SEEKONK -- K9 Mattis and his handler, Sgt. Adam Laprade, are used to tracking down criminal suspects or finding illicit narcotics.
But next month they will be competing nose to nose with other K9s on the popular A&E television show “America’s Top Dog.”
The competition will be part of the show’s second season, which launches at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 29.
Laprade said he was interviewed by producers of the show after someone contacted “Top Dog” about him and Mattis.
“It was an honor and it was very humbling. There were thousands of handlers who had the opportunity to be interviewed,” Laprade said.
The show flew him and Mattis to California for the filming. He said he does not know which episode of Season 2 they will be featured in and said he could not discuss the competition.
“It was an amazing experience overall,” Laprade said, adding that it made his partnership with Mattis even closer, flying together on the plane and competing against other teams.
The pair have been working together since Mattis joined the department in 2018.
“I’ve always respected what Mattis can do. He did great on the flight and I respected him watching him compete,” Laprade said.
“America’s Top Dog” features furry friends alongside their handlers facing off on a massive canine obstacle course designed to test their speed, agility, teamwork and trust.
A&E says Season 2 will introduce a new format with head-to-head match-ups that pit dogs against each other in their class. Those will include working dogs, police K9s and “underdogs.”
The winners of each class will square off to determine who is that week’s Top Dog. Each week, the winning team will receive a $10,000 cash prize as well as an additional $5,000 to donate to the animal charity of their choice.
In the final week of competition, the winning teams return for the ultimate faceoff for the title of America’s Top Dog and an additional $25,000.
Award-winning veteran studio and sports broadcaster Curt Menefee and actor and comedian David Koechner serve as hosts and break down the action, while sideline reporter Rachel Bonnetta interviews the teams on the course.