Dog the Bounty Hunter

Engrossing, gritty reality show has some bite.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Enforces the importance of following laws, since the consequences of breaking them won't be pretty. The Chapmans have strong family relationships. Dog is a colorful character who says what he thinks and isn't always PC. The behavior exhibited by suspects is hardly role-model worthy.


Chapman sometimes threatens to use force on suspects, and he'll hold down a suspect while he handcuffs him.

Not applicable

Fairly mild: "Goddamn," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some of the areas Dog visits are clearly drug-infested -- and many of the people he apprehends are users -- but no use is shown.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the star of this reality show is a former convict who now spends his time hunting down fugitives from the law. This means that his work takes him to some seedy spots (including drug-infested neighborhoods) and gives viewers a good look at some hardened, careless criminals. He sometimes threatens to use force, but actual conflicts are rare, and violence isn't a big issue.

What's the story?

In DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, Duane \"Dog\" Chapman and his family risk their lives to capture suspects who've gone on the lam. Chapman is an ex-con himself; after spending time in a Texas prison, he vowed to redeem himself by working with the law to catch fugitives. Joining him are his wife, Beth; son, Leland; \"blood brother,\" Tim; and nephew, Justin. The gang travels to rough communities, dank hotels, and even drug-infested neighborhoods in search of their prey.

Is it any good?


Often, the Chapmans find that the person they've been searching for has already been apprehended by the police -- which means they don't get their $5000 bounty. Other times, Chapman, whose weathered exterior and all-black ensembles belie his sensitive side, takes pity on the fugitives he's seeking and agrees to let them go if they turn themselves in the next day.

What's great about Dog the Bounty Hunter is that it allows viewers to see a side of the law that's not often portrayed. When Chapman apprehends a suspect, he's a tough talker, but -- being a former criminal himself -- he's able to speak frankly to those on the lam and help them see the error of their ways. Though the subject matter is gritty, it isn't too violent, and parents don't have to worry about letting their tweens watch.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the consequences of breaking the law. What happens when someone is arrested? How do the courts work? Is prison the best option for punishing criminals? Do you think going to prison can help some people turn their lives around?

TV details

Cast:Beth Smith, Duane Chapman, Leland Chapman
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Dog the Bounty Hunter was written by

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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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Written byAnonymous July 18, 2011
age 10+

Just awesome

Dog is just amazing he doesn't use any scripts or nothing the Camara men just follow his family around. You hatred are just jealous that your not that awesome. Yes beth where's tops with lots of cleavage showing but other than that the swearing it bleeped out and they are catching real people these guys could be your neighbor. Dog doesn't only help him self he helps other people catch there fugitives. The family is very close as they all work together
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 13 year old Written byDisco123 March 7, 2011
age 11+

Bigots at their Bes

I hate the show. Dog calls people Niggers and his wife refers to lesbians as wacked dykes
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bytyiaguillory85 November 28, 2014
age 14+

too much disrespect

I watch this show almost everyday, I like the work the family is doing, but the only thing that gets to me is how disrespectful the couple is! Beth and dog needs to know that, it's the work that's going to make what your doing successful and not the disrespect that they use against human beings! Remember you weren't always in a good place so never look down on others! Also it takes respect to get respect!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old June 8, 2012
age 15+

An okay show but not for kids

I think its a great show, but it has a ton of cussing and about a bad word every sentence. They bleep most of them out but not all of them. It can get violent and they do show drugs and syringes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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