Puppy trains to be Ski Patrol rescue dog in Highlands

A BORDER Collie is training to become the first Ski Patrol rescue dog at a Highland ski resort.

Will Davis with Jura. Picture: Duncan Davis/Contributed

Jura is in training at the Nevis Range near Fort William - and is set to become a TV star at the same time.

Viewers can catch Jura and her owner Will Davis, on BBC2 tonight in the first episode of a new documentary series, “10 Puppies and Us”, produced by RDF Television.

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In the series Jura hits the mid point of her specialist training programme with the Search and Rescue Dog Association Scotland (Highland).

The training is taking place just in time for the 2017/18 snow sports season.

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“10 Puppies and Us”, narrated by the actor Neil Morrissey, follows young dogs and their new owners over the course of their all-important first six months together.

The first episode features Jura and owner Will as they progress through the stringent search and rescue training process, plus three other puppies and their new owners.

Will Davis said: “Jura is a cracking pup with an awesome character.

“The training is going extremely well and she is picking up on the ever more demanding commands and adapting to her new life in the hills.

“She is well on the way to becoming a very effective search and rescue dog. I am looking forward to working with her full time this winter.

“Working with the production team for “10 Puppies and Us” has also been a great experience. Jura is a natural in front of the camera.”

Dogs are trained to use their acute sense of smell to detect human scent in the air.

Together, the dog and its handler form a highly efficient team.

Dogs can work in all weathers, day or night, without loss of speed and they can cover huge areas quickly.

Jeff Starkey, head of Ski Patrol at Nevis Range, said: “Having a dog as part of the Ski Patrol team at Nevis Range is an immense asset.

“Rescue dogs are another valuable ‘tool in the box’ of an Avalanche rescue, alongside transceivers and Recco, especially if the casualties have no transceivers on them.

“Having Jura in the team will give the casualties in the Nevis Range ski area a much better chance of being found quickly.

“She is at the mid point of her training programme with the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Scotland (Highland), who are supporting the innovation of having dogs in Scottish ski patrol teams.

“Over and above the rescue potential Jura is good for everyone at Nevis Range and can provide a simple distraction and comfort to any one in need of a cuddle, public or staff.”

“10 Puppies and Us” broadcasts tonight at 8pm.