Poop, pee, and the referee: Inside the Puppy Bowl


(triumphant music) – [Announcer] We’re recounting
the greatest moments from all the furriest years. – I see that you’re in a ref’s outfit and we know that you’re
the ref for the Puppy Bowl. How did you get that job? – So, nine, 10 years ago, Animal Planet knew me ’cause I had hosted a couple of hour-long specials for them, pet products, things like that and they needed a human
referee to officiate Puppy Bowl because Puppy Bowl had been kinda like, just train a camera on a bunch of dogs and see what happens. But they needed somebody to sort of maintain order and be
spokesperson for these dogs ’cause they are all up for adoption, so they needed somebody to
kinda like, be their voice. – What is the role of being
a ref for Puppy Bowl take? How long is the shoot? – Yep, yeah, yeah. It’s fun. People think that Puppy Bowl is live. It’s actually recorded months in advance because it takes a long time to sort of create what looks like a two-hour long sports program. When you sit down dogs
with a bunch of chew toys in a modified field, you don’t get touchdowns right away. You get a lot of puppy playing, you get some napping, you get some peeing, you get some pooping,
but you’re not gonna get sports action right away. Athletic prowess is not
something you’ll see. Takes a couple hours. So really takes a week
to film the Puppy Bowl. And that’s all the elements, we have a kitten halftime show, we have a pregame show, we have postgame stuff! And remember, we are also this year featuring the most amount
of adoptable dogs ever, 96. The night before, we air the Dog Bowl, which is another type of dog athletic show where we have adult dogs playing football and the idea with Dog
Bowl is to talk about why, shed a light on adult senior dogs that might have a tough
time getting adopted. – It’s not just puppies. – Yeah. – Pee-yew, you stink! – [Announcer] Simultaneous
group effort touchdown! Love the team effort! – It is a Puppy Bowl first! (puppy barks) – [Announcer] A team touchdown and one immaculate rub section. – Obviously, dogs go to the bathroom. I hope, God, please not right now. But like, – (laughs) Ginger heard you say that. – What is the poop and pee protocol? – Ginger’s rearing up right now. – No, I’m just joking! Go anytime! – (laughs) What’s the protocol? – Yeah. – It’s really fast and furious. If you’ve ever seen a NASCAR race and you’ve seen the pit stop, how fast they are when
they change the wheels, it’s the same idea. Like we have a whole
crew that like swoops in, gets rid of the poop,
cleans it all up, boom. But by the time we are
done shooting that week, that field is, let’s just say
we don’t recycle that field for the following year. – You don’t wanna take a nap on it? Yeah. You’re like, let’s put
our pizza on it, yeah. – That ones says, we
say goodbye to it, yeah. Start fresh the next year. – The room smells beautiful. – Room smells great. – [Announcer] CB ran for 367 yards. – [Dan] No one can stop
her, look at her go! – [Announcer] And leapt into the end zone all without the ball. – Is there a writing room? Or are those all you?
– No, just me. – It’s me and an iPad. That’s the writing room. (laughs) A lot of the stuff happens
really in the moment because sometimes, again,
with dogs on the field, lots of unpredictable things happen. And you kind of have to be creative. There’s the ones that are
based on real NFL fouls you know, so instead of paws interference, it’s pass interference. Neutral bone infraction instead of neutral zone infraction, encroach-mutt instead of encroachment. False start, instead
we’ll stay false bark. But the thing is, there’s a lot of ones that are specific to puppies only that NFL players don’t
necessarily get penalized for like say, napping on the sidelines, taking a bath in the water bowl. – Climbing in my hair. – Yeah. Illegal humping. These things happen left and right so we kinda tailor our penalties to what’s happening in the moment. Because we have so many
submissions every year and the numbers just grow and grow, what we’re trying to do
in selecting the dogs is to show as many different
shelters as possible. The idea, of course, is to
promote adoption awareness across the country. – Have you taken home any dogs yet? – I kinda work in reverse. Like I foster dogs in my home, which and this is a good thing
for your audience too or any audience out there. If you’re interested or concerned about that adoption might be a little bit too much of a commitment, I encourage you to foster because it connects you with a shelter, it helps you be part of
that rescue community, you’re saving two lives
because you’re making room in the shelter for a new
one and taking one in. Of the nearly hundred dogs
that we have every year, they all do get adopted
by the time we air. So if you’re watching and you
do fall in love with a dog, go to animalplanet.com, you will be connected to that shelter, be able to adopt that dog. If they are already taken, which happens, chances are like these guys,
they are part of a litter. So there’s other dogs
available just like them in that shelter. We have 100% adoption
rate every single year which is not hard when you’re on tv and millions of people watch you, but here is the real sticking point. All of the shelters that we
work with that are involved report a spike, an uptick
in adoption inquiries once the Puppy Bowl airs. So that’s how we feel that
we’re being successful. – [Announcer] No pup has matched
Aberdeen’s scoring ability. He’s the only pup to score four touchdowns in a single Puppy Bowl. – What makes a Puppy Bowl MVP? – Most Valuable Pup is a coveted position that is only given out once a year. We do have them come back
actually for Hall of Fames and to see where they are now and really the great thing is that success has not gone to their heads. These dogs are all very
humbled and blessed to have received this
honor and distinction. MVP is the dog that yes,
scores the most touchdowns, but also has won our hearts. So sometimes an MVP will
be a dog that has overcome certain obstacles in order
to get to where they are. Last year for example, our first ever MVP that was a special-needs
dog was crowned, Bumble. And Bumble was a, believe
it or not, hearing impaired sight-impaired dog. Mostly sight-impaired. And this dog is like a
white sheepdog fluff bomb, just did an incredible job. Probably only scored
two or three touchdowns which, for most typical
dogs will score five or six to win the MVP. Bumble only scored two or three but if you really think about his spirit and what he had to overcome
to get out on that field. – Yeah. – So he won the MVP last year. And this year, who knows? I mean, when we record Puppy Bowl, we record multiple endings
of crowning the MVPs because we let America vote. So we just kinda take, all
right, which dog scored the most and are the cutest, and then we throw them out there as potential MVP candidates
throughout the airing and then people as they’re watching can just tweet out and vote. – There are people that do fantasy drafts for Puppy Bowl.
– Yep. Do you have any tips for
these fantasy drafters? – Yes, size is– – But like even like,
not necessarily this one, but like go for the bruisers,
et cetera, et cetera. – For sure. Size does not matter. Breed does not matter. It’s sometimes the tiniest,
most innocent looking dogs are the ones that are gonna like, chew your shoes into dust and steal that ball and
run it down the gridiron for a touchdown. So we actually publish our starting lineup months in advance, well not
months, weeks in advance. Right, you know. And so people kinda scour
the starting lineup, they’re like, “That Labrador
Retriever looks like a bruiser “and he’s gonna do very well.” But the reality is if you’re
really looking to draft, I would look for a small, if it were me drafting, I would look for a smaller dog. I just feel like smaller dogs when they’re on the field, are able to elude defenders a lot better than the larger dogs. – [Announcer] It was a
bitter cold evening in 2005 when in the shadow of
the Nation’s capital, the inaugural class of
cuteness took the field at the very first Puppy Bowl. (puppy barks)

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