Water Rescue Dog

The Water Rescue Dog (WRD) is the senior level and it consists of six exercises that build on the skills learned in the Junior level. Senior level/Water Rescue Dog pictures can be found on the NCA website.

Double Retrieve

Two stewards in a boat row across the test area and, as they row, one attracts the dog’s attention by splashing, and drops a life jacket and a boat cushion. The handler sends the dog to a specific article that the dog retrieves and brings back to the handler on shore. The dog is then sent to retrieve the second article which is also brought back to the handler on shore.

Retrieve Off the Boat

The dog and handler ride out on a boat, the handler throws a paddle or oar from the boat. The dog jumps from the boat to make the retrieve, and brings the oar back to the handler on the boat.

Take a Life Ring

Three stewards enter the water and swims out, one feigns distress, splashing and calling; the other two remain silent and still. The handler gives his dog the knotted end of a line attached to a life ring. The dog must then swim to the person in distress, coming close enough that the steward can grab the life ring or the dog. The dog then tows the steward to shore.

Under Water Retrieve

Handler and dog enter the water together walking to a specific point where the handler throws an item that must sink, parallel to shore. The dog must retrieve the article and return it to his handler. He may do so by submerging his head or pawing it to shallower water and retrieving it.


Take a Line/Tow a Boat

Two stewards wait in a boat out in the water. One steward calls to the dog for help and the handler gives the dog a short line with a bumper attached and swim out to the boat, coming close enough for the steward to grab the line. The dog must then pull the boat to shore by the line or bumper.


Dog and handler ride in a boat out to deep water. At the signal from the judge, the handler falls or jumps from the boat. The dog must remain in the boat until called by the handler and then voluntarily enter the water without landing on the handler. He must swim directly to his handler and tow him back to the boat or to shore.