Bend It Like…A Canine? Animal Planet’s World Pup Gives Us Something to Bark About

World Pup LogoWhile fierce athletes have captured the attention of international audiences in pursuit of the FIFA World Cup this week, Animal Planet has introduced new, furry competitors to the soccer field: puppies.

On June 11, Animal Planet launched World Pup, a single-elimination tournament to determine the world’s ‘Top Dog.’ The epic competition follows sixteen breeds representing top global contenders in the World Cup as they get their paws dirty.  Fans can show their team spirit by visiting, watching irresistibly cute videos of the pups barking it out to claim victory for their respective home countries, and casting their vote for the top dog through their social networks.

The first round of voting closed yesterday at 3pm ET, with the first round of winners announced this morning.  Will the Alaskan Malamute (USA) beat the French Bulldog (France)? Will the Shiba Inu (Japan) beat the Brussels Griffon (Belgium)? Check back in to see this week’s winners and then vote for your top dogs in the next round! Final winners will be announced on July 10, in advance of the Sunday’s final World Cup game.

Can’t get enough of the puppy love? Visit Animal Planet L!VE’s Puppy Cam for round-the-clock canine cuteness featuring adorable and adoptable dogs!

Live video by Animal Planet L!ve