Paws on the Beach - Introducing the Surfing Dogs

With just over a month to go until the Paws on The Beach event, we thought we'd introduce you to the 5 lucky dogs that have been selected for Paws on Boards. Paws on The Beach is a great annual event for dogs and owners in North Devon, where a variety of dog friendly activities will be taking place throughout the day, from a world record attempt to a talent show. New for this year is Paws on Boards, a selected group of dogs have been chosen to undergo a 10 week training programme with the aim to turn them into Surfing Dogs! We've been keeping you updated on their progress via our Facebook page, and here you can find out more about each dog.


Name: Paddy

Age: 11                          

Breed: Collie Spaniel

Gender: Male            

Owners: Kelvin Lofthouse                 

Favourite Beach: Crow Point

Favourite Food: Everything, the smellier the better

Top Trick:Skateboarding

Favourite Activity: Chasing balls and swimming. He does love to swim in the taw whilst I walk on the cycle path.

Pet Peeves: Black Labradors

Describe the journey that led you to learning to surf: Seeing last years surfing dogs at Paws on the Beach and having, myself, taken up surfing this year, I wanted a four footed buddy to join me.

How is training going?: Training is going great guns! Paddy is very enthusiastic when it comes to training despite his, often, hang dog expression. Treats soon perk him up and he’s back to being crazy.

Do you think you are in with a chance of winning? Paddy is a Winner….whatever the competition is.  Especially if its sausage eating!


Name: Glen

Age: 2

Breed: Collie cross Hunterway

Gender: Male

Owners: Lindsey Maggs

Favourite Beach: Instow

Favourite Food: Ginger biscuits

Top Trick: Vanishing act

Favourite Activity: Running/chasing

Pet Peeves: He’s pretty laid back and confident, however, is not keen on wearing coats etc

Describe the journey that led you to learning to surf: I joined Michelle’s trick class to give Glen more mental stimulation, as his mind seems to work at 100miles per minute! He is very bright and bores easily so I am constantly looking for new ways to entertain him. When surfing was suggested I thought it would be a fun thing for Glen and I to do together.

How is training going? Glen is great in class and gets on the surfboard as soon as he sees it (he has a habit of getting on the surfboard of the dog next to us too…). He is good at balancing and his stand stays are coming along, however he is wary of the life jacket, which I am trying to condition him to.

Do you think you are in with a chance of winning? Not really! Although Glen learns fast and is very enthusiastic, I suspect his ‘seagull chasing’ tendencies will make this particularly challenging. 


Name: Willow

Age: 6

Breed: Collie Boxer

Gender: Bitch

Owners: Jacqui Harrison

Favourite Beach: Instow

Favourite Food: Bones and liver

Top Trick: She can read, plus she is also a DHK School Dog

Favourite Activity: Haring about on the beach, racing around and playing chase with all her friends

Pet Peeves: Willow really is such a happy and confident dog I genuinely can't think of anything that bothers her very much at all

Describe the journey that led you to learning to surf: Willow loves the sea, she is never happier than when she's mucking about in the water, even in the depths of winter she'll be prancing about in the waves. And since most of her family are all surfers it seemed only natural that at some point she should join in with them.

How is training going? At the start she was a bit suspicious of the big new bight red board she was given but once she knew there were plenty of treats involved shesoon overcame her fears. We aren't in the water yet, but once we are I think she's going to be pretty excited about having a whole new fantastic game to play.

Do you think you are in with a chance of winning? I definitely wouldn't say she's top of the class yet but you never know!


Name: Mia

Age: 17 months

Breed: Siberian Husky

Gender: Female

Owners: Natasha Daniel and Anthony Wood

Favourite Beach: Westward Ho! Or Instow ... anywhere there are doggies

Favourite Food: carrots and cheese

Top Trick: speak (howling on cue)

Favourite Activity: Doing tricks and running as fast as I can (sometimes I think I can fly)

Pet Peeves: as a husky Mia sheds a lot (an awful lot!) but would much rather keep all of her fur and can't understand why we keep brushing it out... She tells us by constantly wooing that she would rather not give up her fur for the birds to make nests with! 

Describe the journey that led you to learning to surf: Mia is a very intelligent dog and I love participating in new ways of challenging her mind and body. She has so much energy and is willing to try anything. She loves the water and we were given the opportunity to try out for the surf classes after completing her level 2 trick dog title.

How is training going? Well so far, Mia is doing well and is now used to wearing her life jacket and is getting used to standing on the board with a little wobble.

Do you think you are in with a chance of winning? I would have thought she has the potential but it's whether or not she wants to perform ????for me though it's about taking part and contributing to an amazing charity.


Name: Skip

Age: 17 months

Breed: Border Terrier

Gender: Male

Owners: Nix Barrett and Jamie Rusling

Favourite Beach: Instow

Favourite Food: Dehydrated heart or anything Natascha has to offer...

Top Trick: Skate Boarding

Favourite Activity: "zoomies" running back and forth as fast as he possibly can whilst taking a flowerpot with him

Pet Peeves: 1 that other dogs won't chase him and 2 that his cat sister doesn't want to play with him

Describe the journey that led you to learning to surf: I help out Michelle with the trick training at hoops and hounds so it kind of all fell into place as he was already learning to skateboard we thought why not extend that to the waves. He loves learning new things so why not give it a go

How is training going? I'd say 50/50 he has no fear what so ever so that goes in his favour and he also doesn't care about wearing his lifejacket but then he's by far the worst for staying in one place in a stand to much of a fidgety teenager

Do you think you are in with a chance of winning? Ha not at all! I have a terrier after all ;) it's all about the taking part. As long as he's enjoying it so am I