4 Things You Didn’t Know About Tibetan Search and Rescue Dog Services

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Tibetan Search and Rescue Dog Services

One of the reasons people travel Tibet is to take in the beauty of its scenery. Sitting an impressive 13,000 feet above sea level, Tibet is home to some of the highest scenery in the world. It has the highest mountain, the highest roads, the highest lake, and the highest tunnel. Although it welcomes adventurers, those adventurers should also be familiar with the many risks involved in being so high up. Fortunately, Tibetan search and rescue dogs are often available to help out in times of crisis, such as an avalanche on Everest or an earthquake. Although it’s easy to assume many things about search and rescue dogs, there are plenty of facts people often get wrong about them.

Tibetan Mastiffs Make Good Rescue Dogs

People originally bred Tibetan mastiffs to serve as guard dogs. They have natural protective instincts and are easy to train to protect people, sheep, and other property. Although many have doubted that mastiffs can succeed as SAR dogs, some have proved them wrong. For example, Dusty, a Tibetan mastiff, has completed training and earned certification, so that now he is recognized as being a brave and heroic search and rescue dog.

Demand for Tibetan Mastiffs Has Fallen

Training mastiffs to act as Tibetan search and rescue dogs can help minimize some of the effects of over-breeding the dogs. At one point in time, Tibetan mastiffs were the “in demand” dog. Wealthy people in China have paid more than $1.2 million for a single dog. But over-breeding flooded the market with the pups and demand for them declined. As a result, the Daily Mail reports that there are more than 1,000 mastiffs who are abandoned in Tibet. Many of the abandoned dogs live in crowded shelters.

You Can Bring a Bit of Tibet Home By Adopting a Dog

You might not be able to bring a Tibetan search and rescue dog home with you from Tibet, due to regulations concerning the import of dogs from one country to another. But you may be able to find a shelter in your area that has a Tibetan mastiff available for adoption. In the US, some shelters specialize in rescuing and placing Tibetan mastiffs in welcoming homes.

No Dog Has Actually Climbed Everest

Let me tell you one last fun fact about Tibetan search and rescue dog services. Although many dogs, both from Tibet and around the world, have aided rescue missions in Tibet, no dog has reached the top of Everest. At best, one dog has made it to Everest Base Camp, which is 10,000 feet beneath the summit. Still, reaching the base camp requires traveling up more than 17,000 feet. That’s a feat that few humans, let alone pups, have ever achieved. Follow us to learn more about our Tibet travel blog.

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Bella Zhang