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Canine heroes.

This summer, a new breed of lifeguards will be keeping Italy's beachgoers safe. Who are these heroes? They're "lifedogs," trained to leap out of helicopters and coast-guard boats, paddle to the aid of flailing swimmers, and pull them to safety.

The dogs must weigh more than 30 kilograms (66 pounds) and successfully complete at least one year of training at the Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs. Most of the trainees are breeds known to be strong swimmers, such as Labradors, golden retrievers, and Newfoundlands. These dogs are also easily trained to fetch an object--or in this case, a person--and bring it back to shore.

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Title Annotation:BIOLOGY: ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
Author:Smith, Natalie
Publication:Science World
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:May 9, 2011
Words:107
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