Underdog to Wonderdog

Common Sense Media says

Heartwarming shelter tales will inspire families.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series celebrates the emotional bond between animals and people and is a testament to the work of all those dedicated to the promotion of animal welfare.

Violence & scariness

In some scenes, animal experts detail the dogs' physical and emotional ailments, and veterinarians occasionally are shown giving injections. When an animal has been in an accident or is the victim of neglect, experts detail the dog's injuries and ailments and explain how they'll affect its future.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

The dogs' adoptive families receive gifts like a one-year supply of Purina One dog food, and commercial sponsors are mentioned in this context.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's no real reason to be concerned about sharing this emotional-but-heartwarming series with kids; viewers of all ages will be inspired by the stories of animals who beat the odds to thrive in loving environments. Very young kids may be upset or confused about stories of dogs getting hit by cars or being neglected by owners, so be ready to reassure them if questions arise. And don't forget to keep the tissues handy, as these touching tales are sure to tug at your heartstrings.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

In UNDERDOG TO WONDERDOG, a team of experts rallies around abandoned and neglected dogs to rehabilitate them and find them loving new families. Each episode centers on a different shelter pup in need of lots of TLC, with viewers learning about each animal's history and special needs while the team works with the dogs to train, pamper, and prepare them for a new home. The series also devotes time to the potential adopters, sharing their reasons for seeking out a new pet and explaining how they expect their dog will change their life.

Is it any good?


If your life has ever been enriched by the presence of an animal friend, you're sure to enjoy these touching tales. It's hard to not be affected by the emotional stories of rescue and recovery, and you'll be inspired to see how the experts' patience and dedication is rewarded when the shelter dogs are transformed into healthy, happy, affectionate pets.

The absence of any iffy content (besides strong emotion) makes this a fine choice for whole-family viewing, though you may have to reassure very young or sensitive kids during segments that talk about the dogs' sad histories of neglect, illness, or accidents. That aside, just be prepared to field your kids' requests for a new furry friend of their own after they watch these heartwarming stories.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the joys and responsibilities of caring for a pet. How can having a pet enrich your life? How would you define the bond between people and their pets? What's your favorite type of pet? Does your family have pets? What daily tasks are required to keep it/them healthy and happy? What happens if they're not cared for? In your family, whose job is it to take care of your pet? Families can also discuss pet adoption. If you were to get a pet, what would you get? Would you consider adopting a homeless animal? What special needs might an adopted pet have? How would you work to ensure that those needs were met?

TV details

Cast:Ali McLellan, Andrea Arden, Ryan Smith
Network:Animal Planet
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Underdog to Wonderdog was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 14 year old Written byLove Dogs January 17, 2009

Great Show

This is a great show for adults and kids.


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