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Surf Dogs on the Beach

Dogs on the beach make life better. Period. Photo: Mikael Gresset


The Inertia

As a dog person and recent college grad who’s also a surfer and lover of all things outdoors, I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about which breed of dog I’ll want when it’s time to take the next step. (I’ve been mooching dog love off of my parents, friends, and girlfriend for a minute now.)

Dogs are the purest expression of earthly goodness. They live for the stoke, and they’re up for just about anything – as long as it involves being by your side. So what’s better than being stoked with your dog? Here are five breeds every dog-loving surfer should consider:

This French Bulldog on the beach is here to create joy. Photo: Collins Lesulie

This French Bulldog on the beach is here to create joy. Photo: Collins Lesulie

1. Bulldog: It’s no wonder that when you search the internet for “surfing dog” or “skating dog,” you’ll frequently find a bulldog: with such a low center of gravity, this breed can be trained to ride a board. And though skating dogs frequently seem to be having the time of their lives, I don’t know if I can condone forcing dogs to surf. How do you know they’re enjoying themselves?

Portuguese Water Dogs have water in their name for a reason. Photo: Jake Oates

Portuguese Water Dogs have water in their name for a reason. Photo: Jake Oates

2. Portuguese Water Dog: Shaggy, happy-go-lucky goofballs, these dogs are super affectionate and remarkably smart. They’re also great swimmers, making the Portuguese Water Dog an ideal beach companion – just make sure yours doesn’t follow you into the lineup.

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Think chihuahuas aren't beach dogs? Think again. Photo: Robina Weermeijer

Think chihuahuas aren’t beach dogs? Think again. Photo: Robina Weermeijer

3. Chihuahua: Chihuahuas get a bad rap. People tend to assume they’re yippy and annoying, but that hasn’t been the case in my experience. My girlfriend’s chihuahua is basically the canine equivalent of a houseplant — low-maintenance, perfectly content to hang out in the sun, and ultra-portable, which is great for travel. Excellent snugglers, too. (Note: While they usually love the sunshine, chihuahuas have the potential to overheat just like any other dog breed. If you’re off surfing, leave out plenty of water and make sure a friend keeps an eye. Houseplant or not, it goes without saying that you should never adopt a dog if you can’t give the attention it deserves.)

Mutt on the beach

Awww. Photo: Unsplash

4. Mutt: Mutts are great for the very same reason they’re difficult to generalize about: they vary widely, coming in every shape, size, and temperament. But by and large, mutts have very good long-term health due to the diversity of their gene pool; purebred dogs are often the result of controlled inbreeding, which can ultimately yield health concerns.

The pointer. Ready for ocean adventure.

The pointer. Ready for ocean adventure.

5. Pointer: Call me biased (you’d probably be right), but pointers hold a special place in my heart. When I was growing up, my parents were vizsla loyalists, and remain so to this day. Beautiful, high-energy, and incredibly devoted, a pointer is always up for a game of beach fetch. Just beware their keen ability to monopolize bed space.

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While, granted, I’ll never know exactly what my dogs are thinking, they never seem to be overthinking. That’s a pretty uniquely human tendency. For that reason, all I can hope is to live out my next life as a beach bum’s beloved sidekick.

Think we missed a great dog breed for surfers and outdoors-lovers? Share your favorite pooch in the comments, below. Always room for more dogs!

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