Dogs on patrol walking along an Italian beach
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Canine 'Baywatch' patrols Italian beaches

24 August 2010 Last updated at 15:19 BST

Is your picture of the perfect lifeguard a hunky guy or a well muscled woman throwing themselves in to the water to save you?

Well reality may be a bit different if you get into trouble in Italian waters this summer.

Hundreds of specially trained dogs have been recruited to rescue swimmers who get into trouble on Italian beaches.

Duncan Kennedy spoke to Roberto Gasbarri, Dog Training Coordinator, and lifeguard Monica Luciani.