They’re competing for first place in the competition — and in our hearts.
America’s beloved Puppy Bowl is back for its 18th year, and its contestants are ready to rumble.
“These are not trained puppies,” long-time Puppy Bowl referee Dan Schachner told The Post. “These are dogs in their purest form.”
But the annual puppy palooza serves a larger paw-pose: to find these furry friends a forever family.
In fact, the Puppy Bowl has always had a 100% adoption rate.
“Every Puppy Bowl ends with every single dog being adopted,” Schachner, who has refereed the big game for 11 years, said. “Our goal is to showcase as wide of a variety as possible.”
At the shelters providing the playful pooches, adoption rates also increase after Puppy Bowl every year, he added.
This year is the largest competition yet, with more than 100 dogs from 63 shelters in 33 states, including a pup from Hawaii. This edition also includes the most special needs dogs the Bowl has ever featured.
There’s only one rule in Puppy Bowl: Drag a chew toy into the end zone. Any other calls, Schachner said, are made up on the fly.
“They’re fast and loose rules,” he said. “Its kind of crazy, but it’s controlled chaos.”
You can watch the pumped-up pups attempt to score a touchdown through Discovery+ or live on Animal Planet this Sunday, Feb. 13, at 2 p.m. EST.
But first, let us introduce teams Ruff and Fluff, who are preparing for the ulti-mutt showdown.
This Hawaiian “star” was born at the Maui Humane Society last year after her mother, who was badly wounded, was brought to the shelter just days prior.
When Hoku was born, the American Staffordshire terrier and Catahoula Leopard Dog mix was timid but sweet after she grew more comfortable, and she was eventually put into a foster home.
That is, until she was adopted right after the taping of Puppy Bowl by the parents of the staffer who fostered her.
“She is extremely intelligent, an incredibly calm and trusting puppy, and uses her hound-dog howl only when appropriate,” said a Puppy Bowl representative, adding that she also loves water. “She really is a special dog.”