In the United States, lifeguards are required to save swimmers who are in need of help, but in Italy, our four-legged friends are putting their best paw forward as well.
According to the Associated Press
, "lifedogs" have become a vital component to saving swimmers on the many beaches located in the boot-shaped country. The pups are relied on because of their ability to jump easily from helicopters and into the water.
"The dog becomes a sort of intelligent lifebuoy. It is a buoy that goes by itself to a person in need of help, and comes back to the shore also by himself, choosing the best landing point and swimming through the safest currents," Roberto Gasbarri, who coordinates the Italian School of Canine Lifeguards, told the news source.
Gasbarri said he will train any breed, as long as they weigh more than 66 pounds. However, Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers and Newfoundlands are the pups most commonly sought, because of their swimming instincts.
According to DogGuide.com, other breeds that are skilled at swimming include Spanish Water Dogs, Irish Setters and Standard Poodles.