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Occasionally watching Animal Planet does have its advantage. You can really learn how to train your dog for different situations.
There was a program on in August, 2005 about a dog that loved to swim in a nearby lake. Whenever the dog left the house, you would find him in the water. The dog would just wade in the water for hours. The family would then need to go into the water and get the dog out.
Instead of going in a getting the dog out of the water, why not train the dog to get people in trouble out of the water. So the owners decided to teach the dog to save lives while enjoying the water at the same time.
Of course, an expert was brought in on training the dog to actually understand that if there is someone drowning in the water, what actually needs to be accomplished.
As a matter of fact, in the past, when the owner's daughter was having difficulty in the water, the dog was able to bring her to the dry ground but just left her there and went back into the water. Good on one hand, but what if she was unconscious?
So the training began with a long leash. The dog had a long leash on. The trainer just threw a favorite toy in the water. The dog retrieved it and came back out of the water.
The trainer then threw in 2 balls covered in a sheet tied at the top so this way the dog couldn't actually grab the balls but was able to take the knotted material in his mouth. That is what this dog did. The dog dragged the material with the balls out of the water to safety. The material acted just like a human's clothing where the dog would say grab a collar or loose clothing the person was wearing.
Then the next step they did was to use a boat with 2 people in it. The trainer threw in a favorite toy, I think it was attached to the rope outside the small boat. The dog brought back the toy and the rope attached to the boat to safety.
Their goal was to train the dog to possibly save lives on a boat that was unable to get to the shore safely. Also, if anyone was drowning, that the dog would pull the person to the safety of the ground and to get help.
This particular dog was very smart and was picking up what the trainer was doing. So if you are looking to train your dog to save lives in water, then using a long leash and doing what the trainer did above, can start you on your way.
Of course, you can find books on this very specific training method.
Copyright 2005 Fern Kuhn, RN
Specializing in Diabetes
You may reprint this article as long as you keep the links active.
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