The list of activities we do with our dogs continues to expand. Over the weekend in Huntington Beach, Calif., the Surf City Surf Dog competition took place. If you know anyone who thinks of surfing as a sport in which only humans participate, these pictures of dogs catching waves will prove them wrong.
Dogs competed in heats lasting 30-40 minutes. Judges awarded points to the dogs for each ride, with standing on the board worth more than lying down, and riding backwards richly rewarded. Even recovering from nearly falling was a way to score extra points.
These dogs are clearly channeling their inner Gidget—to the delight of all the spectators.
Editor’s note: One dog made history on Sunday. We heard from Michael Uy, whose surfing co-pilot Abbie Girl, a rescued Australian Kelpie, rode the waves for 65 yards.
“Last Sunday at the Surf City Surf Dog competition in Huntington Beach, Calif., we made history with a Guinness World Record. ‘One small wave for dog, one giant ride for dogkind’ (grin),” Uy wrote to us. “We are majorly stoked. I’ve always wanted people to see that dogs can do amazing things when they bond with their owner through sports, and focus on trust, not training. Every dog has something in them—whether it’s surfing or something else. I hope this record inspires everyone to get out and do more with their dog!”
Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.