Meet the ‘superpower dog in training’ to become a Canadian first rescue dog
Published Saturday, June 8, 2019 6:22PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, June 8, 2019 6:25PM CST
Gusztav is a 17-week old Portugese Water Dog who’s living up to his name as he’s training to one day take on a vital role in search and rescue.
“Gusztav has already started up his training but of course he’s still a puppy and his training will last a very long time,” said John Maczko, Gusztav’s partner and handler.
Gusztav is part of the Amphibious Response Support Unit One team and is currently in the middle of training to become the only one of his kind in the country.
“He will be able to be deployed from shore, various other marine vessels and be the only water rescue dog deployable via hovercraft,” Maczko told CTV News.
That’s why Gusztav was a VIP at Saturday’s screenings of the IMAX movie “Superpower Dogs” in Regina.
But his appearance wasn’t only for entertainment, as he’ll eventually travel to Italy to undergo the same training as one of the dogs showcased in the film.
“We also wanted to show the people that are seeing this movie that Saskatchewan does a superpower dog in training,” Maczko said.
Once he finishes training, he’ll step into a major role with ARSU One.
“He will be able to get out a line, a life jacket, a life can out to a victim should that be necessary, he will also assist our dive team,” said Maczko.
“He’ll have multiple roles [on the dive team],” said Brian Endicott, a member of the ARSU One dive team. “Right from when we surfact he can be deployed to come out and give us a line, take a line, take equipment, allowing us to submerge again, go back down and continue our rescues.”
It will still be a few years before Gusztav is ready for those types of operations, but members of the ARSU One team say when that time comes they’ll be ready to rely on Saskatchewan’s superpower dog for help when it’s needed.