5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
The Olate Dogs are the winning participants from Season 7 of America’s Got Talent, scooping up the grand prize and headlining The Palazzo in Las Vegas.
Led by Richard Olate and his son Nicholas Olate, the Olate Dogs are a high-energy, fast-paced canine theatrical act filled with amazing dog tricks, human acrobatics, and humor.
SD: When you auditioned for AGT, did you ever think your act would take the grand prize?
NO: No, we didn’t. Our background has been as circus performers. My dad was 15 years old when he started with the circus and I was 5 years old. We had a few videos on YouTube and an AGT scout saw it and asked us to come and audition. We never really heard of the show and didn’t know how big it was. In the beginning, we were just excited to be there and then we just kept advancing to the next round. Honestly, it didn’t seem real and we never thought we would win.
SD: How many dogs are in the show and where do they come from?
NO: We have 9-10 dogs that perform. We generally try to get our dogs from shelters. There are times when we would go to a breeder for a specific breed. Always rescue!
SD: How do you keep the dogs from not getting distracted by a live crowd?
NO: Eventually, the dogs do get used to it. When we bring in a new dog, the others help by example. They really know how to play off each other. It’s definitely not easy. It does come with a lot of hard work and a lot of repetitive actions.
SD: What is most rewarding about working with dogs?
NO: I love being around them. Dog are so much fun and cute. I love spending time with them and they make the best buddies. Their personalities can be big and awesome.
SD: What is your advice to anyone who wants to teach their dog a trick?
NO: Patience! Patience! Patience! It is very important when it comes to training. Also, consistency is very helpful. Always be loving and positive. Lots of love and kisses help too!