While the summer season may technically be over, warmer parts of the nation have people still running outdoors and swimming to beat the heat. Although many humans like to “hang 10″ and surf the waters of California, some pooches love to get their paws wet on the surfboard.
RT News reported that dozens of canines – all shapes, sizes and ages – participated in the sixth annual Surf City Surf Dog competition that was held in Huntington Beach, California, on Sept. 28, 2014. The event drew roughly 2,500 people and raised more than $6,000 for nonprofit partners who helped spread the word about the contest. Approximately 65 pooches paddled out to face the waves and shred the Pacific Ocean.
Breeds were broken up into various categories based on size, from small, to medium, to extra large. There were even tandem teams of canines who were eager to hit the water together. All pooches who participated received a medal, with winners from each category also earning a commemorative award for their prowess on the surfboard. Champions were granted a $25 gift certificate to local pet shops.
According to RT, dog surfing was first mentioned in the U.S. during the 1920s. Since then, it’s taken off in popularity thanks to events like the Surf Dog competition in Huntington Beach. However, surfing isn’t the only sport that canines have sunk their paws into.
Learn the best athletic dog activities
It’s well-known that the majority of canines love to play as much as humans do. Running around outside is one of the best ways to keep your young pooch both mentally and physically challenged, Better Homes and Gardens magazine explained. Anything that lets your furry friend’s natural instincts run wild is a fun option!
- Agility: According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Agility is a sport that pits your athletic dog against the clock. With you as a guide, your dog races to complete a challenging obstacle course that tests his or her ability to change directions, follow orders and move with speed. This sport can be done competitively against other canines or just for fun in your own backyard. While it takes a lot of time and dedication, it helps forge a strong bond between dog and owner through extensive training.
- Dock diving: The image of a canine leaping into the water after a toy might sound picturesque, but this is a real dog sport that’s been around for almost 20 years. Better Homes and Gardens explained that this popular sport started in 1997 and has dogs compete to see who can jump the farthest from an elevated platform or dock. It’s reached such popularity that contests are frequently featured on cable TV from areas across the country. Typically, larger breeds like Labrador and Chesapeake Bay retrievers are the leading dock divers.
- Flyball: The ASPCA suggested this game is fun for both pooches and owners alike. Your canine is grouped with four other athletic dogs and must sprint over a series of jumps along a 51-foot course, touch a trigger that releases a ball, then retrieve the ball and bring it back to the starting line so the next team member can repeat the process. The first group to return all five balls is the winner! If this kind of intense and healthy competition interests you, check out the North American Flyball Association website to learn more about this community.
Canines can be amazing athletes with the right practice. By joining PetPlus, you gain access to dozens of discounted accessories that facilitate training, such as harnesses and treats. Sign up today and start saving!