The World Surf Dog Competition will be returning to the San Francisco Bay Area this week, and fans are eager to watch their favorite pooches hanging ten. The competition, hosted by TasteTV, is open to amateurs looking to ride the waves with some of the world’s top dog surfers.
Last year’s winner, Abbie, came north from Southern California to compete, but for her it’s actually sort of a homecoming.
Owner Michael Uy adopted Abbie from the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, which rescued her when she was found on the side of the road.
These days, she’s a celebrity and a record-holder, holding the title for longest wave surfed by a canine.
Uy said they discovered she could ride the wave by herself while he was out surfing.
More surfers are opting to take their four-legged friend out on the waves with them. However, if your dog does not take to a surfboard immediately, there is still hope.
The Surf Dog Series released tips for getting your dogs ready to head out on the water and a decorated surf dog, Ricochet (you’ve met her here at LWD a few times!) offers tips and a home training schedule to help you get your dog started:
SURF DOG TIPS FROM THE PROS:
Swim Before You Surf: “Make sure your dog can swim!” Uy told NBC Los Angeles. Even his world record-holding dog Abbie falls off the board. Uy emphasized making sure conditions are safe and your dog can handle the wave.
Safety First: Uy outfits his dog in a wet suit designed just for Abbie. But Judy Fridono, a dog trainer and owner to the famed Surf Dog Ricochet, said most people looking to surf with their dogs “are folks who go out a few times a summer.” Most active surfer dogs have at least a doggie life jacket on during the ride.
Don’t Force It: Many owners can sense if they’re dog is having fun or not. Trainer Fridono emphasized the biggest rule for her is: “If they really don’t want to surf, then find something else you both enjoy.” While some dogs surf on their first time out on the water like Abbie, others take a bit longer to learn so patience and baby steps may be required.
Have fun! The biggest part of surfing with dogs is to spend more time with the dog. Make sure it is fun for you and your furry friend!
Want to watch the pros?! The second annual World Dog Surfing Championships is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 5 at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica.