These dogs are surfing in California... and they look as if they know exactly what they are doing

Dozens of dogs take part in annual Surf City Surf Dog competition in California

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They may not be known for their love of gingerly balancing on a board as they take to the waves, but that didn't stop the organisers of this dog surfing competition from giving these canines the opportunity to do exactly that.

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Days after researchers in Sydney published new research into how dogs can be either optimistic or pessimistic, these pets showed just how laid back their species can be as they took part in the annual surfing competition at Huntington Beach, in California.

Dozens of dogs took to the waves for the annual Surf City Surf Dog contest over the weekend, which is now in its sixth-year.

The three-day event saw up to 2,500 people visit the beach to watch as roughly 65 dogs took part in the challenge.

“This is our largest event yet,” organiser Lisa Scolman told the Los Angeles Register.

“It's exciting to see where dog surfing is going and to see it growing and growing.”

The surfing dogs competed in one of four weight classes, while there was also a tandem event for pets and their owners.

Earlier this month, the University of Sydney published new research which suggested dogs can now be defined as 'pessimistic' or 'optimistic'.

Researchers tested the levels of optimism among the animals by teaching the dogs to associate two different sounds with whether they would be served plain water or their preferred drink of milk.

The dogs were then played ambiguous tones which if they responded to suggested they were optimistically expecting something good to happen.