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Dogs Have Their Day On 'America's Funniest Home Videos'

By Sue Manning By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — “America’s Funniest Home Videos” has been going to the dogs for years, even if cats make it a game from time to time.

Dogs are a clear winner as the funniest animal — especially wiener dogs, Chihuahuas and pugs — judging by payouts from the series, which begins its 20th year on ABC in November.

For example, there was the bug-eyed Chihuahua getting a bath in a sink. “It was the homeliest dog, big bulging eyes that looked in opposite directions, his tongue was hanging out, and he was soaking wet, the sweetest thing,” said co-executive producer and writer Todd Thicke

“You weren’t even sure it was an animal,” added executive producer Vin Di Bona.

In the show’s first 19 years, 260 animal videos have won $2.2 million for their videographers. More than half those winners (136) have been dogs for $1.4 million in prize money. There have been 34 cat champs making $210,000 and 22 birds sharing $115,000. Next comes the nutty part: Nine squirrels have shared $54,000.

There have been multiple wins for raccoons, giraffes, goats, horses, monkeys, bears, hamsters, llamas, mice, praying mantises and whales. In the one-time wonder category are the ant, bull, camel, chimp, deer, elk, ferret, fish, fly, frog, gorilla, guinea pig, kangaroo, lizard, orangutan, ostrich, ram, rat, rhino, sea lion, spider, snake, tarantula and toad.

“People love their pets and are proud of them and have trained them to do amazing tricks,” Thicke said.

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