18 Sep 13

S&R Water Dogs ...

By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

Did you know that Search and Rescue dogs also rescue people from UNDER water?  How amazing are dogs, first of all – most of us know that – but to watch these dogs detect people under water – well was just incredible.

The S&R dogs for this water training were from Ramapo, NJ and were doing drills with the West Isip fire department recently on a beautiful September Sunday.

The S&R dog is sniffing the air and looking for a scuba diver here.

Here’s how they do it, the dog can detect the smell of human skin cells, yes even from someone being under water.  There were scuba divers under water waiting for the dogs to detect them.  Once the dog detects where they think the person is ‘hiding’ the dog start barking to alert his handler.  If the dog is correct the scuba diver taps on the boat and the dog is rewarded with a toy.

Here is 10 year old Chief getting his 'toy' the stick from the scuba diver he just found!

If you have ever watched any S&R drill or training exercise, and even police dogs – they go nuts for their reward which is usually a toy, a ball or stick.  Really quite fascinating to watch, as we know some of our spoiled dogs take their time just sitting for a treat!

This fella was loving his toy!

The owners are dog owners who volunteer with S&R but go through extensive training with their dogs.  This day was a yearly drill or training exercise for the dogs, and dog after dog went out in a boat with their handlers and barked and found the ‘victims’ pretty quickly.  One dog had a hard time as the wind picked up and the scent was coming from behind him, so he was barking about 15 feet to far off in the wrong spot.  Eventually he did find the scuba diver.  That is why these training sessions are so important to keep the dogs and their handlers ready in any S&R rescue mission.

Searching, searching, searching!

To see a lot more pictures, click here!  A big thanks to everyone involved with and S&R – as you are all so important. For more info about S&R Ramapo dogs go to their website here.

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