Dog Surfing

Updated: 6/4/20241-2 minutes
A dog on a surfboard

The Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® shines a spotlight on amazing canine athletes at this exciting dog competition. Dog events include Freestyle Flying, 30 Weave Up and Back, Fetch It, Diving Dog, Jack Russell Hurdle Racing, Agility and Surf Dog.

In the Incredible Dog Challenge Surf Dog Event, balance, style and a love of water help these canine competitors fetch a wave to the top of the pack. The dogs are judged not only on how long they ride the waves, but also how confidently and smoothly they pull it off.

Small Dog Surf Competition

Large Dog Surf Competition

Surf Dog Basics

In the Surf Dog event, dogs work with their handler to catch and ride waves in the ocean, aiming to earn points based on every wave they “fetch”. Each surfing dog is required to wear a life jacket and use a foam or fiberglass surf board.

The Surf Dog competition takes place on the beach in Huntington Beach, CA.

How Competition Works

The Surf Dog Competition at the Incredible Dog Challenge is divided into small and large dog groups with six dogs in each group. The competition consists of three separate heats, with two dogs in each heat.

At the beginning of a heat, the life-jacket wearing surfing dog and his owner enter the water and paddle out on the dog’s surf board. They have 10 minutes to catch as many waves as they want. Their rides are scored by three judges on the following categories:

  • Length of the ride
  • Size of the wave
  • Confidence
  • Incredible style

Some surf dogs go for the bigger waves while others perform special tricks aboard their board like 360° spins to earn their style points.

Once the 10 minutes are up, the surfing dog and their owner return to shore where the judges add up their score. A perfect surf score is 30 points.

How to Win

The two surfing dog competitors with the highest scores in each group will move onto the Final Surf Off Round. The competitor with the third highest score in the preliminary heats will receive third place. During the Final Surf Off dogs will have another 10-minute session in which to catch and ride waves, earning points in the same way as before. Their preliminary scores are not counted towards their Surf Off Score. A Small Surf Dog and Large Surf Dog will each be awarded as winners.

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