The TV Show “America’s Top Dog” is a new series on the A&E Network. The show pitches both civilian and trained police dogs alongside their handlers in a neck-to-neck competition on a high-energy obstacle course. The main play of the competition is the relationship between dog and handler as they complete a set of tasks within an allotted time. The show, which premiered on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, will run for 11 episodes, with each episode running for 50 to 60 minutes. The show will keep viewers glued to their seats, gritting their teeth and rooting for their favorite dog. In this article, we bring you ten things you did not know about America’s Top Dog.
1. The producer
America’s Top Dog is produced by Dan Cesareo who was also the brain behind another great TV docu-series hit, Live PD. Mr Cesareo is the president and founder of Big Fish Entertainment. If the success of Live PD is anything to go by, Mr Cesareo knows what he is doing. Live PD was an unscripted reality show. It made news by being top-rated continuously for more than 750 hours in the lifestyle and documentary space. Big Fish Entertainment also has many hours of award-winning productions featuring characters and stories for superior networks such as National Geographic, Oxygen, TLC, MTV, and Discovery among others.
2. The script
America’s Top Dog brings together favorite dogs from Live PD and a few new canine faces. The competition pitches five dog-and-man teams in each episode. The teams constitute four K9 dogs and one civilian dog. The dogs navigate through a maze searching for objects smeared in scents familiar to it, take down dummy suspects adorned in bite-suits, and much more on a timer. The competition tests the level of teamwork between the canine and its handler, some of whom are K9 police officers from various law enforcement agencies. After three rounds in each episode, four teams are eliminated leaving one team to go on to the next episode.
3. The K9 stars
All the dogs in America’s Top Dog, including the civilian dogs, are highly trained. The K9 police dogs add flavor to the show. To civilians and viewers on the show, the most familiar police dog is the dual-purpose dog. Dual-purpose dogs are trained in several areas and they are mostly assigned to police officers on patrol. Other K9 police dogs have different training and thus different skills. There are dogs trained to sniff out an apprehensive suspect. Others are trained in search and rescue. Many K9 police dogs are detection dogs trained to sniff out explosives and illegal substances. A civilian dog pitched against such dogs makes the show very exciting.
4. The prizes
The final prize is America’s Top Dog title and comes with a cash award too. The final cash award is $25,000 alongside the title. In each episode, there is a weekly award of $10,000 and $5,000. The winning team will choose an animal charity to gift the $5,000 award.
The top-host on the show is a famous series host, Curt Menefee. He is best known as a game broadcaster and is currently a co-host of Fox NFL Sunday.
The co-host of America’s Top Dog is former US marine and top dog trainer Nick White. Mr White is a former member of the Secret Service and understands dogs very well. He owns a K9 dog training company with sites all over America. Together with Curt Menefee, they are the power-couple on the show. They follow the action on the course and report in real-time, keeping viewers gripped on the progress of the competition.
7. The on-site reporter
The sideline reporter on the show is Jamie Little. Jamie brings viewers details that keep things exciting. She reports on the activities of the crew, the preparation in between shoots, and the fascinating interaction between the dogs and the crew. Jamie is a seasoned reporter in her own right and works for the FOX NASCAR. She is also an ambassador and a reporter for and in support of Animal Rescue. Her most notable recent assignment was at the 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Show.
According to a report on IMDB here are peeks into the first three episodes:
- Episode 1.1 was dubbed “Raising the Woof.” This was the first episode and aired on January 8, 2020. It featured a highly trained K9 by the name Wonder Mutt. The challenges in the episode included finding objects and the competition was between this dog and the other very hungry dogs.
- Episode 1.2 is dubbed the “Fast and the Furriest.” It will pitch an older K9 police dog against a civilian dog that appears inferior but has astonishing speed. The episode will air on January 15, 2020.
- Episode 1.3 is dubbed “Small Dog, Big Bite.” The episode features the smallest of the civilian dogs in the cast and the question is whether this small civilian dog will come out on top in the face of the competition from a K9 named Murphy. The episode will air on January 22, 2020.
9. Police cast
As an idea from the famous Live PD, the producer discovered that law enforcement officers have a huge following. This law enforcement cast on America’s Top Dog features this team of stars who have an almost religious fan club. They are on the show not only for their professional appeal but for their on-screen appeal.
10. Behind the scenes
According to Dan Cesareo, America’s Top Dog is filmed in one of the largest sets to ever grace American Television. Cesareo says it was a major task to build the entire production site with “three courses, which are far larger than just about anything on television, the entire infrastructure for just human beings and then the separate support system for the dogs.”
America’s Top Dog is a high-adrenaline production that will leave you breathless as you hope for the win of the dog you’re supporting. There is very little shooting time on each episode of the show, but the 50 to 60 minute weekly episodes are worth setting a reminder for. When not on camera, the dogs have time to be pampered with an excellent diet and enjoy more training and preparation from the crew.