K-9 to 5

TV review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
K-9 to 5 TV Poster Image
Working dogs in some scary jobs; OK for most kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Dogs are best friend to all when given proper caring and lots of love.

Violence & Scariness

Some dogs work in law enforcement or search and rescue, so there's some discussion of criminals and people who get lost.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this program showcases pooches in the workplace, including seeing-eye dogs, university mascots, and visitors to therapeutic settings. But it's not all fluff: They also perform jobs that may frighten younger kids, such as bomb sniffing, search and rescue, and SWAT duty. Young viewers may have questions about safety issues after watching, but overall it's a touching, sometimes-funny take on the unconditional love, intelligence, and loyalty of man, woman, and child's best friend.

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What's the story?

K-9 TO 5 gives viewers a glimpse at some pretty dedicated employees -- employees who happen to have four furry legs, wet noses, and the ability to bark on command. Take Handsome Dan XVI, the bulldog who serves as the mascot of prestigious Yale University, who appears at games, art openings, and parties, and sits for pictures, shakes hands, and lets kids (and adults) pet his head. Just like Handsome Dan, many of the workaholic dogs on K-9 to 5 are presented against a backdrop of peppy music and footage of them in action on the job. But other stories are more touching, such as that of the German shepherd who meets kids at an inner-city child development center. And then there are the incredible stories of the dogs that help out in law enforcement and search and rescue.

Is it any good?

The language and footage of K-9 to 5 are appropriate for all ages. It's the descriptions and context of the pooches' jobs that parents need to be aware of for the youngest viewers -- pre-screening to check for potentially scary occupations isn't a bad idea.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the responsibilities and costs that come along with owning a dog. If kids are asking for a pooch, discuss who will feed, walk, play with, bathe, and train it. Families can also discuss the characteristics of certain breeds and the benefits of a mixed-breed dog. Plus, you can talk about the immense amount of training undertaken by the dogs featured in the show -- and their owners' time commitment. For kids interested in learning more about canine training, look for local shelters or classes to observe.

TV details

  • Premiere date: October 16, 1999
  • Network: Animal Planet
  • Genre: Educational
  • TV rating: TV-G
  • Last updated: September 19, 2019

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