‘Dancing With Dogs’ Debuts on Animal Planet

The special show introduces viewers to a different kind of dance competition.

First there was “Dancing with the Stars.” Now Animal Planet offers us “Dancing With Dogs.”

The new special, which airs Saturday, Dec. 6, introduces viewers to a different kind of dance competition, where four legs rule, wacky wardrobes are encouraged, and incidental bathroom breaks are common.

Based on the real-life sport of canine musical freestyle, “Dancing With Dogs” features dog-and-owner dance teams that boogie down to rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop, classical, and country in hopes of snagging the top title at the World Canine Freestyle Organization’s International Competition.

The “dancers” include Poodles, Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers, and several mutts. This year’s favorites include Vera, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever and her owner, Cassandra Hartman, and Callaway, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever and her owner Laurie Sullivan.

Actor and comedian Alec Mapa, who owns dogs named Ozzy and Sweet Pea, will host the competition. “I’ve been dancing with my dogs for years,” Mapa said in a statement. “At last, it’s so exciting to know that I’m not alone. There are others out there dancing with dogs, and it’s time to go public!”

“Dancing With Dogs” premieres Saturday, Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on Animal Planet.

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