Water Rescue Dog Excellent ‐ Senior Exercises (Part 1)

Directed Retrieve
Purpose:
To demonstrate the dog’s ability to follow direction to retrieve the specific object desired by the handler.
Equipment required:
The articles to be retrieved are an approved boat cushion and life jacket. Article placement and order will be determined by the judge(s) prior to the start of the test and shall be in the same order for all dogs.

Qualifying Performance:

Handler and dog will wait on the shore at the midpoint (approximately) of the test area. The dog is to be under control and attentive to the handler. The lead judge will signal to the boat steward to row across the test area at the 50 feet (approximately 15 meters) from shore. The articles will be quietly placed about 50′ (approximately 15 meters) apart on the land side of the boat at a point determined by the lead judge.

The lead judge will tell the handler which article is to be retrieved first and shall be the same for all dogs. After the boat has left the area the lead judge will ask the handler “Are You Ready”. On an affirmative answer, (the handler must have hands off the dog and/or the dog’s collar) the handler and dog may now move to any area of the test site. The dog, following the handler’s direction will enter the water, swim out, retrieve the first article and return it to the handler. Delivery must be to hand. The handler and dog may then move to another part of the test site if desired, to mark the dog on the second object, then the handler will command the dog to swim out, retrieve the second article and return it to the handler. Delivery must be to hand. Once the handler has the second article in hand, the lead judge will say “Exercise Finished”.

Carry Line/Tow Boat

Purpose:

To demonstrate the dog’s willingness to cooperate in a rescue.

Equipment required:

Floating line with a bumper attached (length to be determined by site and conditions)

Qualifying Performance:

Handler and dog will wait on the shore. The dog is to be under control and attentive to the handler. The Rowing Steward will position the bow of a rowboat 75 feet (approximately 23 meters) from shore. The lead judge will ask the handler “Are You Ready”. On an affirmative answer, (the handler must have hands off the dog and/or the dog’s collar) the lead judge will signal the boat steward (who must be a stranger to the dog) to attract the dogs’ attention by calling for help and encouraging him to come, but the steward must not call the dog by name.

The handler will command the dog to take the bumper, and the dog will then enter the water and swim close enough to the boat to deliver the line to the steward. When the steward has the line in hand, the dog will tow the boat and steward to shore, delivering the bumper to the handler who shall remain on shore. When the handler has hold of the line the lead judge will say “Exercise Finished”.

Dive from Height to Rescue A Stranger

Purpose:

To demonstrate the dog’s willingness to effect a rescue of a human in distress.

Equipment required:

If the dog rescues by grasping the swimmer’s arm, protection must be supplied to the steward by the handler. The type of protection must not be construed as a training aid for the dog.

Qualifying Performance:

Dog and handler will wait on shore. The dog is to be under control and attentive to the handler. The lead judge will ask the handler “Are You Ready”. On an affirmative answer, (the handler must have hands off the dog and/or the dog’s collar) the handler and dog will proceed to the boat and board the platform. The rowing steward will row the team out to the 50 foot (approximately 15 meters) marker; turn the boat parallel to the shore, with the platform facing the “victim”. At the same time as the boat is rowing out, the drowning steward (who must be a stranger to the dog) will swim out to the 50 foot (approximately 15 meters) marker position themselves 25 – 30 feet (approximately 7.5 – 9 meters) from the boat and turn to face the platform. The drowning steward will then splash, and otherwise indicate that a rescue is required. The dog, commanded by the handler, will dive from the boat, swim directly to the victim and then either grasp the victim by the arm or allow him to take hold. The dog will then tow the drowning steward either to the boat, or to the shore. The exercise is finished when the drowning steward touches the boat and raises their free arm in the air. If the dog takes the “victim” to shore, the exercise is finished when the steward has reached wading depth and stands up.

Please Note:

  • The dog and handler may touch while on the boat platform, but the handler may not physically restrain or manipulate the dog.
  • The handler may wade into the water to board the boat.
  • The handler’s feet may be in the water while sitting on the platform.
  • The handler may stabilize the boat with his/her hands if the dog is boarding the boat in rough water conditions.
  • The dog must board the boat willingly and ride out in a safe manner that does not endanger the boat, the stewards, or his handler.
  • Rowing time will not be counted in the overall time.
  • The Line steward will receive and hold the dog until the handler returns, if the dog brings the drowning steward to shore.