Game Show that ran from 1991-1995 on The Family Channel, in which two families and their dogs competed in dog-oriented challenges in a quest to earn prizes for themselves and a year's supply of dog food for their pets. Competitions varied between head-to-head races against the clock and turn-based challenges.
Each episode featured the Mixed-Up Maze, where dogs had to navigate a labyrinth riddled with giant dog food traps, water bowls, toys and other distractions, and ended with the Doggie Decathlon, a standard canine agility course that served as the show's Eliminator.
The show was hosted by Steve Skrovan for the first two seasons, with Wil Shriner taking over for the last two.
Game Show Tropes in use include:
- Game Show Host: Steve Skrovan, then Wil Shriner.
- Lovely Assistant: Roxie Stice and then Susan Pari for the Skrovan version; none for the Shiner run except for a bull mastiff named Tiny toward the end of the series.
- The Announcer: Dean Miuccio for the majority of the run, with Gene Wood listed for a couple of early episodes.
- Covered in Gunge: Very rarely, although there was one challenge that involved the dogs fetching bones attached to ropes connected to containers over a poncho-clad human teammate's head. The goal was to release the container with dog biscuits. A second container held small stuffed dogs, while a third held a small amount of gunge. On one occasion, the host released it onto the contestant's head after the challenge for laughs.
- Product Placement: Iams dog food and then Kibbles 'n Bits, both as a prize and as an obstacle in the Mixed-Up Maze.
- Retired Game Show Element: The Talent Showcase, in which each dog performed a talent in front of three judges, was axed for the last season and replaced with the Doggy Bowl, a sports-themed challenge.
- Rules Spiel: Before each of the mainstay challenges.
Other tropes in use include:
- Hold Up Your Score: Played straight with the Talent Showcase, which was scored with three judges holding cards numbered 1 to 10; while the very vast majority of judges gave honest assessments, one of the judges on one episode was a small child who ended up giving one of the dogs a 1.
- The Maze: The titular "Mixed-Up Maze".
- Obstacle Exposition: Done before the Doggy Decathlon, the final obstacle of which was always for the dog to jump through the big "O" in the That's My Dog! sign.
- Timed Mission: The majority of the challenges, whether done head to head or by taking turns.
- For the last season, the Doggy Decathlon was extended from 60 seconds to 100 seconds; however, a savvy observer will notice the clock jump from 51 to 49 under the revamped format.
- Transatlantic Equivalent: The programme originated in the United Kingdom, where it was perhaps the best-known series produced by former ITV company TSW.