Dog the Bounty Hunter TV Poster Image

Dog the Bounty Hunter



Engrossing, gritty reality show has some bite.
Popular with kids

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

Premiere date:August 31, 2004
Cast:Beth Smith, Duane Chapman, Leland Chapman
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 13 year old Written byDisco123 March 7, 2011

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
Adult Written byscienceperson January 31, 2009

old drag queen (what cool?)

I never got what was cool about this old Drag Queen chasing guys around? Obviously, someone with the patholgy of a cross dressor or whatever his thing is, denotes mentality of a street walking trans-sexual; the nature of, so to speak. Nevertheless, I just don't get what is interesting or even cool about an old Drag Queen Bounty Hunter named dog? Of course, dog is most likely the accurate word in the whole show.
Adult Written bythadeus April 9, 2008

Good show, but in very small doses

Week after week, hour after hour, can't A & E (and all the stations for that matter) rotate their shows. Would be nice to look forward to watching one instead of "oh no, not that show again!"


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