The search party took almost two days to find Zak, who had fallen head first into a hole on Shipley Glen, a beauty spot near Bradford in West Yorkshire.
But then firefighters had to spend hours drilling through rocks before Zak could be pulled to safety from the 6ft-deep, 5in-wide hole.
Zak and owner Andrew Eastell have another dog, border collie Moe, to thank for finding the hole, which was hidden beneath heather.
Mr Eastell was kicking a football around with Zak on New Year’s day when he suddenly disappeared.
Despite a frantic search of the area, he could not be found and it soon became dark.
He was not found for another 47 hours, during which time Mr Eastell posted desperate pleas for help on Facebook and Twitter.
Among the search party was Crag Pennington and dog Moe who soon found Zak’s whereabouts – he was face down, stuck fast, in a tiny crevice.
But a team of 11 firefighters had to work for nine hours before Zak could be brought to the surface - cold, muddy and wet.
About 40 people were at the scene when Zak was finally rescued, including former Leeds Rhinos player Keith Senior, who lives nearby.
Mr Eastell said he could not thank people enough for their efforts in finding and rescuing him, adding: “I cannot put into words how brilliant people have been.”
His wife Susan shouted her thanks to everyone when Zak was eventually pulled from the hole on Thursday.
Although the couple have lived in the area for years they were not aware of holes under the heather.
Watch commander Dan Gledhill said he was relieved when the dog was finally recovered.