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Thursday 28 August 2014

Surfing dog rides waves with family

Published 14/11/2011 | 13:51

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Matt Slater and his two-year-old Labrador Mango enjoy a spot of surfing in Cornwall

A two-year-old Labrador is proving to be a salty old sea dog after being taught to surf by her owner.

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Mango got her lessons from owner Matt Slater, with his wife and children, in the surfers' playground off Newquay in Cornwall.

The keen beach-going family taught Mango to ride a boogie board in a beach rockpool before taking her out into the surf and videoing her exploits.

"We first discovered that Mango was up for surfing when she followed my wife and I right out into the surf one day - she is not afraid to swim out back on her own, so the next step was to get a bigger board and put her on it," Mr Slater said.

"In the video you can see how excellent her board skills are. We start off with her in a rockpool, throwing a ball into the water and then we introduce a body board which she jumps onto and glides across the water to get to the ball.

"Once she'd mastered that we move out into the sea and she joins me on the surfboard. I can tell her to go up the front when a wave is coming and then we catch the wave together.

"She really seems to enjoy it, and she is absolutely fearless. Plus it's a great way of exercising her as she does end up doing a fair bit of swimming - it beats boring walks every day."

He said they only go out in surf that is head-high - for Mango - but Mr Slater, who is the curator of the town's Blue Reef Aquarium, said he'd like to take her out on "a really nice point break".

"Maybe we will get invited to a dog surf contest in California," he added.

The video is online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hhaOEv2pso.

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