Now that’s a dog pad­dle with a dif­fer­ence

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - ANNE BOXHALL abox­hall@in­tern­ode.on.net

MANY of us are happy with our ba­si­cally well­man­nered dogs who toe the line more-or-less, sit for a treat and stay off the fur­ni­ture — at least while we’re look­ing.

Ex­tra en­joy­ment for dog and owner is had by train­ing dogs in the odd party trick, such as high-five paw, shake hands and roll over.

Then there are dogs who man­age a clever trick all on their own to the de­light of their hu­man fam­ily. Usu­ally these tricks are an ap­peal­ing nat­u­ral dog be­hav­iour that is re­warded by our at­ten­tion and praise and so the dog will re­peat the “trick” over and over.

A large con­tin­gent of dogs and own­ers do ac­tive pas­times to­gether, such as agility train­ing, fly­ball or scent work.

But one dog trainer in Queens­land has upped the ante by per­form­ing what is most likely a record-break­ing feat in­volv­ing 25 dogs and an over­sized pad­dle­board.

World cham­pion tan­dem surfer Chris de Aboitiz loaded 26 dogs, one by one, on to a 5m long and 1.5m-wide pad­dle­board.

One dog im­me­di­ately aban­doned ship and headed for shore to join the 100 or so peo­ple watch­ing the fun.

Spec­ta­tors in­cluded the own­ers of these sea­far­ing dogs, most of whom were par­tic­i­pants in de Aboitiz’s reg­u­lar dog train­ing work­shops.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes stood side-by-side for the brief ride and man­aged ad­mirably de­spite the con­ges­tion on board.

The event was de­signed to be about ed­u­ca­tion as much as en­ter­tain­ment, with the or­gan­iser hop­ing to build aware­ness on bet­ter un­der­stand­ing our dogs and bring­ing out the best in our re­la­tion­ships with them.

Tak­ing time to teach our dogs in pos­i­tive non-puni­tive ways strengthen the bonds of com­pan­ion­ship and trust.

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