Waves can be a bit ruff for a surfing dog

Chris de Aboitiz will be in Mackay early September, to run his Natural Balance Dog Training.
Chris de Aboitiz will be in Mackay early September, to run his Natural Balance Dog Training. Contributed

CHRIS de Aboitiz's four pooches can all hang 10 on a surfboard.

Apparently they can climb trees and ride a skateboard too.

But the pioneer of dog surfing said showing his pups the good life was all part of a bigger picture to end dog euthanasia statistics.

"All the fun stuff for dogs like surfing, skating and climbing trees is really about dog behaviour," Mr de Aboitiz said.

"Lots get euthanized due to bad behaviour, but dogs are easy to train, you just have to put in the time."

Mr de Aboitiz owns Natural Balance Dog Training School, and at the start of September will travel from Agnes Waters to Mackay to run workshops.

He said the key to training was to reward dogs only when they had done something good.

"Lots of people reward their dogs, by patting them, when they get scared," he said.

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"If you think of a bear cub, when a tree falls in the forest and the mother does nothing, the cub learns that is a normal thing to happen.

"When a hunter comes firing his gun and the mother gets scared, the cub learns that isn't normal, they should run.

"It's the same with dogs and rewarding them for the right behaviour."

He said learning how to have a good relationship with a pet dog was also important, and that was how dog surfing was born.

"First I started off just paddling with them on flat water," Mr de Aboitiz said.

"They quickly associated the water with a happy place, and now they love doing it."

Anyone interested in a dog training class should contact Mr de Aboitiz through his Facebook page Natural Balance Dog.

Topics:  dogs editors picks surfing

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