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If as a dog handler, Nicolas depends on the federal government, it is the Swimming zone that helped Nicolas to carry out this trip and this activity of development of his specialty but also of identification, with a view to involving others from his colleagues in a future edition.
A life-size test and rubble
“The aim of the competition was to find people on a rubble ground, as we are used to at home. “In addition to the dog’s efficiency – in the case of Nicolas, Oly, an 8-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois – his obedience, dexterity and autonomy were tested.
“In addition to the people to be searched for, the organizers (Editor’s note. the Odysecur Academia Portuguesa de Segurança e Emergência) had spread over the area audio recordings with human cries but also equipment to distract the dogs: toys, food and other animals.“Finally, certain parts of the excavation area were forbidden to masters.
“We had to adapt. We finished 6th in the competition, noting points for improvement, Oly did not let the traps fool us. But we need to be more independent. It’s a classic, maybe we’re too close. Then, the two days of driving for the outward journey also weighed on our freshness when tackling the event. But this kind of test gives an idea of the dog’s ability to adapt, especially in the face of a sudden change in climate. In Portugal, we were confronted with the first big heat, it was very dry. Oly was better in the evening and at night. “
In contact with his firefighters, most often allied, like him, to Malinois shepherds, but also to border collies, Nicolas was able to become aware of other ways of proceeding. “In Belgium, we depend on the federal government. In Portugal, they operate by zones. And if the canine specialty is known in the broad sense, they are much more advanced in certain techniques. Especially since, in our country, the federal appeal procedure, in particular for missing persons, must be improved to be as effective as possible on the ground. “
See you in Belgium
The exchange of skills will continue since Nicolas took the opportunity to invite the Portuguese colleagues, as observers, to a maneuver of the various civil security services, from Belgium, Luxembourg and France, which will take place astride the provinces of Liège and Luxembourg. , August 11, 12 and 13.
After Oly, will come the turn of Urbex
As for Oly, if she is slowly approaching retirement (at 11), the next generation is preparing, with two and a half years of training. The lucky winner is also a Malinois shepherd, with the predestined name: Urbex.