Dog surfing is a remarkable mix of adventure and fun. This sport combines the thrill of riding ocean waves with the companionship of our four-legged friends. Dog surfing has gained massive popularity over the past years.
Want to know more about surfing with dogs but not sure where to start? Read on as we dive into the basics of this sport with all the necessary steps to excel at it.
What is Dog Surfing?
Dog surfing, also known as “surfing with dogs” or “canine surfing,” is a water sport where dogs ride on special surfboards while riding ocean waves. It has become a surfing subculture and is enjoyed on many dog-friendly beaches worldwide.
This exciting activity has gained massive popularity in recent years. But what made dog surfing so famous and enjoyable? Apart from being an entertaining activity, surfing with dogs offers quite a few benefits.
Firstly, dog surfing is an excellent workout for dogs. It engages their muscles and helps maintain a healthy weight while keeping them physically active. Learning dogs new tricks has proven to be very beneficial as it keeps their brain active. Learning to balance on a surfboard and respond to commands while doing it is an excellent exercise for their mental agility.
Another perk of dog surfing is that you create an even stronger bond with each other. This activity requires trust and communication with your furry companion.
Finally, many dog surfing events are a perfect opportunity for them to interact with other dogs. Socialization is a crucial part of a dog’s life, and the more you do it, the more you’ll notice improvements in their behavior, aggression levels, and stress levels, to name a few.
How to Get Started with Dog Surfing?
Before you hit the waves, there are some essential steps to ensure an enjoyable experience for you and your dog. Here’s how to get started:
Choose the Right Surfboard for Your Pup
Start things off by finding the surfboard that’ll fit your dog’s size and weight. Try finding a wide and stable board, as they’re easier for dogs to balance. If they’re new to surfing, they’ll learn on a larger board much easier.
The next step when buying a surfboard is to pinpoint the ones that provide stability for your dog. Some boards come with non-slip surfaces to help your furry friend maintain their grip. Surfboards with wider tails provide more stability, making them an ideal choice. The narrow-tailed surfboards offer more maneuverability, which isn’t the best choice for beginner dog owners.
The material of the surfboard is another important thing to look out for. Soft-top foam boards are excellent for beginners and smaller dogs due to their stability and buoyancy. Fiberglass or epoxy boards can perform better for larger or more experienced dogs.
Safety Tips for Dog Surfing
Always put safety on top of your priority list to ensure your fuzzy pal doesn’t leave the surfing session with a bruise.
When you decide to go surfing with dogs, always bring a life jacket for the pet. Make sure that it fits well and that it has enough buoyancy. They’ll stay safe and keep floating if they fall off the board.
Ensure your dog is trained to stay on the board and respond to basic commands, such as “stay” and “sit.” Use a leash or tether designed for water use to keep your dog connected to the board. The pet should have freedom of movement while preventing him from swimming away.
When you introduce your dog to surfing, always start with small steps. Begin with smaller waves in calm waters. Gradually progress to larger, more challenging waves as your dog gains confidence and experience.
Preparing Your Dog for the First Surf Session
Now that you’ve chosen the fitting surfboard and followed the safety procedure, it’s time to prepare your dog for the waves.
Begin with familiarizing your dog with the surfboard. Let them investigate it with the surfboard on land. They should sniff and explore it at their own pace.
Positive reinforcement goes a long way with your dogs. Keep healthy treats nearby to reward them for exploring the board. For example, you can create a positive atmosphere by rewarding them for sitting or standing on the board.
If your dog isn’t comfortable in the water, start with calm, shallow areas. Gradually introduce them to deeper waters. Dogs always pick up on your energy, making it vital to stay calm while they learn their way around the board.
The next step is to teach your dog to balance on the board. Start by teaching them how to stand while the board is stationary. Reward them for staying still and balanced.
Finally, teach your dog a few basic commands like “stay” or “get on”. That way, you’ll help them control their movements on the board.
What are the Best Breeds for Dog Surfing?
While it’s important to note that every breed can enjoy dog surfing, some are particularly well-suited for this adventurous water sport. Some of the best breeds for dog surfing are:
Labrador Retrievers are known for their love of water. These intelligent and energetic dogs are excellent swimmers and quickly learn to surf. Their strong build and water-loving nature make them the perfect candidate for dog surfing.
Golden Retrievers share many traits with Labradors, including their love for water. They are friendly, obedient, and naturally skilled in balancing the surfboard. Golden Retrievers are not only great surfers but also great companions in the waves.
Australian Shepherds are known for their agility and intelligence. These dogs excel at learning commands and quickly adapt to the balance required for surfing. And because of their herding nature, they are thrilled to engage in outdoor activities.
Border Collies are very intelligent and trainable dogs. They are a quick learning breed, making it easier to teach them the commands for dog surfing. Their impressive energy and enthusiasm make them excellent surf buddies.
Boxers are strong and muscular dogs with a playful and adventurous spirit. Their natural athleticism and love of water make them a good fit for dog surfing. Boxers often have the strength and balance required to ride the waves.
Dog surfing is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen the bond with your furry friend while enjoying an exciting activity. It’s a thrilling way to observe our canine companions’ incredible abilities and adaptability.
You can create memorable moments and lasting connections with your dog on the waves with the proper training, gear, and safety measures. So, grab your surfboard, secure your pup’s life jacket, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in the sun, sand and surf with your surfing buddy.