It’s that time again. DOGTV – the first and only television network created just for dogs – has searched from nose to tail to compile its second annual list of the year’s most powerful dogs. This year’s prestigious pups were selected based on several criteria, including social buzz, awards and accolades, power by association and exceptional do-gooding.
However, as it did last year, the ultimate decision came down to media buzz – both traditional and social. These pup-arazzi targets made national headlines in 2014 for their many accomplishments, powerful feats and just generally being PAWsome.
Below are the famous furballs that make up the Most Powerful Dogs of 2014.
Mutant Giant Spider Dog, YouTube Superstar
With more than 118 million views on YouTube, Mutant Giant Spider Dog – also known as Chica the dachshund – was the most shared and discussed canine online this year, once her Polish film-making owner dressed her up like an oversized tarantula and unleashed her on unsuspecting passersby. Mutant Giant Spider Dog dominated the YouTube chart as the top-trending clip of 2014, passing up incredibly popular ads like Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” Super Bowl commercial and the much-discussed “First Kiss” video.
Tuna, Instagram Sensation
Tuna, also known as @Tunameltsmyheart on Instagram, is one of the most powerful pups on social media. With an Instagram following of 1.1 million that grows at a rate of about 1,000 daily, this year has been HUGE for the little “chiweenie” (chihuahua-dachshund mix). He’s been the subject of Internet memes, scored a Barkbox-sponsored tour contract to raise funds for shelters, has his own website where you can buy Tuna t-shirts, coffee mugs and much more, and even now has his own manager.
Wacha, Canine Sidekick to BRAVO “Watch What Happens Live!” Host Andy Cohen
Wacha is a superstar who skyrocketed to fame after Andy Cohen, one of the most famous men in late-night TV, rescued him. Aside from being on the cover of his dad’s best-selling book, Wacha just landed the InStyle Social Media Award for Most Stylish Pet. He has a burgeoning Instagram following (nearly 100,000) and even has a nightly standing gig on “Watch What Happens Live!” where he assists in interviewing celebrities of every caliber. He knows people.
Nathan, Winner of the National Dog Show 2014
Millions tuned in on Thanksgiving Day this year to watch Nathan, a playful bloodhound whose stadium ring antics won over the crowd, take the Best in Breed title at the National Dog Show. A top-tier competitor, Nathan now boasts 24 Best in Show titles! Based on his recent success, he is now among the favorites to add the Westminster Best in Show title to his long list of accolades this coming February.
The Paws and Stripes service dogs, A&E’s “Dogs of War”
Source: Paws and Stripes
The canine heroes in the Paws and Stripes nonprofit organization provide mental health support and physical services for wounded military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. The dogs are the stars of A&E’s hit show “Dogs of War” and are involved in every aspect of the organization’s program — facilitating healing, building self-confidence, increasing their bonds with their human partner and more. In this case, power to the paws and the people!
Prince Hilton, Paris Hilton’s Pricey Pomeranian
Talk about a pampered pet. When your mom is Paris Hilton, heiress to the Hilton Hotel empire, you automatically become an extremely powerful pup and, in this case, a prince. Prince Hilton became the “it” dog on the scene after one Instagram post from mom sent fans into “awe!” overdrive. Media outlets all over the world were blown away by this adorable, less than two-pound pup worth $13,000.
Peanut, Winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest 2014
Source: E! Online
They say looks aren’t everything, and 2-year-old Peanut the mutt was counting on it when he took the main stage at the 2014 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest this past June. Peanut, who is believed to be a chihuahua and shih-tzu mix, was a victim of animal abuse and was injured in a fire before mom Holly recused him. Together, they plan to take Peanut’s $1,500 prize back home to North Carolina to help pay other pets’ veterinary bills. There’s a lot of power in paying it forward.
Zeus, Small-Town Pit Bull Supported by a Nation
Source: Move On
One month ago, a young girl from Louisiana pleaded on national TV for her city’s officials to repeal a vicious dog ban that would, if not overturned, ultimately lead to the confiscation and disposal of her family’s pet dog. The nation reacted quickly to news about Zeus the pit bull and more than 350,000 (and growing, daily) American and international supporters, signed a petition to save Zeus and keep him with his family, where he also acts as a therapy dog. Once the media introduced the world to Zeus, he inspired hundreds of thousands to reexamine the stereotype placed on his breed for years.
Hank, Unofficial Mascot of the Milwaukee Brewers
Source: ABC News
After inviting himself to the Milwaukee Brewers Spring training camp in Arizona this year (by way of running onto the field), the bichon frise-mix quickly became the team’s most adorable walk-on player and went from Phoenix stray to clubhouse MVP. Hank, named after Hank Aaron of course, immediately snagged the attention of sports fans and dog lovers alike, and quickly captured the hearts of media across the country.
Jiff, World Record-setting Pomeranian
Source: Guinness World Records
Move over, Boo, there’s a new Pomeranian sensation in town. Jiff recently set two Guinness World Records for the fastest dog on two paws – that’s right, both hind legs and front paws – and has his own official “Jiff Day” in Los Angeles, where he recently moved to pursue acting. His most famous role to date? Appearing in global superstar Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” music video. Jiff’s got power and panache. Not to mention 1.3 million Facebook fans, 232,000 Instagram followers and more than half a million views on YouTube.
WE WISH YOU ALL HAPPY HOLIDAYS – AND A PUPPY NEW YEAR!