Lifeguard is not a breed, it is a calling!
No, they will not be able to provide first aid, they cannot give a person life-giving moisture and they will not relieve pain. But rescue dogs are able to give more – life, timely finding the victim and notifying people about it. What breeds can do much needed and important activities, and what skills and abilities should they have?
Rescue dog breeds
In general, history keeps a lot of evidence of the loyalty and fearlessness of our four-legged friends. They showed remarkable courage and ingenuity during military operations, rescued people during floods and other weather disasters, sacrificed themselves for the sake of children. Moreover, these heroic deeds are sometimes completely unrelated to the breed of the dog.
But nevertheless, to work in harsh conditions and in connection with the specifics of the activity, certain innate qualities are required from the dog, which the following breeds have:
- St. Bernard – this breed has long been intended for rescue operations in high mountain areas, it is not for nothing that they can anticipate an avalanche in a few hours and notify people about it. The second name of this breed is “avalanche dogs”. They can dig up a person buried under the snow and drag him to a safe place, or they can bring rescuers to this area.
- Newfoundland – these representatives work in a different environment – water. Their anatomical structure and physiological properties are intended for finding the animal in water, even ice, without harming health. This is the third eyelid, paws and ears of a special structure, interdigital membranes and non-wet hair. Newfoundlands have incredible diving and swimming abilities, as well as an amazing instinct to rush to help at the slightest sign that a person is in trouble.
- German Shepherd Dog – for a long time protecting livestock from the attack of predators, and living in harsh conditions, representatives of this breed have acquired a lot of qualities necessary for survival. Naturally, one cannot do without developed intellectual abilities in this matter. Having become an almost universal dog, the German Shepherd has shown itself in rescue work.
- Labrador – the history of the breed is such that from its very beginnings, dogs have already been rescuers. They helped fishermen catch fish and also looked for people during storms. In addition, due to their strength and endurance, they were draft animals and helpers during the hunt. Modern intellectual abilities allow these dogs to memorize two hundred commands!
Of course, this is far from the entire list, and representatives of other breeds are often involved in rescue operations. But in these dogs, whatever you say, the rescue instinct is in the genes.
Rescue dog skills
Among the skills required from rescue dogs, two main ones can be distinguished – this is to find a person in trouble, and inform your colleagues – people about it. Of course, some strong dogs are able to get victims from under the rubble, dig them out in the snow, but more often they still need the help of specialists. In addition to a fine sense of smell, physical strength and a desire to work, a number of requirements are imposed on the dog:
- Stable psyche… A working dog should not react to what is happening around him, but be completely focused on the task at hand.
- Kindness and benevolence… The four-legged rescuer should be happy to see the victim he found, and not growl and grin, frightening. In addition, usually during an emergency, the scene is filled with many people – doctors, rescuers, etc., and the dog should not show alertness or aggression.
- Ability to make decisions independently… In critical situations, when a person is not around, the dog must be able to act without waiting for a command.
- Obedience… Dogs who like to run away when they sense freedom, or when they see another dog, are absolutely not suitable for the role of rescuers. This work requires strict discipline and fulfillment of the assigned task at any cost.
Needless to say, a dog may be the only chance for salvation, risking itself and not demanding anything in return? These lesser friends can perform heroic deeds, which once again confirms their selflessness and fearlessness.
See how rescue dogs are trained: