This Saturday, Helen Woodward Animal Center splashed back into summer with its annual Surf Dog lessons at Dog Beach in Del Mar.  The highly-anticipated classes have beach-loving pups prepping and panting in anticipation for the Center’s Annual “Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon,” scheduled for Sunday, September 7th.  Scruffy student spots fill up so quickly that additional dates have been added to this year’s roster, including NEW lessons focused on an up-and-coming, canine water sport that is fast gaining PUPularity!   For dogs that prefer smooth waters to white water surf, Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is hitting the beach!  Local Paddle Paws and SurFURS can enroll for instruction starting Saturday, June 28th and continuing on select Saturdays and Sundays through August, between 8:30am and 1:00pm.

Like last year, the sea-submerged, summertime, surf classes will feature expert instruction from legendary leaders of the pack – the So Cal Surf Dogs – teaching basic and advanced surFUR techniques in two levels, “Intro to the Ocean” for beginners and “GromMutt Dog Surfing” for the pros.  Beginner classes are suggested for any dog with limited experience on the beach and the necessity to familiarize itself with the surf, the sand and the sport.   Those more inclined to the calmer seas may choose to enroll in stand-up paddleboarding, with SUP Semipro and Celebrity Host of Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family Laura Nativo leading the instruction.   SUP classes will take place in the Del Mar Dog Beach Channel at the 8:30am timeslot when the waters are most mellow.

The So Cal Surf Dogs, founded in 2009, took over as primary surf instructors last year but the wave-worshipping group has always been a major part of the annual lessons.  Ranked one of the most highly regarded clubs for Surf Dogs and their owners in the country, the group promotes safe and fun dog surfing, with the added benefit of mental and physical health for both canines and humans.   Donating hands-on assistance to newbie board-riding “bubbas” (cool dogs) and improved technique skills to the surFUR pros, in addition to providing Surf Dog lesson suggestions on their popular website,, and living the true-blue Surf Dog lifestyle with their own sea-savvy pets, the group’s members include such renowned award-winning “SurFurs” as Dozer, Nani, Bodie and this year’s "Furry Fundraising Ambassador" Surf Dog Ricochet, who continually leads the pack in surf-focused fundraising for orphan pets.

SurFUR and Stand-Up Paddleboard lessons can be taken just for fun or in preparation for Helen Woodward Animal Center’s upcoming “Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon.”   The annual canine surf competition is the largest of its kind and has earned a reputation for attracting four-legged, ocean-obsessed athletes from up and down the coast.  This year’s event will feature a Stand-Up Paddle Paws Parade, as well.