, these dogs can search for and dig out people buried under the snow.

Due to their agility and speed, they are able to handle rescues better than human teams.

One dog and a handler can do what it would take 150 trained humans the same time to accomplish.


Trainers look for dogs with the drive and desire to find victims and to stay with them until someone investigates.

Dogs also need a high level of energy and be in excellent physical condition.

Because rescue situations are chaotic, the dogs should be able to demonstrate the ability to stay focused on their jobs.


In the past, rescue dog teams were kept out of view of visitors.

Now, however, resorts and ski areas are bringing them out from behind the scenes.


Squaw Valley, Heavenly and Kirkwood are just a few of the mountains in Northern California that are giving these incredible dogs a little time in the spotlight.

These good boys and girls deserve some praise for their life saving actions, don’t you think?