The Newfoundland is indisputably the king of rescue at sea, oily undercoat protects from water and cold, their feet are webbed, its long tail serves as a rudder and his size allows him to swim even in the storms stronger, but what certainly makes it special is the love and passion he has for water.
One of the most memorable rescues a Newfoundland is that of an English steamer, in 1919, stranded on the rocks of the coast during a violent storm, rescuers could not send their boats due to strong winds and huge waves. The Newfoundland mascot of the group “Tang” was ordered to return to earth with a rope in his mouth, what an accomplishment! and once the rope was warm all passengers were rescued by a hanging chair.
The first dogs trained for rescue at sea were brought up from the 60’s, now in European countries have more than 500 actively practicing rescue dogs.
The training begins at an early age from three months of basic obedience, which is what we call our “Education ABC”, to the four months the dog makes his first dive, it must be very smooth and short duration, then gradually learn to swim equipped with a vest, also learn to follow a boat over long distances and obey the orders of his master, who gives orders through gestures.
An essential part in training of these dogs is the learning of the recovery and collection of objects (ropes, buoys, life jackets, paddles). Helping people who are drowning part of his instinct, education is to teach them to allow the person to hold the work vest if they are conscious and throwing arm if they are inanimate.
The water rescue dogs can be operational from the port or jumping from a boat, his training is finished at 18 months, the experience enables them to make the most of the streams or choose the best place in the port to launch the rescue and bring those rescued people back.
There are also some other breeds that are being used for this type of work, such as farmer dogs and other water dogs but they have limits of operating in lakes and ponds.
here is also no need official training required in some cases, you can start from fetching games, For example throwing a small stick into the water and asking the dog to get that. Just make sure the water is not too deep. You can use life jackets.If you have a lake near to your house you can encourage your dog to swim and get some physical activity.