If you are a surfer or you are thinking of taking up this sport as a hobby, you might have seen other people having fun in the waves with their dog. This might have made you wonder whether you should take your dog along surfing with you. Here is everything you need to know about dog’s and surfing, including some safety tips for surfing with your dog.
Do Dogs Like to Surf
Like humans, some dogs love the water and others will do anything to avoid it. Watch your dog’s behavior to decide which category they fall into. If they love having their bath and head straight for the water whenever you are near a river, lake or ocean, then this is a pretty clear sign that they enjoy the water. If this is the case, then your dog may enjoy trying surfing. On the other hand, if you have to hold the dog into the water when they are having their bath, and they show little or no interest when you are near waters in the outdoors, then it is unlikely that surfing is an activity they will enjoy. Surfer Today says that some breeds love the water and there are others that hate it, so your dog’s breed can play a role in whether or not you should take your dog along surfing. Some breeds that don’t usually like water include Shih Tzus, Pugs, Greyhounds, Pekingese, Bichon Frise, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese Terriers, Chihuahuas, Papillons, and Chinese Crested dogs.
Teaching Your Dog to Surf
To teach your dog to surf, introduce him to the water first to see if it has fun. Next, get the dog to stand on the surfboard on dry land so that he is not frightened by the board. Try your dog on the surfboard on shallow water next by encouraging it to climb on and then pulling the board along. If the dog does well, then give rewards at each stage of progress. As the dog builds its confidence, take it a little deeper with the board so that it gets used to the motion of the waves. Continue doing this until your dog becomes confident about riding a surfboard in the waves with you.
Some Safety Tips to Follow When Surfing with Your Dog
To get the most out of your experience on the waves with your pet pooch, it is essential that you make sure you are both safe at all time. You should always adhere to the following safety tips:
- Active says that you should always take along some water. This is because saltwater will dehydrate your dog if it swallows it, so it will need a supply of fresh water to stay hydrated.
- Use a canine flotation device. This is a life jacket for dogs that will help them to stay afloat if they get in trouble in the waves.
- Either a special dog surfboard or a surfboard with a soft top are the safest options for dog surfing for two reasons. First, the dog will have a better grip. Second, if the board hits them in the water, it will hurt them less.
- You should never tie your dog’s leash to the surfboard, says Kusi News. One reason for this is that your dog must have a choice whether they want to stay on the board or jump off for a swim. Another reason is that leashes can pose a danger in the water because they may make your dog feel threatened and this can cause them to panic.
- Never let your dog go on a surfboard with someone they do not know. Dogs who love to surf enjoy the activity predominantly because it is something they can do with their owner, who is a person that they trust and with whom they have developed a special bond. Sending them on a surfboard with a stranger can make them feel threatened.
- It is important that you only ever surf with your dog in the shallow waves. Check that you can stand up or wade in the area where you want to take your dog surfing. Similarly, let them take the easy waves back to the shore so that they can enjoy the ride.
- If your dog prefers to take things slowly, then you might like to consider paddleboarding as an alternative to surfing. This will keep a dog your dog safe if they can only take things slowly.
- If you go out in hot weather, follow the proper guidelines for pet care in high temperatures. This might include putting a time limit on the amount of time you and your dog spend outdoors.
- Check out the rules of the beach. Every beach has its own rules based on the landscape and the potential threats in the water. It is important that you are aware of these before you embark on a surfing adventure with your dog.
- Consider booking surfing lessons for your dog. Although it is possible to train your dog yourself, a professional instructor can probably teach them better. There are many surf schools and some animal organizations that offer dog surfing lesson. One organization that offers these lessons is the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
Dogs and Surfing – The Final Verdict
Many dogs love the water, and if your dog is one of them, it will do no harm to take them along surfing with you and let them have a go. Teaching a dog to surf is relatively simple, so you can soon begin having fun in the waves with your dog. However, it is vital that you follow the safety advice to ensure you both have fun without any harm coming to your canine friend. If you follow all the appropriate safety rules, you and your dog can have plenty of fun together on the waves and it can become a passion that you both share.