This question came up a few times during the recent “Snow-Be” (avy beacon with no search mode) discussion. I thought I’d write here and make sure that the answer to this topic was clear for all.
Q: When should you put an Avalanche Beacon on a dog?
If your dog is wearing a normal avalanche beacon and the dog and other humans are buried in an avalanche together, you may end up finding the dog before finding the other humans. In this situation, you may end up saving the dog but not being in time to save a fellow human. This is not okay. Of course, no one wants a dog to die, but you’d feel pretty terrible if you saved your mom’s dog, but not your mom.
The Exception to the Rule:
- Some companies do make dog specific avalanche beacons that transmit at a different frequency (456 kHz for dogs vs 457 kHz for humans)
- The different frequency ensures that your dog’s avalanche beacon will not interfere with your human searches
- Pieps sells a dog specific avalanche beacon and allows their DPS and Vector avalanche beacons to search for the dog beacon on the dog frequency
In conclusion: Don’t ever put an avalanche beacon on your dog…unless you have a dog specific avalanche beacon that won’t interfere with a search for humans.