What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series revolves around a dog talent agency and dog owners' efforts to launch their pooches into Hollywood stardom. As a result, the humans' antics bear a striking resemblance to those of the stereotypical "stage parent," and many appear to live vicariously through their dogs' successes (and failures). Parents also need to know that while the show isn't age-inappropriate overall (hence our green "on" rating), a few swear words (usually uttered by owners of rejected pets) are bleeped out.
What's the story?
OFF THE LEASH follows the staff and clientele of Le Paws, a dog talent agency in Los Angeles that's seeking the "It dog" -- the perfect pooch to launch into the Hollywood stratosphere. Le Paws co-owners Michelle Zahn and Stuart Kinsey put together a "dream team" of potential celebrity dogs, which includes Bella, a cute Chihuahua with an extensive wardrobe; Boo, an overweight pug with an expressive personality; Buddy, a singing Bedlington Terrier; Lola, a prissy Pomeranian; Mello, a motorcycle-riding Yorkie; and a pink Maltese named Kisses. While the dogs are charming and clever, their loving-but-quirky owners often steal the spotlight as they pull out all the stops to make sure their beloved pets shine. They soon discover that as cute as their dogs are, competing in the "dog-eat-dog" world of Hollywood requires time, patience, and a lot of money. Adding to the pressure are the high expectations of Le Paws talent manager Addison Witt and sarcastic, no-nonsense trainer Zack Gray.
Is it any good?
Off the Leash is entertaining and family-friendly (despite a few bleeped words) and will probably be a hit among dog enthusiasts. But the show sometimes presents the dogs' owners (who all happen to be women) as living vicariously through the successes and/or failures of their canines' careers -- a twist on the "stage mother" stereotype usually associated with child actors. Still, when it comes to loving their dogs, these ladies are the genuine deal. And as they say, behind every great dog is a great owner.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about their relationship with the animals. Does your pet feel like a member of the family? Does your pet have any special talents? Is there such a thing as loving your pet too much? Families without pets can talk about which critters they'd pick if they could have any pet they wanted -- and why they'd choose them. Families can also discuss the effort it takes to break into the entertainment industry. Do you think it's easier or harder for animals to "make it" than it is for humans?