Rescue dogs, we often see them in action on TV or in exercises in the waters of the lake. We were able to admire them with emotion, to give a paw to the rescuers in the rubble of the recent earthquake that hit our Italy, in the center. But do we really know who they are and what they do?
Perhaps many, including myself, also still remember the classic dedicated breeds, that's why this article: to discover that it is more a question of dog than of breed, and of education. Even earlier, perhaps, comes the understanding with the owner, because to win, even between man and dog, as well as between people, is synergy and teamwork.
Rescue dogs: what it is
Talking about rescue dogs, apart from the recent earthquake, we often think of what they deal with nautical rescue: lifeguard dogs. In jargon they are called "canine unit ”for water rescue and, despite being called "unit", they are composed of dog-handler pairs.
This reality which, like many others, belongs to Civil protection, officially exists since 1988, thanks to a dog-owner combination that has made history. The human part is Ferruccio Pilenga, the canine part is Mas, we owe this important voluntary service to them Rescue dogs.
As I anticipated, without detracting from the timeless and always excellent lifeguard dogs like the Newfoundland dog and the Labrador Retriever, to them are added many other colleagues of other races that over the years it has been possible to know and make operational. Even i Pit Bull they can use their power by becoming effective rescue dogs.
Rescue dogs: most suitable breeds
The breeds to date that we can most frequently meet are employed as Rescue dogs in the water are the Newfoundland Dog, the Landseer, the Portuguese Water Dog - not very well known in Italy yet - and then three Retrievers: the Flat-Coated, the Golden and the Labrador. The real list of all water rescue dogs to thank would be very long and sometimes surprising.
Water rescue dogs: photos
It is definitely exciting, even for those who do not adore dogs in a disproportionate way, to see the Rescue dogs in the water in action. I happened several times to follow as a spectator the exercises organized by experts on the banks of the Lake Como and I can assure you that, even if only out of curiosity and civil sense, once they should be seen. I begin to tempt you with some of their photos.
Mountain rescue dogs
Mountain rescue dogs are avalanche dogs, specially trained to search for people lost under the snow. Also in this category there are some "classic" breeds to which many others have been added. The St. Bernard Dog is almost an icon of this category, but it was more used in the past than in today's era in which the work of the Belgian Shepherd Malinois, for example, or the Labrador and the German Shepherd.
I do not continue with a boring list, I prefer to reiterate that there are inter-racial qualities that are essential to become Rescue Dogs: robustness, courage and sociability with other dogs for example.
Although avalanche dogs were used even before the twentieth century, we can speak of training and organized activities from the thirties when Ferdinand Schmutz, inspired by a alpine rescue carried out by a half-breed dog in 1938, on Mount Schilthorn, he then decided to clear the customsuse of dogs in rescue operations and as an aid to the soldiers deployed in the mountain areas
Civil protection dogs
Civil protection also uses i Rescue dogs and we saw them in action right after the recent earthquake. A powerful example from the media but that should not make us forget all those times that the Dog Units do their service without anyone talking about it.
The harmony between man and dog is always an essential requirement, as far as breeds are concerned, there are still open discussions on which are the best. Who finds himself interacting with the "candidates" to become Rescue dogs often states that there are no particular preferences, on the contrary, they often turn out to be excellent also mixed breed dogs.
Very important characteristics are a balanced character and a good temper, shyness can be corrected with one good education. From the physical point of view, i Rescue dogs they must have good olfactory qualities and a structure that enables them to work in the woods or in rough terrain for whole days. In civil protection as well as many mestizos we find - to name a few - both the Maremma Shepherd both the Siberian Husky and even the Cocker.
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