A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Anyone interested in the how-to's of dog training -- especially for working dogs -- will get a lot out of this show. Mustering cattle and sheep is a skill that requires years of training for dogs, and these skills and techniques for achieving them are outlined. The stakes are high, as lost or injured cattle mean less income for the stock handlers. Geographical information about Australia and its climate is plentiful. Statistics about women's involvement involved in land management, ecological benefits of dog mustering, and names of Aboriginal tribes on whose land these "stations," or ranches, stand are also emphasized.
Show respect to get the best out of people and dogs. Ask for what you need. Know yourself in order to gain confidence in your abilities. Communication is crucial to success. Boundaries help people and animals feel safe. Set specific goals in order to calibrate your success. Caring for the environment doesn't need to mean compromising quality. Sometimes the old-fashioned methods are the best methods.
Positive Role Models
The integrity and pride with which these adults run their business and care for their land and animals is inspirational. People in this show have good self-awareness about their abilities and their deficits.
Strong women take a center stage in this show comprising 3 out of 5 contestants. They work hard, while showing leadership and decision-making skills. There is one woman of color, but the rest of the contestants are White. The Aboriginal land names and tribes are mentioned alongside the colonial names of territories and places.
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Violence & Scariness
Some peril for dogs includes the risks they take when herding cattle, such as being kicked or trampled. A woman tells about being stuck under a vehicle for seven hours and surviving the experience.
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"Bitches," as referred to female dogs. "S--t," "douche," "bastard," "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Well-known Australian working dog breeders and trainers are featured. Gossip Girl, Justin Bieber, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults are seen drinking beer after work.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Muster Dogs is an Australian reality TV show that tracks five stock masters (or ranchers) who receive a well-bred Kelpie dog to train. Three of the five contestants are women, who either manage huge tracts of land with herds on them, or travel to train herds with their dogs. Educational content is high in this show, as the tips and tricks for training working dogs are methodically explored. Ecological awareness is a theme, as herders who use dogs rely less on motorized vehicles, or helicopters. Language includes "bitches," as referring to actual female dogs, "s--t," "bastard," "douche." Character strengths include communication and perseverance.
Is It Any Good?
Dog lovers will rejoice to see the skill, love, and care the trainers show for their working dogs in this reality show. Putting the reality in reality TV, Muster Dogs follows five adults living in varied geographical areas of Australia, who have one thing in common: their livestock is their livelihood. All of the stock-runners use dogs to muster their herds, but not all have the same degree of skill to train them.
Families who enjoy watching Cesar Millan will have fun watching the dogs in this show being trained to do very complicated tasks. The educational richness of this show can inspire conversations about the nature of work in different parts of the world.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.