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Newfoundland Water Rescue - Water Rescue Dog Excellent Exercises

(photos by Steve Urback)

Search for Abandoned Boat

A steward will row out 75ft. from shore and will drop an anchor from inside the boat. The steward will gently place a floating eight-foot line with plastic or canvas boat bumper attached into the water on the seaward side of the boat. The handler will send the dog to search for the line. The dog will tow the boat to shore by either the boat bumper or the line attached to it, and will beach the boat.

stranded boat rescue

stranded boat 2

Multiple Person Rescue


basic control

The dog will board the boat and will travel with the handler while the boat is rowed out and anchored into position 150 feet from shore. While the boat is being rowed out into position the stewards will swim out to their designated locations. The victims will all begin to indicate that rescue is needed by splashing and calling for help. The handler will send the dog from the boat and to rescue the victims. The dog will swim to each victim. It is up to the dog to determine the order in which each victim is rescued. The dog shall swim close enough so that each victim is able to take hold of the dog Once the dog has made an actual pick up of a victim, they are returned to the handler at the boat, after each delivery the dog will be sent for the next victim. The dog will tow each victim back to the boat, where the handler waits on the platform.

Rescue of an Unconscious Victim


The steward will swim away from shore into position at the 75ft. mark. The handler will command the dog to go to the steward’s rescue. Upon reaching the victim, the dog MUST take either of the protected arms or hands, or the lifejacket of the victim into its mouth, using a gentle hold, and will tow the victim to almost wading depth for the dog. The handler will enter the water to assist the victim and the dog as the dog is returning with the victim in tow. When the handler has a hand on the victim, the judge will signal completion of the exercise.

basic control

Rescue of Victim with Capsized Boat

At a signal from the judge, the steward in the inflatable raft will yell as he/she capsizes the raft, attracting the attention of the dog. The handler will command the dog to rescue the victim. Upon reaching the raft, the dog will swim in under the raft, whereupon the victim will immediately take hold of the dog. The dog will then exit from under the raft in any direction. The dog will tow the victim to just prior to wading depth for the dog, at which time, the handler will touch hands with the victim.

flip 1

flip 2 flip 3

Delivery of Line from Stranded Boat


The handler will direct the dog to take the line and then to jump from the boat. The dog will be directed by the handler to deliver the line to the designated steward waiting on the shoreline. However, the handler will retain the end of the line on the boat. The steward will encourage the dog to come to him/her once the dog is in the water and beginning to swim towards shore. The handler will feed the remaining line out to the dog swimming towards shore. The dog will deliver the line to the steward waiting on shore. The exercise will be complete when the dog delivers the line to the steward.

basic control

Rescue of Multiple Victims


basic control

Two stewards will be rowed out 75ft. from shore. The two stewards will quietly exit the boat, one at a time from the platform. They will then move to the seaward side of the boat, where they will hold onto the lip of the boat. The stewards will call for help in a manner realistic with being stranded and as if their boat had overturned. The dog will enter the water and will swim directly to the boat. The dog is to swim close enough to one of the victims for that victim to reach out and to take hold of the dog while still having hold of the side of the boat. The dog may bring in one or both victims at the same time. returning towards shore with a victim (s) in tow. When the handler has taken hold of the hands of the second victim the exercise is finished.





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