We offer dog training services here in Suffolk and Norfolk, but there are some dogs who are currently engaged in a very different sort of training. These are the dogs who are members of the Spanish Emergency Canine unit.
What Do These Rescue Dogs Do?
This unit is a branch of Spain’s armed forces but they are not there for fighting or guarding prisoners. Instead, these highly intelligent dogs help with search and rescue operations in the wake of disasters, such as fires or earthquakes. They are ready to travel to far-flung corners of the globe at a moment’s notice.
The dogs of the unit work hard every day practicing routines that are needed when they go ‘into action’ in disaster zones. Landslides and collapsed buildings are amongst the types of terrain in which dogs are trained to work.
Tipi is one such dog. She helps her handler, Corporal Felipe, to find casualties at disaster sights. She follows scent that hangs in the air, rather than following trails. Six of her canine comrades specialise in finding human survivors.
How Does the Training Work?
Training is based on the idea of it being a game, where dogs who successfully find items are rewarded, usually with a toy. The dogs’ skills are sharp; a trained dog can search an area of 100 square metres in five minutes. A well-equipped human would take about 45 minutes to complete the same task.
In disaster zones, time is very much of the essence, so it is comforting to know that these furry professionals are ready to perform their duties, whenever and from wherever the call might come.
Click here to view a fascinating 360 degree video of the dogs in training.