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Series / That's My Dog

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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.

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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:

  • Personnel:
    • 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.
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  • 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.
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    • 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.

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