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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2006, 20:52 GMT
Swimming dog club seeks new site
A Newfoundland dog
Newfoundlands are bred to swim and save lives
A group which trains Newfoundland dogs to save people from rivers and lakes is appealing for help in finding a new training site.

The dogs were traditionally bred for swimming and life-saving.

Middle England Newfs currently has 12 canine members and most of their owners live in Leicestershire.

The group used to train at Barton Turns Marina near Burton-on-Trent, but redevelopment work on the site has left them with nowhere to train the dogs.

"Newfoundlands were really made for swimming," said dog trainer Llynda Baugh.

"They've got a double coat so they've got an outer coat that the water just rolls off and then a soft undercoat that traps the air which keeps them buoyant and warm.

"They have webbed feet and they swim with all four legs - unlike normal dogs that do a doggy paddle, they actually use lilke a breast-stroke action and then they've got a powerful tail that they use as a rudder."

There are currently around 10 groups in Britain which train Newfoundland dogs in life-saving techniques.

They meet about eight times a year to ensure the animals are reaching certain standards and progressing.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The group of lifesavers with a twist in their tail



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