Obey or get wiped out: Australia's surfers bond with their dogs

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Australian dog trainer and his Surfing dogs
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Obey or get wiped out: Australia's surfers bond with their dogs
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz (REAR) rides a wave with his dogs Rama (Front) and Millie (obscured) off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dogs Rama (L) and Millie off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz sits with his four dogs (L-R) Max, Murph, Millie and Rama before riding the surf at Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Swimmers watch on as Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dog Rama atop his shoulder off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dogs Millie (top) and Rama off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
A dog named Rama surfs a wave off Sydney's Palm Beach with its owner, Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz (not pictured), February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz (REAR) rides a wave with his dogs Rama (FRONT) and Millie off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Rescued dogs Rama (Front) and Millie ride a wave with their owner, Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz (obscured) off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz receives affection from his dog Millie (R) as fellow pet dog Rama watches on as they wait for a wave off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz waits for a wave with his dogs Rama (L) and Millie off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dogs Millie (L) and Rama off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion Chris de Aboitiz rides a wave with his dogs Millie (top) and Rama off Sydney's Palm Beach, February 18, 2016. An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend. REUTERS/Jason Reed
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An Australian dog trainer and former surfing champion is using the discipline of surfing as a way of teaching owners to build healthy relationships with man's best friend.

On sunny morning on the outskirts of Sydney, Chris de Aboitiz heads out on the surf on his stand-up paddle board, joined by Rama and Millie, two rescue dogs who perform tricks, jumping on their owners shoulders and back as he rides the waves.

The Sunshine Coast dog trainer, who is a former world tandem surfing champion, has been hitting the waves with his dogs for around ten years and has since taken to using it as a way to teach people to understand their dogs.

"Surfing is not just about training dogs, it is about understanding them and their behavior," said Aboitiz.

"When you are surfing with the dogs they are allowed to look around but they have to sit on the board and not move, or we fall off and get wet," he said. "Training dogs for everyday life is the same."

Aboitiz travels up and down the Australian east coast with his four dogs, all rescued from shelters, using this unique method to teach owners and encourage them to take a more disciplined approach with their pets.

"So many dogs are given away because people don't have control, their dog turns from an asset to a liability. The ultimate result is to have less dogs euthanised," said Aboitiz.

Aboitiz said he has had a positive response from dog owners, some of whom had taken to the waves with him, while others have embraced his training but stuck to land.

"People make a lot of mistakes in training their dogs, who end up being dominant over them. Training the dog is the easy part, you also need to train the owner" he added.

(Reporting by Jarni Blakkarly; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

All Paws on Board: Australia's Surfing Rescue Dogs

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