- Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine
The Olate Dogs Make their Napa Valley Debut - Poodles, Labradoodles, Schnoodles and Yorkiepoos
Dog lovers take note: if you think your pooch is worth a million bucks, meet the family team behind the irresistible Olate Dogs, first prize winners of season seven of “America’s Got Talent (AGT)” taking home a cool million dollar check to show for it!
On Saturday, June 16 at 2 pm, the Olate Dogs will be leaping, spinning and flipping in one performance only at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater. The show is brought to the Napa Valley by E & M Presents and is perfect for kids of all ages!
Founder/trainer Richard Olate grew up surrounded by poverty in his native Santiago, Chile, the second youngest of 22 siblings. At age 10, he rescued, adopted and began training his first street dog and found he had a gift. By age 12, he was supporting his family with a dog act that performed in schools and small circuses.
After his brother Jose joined the act, the duo and their littlest stars caught the attention of promoters from Circus Vargas. In 1989, the act was brought to the US where Richard met and married Rebecca Smith, a circus performer who performed as a human cannonball. Their third child, Nicholas, grew up with the dogs and became an integral member of the troupe by age 15. Landing the top spot in “America’s Got Talent” wasn’t an easy task, but the Olates’ compassion for their pets, expertise in training, multi-talented pups and their crowd-pleasing tricks won the hearts of judging panels.
For their audition on AGT, labradoodles hopped over metal poles, stood and rotated on their hind legs, stood on their fore legs, formed a conga line, jumped and performed backflips. Panelists Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel voted them on towards the next round – to the Vegas Room!
Next were the quarterfinals where the dogs spun in circles, hopped over small obstacles, balanced on a hollow cylinder being rolled by another dog, slid down a slide, walked up and down stairs, ran and rolled over quickly and performed backflips to the song, “Played Alive” by Safri Duo. Voters were impressed and moved the act to the semifinals.
In the semifinals, dogs leapt over metal poles, jumped rope, formed a conga line, rode a scooter, performed backflips and participated in a cycle of rolling and hopping together with their trainers.
In the finals, the Olate Dogs took top prize plus a headlining gig in Las Vegas. The win and exposure opened doors only imagined by the Olate’s – they are now America’s most recognized dog entertainers. They command standing ovations and perform at high profile sporting events, appear on national television and have recently starred in a series of acclaimed, short online films promoting shelter adoptions.
The family’s home base is Houston, Texas but much of their time is spent on the road. Not to worry – the 16 to 22 dogs (many from shelters) travel in pampered style inside their own air-conditioned, tricked-out trailer!
LincolnTheater.org Box Office (707)944-9900
Olate Dogs Saturday, June 16 at 2 pm
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