Each Thursday night, Jeff Probst has been doling out reward challenges to highly motivated contestants on CBS’s Survivor, now in its 20th season with Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. But did you know that he challenges his dog Bear in much the same way?
His canine companion begs for “nothing,” he happily reports. “We trained her to earn her treats by doing tricks. It’s much more fun!”
All that training has really paid off. So far Bear (pictured above) can shake, roll over, sit, stay and even dance! “Which cracks me up,” Probst says.
The TV host is turning more of his attention to the canine kind in a new series of videos for Purina Pro Plan called “Doing More for Pets”. “I got involved because I love pets and agree with their philosophy about trying to give your pet the most out of any experience,” Probst tells PEOPLEPets.com, who in the videos, shows how owners can get active outdoors with their dogs in a safe way with a canine costar named Cooper and a feline named Zoey.
“We had a blast shooting the videos,” he adds. “We went hiking and drove around in a Jeep, we got the tent out and she fetched toys out of a lake. It was a very fun shoot over five days. While the dog in the video is not my dog, I spent enough time with Cooper that by the end it seemed like she should be my dog!”
Probst’s easy rapport with the yellow Lab came from growing up with dogs. His first pooch, Heidi, joined his family when he was a kid in Wichita, Kan. The dog was a sweet companion and the butt of at least one joke.
“There was always a silly game we played when I was younger where you created your ‘porn star’ name by combining your dog’s name and the street you lived on,” Probst says. “Thus my porn name: Heidi Levitt, which explains in part why I went into reality instead!”
Probst rescued Bear a few years ago, but because of his demanding schedule the dog ended up finding a permanent home with a friend.
“I found out she needed open-heart surgery,” Probst recalls. “It cost $5,000, but it saved her life. I shared custody of her with a friend while I would go away to shoot Survivor, but after a while, she fell in love with Bear and now takes care of her almost all of the time.”
How does Probst reward his ever-so-talented pooch? With “expensive organic treats that probably make me feel better than her!” he says.
See more reality stars and their pets on PEOPLEPets.com:
DWTS Pro Lacey Schwimmer In Step With New Chihuahua
Maksim Chmerkovskiy Has Fallen in Love – with His New Puppy!