Dan the Rufferee Breaks Down Puppy Bowl XVI and Reveals His Favorite Player

Doggone exciting! Ahead of Puppy Bowl XVI on Sunday, February 2, Us Weekly exclusively chatted up “Rufferee” Dan Schachner for all the details on the big game.

“The Puppy Bowl is four quarters, where puppies … are trying to just drag a chew toy or kick a chew toy into the end zone,” Schachner, 45, told Us. “And we start with smaller breeds in the first quarter and we kinda grow all the way up until we get to the St. Bernard puppies in the fourth quarter. It’s cool because in the beginning, you’ll see a lot of little furry guys starting around, and by the time you get to the bigger breeds, the field’s not that big [and] we can only fit four or five on the field at once.”

He went on: “At the end of the four quarters, we declare a winner and we declare an MVP — Most Valuable Pup. We give them the Lombarky Trophy. … And we have our Kitty Halftime Show … This year it’s Jenni-purr Lopez. There’s always a cat pun! And yeah, it’s a big party!”

Dan-The-Rufferee-Breaks-Down-Puppy-Bowl-XVI
Dan The Rufferee

So which canine is Schachner rooting for this year? His own foster dog, a four-month-old Dutch Shepherd mix named Mocha. (Look for the pup with the black and white spotted legs.) “She’s pretty cool,” he said. “I know the refs are not supposed to show favoritism, and they won’t, but she’s pretty good.”

But Schachner is also partial to the special needs dogs, he told Us: “Every year we try to show as many different dogs as possible, and one of the things we highlight is, look, puppies who are young and healthy and three months old, they’re gonna get adopted pretty quick. The ones that have special needs — they might have three legs, which we have one of, blind, hearing impaired, cleft palate, that kind of thing — they do tend to languish a little bit longer in shelters. So we wanna get the word out, so we have five this year that have special needs.”

Watch the video above for more Puppy Bowl XVI details — including the Property Brothers’ involvement and other reasons to tune in this year.

Puppy Bowl XVI airs on Animal Planet Sunday, February 2, at 3 p.m. ET.

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