It's time to head out and Surf!
If you hear this while in the water, watch out, you're about to interfere with a surfing dog!
Heading out into the water to surf
The area where the waves are breaking
The beach side of the breaking waves
The area beyond where the waves are breaking
Surf Dog Retriever. This a friend or family member who is helping you in the water. They are helping to watch out for the safety of your Surf Dog and helping you retrieve them when they jump off or wipeout. They will also help to get them turned around and heading back out to you.
The white water
O.K! It's time to hit it!
I always use the expression “Let’s go surfing” or "Do you want to go surfing?” before we head down to the water.
You want them to be excited about surfing!
You can use any expression that get’s them motivated!
Time to ‘go out’.
Grab your board and head down into the water.
If you've prepared properly, your surf dog is running behind you, nosing you into the water!
Drop your surfboard in shin or knee deep water.
As discussed in Chapter 6, Dog Meets Board and Water, give your Surf Dog the ‘UP’ command or what ever command you have used in practice.
Here’s where all that practice pushing your Surf Dog thru the water the same way pays off! He knows what you expect of him and he knows what to do!
Leashing your Surf Dog
Some first timers (and even some experienced Surf Dogs) leash their surf dogs with a sort leash secured to the back of the surfboard.
I don't recommend this, but it's up to each individual Surf Dog Owner.
Secure one end to the surfboard and the other to the handle of the CFD. Some CFD’s have a ring you can attach to. Make sure you have enough length that in case of a wipeout, your Surf Dog can safely get away from the surfboard.
DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT EVER secure to the dogs collar! NEVER EVER!
You made need to adjust the length of the leash to get your Surf Dog to remain in the correct position.
If they pearl, shorten the leash.
If you can’t seem get them into a wave, maybe they are too far back.
In this case lengthen the leash.
This helps keep them in the back 1/3 of the board over the fins.
Be Sure the leash is long enough that in a wipeout, your Surf Dog can swim far enough away from the surfboard without getting hit.
ALL dogs have this natural tenancy or desire to run to the front of the surfboard. When they do, the surfboard will pearl.
(Pearl or Pearling is what happens when the nose of the surfboard goes under water which in turn brings the surfboard to a halt and catapults your dog into the drink!)
Leashing your Surf Dog can be a great training tool. I suggest trying to surf without leashing them.
(Note that some Surf Dog Competitions will count points against dogs that are leashed to the surfboard.)
I would suggest you try to surf without leashing your Surf Dog first before you try leashing. If they continue to run to the front of the surfboard, then try leashing them.
Try to remove it after a few waves to see if they really need it.
Some dogs get it right away and others need more time.
Another thing to try, if you do not want to leash your dog the surfboard, is to surf them backwards. Turn them around on the surfboard so they are facing the tail of the surfboard and surf a couple of wave backwards. Then try surfing them forward again. Works sometimes.
A few more Important Notes!
Controlling their surfboards.
Dogs cannot steer or turn their surfboards.
Yes they can learn to adjust their weight while surfing to stay in a wave, but they can’t turn!
If you are pushing your dog out or you are on your way in to retrieve your Surf Dog, It’s YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to watch out for and stay out of the way of ALL SURFING DOGS!!! Make sure your SDRs understand this as well!
Yell "Dog On" when after you have launched your dog and someone is in the way. If you hear "Dog On" get out of the way! DUH!
At Surf Dog Competitions it will get really crowded in the water.
In all the excitement, it's easy to forget that there are other dogs surfing here to!
Can't tell you how many times I've seen a Surf Dog getting a great ride only to run into the backs of people not paying attention to what is going on! BE AWARE AT ALL TIMES as to what's going on around you!
SURFING DOGS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY!!!
Let them enjoy the Stoke!
Here's a couple of great examples of people
"NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND THEM"!!!
In the first video, a Surf Dog runs over a fellow competitor!
In the second video, a surf dog runs right into the back of someone not paying attention!
Yell "Dog On"
Stanley Punking Mr Tyson - Camera #1
Stanley Punking Mr Tyson - Camera #2
Turn that surfboard around!
You need to know how to turn a surfboard!
It’s important to note that in order to turn a surfboard, the weight needs to be over one end or the other of the board. Typically it’s the tail.
Your Surf Dog should already be in the back 1/3 of the surfboard.
You should already be hold the tail of the surfboard with one hand and your Surf Dog with the other!
You pivot the surfboard like a cork by lowering the tail slightly and raising the nose. You then just spin around. Try it! Then try turning the board without lowering one end or the other.
Turning the surfboard is much easier if you are already holding onto the tail!
Note how Doug has one hand on the rail and one on or near the tail.
He is ready to turn Dozer and the surfboard around at a moments notice!
Now your ready to turn quickly when you spot that awesome wave approaching!
Your Surf Dog should always be standing.
Going out, going over waves, turning around and surfing! Their feet will act as shock absorbers as they go over the waves. This not only gives them a lot of practice balancing on the surfboard on the way out, but they are also already in position and ready to go when a wave comes.
By standing all the time, he his learning to balance and adjust his stance all the time.
This will be huge when it's time to surf!
If you’re using a larger surfboard to surf your dog or you want to tandem surf, you can climb on behind your dog to paddle out.
If you already surf this isn’t difficult.
If you have never surfed, this will take some practice.
To get the feeling, you might try paddling around by yourself a few times first.
Again, as the wave or soup approaches, lower the tail to raise the nose, hold on to the rails and go over the wave.
Going out Backwards
Don’t do it!
This is not a good idea and it's dangerous.
Never turn your back on the Ocean! Ever!
This is the person the Lifeguards will be watching!
There are several problems with this technique and we don’t recommend it:
One. You’re not next to your dog to steady them as you go through waves.
Two. Your Surf Dog wants to be with you and will start to walk up towards you and the nose of the surfboard. Remember, you want them to be in the back 1/3 of the board.
Three. You will need to reposition yourself to get ready to push you surf dog into a wave. You want to be able to turn quickly when a good wave approaches!
Four. This is the most important reasons not to do this.
You can’t see what’s going on behind you!
You can’t see approaching waves.
You can’t see the Surf Dogs that might be surfing right towards you.
You can't see loose surfboards that may be heading directly towards you.
Most importantly, your Surf Dog is going to get washed right off the surfboard
Again, you NEVER want to turn your back on the ocean!
Did I say never?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this fool who promotes this, getting his dog washed off the surfboard. Just plain foolish! Don’t do it!
The Wrong Way!
The Wrong way!
I did not see the wave coming
and it slapped me good!
Poor Tyson got swept off the board!
(He was not hurt, his Owner was right there!)
The Right Way!
The Right Way!
Deb is doing it right!
She's got in the back with full control of the surfboard and Kona.
She can see the waves and any surfing dogs coming towards her!