Surfer Dogs Take Over Southern California Beach

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On June 20th, San Diego's Imperial Beach was 'ruff ruffing' with excitement with more than 60 dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds, all congregated to compete in the 4th annual dog surfing championships

Sponsored by the Loews Resort in Coronado, the competition which is also a fundraiser, is divided into three categories - small dogs, large dogs and tandem surfing (both dog and owner.

The dogs start by warming up for the event with a special surfing lesson from the Coronado Surfing Academy - And then the fun begins.

Each competitor is allowed three chances to impress the judges, who base their decision on style, confidence and time on the surfboard. As in any competition, some competitors stand out because of their skills while others because of their interesting personalities

This year was no different. In the small dog category it was the amazing skills of Buddy, a Jack Russell Terrier that impressed both the judges and the spectators. Considered the 'Tiger Woods' of dog surfers, Buddy is a veteran who takes the sport very seriously - practicing at least thrice a week. Not surprisingly, the other dogs (and owners) are a little intimidated by this little pooch who shows up wearing cool dude shades and dominates the category every year - except last year, when he did not enter.

In the attitude category, the top billing went to a bulldog named Dozer, who fell in love with the sport after watching the competition last year. Since then, the 75lbs dog, who barked at every competitor, has been a regular on the surfing competition circuit. Unfortunately, he didn't impress the judges with either his skill or attitude and went home empty-handed. While his owner was a little disappointed, Dozer was just looking forward to a good meal and a snooze on the family couch, after his long hard day.

In the tandem category, the trophy went to the team Chandler - 10-year old Tyler, her dad Scott and their Jack Russell Terrier, Zoey. Just like Buddy, this family dominates this category and has won it for four straight years.

For all their efforts, the dogs (and owners) are awarded some great prizes. The first prizewinner in each category gets a VIP (Very Important Pet) package for a free holiday at the resort, a story in 'Modern Dog Magazine' and of course most importantly - bragging rights about being the champion surfer!

Sources:SignonSanDiego.com, Loews Coronado, 3dignonsandiego.com,espn.go.com

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