The Annual Unleashed Petco Surf Dog Competition Surfs into San Diego

​The Annual Unleashed Petco Surf Dog Competition Surfs into San Diego

Annual Unleashed Petco Surf Dog Competition

Photo by Dominique Labrecque

Finding beaches welcoming to your pup can be few and far between, but when you do find one, you know how exciting it can be to share your beach fun with your four-legged companion. Well at the Unleashed Petco Surf Dog Competition, dogs don’t just hit the beaches, they hit the waves! For eleven consecutive years there has been an ongoing competition amongst local canines to duke it out on the sand and surf with an annual surfing competition. With judged surfing competitions and doggy fashion competitions, the event is shaping up to be a tail-wagging good day.

Every year pet owners bring their courageous pups to compete and show off their beach attire for all to see at the Unleashed event. It’s a fun time when you can bring the whole family, including the furry family member, to enjoy the beach. Hundreds of spectators come out year after year, ogling talented pups with amazement as the pets skillfully ride the waves. The competing pups are divided into size categories, with weight determining the races they will compete in. For the tandem competitions, divisions will run with dog and dog competitions, as well as dog and human heats. 

Contestants are judged by surfing experts on the grounds of stability, duration of the ride, and overall control of the board. Once every division has competed and every dog has surfed an approximate 15 minutes, judges will begin to confer and come to a conclusion for the award ceremony. Another section of the fun involves dedicated pet owners decking their dogs out with the most original, hilarious costumes one can imagine. Forget the doggy sweaters—these canines are in high fashion with elaborate costumes reminiscent of the beach and pop cultural icons. 

You can catch this fun event at Imperial Beach on Saturday, July 30th with check-in and the expo beginning at 8 am. The surf competition begins at 8:30 am. At 9 am the Coronado Beer Co Beer Garden opens, welcoming beer connoisseurs to grab a beer and enjoy the day’s events. Along with a beer garden, there will be a dog food garden complete with samples of foods and treats for your four-legged friend.

The fun isn’t just for your furry friends; bring the whole family and enjoy a beach day while watching the talented competitors wag their tails to the shoreline. The event proceeds benefit the San Diego Humane Society, a non-profit organization where animals are rescued and nurtured, and animal-related services are provided, ranging from training lessons to animal cruelty cases. The organization has been running since 1880 and continues to service animals and their owners. Because the foundation is not affiliated with the government, every contribution and event provides much-needed funding for the organization to make its outreach possible.

It’s safe to say the Unleashed Petco Surf Dog Competition will be a dog-on good time for all participants and spectators alike! It’s not everyday that you can see a dog cruising the waves by itself on a surfboard, so the best thing to do is head down to Imperial Beach on Saturday, July 30th and come to your own conclusions on doggy surfing. With great food and drinks, it’s the perfect Saturday outing. Don’t miss out on the 11th annual Surf Dog Competition, or you’ll be barking mad!

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