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Welcome to the new sport of doggy surfing -- perfect when the sea's ruff

NOT happy with just splashing around the sea fetching old sticks, all the best dogs are now taking up surfing.

And such is the interest that a pooch 'surfathon' is being held in Lahinch, Co Clare, next month as experts try to establish a new national dog surfing championships.


The sport is popular among dog owners in the US and organisers of the festival in the west believe that Irish dogs are no exception.

Dog trainer Raquel Noboa organised the event after she saw how much enjoyment her own dog Bruce got out of it.

"My dog surfs -- he's learning a bit at the moment but he's a bit of a giraffe. His legs go everywhere," she said.

"I got him used to the board first by sitting and lying on it. Then I brought him out into the water. He loves it. At the festival, we'll get the pet owners to go into the water, it doesn't need to be deep.

"All you do is bring them out into the water, put them on the board and let them go with the flow," she added.

"There are two classes of doggy surfing -- one with the dog on its own and one with you and the dog on one long board.


"We'll have old surfboards for the dogs and wetsuits for the human beings.

"It's good for sporty dogs -- it gets them off the couch -- and it's good for people too.

The day is free, but there will be voluntary donations to raise funds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Anyone interested should log on to the mypetreview website to register before the event on Sunday, September 18.