World's most famous skateboarding dog rolls into Philly


Tillman, the fearless and funny English Bulldog, first rolled into our lives way back in YouTube's infancy, about six years ago.

He was squat and chunky and rocking out on a skateboard at Venice Beach like nobody's business.

The video went mega-viral - 20 million views at last check. That fame led to a pet food spokesdog's job, which led to a TV show and annual appearances on the Natural Balance float at the Rose Bowl.

Now Tillman, the world's most famous skateboarding canine, cruises into Philly with his latest show, "Who Let the Dogs Out," on the Hallmark Channel.

In its second season, the show is NatGeo meets Food Channel, meets Animal Planet. The cameras follow Tillman, his owner, Rob Davis, and pal Norman, the scooter dog, on their extended roadtrip across America sniffing out the local landmarks. 

In the episode that airs Friday Tillman takes a carriage ride around Independence Hall, sidles up to the counter at Pat's Steaks and boogies with the bad boys at the FDR - one of the nation's premier skate parks - built under I-95.

Tillman's owner Rob Davis said they both loved Philly: "It was my first time there," said Davis, who lives in Oxnard, CA. "It was a history lesson."

Getting a chance to skate the FDR - one of the most renowned "hard core skate parks," said Davis, "was a thrill."

While he was in Philly, Tillman got to romp with some of our native canines in a couple of dog parks they visited. "There are a lot of dogs in Philadelphia," said Davis. 

The trip to Pat's was more of a treat for Davis, who said he "had his share of cheesesteaks and they are the best" during their five-day tour. But Tillman got only a tiny taste. "He's an athlete," said Davis. "Cheesesteaks will be his retirement eating."

So how did Tillman pick up skating? He learned it from his Rottweiler brother early in life, who along with Davis and his son, all rode boards. But no one had the skate jones like Tillman, who is seven now, says Davis.

"He lives to skate, surf or snowboard," said Davis. "He acts like a puppy. I still have to take his board away from him."

Tillman's antics - really prowess - still amaze his human dad. "To see him make 90 degree turns or navigate a path on a golf course," said Davis. "He just has the power to make people of any size smile."

So tune into the Hallmark Channel on Friday at 1 p.m. (or get your DVR or TiVO prepped) to watch Tillman make a splash in Philly.

And join the conversation on Twitter with @NaturalBalance using #TillmanTV for a chance to win prizes during our live viewing party.