We are proud to be part of Scottish Mountain Rescue. Search dogs are a vital tool the Police and Mountain Rescue Teams use to locate missing persons. 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 are particularly useful as they can work in all weathers, day or night, without loss of speed and they can cover huge areas quickly. Of particular importance is their ability to find casualties when they are out of sight or hidden, for example hidden within vegetation, or sheltering behind a rock or buried under snow.
Our role is to train mountain rescue personnel and their dogs to become a qualified search dog team. We then deploy these teams at the request of Police Scotland and Mountain Rescue Teams to support searches for missing persons. Our handlers are on call 24/7 and ready for deployment anywhere in Scotland. Training of dogs starts at an early stage with puppies going through a familiarisation process, then learning to find volunteer casualties and indicating this to their handler. They then move to search larger areas and different types of terrain, developing over 2 to 3 years to become a fully qualified team able to locate those in need.