Alpha Dogs

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Alpha Dogs TV Poster Image
Interesting elite dog training reality with strong language.

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Respecting animals is a theme; patriotism and supporting/respecting the military and police aren't specifically discussed, but are also elements here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The VLK staff members appear rough around the edges, but many of them are experienced military veterans, police officers, or have experience working around the world helping with elite security details and K-9 handling assignments.


Dogs are often shown growling, baring teeth, and biting. Training exercises require handlers to allow themselves to be attacked while wearing protective suits. Occasionally bloody dog bites are visible. Animals are trained to search for bombs, attack, etc. Cadaver searches are discussed. Strong arguments sometimes break out between Ken and his son/trainer, KC.


Nothing really sexual, but divorce is discussed. Occasionally someone will be described as "falling in love with a dog."


Language like "hell," "piss," "ass," Goddamn," and "bitch" is audible; curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped.


The series is a promotional vehicle for Vohne Liche Kennels; their logo is prominently visible on hats, t-shirts, and signs. The Harley-Davidson and Polaris Ranger RZR logo is also visible. The band Foghat is featured in one episode.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Dogs are trained to work with drug enforcement teams; occasionally narcotics are visible during training sessions.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Alpha Dogs features dogs being trained to assist in important (and often dangerous) security and military operations. Dogs bare sharp teeth, attack people in protective suits, and on occasion accidentally bite their handler (bloody wounds visible) during training and practice sessions. The language is pretty salty ("hell," "piss," "ass," "Goddamn," "bitch"; stronger words bleeped), too. The series contains messages about patriotism and supporting the military.

User Reviews

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Kid, 11 years old March 11, 2013

Alpha Dogs

it is a shiow about how millitary and k-0 dogs get train

What's the story?

ALPHA DOGS is a reality series featuring the staff of Vohne Liche Kennels as they train working dogs for law enforcement, security teams, and military personnel. Owner Ken Licklider works with an experienced staff, including Director of Law Enforcement Operations Dan Parker, Director of Military Operations Bobby Roettger, and former Air Force Security Specialist Yasmin Gonzalez, to produce hundreds of dogs who will help police officers, government agencies like the Pentagon, and soldiers do their jobs better and more safely. They also work with the dogs' future handlers and teams of soldiers to make sure that they know how to interact with the dogs correctly. It's a tough business, but one that is committed to helping the men and women protecting the country, one canine at a time.

Is it any good?

Alpha Dogs offers an interesting look at the kind of precise and detailed work that goes into producing dogs that are used to help locate cadavers, sniff out things like bombs, drugs, and money, and even rappel down walls during SWAT operations. The show highlights some of the methods used to train the animals, as well as the different organizations that purchase them.

Dog lovers will enjoy watching how the trainers and handlers, who clearly enjoy working with canines, interact with them both professionally and socially. Meanwhile, the dogs featured here are definitely superheroes-in-training. Overall, the series succeeds in showcasing what goes into transforming "man's best friend" into one of the most important contributors to law and security enforcement today.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about animals on TV and in movies. What do you know about animal safety rules and laws when it comes to TV and film? Can you find out how laws have changed over time?

  • What are the messages in this show about the military? Are the explicit or implied?

  • What other workplace reality shows do you watch? Who is the audience for these kinds of shows? How can you tell?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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