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Four-legged Wave Riders: The Petco Surf Dog Competition

Photo: Eileen Maher (via Port of San Diego/Flickr)

San Diego’s a world-class paradise for surfers, and believe it or not we’re not just talking about the bipedal kind.

That’s right: Our oceanfront city’s the sort of place where dogs like to get in on the wave-riding action, too. For proof, just look to the upcoming Unleashed by Imperial Beach Petco Surf Dog Competition, scheduled for July 30 at the Imperial Beach Pier.

The 11th run-through of this delightful contest—part of the Unleashed by Petco Double Dog Dare Surf Series—will again see whole packs of well-balanced, well-behaved, wave-loving pooches take to surf- and paddleboards in an unforgettable expose of canine on-the-water athleticism.

The Competition

There’ll be multiple heats in different size divisions—small, medium, large, and extra-large—as well as tandem events featuring paired dogs as well as human/canine teams on surfboards and stand-up paddleboards.

Nothing like seeing dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds riding the Imperial Beach waves! Cute? Sure. Also downright impressive.

The Surf Dog Competition goes down between 8:30 AM and 2:15 PM on the 30th, with an awards ceremony taking place at 2:45. Besides the four-legged surfer action, there’ll also be a “dog food garden,” agility courses, canine adoptions, and an off-leash zone—plus food trucks and the Coronado Brewing Beer Garden for the enjoyment of all the two-legged attendees.

The Leadup: SurFUR Swell Hours

The weekend ahead of the Unleashed by Imperial Beach Petco Surf Dog Competition, the Surf Dog Series will feature a couple of lead-up events called “Unleashed SurFUR Swell Hours,” with costume contests, a photo booth, raffles, and other fun. On July 23 from 1 to 3 PM, there’ll be one at the Chula Vista Unleashed by Petco Store; the next day, the Hillcrest Unleashed by Petco Store will host SurFUR Swell Hours from 11 AM to 1 PM.

Mark Your Calendar

Don’t miss out on the Surf Dog Competition: It’s not something you see every day, to say the least. Really, can you think of a better use of a gorgeous San Diego summer’s day than spending it beachside watching a bunch of pups catching some waves? Didn’t think so! Book a room here at the Sofia Hotel for the big event!