Privileged sense of smell + good training
Dear Wooolfinians, you will have deduced from the title that today we want to dig a bit into the fascinating world of Search and Rescue Dogs.
We can distinguish between police protection dogs; Tracking dogs, in charge of finding hostages and rescue dogs, whose purpose is to search for survivors or corpses after critical situations, in any case they follow olfactory clues.
The canine breed has a highly developed sense of smell, but without specific training made by qualified people, they could not carry out the tasks listed in the previous paragraph.
In Spain, the first group to "rescue rubble victims" was created in 1986, in collaboration with a French search and rescue association.
Depending on the task that we assign the dog, we can classify them into tracking dogs and trailing dogs:
- Tracking dogs. They are used to track a lost person or a fugitive. They need a starting point and some garment of the person sought. Trailing dogs. They are specialists in locating people buried in landslides or avalanches, corpses or locating human traces at crime scenes. They scent to differentiate human odor particles in the air. When the dog knows how to scent, it discriminates the smell of the people on the surface from the smell of those buried. Once he has discovered the trail, he stands still in the place where the victim is, until his guide arrives.
- The search and rescue dog must be agile and with high resistance. For this reason, medium or large breeds are usually used. Large dogs, such as, for example, the Saint Bernard, are not very suitable due to their weight either, but there are some specific tasks, such as sea or high mountains rescue, in which they are very good, since they support a lot weight and can transport victims in complicated environments, such as those mentioned above.
They must be dogs with the instinct of a hunting dog or / and herding dog, to be able to face adverse circumstances without giving up. The breeds, German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd, Border Collie, Golden Retriever, Labrador, Spanish water dog etc, are very suitable for this.
Of course, although they have a good sense of smell, they must also have certain character traits, such as:
- Ability to maintain attention without being distracted.
- Desire to please, which will make them never abandon the entrusted job.
- Initiative, to solve unexpected situations that arise along the way.
- They can never give up and always continue the search, despite adverse conditions that may occur.
- Energy and agility.
- Be balanced and have sensitivity to the environment.
The dog must have a guide to accompany him throughout the training, this guide will be his leader. Rescue dog training begins in the first months of life and ends when the dog is very old. For a dog to be considered a search and rescue dog, it needs at least two years of training.
They are our heroes, they have the ability to save thousands of people... and they certainly do. Our most sincere thanks.
A hug and until the next day.
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