A good YouTube search will turn up a decent number of videos with dogs surfing with their owners. Occasionally, the dogs might even catch a wave on their own. Yes, while it seems crazy to admit, surfing dogs have become a bit…ordinary.
What is out of the ordinary is a surfing competition for dogs.
Huntington Beach played host to the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge on June 8th. The challenge was made up of multiple competitions for canines, who competed for two days. The national championship includes traditional events like a Frisbee competition, where dogs run along a 40-foot dock and leap into a pool of water. There was even a hurdle racing event just for Jack Russels.
The real highlight of the challenge, though, was the surfing competition. Twelve dogs competed in the event, which presented the competitors with quite manageable two-foot waves. All of the dogs were experienced surfers, and one retriever even “hot-dogged” for the crowd by riding a wave in backward. When asked if he did it regularly, the dog’s owner confirmed that he did, indeed, because he liked to watch the wave as it rolled in.
It was pretty apparent that the dogs were loving the competition, too.
The surfing dogs competed in two categories—big dogs and little dogs. A Huntington Beach local named Sugar took the gold in the big dog competition, while a pooch named Giselle took the top spot for the little breeds.
Giselle’s owner, Susanna Gan, commented on just how much their Rhodesian Ridgeback mix loves the sport of surfing. She mentioned that it can sometimes be embarrassing to take Giselle to the beach.
“If she sees someone carrying a board, she runs after that person. If they are close to shore, she’ll swim out to the surfer and try to get on their board,” Gan said. “They don’t know what to do with her.”