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The path to becoming an emergency dog

In addition to their role as dog handlers, all members of the mountain rescue dog team are also active mountain rescuers in the various local locations in Upper Austria. This ensures that not only the dogs receive a high level of training, but also the dog handlers are constantly trained in all rescue and recovery techniques as well as first aid and avalanche knowledge.

If a dog owner is interested in training and managing a mountain rescue dog, we complete a temperament and disposition test with the dog to determine whether the dog in question is suitable for avalanche and search work. This “test” can be carried out as early as a young dog and, if the dog has the appropriate disposition, we will immediately begin playful preparation for the actual training. Ideally, a prospective buyer contacts us before buying a dog so that we can advise them on the choice of breed and especially on the selection of the puppy.

If the dog is suitable, the dog handler candidate completes a training program with his four-legged friend totaling 13 course days per year and with good progress, operational fitness can be achieved after just two years.

Candidate dog handlers who are not yet trained mountain rescue workers must also become a member of a local mountain rescue agency and undergo mountain rescue training.

Teams suitable for operations are deployed throughout Upper Austria in avalanche and search operations to support local mountain rescue centers and the Alpine police.

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