Dog Eat Dog was a short-lived stunt and dare show that was loosely based on the British series of the same name, where people perform zany stunts to avoid being sent to "The Dog Pound" and trying to win $25,000.
Before the show, six players spent a day together in a training camp. On the show, the six players will be shown a challenge. After Burns explained how a challenge works, the players will then vote for the one who is most likely to fail. The player with the most votes must face that challenge. If he/she fails, that player is sent to the "Dog Pound.” If he/she succeeds, someone who voted for him/her gets to be sent to the Dog Pound in his/her place.
If there was a tie for most votes, then it was broken by the player who was randomly selected before the show in round one, and by the player who was last sent to the Dog Pound in each round thereafter.
The game is played in this manner until there are only two players remaining, who will go against each other head-to-head on the fifth challenge. The player who won that challenge becomes that night's "Top Dog,” while the other is sent to the Dog Pound.
In the final challenge, the five players in the Dog Pound must answer enough questions correctly in order to stop the Top Dog from winning the $25,000 and split it among themselves. A category is shown on a screen, and the Top Dog must pick a member from the Dog Pound who is most likely to get a question wrong in that category. If a member of the Dog Pound gets a question right, the Dog Pound scores one point. If that member got a question wrong, the Top Dog scores one point. Once a member of the Dog Pound is picked, he/she cannot be picked again. The first side to score three points wins the money. If the money is won by the Dog Pound, it is split evenly, with each member receiving $5,000 If the Top Dog wins then he/she gets the full $25,000.
Lists of Stunts
Some of the one-player stunts on the show included:
|Bungee Claw||The contestant is hung upside down above the water tank with a bungee cord. They are dropped into the water three times, he/she must grab four rings within those three attempts.|
|Catwalk/Runway||While in six-inch heels, the contestant has to walk down a balance beam suspended above a water tank in order to retrieve a purse at the end while walking back with that said purse without falling off. Their was no time limit and he/she had two attempts to complete it.|
NOTE: This stunt never had an official name for it after two seasons.
|Celebrity Three-Way||Similar to the category "Before & After" from Wheel of Fortune and the short-lived 2001 USA Network game show Smush, a contestant must find the common name shared by two celebrities.|
(i.e. Little "Richard" Dawson)
|Earthquake Island||The contestant climbs a ladder mounted on a tilting island with rain in a limited amount of time of two minutes or two-and-a-half minutes.|
|Flag Capture||The contestant climbs a net and gets the greatest number of flags in a limited amount of time of two minutes or two-and-a-half minutes.|
|Glacier Run||The contestant must jump across glaciers in the pool and collect eight hanging flags in a limited time of three minutes.|
|He or She||Given a panel of about six subjects, the contestant must guess which one is female (or male). This normally involves having five crossdressing men and one female, with the contestant having to guess which one of them was the female.|
|Ladder Wheel||The contestant crawls around a circular ladder hanging in the air with a limited amount of time of two minutes and capture the flag.|
|Little Genius||A contestant plays a trivia game against a child prodigy.|
|Mutant Celebrity||The contestant must identify famous celebrities from their distorted photographs.|
|Out on a Limb||Not to be confused with a song from 1984 by the late Teena Marie of the same name, the contestant is enclosed in a large, x-shaped figure where he/she must collect four red flags and four blue flags within the time limit of 90 seconds in Season 1, Episode 2 or two minutes. Completing all of one color first followed by the other.|
|Pandora's Box||The contestant grabs floating water markers and brings them to a box that was submerged underwater in a limited amount of time of two minutes.|
|Pendulum Swing||The contestant is placed inside a swing and has to gain enough momentum to maneuver the cage one full circle with a limited amount of time of two minutes. Failure to complete the full circle lands the contestant in the dog pound. This was one of the stunts that was carried over from the original British version of the show.|
|Strip Games||The contestant is required to perform a feat of skill of some sort, every time the player made a mistake, he/she was required to remove one article of clothing. If the feat was accomplished before the player missed the attempt completely naked, the mission was completed. Some of the stripping stunts included a beanbag or a football into a target, making a hole-in-one on a miniature golf hole (with each removed article of clothing in exchange for a dart) and hangman with each missing letter costing and article of clothing.|
NOTE: The strip games were discontinued in Season 2.
|Tear Factor||The contestant had 90 seconds to cry based on thoughts and/or what the members in the dog pound are saying. At least one tear must clear their face for them to win.|
NOTE: The title of this stunt was a parody of the hit NBC/MTV reality show Fear Factor.
|Tons on Fun||The contestant is shown three sets of items. They must guess which of the two items is heavier. He/She wins if they guess at least two of the three sets correctly.|
|Treadmill Trivia||The contestant walks/runs on a treadmill trying to answer ten questions correctly before falling off from fatigued and into a giant swimming pool. Every time a question is answered wrong, the speed on the treadmill increases. A variation of this stunt was used in which a contestant was required to walk/run on a large wheel, which arbitrary sped up through the round.|
|Trivia Ring Challenge||The contestant must jump from a platform and grab a ring. He/She is asked five questions and gets five attempts at jumping for the ring. Each correct answer brings the ring a little closer.|
|Vomit Comet||The contestant is placed in a contraption that spins them around while the crane it is attached to is also spinning 360 degrees. Burns reads various names of places or titles and he contestant has to state the exact number of vowels in the name. The contestant had only 90 seconds to give eight correct answers to win.|
|Water Walk||The contestant walks on a platform while being hit by water. He/she has to release two red flags and make it back to the start before time runs out.|
GSN had their own online interactive game based on the show at some point.
The following are a list of countries that have aired their versions of Dog Eat Dog:
- United Kingdom (country that originated the program)
In Season 1, a contestant was hospitalized after failing unconscious during a challenge where he had to hold his breath underwater for two minutes. The contestant sued NBC claiming that the mechanism failed and caused him brain damage. This also resulted in only four members participating in the final challenge; these four failed to win the money.
This was the first American adaptation based on a British game show that Brooke Burns hosted. Ten years later, her second was The Chase that aired on GSN from 2013 until 2015.
Former Price model, Gwendolyn Osborne-Smith briefly appeared in a 2003 episode (although her name was never mentioned) in a neon pink bikini demonstrating a stunt involving a contestant in six-inch heels having to walk down a balance beam that was suspended above the water tank to retrieve a purse at the end and must walk back to the starting point without falling off. Additionally, this was the first game show based on an international format in which a male contestant has to do a stunt in high heels, the second was My Partner Knows Best in 2018.
Several episodes not shown on NBC were later aired on Game Show Network (or GSN).
Top Dog $25,000 Winners
- Ep.1: Eddie Oliphant
- Ep.2: Michael Strauss
- Ep.6: Zane Perkins
- Ep.7: Terence Patterson
- Ep.8: Lisa Ligon
- Ep.9: Skyler Clipner (AKA Skyler Stone)
- Ep.11: Susan Hawk
- Ep.12: Mona Chung
- Ep.13: Brittany Brilhart
- Ep.16: Marty West
- Ep.18: Frank Carlopio
- Ep.19: Sik-End
- Ep.21: Spencer Hill
- Ep.22: William Kuhn
- Ep.23: Thunder Parley
- Ep.24: Tracey Williams