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Rescue dog sport is a popular dog sport in Europe. The different training disciplines promote the mental and physical workload of the dog. You can find out everything about the rescue dog sport in this article.

What is rescue dog sport?

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The rescue dog sport has developed from the rescue dog squadron training. In contrast to the rescue dog squadron, dogs from the rescue dog sport are not used for emergencies. Rather, it is about using the demanding activity of an actual rescue dog for dog sport. At tournaments, however, the sports rescue dogs are challenged at least as much as their professional rescue colleagues.

Because training the dog to become a sports rescue dog is just as demanding as being part of a professional rescue dog squadron. Nose work, obedience and dexterity are trained and trained in the same way. Many dog ​​sports clubs offer this sports spade because it combines and complements the popular dog sports of obedience, rally obedience and agility well.

What is rescue dog sport?

A dog sport that developed from the professional rescue dog system.

Disciplines in rescue dog sport

The training takes place in three disciplines: nose work, obedience, and dexterity. Each of these disciplines is usually fun for the dogs and corresponds to their natural drive.

1. Nose work or also called track work

Within this discipline there are six divisions in which the sports rescue dog is trained in at least one.

  • tracking
  • area search
  • debris search
  • mantrailing
  • avalanche search
  • water rescue

The human-dog team is trained to divide up an area in such a way that it can be searched as thoroughly and tactically as possible. Nose work is very strenuous for dogs and can therefore be practiced for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time. After that, the dog needs a break to sort itself out again.

2. Submission

In the discipline of obedience, obedience and communication between humans and dogs is learned. Certain audio and visual signals are then finally checked. Here, too, care is taken to ensure that the human-dog team works together harmoniously and happily.

3. Agility

When it comes to agility, it gets particularly sporty for the dogs. You have to run on a wide variety of surfaces and materials, crawl through tunnels and walk over unstable obstacles such as car tires or suspension bridges. Basically, it’s about simulating the impassable conditions at the scene of an accident. Of course, the dog’s health and life should never really be endangered.

What effect does rescue dog sport have on the dog?

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As a rule, dogs love to master tasks. The rescue dog sport is a great opportunity to let your dog do something useful and to spend your free time together. The physical and mental workload in rescue dog sport is also healthy for the dog and promotes its cognitive and physical fitness.

Which dogs are suitable as sports rescue dogs?

In fact, any healthy dog ​​can be trained to be a sports rescue dog. The dog should be well socialized and behave in a neutral and friendly manner towards strange dogs and people. It is an advantage if the dog has an excellent sense of smell and good searching and browsing skills. He should also be sure of a shot and other loud noises shouldn’t frighten him either.

Neither humans nor dogs need to be particularly athletic when practicing this sport. The dog should be curious and both should enjoy doing something exciting together.

Which dogs are suitable for rescue dog sport?

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Basically, any healthy dog ​​can be introduced to the sport.

Which dog breeds are particularly suitable?

There is no general answer to that. The disciplines of nose work and locations, such as mountains, snow, water, rubble are too different. As always in dog sports, it makes the most sense to take the dog’s preferences and specialize them. So a dog that loves water will certainly have more fun and joy in water rescue than a dog that already pulls in its tail when it rains and doesn’t want to leave the house.

What basic commands does the dog need to know?

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The basic commands are: sit, down, foot, here.

During a sports rescue dog test, the following tasks are set for the dog and its owner:

  • shot sensitivity
  • Leading on a leash / free heeling
  • Walkthrough a group of people
  • Drop and Call
  • Change of position
  • Bring on level ground
  • carrying and handing over
  • Laying down under distraction
  • Crossing uncomfortable material
  • Tunnel with hose
  • Crossing a rigid wooden bridge
  • Distance control
  • Steerability at a distance
  • Movable barrel bridge
  • Nose work

Depending on the area of application (avalanche, water, debris) you decide to train your dog for, there are correspondingly special requirements. In the case of water rescue dogs, for example, this would be retrieving from the water or going by boat. In the case of avalanche dogs, this would be, for example, searching for tracks in the snow or driving with snow companions.

Where can I practice rescue dog sport?

In the dog sports club with sports rescue dog division.

Equipment & terrain for the perfect start in rescue dog sport

If you want to get to know this dog sport, it is best to look for a dog sport club that offers this section in its portfolio. On the club grounds you will also find the obstacles, or you know where to find them for training in the open area. A harness is recommended for the dog and the dog handler should wear sports or trekking shoes with a non-slip profile.

When can you start rescue dog sport?

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Sports rescue dog is one of the few dog sports in which you can already work with puppies by introducing them to a wide variety of things at an early stage. Everything in moderation, of course, so that the puppy is not overwhelmed.

When can you start rescue dog sport?

Even as a puppy, you can introduce the dog to the sport with small skill exercises.

Conclusion – Is my dog suitable for the rescue dog sport?

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Basically, any healthy dog can practice rescue dog sport. The training offers everything that dogs enjoy or where they can grow. Even anxious dogs can be successful here and strengthen their self-confidence. Rescue dog sport is a very diverse sport for the human-dog team. The cooperation, the sense of achievement and being able to rely on each other makes the bond between dogs and humans strong, especially in this sport.