Alpha Dogs

Common Sense Media says

Interesting elite dog training reality with strong language.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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.

Violence

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.

Sex

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

Language

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

Consumerism

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.

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.

Parents say

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Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Cast:Dan Parker, Ken Licklider, Yasmin Gonzalez
Network:National Geographic Channel
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Alpha Dogs 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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Quality

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; OK 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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Kid, 11 years old March 11, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Alpha Dogs

it is a shiow about how millitary and k-0 dogs get train
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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