Dan Schachner

Almost 60 rookie canines hit the field on Super Sunday for Puppy Bowl VIII, the annual cuteness overload to raise awareness for pet adoption. We asked first-time ref Dan Schachner to share his sideline secrets.

TV Guide Magazine: How does one train to ref the Puppy Bowl?
Schachner: My sister has two dogs that I'm constantly playing mini football games with in her backyard. I also have two small sons...and they're kind of like animals.

TV Guide Magazine: Ruffest part of the job?
Schachner: The field is very small, so forget about the calls — we all know the Puppy Bowl rules are a little loose. Your biggest challenge is to not step on or in anything.

TV Guide Magazine: What about puppy performance enhancers?
Schachner: There is no shortage of urine samples on this field, so we're constantly able to test the players. I assure you that none of these dogs are juicing. The kittens in the halftime show, however, are all doped up on catnip.

Puppy Bowl VIII airs Sunday at 3/2c on Animal Planet. You can also follow the action on Twitter @MeepTheBird.

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!