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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Dogs Compete in Huntington Beach Surfing Competition

In Huntington Beach, California, dogs can ride the waves just like humans do. In fact, surfer pups can even compete in an annual surfing competition. The Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge has been inviting canines to catch a wave for 26 years.

A surfing competition for dogs

According to ABC 7, dogs ruled the water in multiple competitions over the weekend, including an agility course, diving, freestyle flying disc, and weave racing.

“You aren’t used to seeing dogs on surfboards, so to see them in all different shapes and sizes. Getting on boards, having their owners next to them and lifeguards in the water to ensure safety, it’s just a really exciting way to kick off our Western Regional of the National Dog Challenge and we are glad to be back in California,” Michael Zerman, the Purina Communications Manager, told the news outlet.

The competition is a family event. Both pet parents and dog trainers bring their pups for fun and entertainment.

“These owners are so passionate about their pets, and so passionate about their competition, they are cheering just as loudly for other competitors to succeed as they are their own,” Zerman said.

Cherie, a so-called “surfing queen,” has been participating regularly in the event since 2013. Her dog dad, Dan, spoke to the news outlet about their love of surfing.

“After we rescued her in 2011 we took her to the dog beach in Long Beach,” Dan explained. “And learned really quickly that she really liked the water. So a friend of ours suggested that there is dog surfing lessons down in Del Mar, and it’s been a wild ride ever since.”

Last year, Cherie took home top honors for small dogs. Unfortunately, this was her final year partaking in the competitions. It’s time for the wave-riding pup to retire her surfboard.

“Hopefully we will have a great time. That is the most important thing, we just want to have a fun time,” he said.

Can your dog ride the waves?

Thinking about trying to enter your dog in a surfing competition? Here are some indicators that your pup is right for the sport:

Temperament: A good surfing dog should have a calm and confident temperament. They should be comfortable in and around water, as well as in crowded and noisy beach environments.

Physical fitness: Dogs participating in surfing need to be in good physical condition. They should have strong muscles, good balance, and coordination to maintain stability on a surfboard.

Swimming ability: Dogs should be proficient swimmers and comfortable in the water. They should be able to navigate waves and currents with ease.

Water confidence: Dogs that enjoy swimming and playing in the water are more likely to enjoy surfing. Being comfortable in the water helps them remain calm and focused while riding waves.

Well-bonded: A strong bond between you and your dog is important for successful surfing. Dogs that trust and listen to their parents are more likely to follow instructions and stay safe in the water.

Energy and enthusiasm: Surfing requires energy and enthusiasm from both the dog and the owner. Dogs that have a natural inclination for activity and enjoy the thrill of outdoor adventures are more likely to enjoy surfing.

Size and body shape: Certain dog breeds and body types are better suited for surfing. Medium to large-sized dogs with a low center of gravity, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Portuguese Water Dogs, tend to perform well in the water.

Not all dogs are suitable for surfing, and it’s crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of your pet. Proper training, starting with basic obedience and gradually introducing them to water activities, is essential. Additionally, always consult with a professional or experienced surfing dog trainer to ensure you are following the appropriate techniques and safety guidelines.

Surf’s up!

Alva Thomas
Alva Thomas
Alva Thomas expert in training and caring for pet dog breeds. Whether he spending quality time with her own furry companions or contributing to websites such as Dogsbreed.org and Animalpet.com, dedicated to our canine.

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