Controversy in the World Pup

Vote for the pooch of your choice in Animal Planet's World Pup
The final four compete in the Animal Planet’s World Pup

By Stacey Gonzalez
The Spanish soccer team may have been knocked out in the first round of the FIFA 2014 World Cup but when it comes to Animal Planet's World Pup Spain just might be the top dog.

This year marks the first year for Animal Planet's World Pup. Their website features a voting competition for dog breeds that represent the 16 countries competing in the 2014 FIFA games. Voters can participate on Facebook or Twitter and the voting takes place until Thursday, July 10 when the winning pup will be announced.


According the an Animal Planet press release “sixteen dogs proudly bark for their home countries, most of which are top contenders in the 2014 World Cup, and each competes paw to paw as the world decides which is named 'Top Dog.”

By selecting a country and its breed on the World Pup Bracket voters can view the Dogs 101 clip about that breed. Voters can also tune into the Puppy Cam to watch their favorite pups kick around some soccer balls and be adorable. First Puppy Bowl and now World Pup- what's next for Animal Planet sports?

The contest is in its third round and things are heating up between the pups. Spain’s Great Pyrenees is up against Japan’s Shiba Inu while England’s Olde English Sheepdog goes head to head with China’s Shar-Pei. England and Japan both have a substantial lead over China and Spain but the voting doesn’t close until July 2. Gloomy Spain fans still have time to give their team a second chance- puppy style!

Photo by Gwen's River City Images Foter CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Just like the human sized FIFA World Cup tournament the World Pup is not without controversy- but surprisingly no biting yet. On the World Pup’s Frequently Asked Questions page many readers are posting to the comments section pleading with Animal Planet to correct the photo of the Netherlands' Keeshond. The photo of the Keeshond on the World Cup Bracket looks more like a Pomeranian and when voters click the Dogs 101 video link the Keeshond in the video looks extremely different.

Cindy Lougheed posts “please post a correct looking keeshond. I have been breeding Kees for over 30 years and I have never come across one that looks like the one you have for a profile picture,” while Sandie Rose writes “I'm with everyone else about the keeshond picture. When I first looked through I didn't even recognize it. Looks like a picture of a Pomeranian or a Finnish spitz.”

Although it’s unsure what happened to the Keeshond one thing is for certain- Animal Planet sure knows how to take major sporting event and turn it into a fun, furry pet loving event for viewers to enjoy. Cast your vote for the winner of the first World Pup!

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