Dan Schachner 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.

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