Willie at work in the winter - a find |
Willie has found the "victim" buried under the snow.
He is trained to dig down and open up an air hole for the victim. Sometimes, a large avalanche dog like Willie will actually pull the victim out of the snow!!
Willie at work in the Winter - the reward |
Willie has found the "victim" in a training exercise. He has dug down to the victim and exposed an "air hole". At a pre-arranged point the "victim" will give Willie his reward, a length of 1" booster fire hose.
In training a search dog, it is critical to find out what motivates your dog. Willie's hose is the most important thing in the world to him, sticks are a distant second.
Willie relaxing |
Willie is relaxing at the patrol cabin between runs.
I need a day off |
"You're working me too hard. I need a day off."
Willie on a day off |
Willie at the Basketball Hall of Fame, learning about other professional heroes.
Beep and Puppy |
"Beep", Willie's mate and personal trainer, with one of their puppies. They had two litters together, totalling 19 puppies.
Willie and Puppies |
Willie with two of his and Beep's puppies.
Willie and Beep's puppies get adventurous and investigating interesting smells at our campsite near Bozeman, Montana. Age 6 weeks.
Cody as a puppy |
"Cody", one of Willie and Beep's puppies, at 6 weeks.
Cody as an adolescent |
"Cody", one of Willie and Beep's puppies, at 9 months.