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Parents' Guide to

Show Dogs

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Talking-animal buddy comedy dogged by controversy.

Movie PG 2018 92 minutes
Show Dogs Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 70 parent reviews

age 10+


I thought it was odd there were so many reviews that were 1 star and said basically the same thing. Then I noticed they are all within a couple days of each other — 54 reviews all basically on May 21, 2018. Clearly a group of trolls. The fuss made is just a huge overreaction to a brief humorous moment in the film. That scene HAS BEEN CUT from the movie, so now there should be no objection to this film. Is this the best movie in the world? No. Is it a decent movie that kids will enjoy? Definitely.
age 2+

Enjoyable family movie

My daughters are 5 and 9, and they really enjoyed this movie! Lots of laughs, adventures, and a happy ending. I was hesitant to watch this movie due to the reviews on this site, however the movie didn’t contain the inappropriate scene referred to, not sure if it’s only the Netflix version where it was edited out.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (70 ):
Kids say (23 ):

It's quite possible that young kids may find this human-animal buddy comedy entertaining, but parents will have a hard time seeing past the fact that it's unnecessary and unfunny. There are too many pop culture jokes about Turner & Hooch, The Lego Movie, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and so on that will go over kids' heads and won't earn genuine laughs from adults. A few of the sight gags and jokes land, but most are just as likely to result in a cringe or an eye roll. Both the human and canine romances are bland, with no real viewer investment in either (although individually the female characters are more capable and likable than the males). And, of course, there's the biggest issue of all: the scenes in which Max is prepped for the dog show judges by having his genitals handled, which he doesn't like and which he's advised to get through by going to his "happy place." This controversial sequence struck some viewers as being uncomfortably close to the process of grooming kids for sexual abuse and led to the studio making some changes to the film: The groping and "happy place" line remained in the updated theatrical edit, but more were scheduled to be removed for the home-viewing version of the film, per the distributor.

Very few live-action talking-animal movies deserve to stand the test of time (The Adventures of Milo and Otis, Homeward Bound, Stuart Little, the pug in Men in Black are some of the only ones), and this one is no exception. But if parents can't contain their kids' enthusiasm for Show Dogs, chalk it up to the abiding appeal of movies featuring man's best friend.

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