There’s something about a good dog that can make even the most strong and fierce NFL players melt at the wag of a tail. Big or small, man’s best friend has kept the gladiators of the gridiron company since the league began, but thanks to the wonders of social media, we now get a window into the special relationships of NFL players and their dogs.
Ahead of the 2020 Beverly Hills Dog Show (Sunday, May 17, 8-10 p.m. ET, NBC), we’ve compiled some of our favorite good dogs with good football players. The Beverly Hills Dog Show was held on February 29, 2020 at Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. Its air date was postponed to May 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the 2020 Beverly Hills Dog Show in primetime on May 17 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.
What to know about the 2020 Beverly Hills Dog Show
See who made “Best in NFL Show”:
Athlete: JuJu Smith Schuster (Pittsburgh Steelers, Wide Receiver)
Dog: Boujee (French Bulldog)
For years, Steelers player JuJu Smith Schuster was afraid of dogs after being chased by a Chihuahua as a kid–until a pup named Boujee came along. The French Bulldog is named after the Migos song “Bad and Boujee.” His coat is considered blue even though it’s light grey in appearance. One of the more rare colors for French Bulldogs, blue Boujee put Smith Schuster back $6,000. Boujee has a birthday bash every year for his best dog friends (including his Frenchie girlfriend Portia) and is the star of his own Instagram account with over 200,000 followers.
Athlete: Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs, Quarterback)
Dogs: Steel & Silver (Pitbull, Cane Corso)
Patrick Mahomes is an MVP on and off the field. The Chiefs QB is the proud dog dad of two pitbulls: Steel and Silver. Mahomes and his girlfriend Brittany Matthews have had Steel since 2017, and Silver joined the family in 2019. Silver even accompanied Mahomes at an offseason training session in Fort Worth. Mahomes says he was scared of dogs as a kid, but now the pups even joined Mahomes on a charity fan experience for Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Athlete: Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles, Quarterback)
Dogs: Henley, Jersey and Riggs (Golden Retrievers)
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Eagles QB Carson Wentz became a dad in late April but has been a pet parent for years. Wentz has a trio of Golden Retrievers who join him on wild outdoor adventures and hunting trips. Henley has been with Wentz and his wife Maddie the longest. Henley had eight puppies in 2017 and one of the bunch, now named Jersey, became a permanent member of the Wentz family. Riggs completed the pack in 2019.
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Dog: Zoe (French Bulldog)
A tiny French Bulldog is making NFL history. 49ers teammate Zoe is the league’s first designated emotional support animal, and she seems to be doing a stellar job. Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas petitioned San Francisco’s Director of Player Engagement Austin Moss for a team pup after a 49ers employee brought a French Bulldog around during training camp in 2018. Zoe loves balloons.
Athlete: Mitchell Schwartz (Kansas City Chiefs, Offensive lineman)
Dogs: Cupcake and Pumpkin (Pomeranians)
Chiefs OL Mitchell Schwartz is 6’5, 320 pounds and a Super Bowl champ, but his two tiny Pomeranian pups outweigh him on social media (by about 60,000 followers on Instagram). Cupcake and Pumpkin live the good life with Schwartz and his wife Brooke, relaxing, being pampered and cheering their dog dad on all fall.
Athlete: Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs, Tight end)
Dogs: Rambo and Chauncey (Goldendoodle, Pomsky)
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce has had pets almost his whole life, so it’s no surprise that he had two dogs. Chauncey is a 2-year-old Pomsky (Pomeranian-Husky mix) and Rambo is a 1-year-old Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever-Poodle mix). The two accompany Kelce on his offseason adventures, including running around the Hollywood hills.
“I love to go to dog parks,” Kelce says. “I got a lot of friends on the team that have dogs and obviously, we love to let the pups hang around each other.”
Athlete: Tom Brady (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Quarterback)
Dogs: Lua, Scooby and Fluffy (Pitbull, Beagle, mix)
A lot of football players get banged up on the field, but Tom Brady might be the only one who’s been bit by a dog on the field. Years ago during Patriots training camp, players met with members of the military who were using Gillette Stadium to train dogs, and one took a bite out of Brady’s thigh. Even after that ordeal, Brady’s family still includes three pups: Lua the Pitbull, Scooby the Beagle and Fluffy the black and white pooch. All three are rescues. He loves them so much that he even threw them their own parade after the Patriots’ 2017 Super Bowl win.
Team: Cleveland Browns
Dog: Swagger Jr. aka “SJ” (Cleveland Browns Mascot – Bullmastiff)
The Cleveland Browns have two mascots, but the cuddlier one of the two is SJ (short for Swagger Jr.) the Bullmastiff. The 1-year-old pup weights in at around 125 pounds and enjoys chewing on liver and the Cincinnati Bengals. SJ took the reins over from his father Swagger, the Browns’ previous live mascot, in fall of 2019. Daddy Swagger is now living the good, retired life.
Watch NBC’s coverage of the Beverly Hills Dog Show on May 17 on NBC from 8-10 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.