As Told in Gifs: How to Train Your Dog to Surf

Here are tips you can use to get your dog stoked for surfing as well as have a safe ride on the waves.

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Michael Uy/Go Pro
Abbie, the surf dog, wins the world record for longest wave surfed by a dog.
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Rebecca Greenway
"Make sure your dog can swim!" Michael Uy advised. Uy says that even his world record-holding dog Abbie falls off the board sometimes. You should also make sure conditions are safe for surfing.
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Rebecca Greenway
While Uy outfits his dog in a wetsuit designed just for Abbie, Judy Fridono, a dog trainer and owner to famous surfer dog Ricochet, said most people looking to surf with their dogs “are folks who go out a few times a summer.” If not a wetsuit, a small life jacket will help your dog stay afloat.
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Surf Dog Ricochet
By serving treats and meal time on the surfboard, the trainer said you reinforce your behavior of your dog being on the board, rather than getting off of it.
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Instagram: @AbbieSurfs
Some dogs take naturally to the ocean and others do not. "If they really don't want to surf, then find something else you both enjoy," Fridono emphasized. While some dogs surf on their first time out, others might take a bit longer and need patience while training.
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Surf Dog Ricochet
Practice makes perfect! “Getting your dog to surf really depends on each individual dog,” Fridono said. However, she does suggest putting away the surfboard when you're not training so you’re dog gets excited each time.
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Rebecca Greenway
“Many dogs are very distracted by everything else going on, so they tend to jump off the board to play, go after a ball, sniff another dog," Fridono said. The trainer said to complete basic distraction training to get your dog ready for crowded beaches.
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Rebecca Greenway
Many dogs surf backwards so they can keep an eye on their owner. The trainer suggests using a word such as "release" to help your dog learn that they should stay on the board even when you’re behind them.
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Rebecca Greenway
Your dog has a special talent and people will take notice! Prepare your dog for the social media fame that may follow.
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Rebecca Greenway
Each trainer and owner emphasized that the biggest part of surfing with dogs is to spend more time with the dog. Make sure it is fun for you and your furry friend!
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