Puppy Bowl 2023 winner recap: Team Fluff takes top dog with MVP Pickle

Team Fluff showcased their athleticism to secure the championship title as the ultimate winners of Puppy Bowl 2023.

The Ruff Team, the favorites, beat the furry underdogs in the 19th Annual Puppy Bowl game, making history in the most historic match-up ever. After heading into overtime, the final score came out to be 87-83.

The Pickle Pomeranian was crowned as the MVP of the game, winning the prize for going snout-to-snout with over 120 pups, making it the largest competition of the year. This took place on Sunday afternoon, kicking off the Discovery+ livestream via Max HBO and TBS Planet, as well as Animal Planet.

In terms of history, the score between the two teams (Fluff wearing blue kerchiefs and Ruff wearing orange) was evenly balanced at three-to-three, considering only the score from the past six years of the Puppy Bowl.

However, the true champions did not only win a gold medal – they secured a possible permanent residence.

Referee Dan Schachner, in an interview with The Post, revealed that the adoption rate increases by a significant 100% every year due to the exciting and enjoyable nature of the game. He emphasized that our main objective is to spread the message about adoption while having a great time playing the game.

Pickle was crowned MVP at the 2023 Puppy Bowl.
When getting scolded for the foul play, MVP Pickle shushed the ref with a single paw.
Puppy Bowl referee Dan Schachner said that the event reaches 100% adoption rate every year while on air.
Puppy Bowl referee Dan Schachner said that the event reaches 100% adoption rate every year while on air.
A mini-football field filled with puppies.
Puppy players who participate in the annual event held before the Super Bowl are adoptable shelter dogs.

He exclaimed, “The real championship is here, with these guys having a forever home and not languishing forever in a shelter. They have a genuine drive to win, and it’s truly inspiring.”

Only a few of the dogs are permitted on the field at any given time. To earn points, they must pull a chew toy into the End Zone. There is a single regulation in the Puppy Bowl.

These pups could only be fouled up by something, for example, others are simply made up on the fly.

Schachner explained, “Our aim is to discover novel ones that can be used for dogs.” “The key is to be innovative with the penalties already in place in the NFL and implement them for dogs.”

Fluff Team got off to a roaring start, with Pickle Pomeranian stealing the show by scoring two touchdowns, taking the first toy into the end zone, running over 300 yards without interference for the first touchdown.

“It’s going to be puppies being as wild and crazy and lovable as you would imagine they would be,” said referee Dan Schachner.
Inya, NAGI Foundation (Salt River Indian Community)
Inya, NAGI Foundation (Salt River Indian Community), stole the show.
Elias Weiss Friedman

Bark! The Fluff Team, with their Australian Pomeranian Beagle, Wolfie Dog Cattle, scored a touchdown, putting them 21-7 ahead. However, the first quarter ended with the Ruff Team, led by their Labrador Poodle/Labrador, DaVinci, scoring a touchdown, giving them hope. It was a real nail-biter of a game.

In the second quarter, halfway through the game, Mighty Little, an American Terrier/Staffordshire Pit Bull, scored another touchdown for the Ruff Team, taking cues from his teammate. DaVinci, literally swinging back, came into play at the beginning of the second quarter.

puppy bowl

In the battle between Espresso, a mixed-breed dog, and Kokobean, an American Pitbull Terrier mix, Team Fluff scored more points as Espresso swiftly carried the toy across the field for a distance of 70 yards, demonstrating resilience by quickly recovering after dropping the toy and successfully snatching it from Kokobean.

Once again, the Fluff Team failed to score with Penelope, a Poodle-mix with lengthy fur. However, the Ruff Team managed to score with Kokobean, despite a case of fumble-itis. It looked like Espresso came down in a similar manner.

In a surprising turn of events, Vivianne, a Siberian Husky/Rottweiler/Neapolitan Mastiff, astounded the audience by leading Team Fluff to yet another triumph during the halftime show. She impressively scored a touchdown by putting her paw through the hoop of her chew toy, all while DJ’s and UFO’s were being showcased.

Dog pulling on bandana of other dog
The tiny but mighty Pomeranian was busted for pulling on the competition’s bandana.
A puppy sitting.
Some of the puppies are hearing or vision impaired while others are missing left or have a cleft palate.

The Fluff Team extended their lead by 49-28, scoring the first touchdown. Rascal Inu Shiba Fluff’s and Bandit Inu Shiba Ruff’s kicked off in the third quarter, tearing each other up on the field. The two teams remained in high tensions between them.

The Seattle Seahawks actually invited a local Seattle facility to give Boston Fluff’s Terrier, Cooper, a break for some water. Timeout was called as Cooper, who works with his shelter for his service day, trained with the Seahawks. He looks like an all-star during his paid training, scoring another touchdown for his team.

For Fluff, Vivianne ultimately earned an additional touchdown, but it was Moose, a combination of American Foxhound and German Shepherd, who obtained the energy late in the third quarter, granting Team Ruff a few additional points.

Puppy Bowl 2023
Paola Morrongiello

Before the viewers knew it, in the fourth quarter of the game, Wolfie was well underway with his second touchdown, narrowing the score to 73-70 in favor of Team Ruff. Pascal Terrier/American Staffordshire Terrier American Pit Bull and Roland, a mix-breed, made a smooth 99-yard run, ultimately scoring two touchdowns for Team Ruff. However, Buffalo’s defense played great, with Josh Fluff, a mix of Allenhound, making it challenging for Team Ruff.

Vivianne, at a score of 87-83, ultimately scored the decisive touchdown for Team Fluff; however, the game was tightly contested. Kokobean and Espresso, both grasping onto the same toy, managed to score a dual touchdown, leading the game into overtime as they raced towards the furry finish line.


Asiago from Tri-State Bassett Hound Rescue in New Jersey
Asiago from Tri-State Bassett Hound Rescue in Pennsville, New Jersey.

This Bassett Hound had the crowds smiling throughout the performance.

Asiago, formerly known as Duke, discovered his permanent residence after being given up by his initial caretaker. Asiago, along with his adopted brothers Parmesan and Reggiano, constitutes a trio of “cheese boys” within his newly found household.

Despite his affectionate demeanor, the hound from Tri-State Bassett Hound Rescue in Pennsville, New Jersey, a member of Team Fluff, was prepared to defeat the rival teams.


Marshmallow from Aheinz57 Pet Rescue in DeSoto, Iowa
Marshmallow from Aheinz57 Pet Rescue in DeSoto, Iowa

One of the five siblings that were surrendered by their owner to Pet Rescue Aheinz57 in DeSoto, Iowa, Marshmallow has been living in a horse stall, scared and unsocialized, but thankfully he has turned out to be the sweetest dog.

Marshmallow is an Australian Cattle Dog Great Pyrenees mix who has already been adopted by a family who loves him and has a 2-year-old child. He gets along well with any puppy he meets and is described as full of energy and playful.

Bacon and Eggs.

Bacon from Blue Water Area Humane Society in Clyde, MI
Bacon from Blue Water Area Humane Society in Clyde, Michigan.
Eggs from Blue Water Area Humane Society in Clyde, MI
Eggs from Blue Water Area Humane Society in Clyde, Michigan.

They’re an excellent pair.

Eggs and Bacon arrived together on the doorstep of the Blue Water Area Humane Society in Clyde, Michigan. They were too young to be away from their mama, so the staff nursed the Chow Chow and Border Collie mixes with extra attention and care. Thankfully, these pups have grown up to be very intelligent, playful, and sweet.