What Is The Puppy Bowl?

What Is The Puppy Bowl

The Puppy Bowl is an annual event that has been airing on Animal Planet since 2005. It features puppies from shelters and rescue organizations around the country, who are divided into two teams called Team Ruff and Team Fluff and compete in a simulated football game. The Puppy Bowl also features segments such as a "Kitty Halftime Show" and "Bissell MVP" awards.

Throughout the show, viewers are encouraged to adopt the puppies featured in the game. The game is usually accompanied by other fun activities such as the Puppy Cam, Cheerleader Cam, and Water Bowl Cam. The show has become a popular Super Bowl Sunday tradition and has raised awareness of animal shelters and pet adoption.

The Puppy Bowl is a great way for viewers to enjoy the antics of puppies while learning about the rules and regulations of professional football.

About The Puppy Bowl

  • Puppies play in a model stadium called "GEICO Stadium" with no audience
  • Canned audience cheering and minimal commentary is provided
  • Football terminology is often used by the announcer and referee to illustrate the puppies' behavior and actions

The Rufferee

A human "rufferee" watches over the "action on the field" for the Puppy Bowl. The rufferee is usually Animal Planet associate producer Andrew Schechter or SportsNet New York and Beer Money! host Dan Schachner.


Instant replay shots, 10 full-size digital cameras, and five GoPro miniature digital cameras are used to capture the action. Bowl cam provides shots through the transparent bottom of a special water bowl. Bowl cam has a wide-angle lens to watch the puppies drink water and walk through it up close.

Most Valuable Puppy (MVP)

A Most Valuable Puppy (MVP) is chosen at the end of the show for the stand-out performer. Viewers are allowed to vote for the MVP. Check out the Puppy Bowl MVP Winners List to see all of the results from previous years..


  • A "puppy touchdown" is declared when a puppy drags one of the football-shaped toys into the end zone
  • Timeouts are called if the water bowl needs to be refilled, or if the puppies begin to fight.
  • Puns are used to mimic the rules of professional football, including paws interference, ruff sides, and dog-collar tackle.
  • Penalties include: howling, illegal bathing, napping on the field, premature watering of the lawn, "excessive fertilization", "neutral bone infraction", and "ineligible retriever downfield."
  • The running time of Puppy Bowls I through IV was 180 minutes, and decreased to 120 minutes for Puppy Bowl V.

Fun Facts

  • Team Ruff has won the Puppy Bowl four times since 2015.
  • Team Fluff has also won the Puppy Bowl four times since 2015.
  • In 2016, a "team touchdown" occurred as two puppies carried the same toy into the end zone
  • 1.73 Million U.S viewers watched Puppy Bowl XVIII in 2022.
  • Max was the winner of the first Puppy Bowl MVP award in 2022.