Training: Cynotech Unit
The Canine Section trains dogs and their owners over a period of two years.
Training at the section is twofold: there is the training of volunteer members who have joined the section, and these members’ dogs.
Training of the members of the Canine Section
The members’ training is done in different stages. After completing an internship of six months, the new member is accepted in the canine section and is trained in emergency areas such as first aid, radio communication, field orientation with topographic map, GPS, compasses, knowledge of the section’s response vehicles, rappelling with his/her dog, surface intervention tactics on wreckage and rubble, cynology, and wreckage theory.
Six months after the end of the course, the new member must complete a written and practical test regarding first aid, field orientation, and knowledge of the section’s response vehicles.
Upon successfully passing this test, the new member is assigned the title of cynotec assistant and is authorised to participate in interventions. From that moment on, the member will continue their training as a dog handler, an intervention coordinator, or a cynotec assistant.
Dog training starts with an initial test during which the dog’s behavior is evaluated in different situations. This test determines if the dog is allowed onto rescue dog training. It should be noted that dog training is done together with his master.
Basic training of the dog lasts more or less two years depending on the animal and his master’s ability to handle the dog. Indeed, a cyno team consists of the master and his/her dog, and this pair must work together flawlessly in order to work effectively. At the end of the training, the team must complete an ability test including a theoretical and a practical part. Depending on which test the team takes part in, the practical part consists of an obedience test and an agility test: a surface search and a rubble/wreckage search. Upon successful completion of this test, the team is confirmed in the completed specialties for a period of two years.
The patented rubble/wreckage teams wanting to be part of the “foreign missions” pool must complete an additional test in which their intervention and field team ability in unknown conditions is tested in a 48 to 72 hours time period.
Finally, it should be noted that the training of the handler and the dog as well as of the rescue dog teams and other members of the canine section (intervention coordinator, technical dog handler assistant), is a continuous training and education program as long as the members are active in this section.
For more information on the Canine Section of the Luxembourg Red Cross, visit the service page .