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 this show is very family-friendly and focuses on dog breeds and their characteristics. Interviews with professional trainers reveal the temperament, environmental needs, and maintenance and health issues of various dogs. The show is meant to inform families about whether a particular breed might be right for them. The main danger of the show: Kids dying for a dog of their own (or a few more in the house) may use the information to sway parents. It may be wise to set up a no begging rule before viewing.
What's the story?
BREED ALL ABOUT IT showcases all kinds of standard American dog breeds and discusses each one's special characteristics and needs. Each episode features expert advice from those who own the particular breed, including trainers, show dog specialists, and breeders. Viewers find out what it takes to care for popular breeds like Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, and Siberian Huskies. The show covers the rewards and challenges of owning each: Some need more grooming than others, some require lots of walks, and others are known for their smarts or are good watchdogs. Each breed's specifics are summarized at the end of the show in the form of a helpful animated chart.
Is it any good?
While Breed All About It may lack the action of other nature/animal shows, it succeeds in educating potential dog owners on what they should consider before adding a furry new addition to the family. Families who are interested in finding just the right breed can watch together and then discuss whether or not certain breeds would be a good match for them. (If it's the family's first pet, parents can also discuss the responsibilities of pet ownership. Who will feed and walk the new pet? Who will wield the dreaded pooper-scooper?)
Overall, Breed All About It is a family-friendly program that won't surprise viewers with iffy material. The interviews with the breed specialists are informative and engaging, and the dogs are, of course, adorable. Young animal enthusiasts will also enjoy seeing these rambunctious animals ham it up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the many differences in dog breeds. Which type of dog do you think would be most suitable for your own family? What makes that breed the ideal pet? How important is pedigree? Would your family consider a pet from an animal shelter instead of a breeder? What are the advantages and disadvantages of going to a shelter vs. buying from a breeder?