Right now the Italian Coast Guard is training these dogs to work alongside regular life guards. The goal is to cut down hundreds of fatal accidents that occur yearly in Italy's waters.
The special units, mostly Labradors and Golden Retrievers are trained to swim, towing their trainer and the victim while the life guard attends to the injured.
The training takes about a year and a half but with more time dogs can be taught to operate from ships and helicopters.
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