traveling canines range from several mixed breeds to Standard Poodles, Fox
Terriers, a Great Dane and an Australian Shepherd.
of Hans’ dogs were rescued from pounds and shelters.
father, an acrobat and foot juggler, joined Ringling
Bros.® in 1956. His mother – a Radio City Music Hall Rockette
when she met his father – rode the elephants.
Hans Klose never
expected to fall in love with the circus life. Growing up with parents who were
performers, Hans decided to try something different, so he took an office job
that led him to the same office with the same people, every day. It wasn’t too long before Hans realized that
the circus was his life and returned to performing with his family’s laughable,
lovable canine troupe featured in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®
Presents DRAGONS. “Working in an office was more of an occupation, the
circus is a way of life,” explains Hans.
Hans’ father was
an acrobat and foot juggler and joined Ringling
Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®
in 1956. His mother was a Radio City Music Hall Rockette when she met his
father and later rode the elephants. Over the years, they had three children, Hans
being the youngest.
As time passed, his
parents formed a dog act which was later passed to Hans. Mariya, a former
Russian acrobat and Hans’ wife, joined him in his act and can now be seen
performing handstands and creating hurdles for the dogs to jump over. The two were discovered three years ago by The Greatest Show On Earth® while
presenting their charming canines with another circus.
previously toured with the 139th Edition as well as the Gold Edition
of Ringling Bros. Hans and Mariya
were thrilled when they were asked to present their high-energy canine act for DRAGONS. “We are so excited to be a part
of another great Ringling Bros.
production. It truly is an honor to be working for The Greatest Show On Earth,” explains Hans.
Hans owns 17 dogs
including those that have retired from performing. “I don’t let go of the dogs
that have been with me because they are a part of my family.” All of the dogs
except for the poodles were rescued from pounds and shelters.
“These dogs are
my life. I spend several hours a day with them, grooming, feeding, and taking
care of them. It’s like they were my
“Not every dog
can do every action,” he says. “Some are better at jumping, doing somersaults
or standing on two legs.” The little one, Spiderman, can climb a wall in its
pen. It also jumps off a 16-foot high-dive into its trainer’s waiting arms. “He
will even sit on my shoulder like a parrot.”
For these skills, the dogs are rewarded with hot
dogs. Hans says they know he has hot dogs when they perform. “It’s amazing how
the dogs know that it’s show time from the time of day and the costume that I’m
wearing, sometimes I think they are more excited to perform than I am,” says