Puppy Bowl referee salary: How much does Dan Schachner make to host?

...and more importantly, does he get paid in free puppies?
Discovery Communications And Animal Planet Ring The Nasdaq Closing Bell To Kick Off Puppy Bowl XII
Discovery Communications And Animal Planet Ring The Nasdaq Closing Bell To Kick Off Puppy Bowl XII / Paul Zimmerman/GettyImages

What’s the best job on television? How about “host of the Puppy Bowl?” Unfortunately, you’re probably not going to snag that plum job, host Dan Schachner has been holding down the gig for years. But before jealousy consumes you, you might be wondering what the Puppy Bowl referee salary is… Just how much does ref Dan Schachner get paid to host the yearly event?

I’ll say up front: we don’t know exactly what Schachner makes to host the Puppy Bowl, as that info isn’t available publicly. However, we can make an educated guess, based on some other info available online, as well as some sources.

So, let’s get into it.

Does Dan Schachner get paid in free dogs?

No, this is (probably) not true: host Dan Schachner almost definitely doesn’t get paid in free puppies, as speculated on this Reddit thread. Neither is the pay “ruff” though that’s a pretty good joke.

Instead, let’s see if we can find something more comparable.

How much is a Super Bowl referee salary?

Carl Cheffers
Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles / Rob Carr/GettyImages

This is something we do know the answer to, given there’s more salary transparency with the NFL than with “guy who hosts a goofy, adorable show about dogs.” According to CBS News, as of 2019 NFL refs got paid an average of $205,000. That deal expired in 2020, and back in 2011 they made an average of $149,000. So, chances are that in 2024 they make more than $205k.

However, the Super Bowl is a different story. Given it’s not part of a team’s regular season, Super Bowl refs are paid a supplementary fee on top of their regular salary. That said, much like the mysterious salary of Puppy Bowl referee, CBS News couldn’t get a straight answer out of the NFL on Super Bowl referee.

So is the Puppy Bowl referee salary on par with the NFL? Gonna go out on a limb and say “no” and here’s why…

How much do Animal Planet hosts get paid?

One of those fakey sites that don’t have real info posted that the average Animal Planet host makes between $24,184 and $29,378 per year. This is almost definitely not true, so don’t trust it, and we won’t link it here!

However, Dog O’Day did speak to an anonymous source in television production to get their bead on how much a host might make for a gig like this. Given a two to three-day gig, once a year, they estimated around $30,000 to referee to the Puppy Bowl, which sounds about right. However, Schachner has been hosting for years – and he regularly does the publicity rounds for the Puppy Bowl, as well. Chances are he may be getting more than that, though again, that’s pure speculation.

Ultimately, he gets to host an amazing show and promote hundreds of adoptions. It may not be getting paid in free puppies, but it’s the next best thing.

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