Activities For Surfers With Dogs

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Introduction

For surfing enthusiasts, there is nothing more exciting than heading down to the beach, waxing their boards, catching some waves and even getting wiped out. Surfers find a thrill in being out in the water and getting stoked. For surfers who also happen to be dog owners, it can sometimes be difficult to leave their canine buddies at home while they go out to catch some breaks. Luckily, there are a number of activities that surfing enthusiasts can do with their four-legged friends, be it at home or in the water. Below are some of the top activities that surfers can enjoy with their dogs.

Dog Surfing

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Surfboard
Flotation device
Activity description
The first and most obvious activity that surfers can share with their furry friends is dog surfing. Any dog-loving surfer would love to chase some waves with their best bud enjoying the ride. Fortunately, this activity is getting more and more popular among the surfing scene. In this sport, dogs are trained to ride a variety of boards and surf on some waves. Different coastal areas in the United States that are known for surfing, such as Florida and California, are known to hold dog surfing competitions. This activity is a great way for surfers to spend time with their dogs while doing something they truly love and enjoy.
Step
1
Buy the needed equipment
Yes, even your dog needs some equipment in order to get started with surfing. The main thing that you have to buy for your dog is a flotation device. Remember that not all dogs have an innate ability to swim, so having a flotation device gives you the peace of mind that your dog will not drown. You may also acquire other stuff such as a soft top foam board, which is more comfortable for dogs.
Step
2
On board training
If this is your dog’s first time to get on a surfboard, then you have to teach them how to get on the board. Place the board in your home and allow your dog to get naturally curious about it. You may even place treats on the board so your dog will get on it. Eventually, you can start to incorporate surfing elements by taking your dog to a pool to simulate the feeling of being in the water. Over time, your dog will become comfortable while on the board.
Step
3
Catch some waves
When you feel like your dog is ready to start surfing, bring your pooch and your board to the beach. Start off in a shallow area and let your dog get used to balancing on the board and falling off in shallow water. Always assist the board and push when a wave approaches so your dog can “ride”. Use lots of praise and encouragement whenever your dog completes a ride. Remember that the first few tries are supposed to be fun for your dog. Eventually, you can start to take on bigger waves.
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Stand-up Paddling

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Stand-up paddleboard
Paddle
Flotation device
Activity description

Canine water sports are growing in popularity as more and more dog owners are looking to try new things. For surfers, a good alternative to surfing that you can try with your dog is stand-up paddling. These two sports are similar in a number of ways – they both involve standing on a board and keeping one’s balance. The main difference is that with stand-up paddling, there is no need for you to ride the waves. In fact, this activity is done in a calm environment with flat water. The challenge is balancing on the board with your dog and to paddle out without falling into the water. It is a more relaxed version of surfing but still just as fun. 

Step
1
Let your dog adjust to the board
Just like in surfing, you should first introduce your dog to your stand-up paddleboard. The board will be something new to your dog and you should let them naturally adjust to it. Bring it into your house for a few days or weeks and allow your dog to get familiar with the scent. You can also make positive associations with the board, such as placing treats on top of it.
Step
2
Practice being on the board
When your dog becomes accustomed to the board, you can get on the board yourself and practice with your dog. Check out how you will balance yourself while your dog sits there. You can also start teaching your dog commands on how to “stay” and “sit” while riding the stand-up paddleboard.
Step
3
Head out to the water
The final step would be to do the real thing and to actually get out in the water and practice paddleboarding with your dog. Again, you would want to take things slow. Get your dog to go on the board and carefully push the board in a shallow area. Watch as your dog tries to balance out while on the board. Then, slowly ride the board and paddle out. If your dog shows any sign of anxiety, go back to the shore and try again. Otherwise, paddle out further into the water and have some fun. Make sure that your dog is wearing a flotation device in case you both fall off into the water.
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Swimming

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Flotation device
Activity description

Some people think that only a select few individuals have what it takes to become a great surfer. However, surfing is something that can be learned. In fact, with enough determination and practice, anyone can become a pro-level surfer. But all surfers know that in order to become good at the sport, one should not neglect the basics. One of the “basics” that all surfers should practice is swimming. Needless to say, you need to be at least a decent swimmer if you ever want to learn how to surf properly. Swimming not only helps you get comfortable in the water, it also helps in developing your upper body, which you will need when you are paddling out. During your swimming sessions, you can let your dog tag along. 

Step
1
Find a place where you can swim
Unfortunately, not all swimming spots and places are dog-friendly. Even if you have a go-to place to practice swimming, there are no guarantees that your pooch will also be allowed here. Hence, it is important that you find a public pool or beach that will allow your dog to tag along with you.
Step
2
Get in the water
When you find a good area where you can swim, suit your dog up with a lifejacket and get in the water. Teach your dog to swim some laps and make sure to watch in case they start panicking and drowning. Never forget that not all dogs are immediately comfortable in the water and some might need more convincing. The main priority is your dog’s welfare. Hence, if your dog seems uncomfortable in the water, postpone your plans and try again some other time.
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More Fun Ideas...

Beach Trip

It comes as no surprise that a surfer’s favorite place to be is the beach. When not in the water, however, surfers are more than happy to just relax by the shore, especially with their dogs. Take a beach towel or blanket and simply chill on a dog-friendly beach or even have a picnic. A nice sunny day at the beach with your best bud will definitely turn out to be a great day.

Doga

Did you know that one of the keys to becoming a successful surfer is a strong core? Surfing is all about maintaining balance, which is why a lot of the top surfers engage in yoga. For surfers who do yoga on a regular basis, they can add their dogs into the mix by doing Doga instead. This is a special canine activity where you incorporate your pooch into different poses. 

Conclusion

Dogs are some of the most adventurous creatures in existence and they are always willing to try new things, especially with their owners. Surfers who are looking for some adrenaline-filled fun can always count on their dogs to take on new experiences with them. If you are a surfing enthusiast, be sure to take on new activities and make awesome memories with your pooch.