ASD dog handlers are trained in backcountry travel including map and compass, global positioning system (GPS) use, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, summer survival, winter survival, mantracking, and search and rescue operations.

ASD dog handlers have a minimum certification of advanced first aid or first responder. Most members are certified in wilderness emergency medicine and can provide immediate life support to injured victims. Skills range in wilderness emergency medicine from wilderness advanced life support at the paramedic level, wilderness emergency medical technician (WEMT) to wilderness first responder (WFR). Experienced ASD dog handlers are willing to fill a need during searches in the backcountry, avalanches, rivers and lakes by request from law enforcement.