Top of the pups for Nevis ski patrol 

The newest member of of the Ben Nevis ski patrol may only be a few months old but already she is on her way to tv stardom and leading role in the mountain rescue team.

Photograph by: Duncan DavisJura and Will Davis

Jura, a Border Collie puppy, is in training to become the first ski patrol search and rescue dog at Nevis Range Mountain Experience near Fort William.

The playful pub is one of 10 working dogs to be featured in a new television documentary series ’10 Puppies and Us’, produced by RDF Television.

The show, which begins on BBC 2 on 27 July, 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 Davis as they progress through the stringent search and rescue training process, plus three other puppies and their new owners.

During the series, narrated by the actor Neil Morrissey, viewers will see Jura hit the mid point of her specialist training programme with the Search and Rescue Dog Association Scotland (Highland) as she prepares for the comming winter season.

“Jura is a cracking pup with an awesome character,” said her handler Will Davis.

“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.”

Photograph by: BBCJura

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.

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

“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.”