Search and rescue dogs are used by rescue teams to find the injured faster, whether its a missing person in the woods, buried beneath avalanches, landslides or ruined structures. Thanks to their sensitive sense of smell, a dog can easily sense a person who can't be seen. Rescue dogs need to be obedient and socialized because it is the only way for them to cope with the stress from rescue actions.
The training of the rescue dogs lasts for all of their working days because once something has been learned, it is necessary to repeat and upgrade it. That is accomplished through regular training, and by switching the places where the training is being done, and by putting them and their trainers in different situations. The success of finding the injured people depends on different factors, and the dog is expected to lead the rescue team to the injured no matter if it is day or night, hot or cold, raining or snowing…
In order for the dog to gain the title of „Rescue dog“, it is necessary, according to the rules of the International Rescue Dog Organization, for the dog to pass certain exams. The exams are different depending on their purpose of the dog's training. There are exams for: area searching, rubble searching, rescue from water, searching through avalanches. What is common to every exam is that the dogs must go through demanding obedience exercises and different obstacles. If all of the segments are satisfied, the dog and its handler pass the exam. The exams themselves are categorized by difficulty through degrees. The dog can take his first exams when he is 18 months old. The person coming with the dog needs to be a certified rescue dog handler, which means that he has to go through theory and practical training and pass the exams from the next subjects:
1. First Aid for the injured
2. First Aid for the dog
3. Dangers of rubbles
4. Dangers of area
5. Alpinism basics
6. Basics of orientation and topography
7. Basics of psychology and dog upbringing
Our association offers training for rescue teams (person and dog) for rubble and area searching.
It is possible to be trained only as a SAR dog handler, only to train the dog, and also the combined training of the handler and his dog. Also, the team can only be trained in rubble searching, only area searching, or both.
The training is arranged and confirmed by contract.
At the moment we have three rescue teams with dogs in training:
Sandro Žufić & Bella (JVP Rovinj)
Goran Kmet & Maggie (DVD "Plamen" Višnjan)
Vacika Brajdić & Dona (JPVP Osijek)