A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that they shouldn't hesitate to share this fun reality series with their kids. Each puppy star is cute as can be, and viewers of all ages will have fun watching the animals strut their stuff for the judges. Although the series centers on a competition, participants don't show animosity toward one another or the judges. Their parting remarks focus on the fun they had being part of the contest, and they only make joking references to being disappointed in the final decisions. Just be ready to explain to your kids why you can't go out and get your own puppy when the show is over.
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What's the story?
Just when you thought reality TV had gone to the dogs, AMERICA'S CUTEST PUPPIES -- which follows a nationwide search for the country's most adorable baby canine -- is here to save the day. Hosted by Allen Haff, each episode takes place in a different U.S. city, where dogs of all shapes, sizes, breeds -- and degrees of muttness -- turn out to vie for the coveted regional cuteness title. After a brief round of first impressions, a panel of three local judges (who range from a search dog expert to an NFL cheerleader to a pet photographer) whittles the group down to the top 10, who return to show off their playful sides. From there, the judges pick their favorite handful (or pawful plus one, if that's how you count) to get up close and personal, and the pups have a final chance to kiss up (literally) to the folks who will decide their fate. Each winner receives a basketful of doggie goodies and the chance to compete for the national title against the stars from the other nine cities (the finale will include a couture fashion show and a professional photo shoot).
Is it any good?
From towering mastiffs to tiny toy fox terriers, feisty mixed breeds to a two-legged Chihuahua with a determined spirit, every pet lover will find a canine to root for in this contest. Dog aficionados everywhere will delight in this fun-filled reality series and its adorable stars. So curl up with your kids -- and the family pets -- and tune in for the playful antics of some of the cutest puppies you'll ever see.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about competition. When is competition a good thing, and when is it bad? Do you feel sorry for any of the puppies (or their humans) who don't win? Families can also discuss pet care and animal behavior, specifically when it comes to dogs. How much work does it take to make sure your pets stay healthy and happy? How do you know when they're unhappy? How can you tell whether a dog is friendly? Why might it be dangerous to approach an unfamiliar animal? What are a dog's instincts if it feels threatened?