That's My Dog

That's My Dog

"That's My Dog" is a television game show that aired formerly on The Family Channel in the United States. Two families and their dogs competed in games and stunts that were oriented toward the dogs, for the chance to win prizes. It aired between July 8, 1991 and August 26, 1994.

Hosts and production notes

The host for the UK version was Derek Hobson and was made by TSW and aired on the ITV network from 1984 until 1987, while that of the American version was Steve Skrovan, who was later replaced by Wil Shriner for the show's third and final seasons. Skrovan had two female assistants, Roxie Styce and later Susan Pari, during his stint on the show. Originally, Wil didn't have an assistant, but later in his version, he was accompanied by a bull mastiff named 'Tiny', who showed signs bearing the name of the next event, and brought medals for the dogs at the end of the show. The announcer was Dean Miuccio. In America, "That's My Dog" was taped at Universal Studios for the second season, then later at Disney-MGM Studios, both in Orlando, Florida.


Two teams of three (sometimes two) family members and their dogs competed in a series of events fit for the dogs. These included going through a maze, performing tasks, the dogs' masters answering dog-related questions, and finally a standard dog obstacle course.

U.S. Version

In the U.S. version, the dogs competed in five games. The dog (and family) with the most points at the end of the game won a year's supply of dog food and prizes for the rest of the family.

Round One

The first was usually a head-to-head competition played under a 30 or 60-second time limit. Usually, both dogs often received points based on their performance, with the better performing dog earning an additional ten points. For example, in one event, the dogs went down a line of doggy treats (on pie plates), and for each one eaten, they would get 2 points, with a 10-point bonus for the dog who could eat more of them faster.

During the first season of the Skrovan version, the round one competition was played for 20 points (10 if the race was half done).

Round Two

From then on, each dog played separately. In round 2, each dog had (usually) 30 seconds to perform a stunt for points. For instance, in one event, the dog had to bring slippers back to their master, picking up 5 points for each slipper brought back and 10 bonus points for each matching pair. Another event gave the dog 30 seconds to jump over a bunch of hurdles of varying heights, starting at one point for the lowest one, and six points for the highest. If a hurdle got knocked over, it was out of play.

Have a Ball (Skrovan Version)

In round two of the season one Skrovan shows, the dogs faced a tray of six balls. Their job was to fetch balls back to their masters. Each fetched ball was worth 5 points for a maximum of 30.

Round Three (Mixed-Up Maze)

The third round was the Mixed-Up Maze. Each dog had 45 seconds (60 in the later Shriner episodes) to get from the starting gate to their master at the finish line (who, true to the theme of the show, would be waiting in a doghouse structure). Along the way, the dog might be distracted by a sandbox filled with dog food, a toy car, a water bowl, and other things. A dog making it through would earn 20 points, with the faster dog getting 10 bonus points if both dogs completed the run. If a dog left the maze at any point other than the regular exit by jumping over the outer wall, that dog would be disqualified for the event and score no points for the run (and in later episodes, a 'Runaway Dog' graphic would pop up on the screen and sirens would go off). However, jumping within the maze structure was acceptable.

During the early shows of the first season of the Skrovan version, the maze was played first.

Canine Quiz Round (Skrovan Version)

During the first season of the Skrovan version, the dog's masters played the "Canine Quiz Round". Host Skrovan asked a series of dog-related questions, and the first player to buzz in (also called 'barking in') was given a chance to answer. An incorrect answer from the bark-in player allowed an opponent to answer. Each correct answer was worth 5 points. Later on in the first season, the last question of the round was worth a special prize from the doggy bag.

Round Four

The fourth round had two different formats:

Talent Showcase

In the first format, the "Talent Showcase", the dogs would perform a talent of some sort within a 30-second time limit, then a panel of three audience members would give the dog up to 30 points (10 from each panelist).

Note: During the early shows of the first season of the Skrovan version, the Talent Showcase was played second but under a different name which was "Tricks 'n' Treats".

Doggy Bowl

In the second format during the last season of the Shriner version, the dogs and their masters went to the Doggy Bowl to play another game. Each dog would do a stunt much like in round 2, usually lasting 30 seconds, and would score points based on their performance.

The Doggy Decathlon

The final round was the "Doggy Decathlon", an obstacle course. In the Skrovan run, the dog would have 60 seconds to complete 7 obstacles (8 in the 1st season Skrovan shows); during the last season Shriner episodes, the dog would have 100 seconds (see side notes) to complete ten obstacles. The course varied from week to week, but always ended with the dog leaping through the big letter "O" in the show's logo. In the Skrovan run, each completed obstacle earned 10 points, with a 30-point bonus (or 20-point bonus) if the dog completed all 7 (or 8) obstacles within the time limit; In any case, a perfectly completed course would yield a total of 100 points.


The team with the most points won the game. The winning family received prizes, while the winning dog won a year's supply of dog food (originally from Iams, later from Kibbles 'n' Bits) and a gold medal. In the one episode where the final score was a tie, the dogs took turns wearing the medal; presumably, both dogs later received one. During the last season of the Shriner era, there was a silver medal for the runner-up, and a gold one for the winner, both brought out by the show's resident dog Tiny.

pecial Episodes

*Celebrity Dogs - celebrity dogs Rin Tin Tin (of "Rin Tin Tin K-9 Cop") and Dryfuss (Bear from "Empty Nest") competed, but they each came in with one master; they both played for charity.
*Christmas - in the last season there was a Christmas themed show with appropriately themed events.
*Puppy Love - also in the last season of the show, there was a special Puppy Love episode aired where puppies did the events the adult dogs normally did. One of the puppies was actually only 10 days old (announced on the show), surprisingly enough. This turned out to be one of the lowest scoring games (before the Doggy Decathlon) in the history of the show, with both puppies struggling to reach double digits before the final event. It was likely the only time in the final season that both contestants failed to finish the decathlon before time expired (and neither of them got close, the closest one still had 3 or 4 obstacles to go when time ran out).

External links

* [ Information on the UK version of That's My Dog]
*imdb title|id=0463842|title=That's My Dog

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