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Of course, all dogs have highly developed senses of smell and the heard, but so that a dog can be a good rescuer has to meet certain additional requirements. Firstly, the search and rescue dog has to be agile and strong enough to withstand the difficulties of the work performed. For this reason, Beijing, Maltese, chihuahuas and other small dogs usually do not be used in these tasks, preferring the larger breeds. On the other hand, dogs should not be so large as to which its size even more hindered rescue tasks. A very large dog can represent a major difficulty when it is necessary to do so to descend into abseiling or when to move in helicopters and small boats. By this, they also often used giant as the St. Bernard or great Dane breed. However, the exception to this rule occurs when dogs need much power to hold or drag people, as it is the case with some lifeguard dogs.

In these cases, large breeds as the Newfoundland that has enough strength to swim while a human subject is used to your harness. Search and rescue dogs must also have an exceptional motivation for searching prolonged even under the most unfavourable conditions. This is why you prefer those dogs who have a highly developed momentum of prey and are obsessed with finding the victim to be able to get your reward. Last, but not least, all search and rescue dog has to be well socialized with people and other animals. You will also need to be accustomed to stressful situations, such as the presence of many people around, explosions, shouts, etc. In short, any dog can be used for search and rescue provided that it meets the above requirements and you have received a high-level training. Specialties of canine search and rescue today, search and rescue dogs can be classified into different groups according to the tasks to which they are specialists.

The two main groups correspond to the tracking dogs and dogs from venting. Dogs of tracking, as its name indicates it, follow the trace of a person from point A to point B. These dogs need a starting point and not contaminated clothing of the person ranging to search. They are used to find lost people and can also be used to find fugitives, although in the latter case are usually dogs not dogs of SAR teams and police. Dogs of venting are seeking the human scent that is in the air, without following one person in particular. These dogs are specialists in finding people buried by landslides, people buried by avalanches, corpses of drowned people, human evidence at scenes of crimes, etc.