Every mountain dog handler is an accomplished climber and mountaineer in their own right in summer and winter conditions, as well as being a member of a Mountain Rescue Team. Mountain dog teams are assessed at lowland standard first and then go on to be assessed at mountain level. Skills include avalanche searches and every handler is equipped to be self sufficient in all weathers and conditions. Handlers play key roles in their own rescue teams as well as being available as a dog team to every other rescue team in North Wales. Contact us to learn more.
All of our air scenting dog teams train as lowland search teams. They are trained and assessed to cover open areas, buildings, woodland, sand dunes and caravan parks and this type of work forms the majority of our call outs. Lowland areas can be extremely complex to search and require a great deal of skill from both dog and handler. There are often many distractions and the dog will often be working out of sight in complex ground. Lowland dog handlers don’t necessarily have to be a member of a mountain rescue team (although they will need to undertake additional training). If this sounds like something you would like to do click here.
The trailing dogs can follow a scent of a specific person from the point that they were last seen. They can work in almost any area from urban to mountain and are trained to ignore other scents to find only the person they are looking for. Trailing dog handlers don’t necessarily have to be a member of a mountain rescue team (although they will need to undertake additional training). If this sounds like something you would like to do click here.
SARDA Wales relies on people who support the team during training weekends. Dogs Bodies are our bunch of essential training volunteers who – strangely – are happy to hide in obscure places, often in the rain for a few hours, then get slobbered on by a training dog (but thankfully not by the handler too!). Handlers must begin their training by being a dogs body first. Volunteer dogs bodies, and people who are skilled in catering for a team during team training weekends are always welcome. Please get in touch if you think you might like to join us!