Can Dogs Learn to Surf? Skateboard? Are Those Viral Videos Real?
We’ve all seen those hilarious viral videos with dogs surfing, skateboarding, and even playing the piano. However, just how accurate are these videos? Below, we’ll decode whether or not dogs can truly do these impressive tricks to see if your pooch can become the next viral sensation.
Can Dogs Surf?
Are you ready to hit the waves with your favorite pooch? As it turns out, some dogs can be taught how to balance themselves on small waves. However, recognize that this takes time, effort, and the right kind of pooch.
For one thing, most dogs need initial training when learning how to swim. Some pups, like a Labrador retriever, are much more likely to be attuned to water. Learning how to be comfortable in water alone can be a considerable process for some pets, and you shouldn’t force your dog to like water if it’s clear it isn’t an activity they enjoy.
However, with persistent practice and rightly deserved rewards, your dog could learn to love swimming. From there, you and your dog could learn to “surf” together. The key is that you take things at a gradual pace— Allow your dog to learn how to sit on a surfboard, do so in the water, and attempt riding a wave all in separate stages.
Always stay safe and have your pooch wear a life jacket during the process just in case. For your best chance at having a water-loving dog, you may look out for breeds such as:
- Australian Shepherds
- Pit Bulls
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a dog-focused surf class. Be sure to look for these in your area to get professional guidance.
Can Dogs Skate?
Just like surfing, dogs can be taught how to skateboard (or at least appear like they are) with a little time, effort, and patience. Like surfing, you’ll want to make sure that your pooch is familiarized with a skateboard properly before even putting him on the board itself.
Allow your dog to smell the board and offer lots of treats or praise for any interaction that they experience with the board. Once your dog feels comfortable, you can see how they feel on top of the board.
As your dog becomes comfortable on top of the skateboard, you can slowly move the board yourself, so they get used to moving with the skateboard beneath them. Gradually build your dog up to skating on their own on super flat surfaces. It may be a good idea to invest in a pup helmet or other safety devices to ensure that he/she is safe while learning how to skate.
Just like surfing, there are certain breeds that may be more attuned to learning these tricks. Some dogs that may be best for these types of tricks are:
- Australian Shepherds
As always, never force your dog to learn these tricks. If they aren’t interested in the practice or seem averse to the training whatsoever, it may just not be for them. Forcing a dog to go forward with any action they aren’t comfortable with can be physically and emotionally damaging. So yes, while your pooch may be able to do these tasks, it depends heavily on their age, breed, trainability, and overall physical activity level.
However, if you’re lucky enough to have a curious, athletic pooch, these activities can be a great bonding activity for you and your dog. Just remember that everything your dog learns must be done gradually to keep him as safe as possible.
For the lucky few— Your friends are sure to love the adorable videos they’ll receive of your furry friend shredding the seas or streets.