Faithful, loyal, playful, able to snatch a smile on the darkest days and workmate in many operational areas from hunting to defense of the territory to rescue activities in the event of natural disasters or emergency events. On the World Day dedicated to the ‘best friend of man’, the Italian Relief Corps of the Order of Malta – Cisom, which since 2009 with its national school forms dog units to search for people in all its ways (rubble, surface , mantrailing), remembers the great help that dogs also offer in volunteering. “The canine unit consists of a specialized Cisom volunteer (the handler) and a dog trained to assist specific operations – explains Ilaria Rocchetto, head of the Cisom National Dog School -. Dogs, thanks to their infallible sense of smell, can identify the odors with a capacity up to 100,000 times higher than that of man, can perceive about half a million odorous compounds even if present in very low concentrations, imperceptible to the human nose. Thanks to an extraordinary hearing they capture sound waves up to 40,000 Hertz and they are able to hear between 35 and 40 thousand vibrations per second “. For the research on the surface, the work of the canine units presents difficulties that constantly change according to the time that elapses from the event to the activation call, the territory in which it must operate and the climatic conditions. “And the head of the research, that is the instructor of the group, to lead the dog units. And he to ask for information on the missing person and to take stock of the situation with the team, and then proceed to the beginning of the joke. – explains Rocchetto – . In research, using the sense of smell for a dog is rewarding but it costs a lot of energy and using it for a long time is tired. Usually a dog works until the area is cleared. The handler knows his dog and knows as much as he can. push him into research. After about 20 minutes, the dog’s efficiency tends to drop and he has to take breaks “. The CIsom National Dog School is growing and is working on new training courses, with particular attention to the use of the dog’s sense of smell in medical research. “It has been known for some time that dogs can perform various functions in the medical field and we are sure that our faithful four-legged friends will help us in this too”, concludes Ilaria Rocchetto.
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