Watch Rescue Pups Catch Waves in Australia

Chris de Aboitiz travels the country, surfing with his pups and helping other shelter dogs.

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Shelter dogs can go on to do some pretty incredible things, from becoming service and therapy animals to helping search-and-rescue teams do their important work in emergency situations. But did you ever imagine that surfing would be one of the amazing things that these pooches could master?

In this gotta-see-it-to-believe-it video from Vo Media, Chris de Aboitiz — an Australian dog trainer and former champion surfer — demonstrates what life on the water is like with four-legged friends. Watch as he paddles around before eagerly getting caught up in a curl with Rama and Millie — two rescue pups who take turns leaping upon their dad’s back and shoulders in an expertly executed trick. Essentially, de Aboitiz has been teaching his rescue dogs how to catch waves for the past 10 or so years so they can ride together on his stand-up paddleboard.

The former shelter dogs tag along as de Aboitiz travels along the continent’s beach-studded east coast. But it’s not only about having fun in the sun. He’s been visiting rescue organizations to help the volunteers and staff learn how to lend some important structure to the lives of their charges, alongside all the necessary love and affection of course. Giving these pooches a set of rules to follow and something purposeful to do — with plenty of time to play freely as well — means better outcomes for both pet and future parent. And that goes for any kind of disciplined activity even if you don’t know how to hang 10.

Top photo: Chris De Aboitiz surfing with two of his dogs.

Whitney C. Harris

Whitney is a New York-based writer for websites including Dogster,, and A former book and magazine editor, she enjoys running (with her dog, Finley), watching movies (also with Finley), and cooking meatless meals (usually with Finley watching close by). She and her husband (and Finley, too) welcomed a baby girl named Rowan in August.


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