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March issue /2023
Search and Rescue Dogs - our heroes!
Since thousands of years ago, the dog appears as an ally of Man in the execution of numerous activities: hunting, war, patrol, detection of narcotics and explosives, search and rescue operations, among others.
Last month's news about the earthquake in Turkey and Syria reminded us of the importance of search and rescue dogs in the search for survivors during disasters. Although the probability of finding survivors is getting smaller every day, these dogs work hard, always focused and hopeful towards finding new survivors. This is their mission in life. They are brave, loyal and have an incomparable talent.
Which are the most common breeds used for this purpose?
Of the most common breeds used for these missions, we highlight the Golden Retriever, Blood-Hound, German Shepherd, Border Collie, and Australian Shepherd. Some of the characteristics of these breeds are their keen sense of smell, focus, obedience, and incredible sight and hearing.
How are these dogs trained?
The training of these dogs consists primarily of detecting and locating people and objects under the debris by smell. They are thus a crucial part of these search and rescue missions, as they can detect what humans and/or machines cannot in these situations. These animals are trained from a very young age, and the first training consists of obedience training and socialization. The duration of training varies from animal to animal, but it is estimated that 1 to 2 years is enough to train animals for these purposes.
To all the rescue teams of the world, who with determination, courage and bravery have left their homes and risk their lives, in this mission, and in many other missions, our many thanks.
Our prayers and our hearts go out to all the families who have suffered devastating losses in this natural disaster, to all the displaced and injured. We wish that this nightmare will very soon come to an end, and that we will all be able to help and contribute to your recovery and rebirth.
We could not end our thanks without mentioning Proteo, the Mexican Army dog who lost his life in this mission.