Pit Boss

 
(i)

 

So-so reality show blends entertainment and dog rescue.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Rossi asserts that pit bulls have bad reputations and aren't dangerous; he's an advocate for the breed. The series promotes getting dogs neutered/spayed and eliminating breeding practices.

Positive role models

Shorty and his cohorts have good intentions when it comes to saving the pit bulls, but sometimes they resort to trespassing, breaking, and entering, and stealing in order to rescue them. Shorty also takes potentially dangerous chances when approaching and handling stray dog -- which kids may need to be reminded not to emulate.

Violence

Shorty briefly discusses his conviction for attempted murder and subsequent time in prison. Euthanizing dogs is also discussed. People are shown pushing, shoving, and wrestling with each other, but many of these confrontations seem staged.

Sex

Occasional sexual innuendo. Some cast members are seen pole dancing with women in tight outfits.

Language

Words like “piss,” “hell,” and “ass” are audible. Curses like “s--t” and “f--k” are bleeped.

Consumerism

The series is a promotional vehicle for Shortywood Productions, Shorty’s Rescue, and various pit bull rescue organizations.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigar smoking and beer drinking are visible.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series promotes the rescuing and adoption of pit bulls. Star/dedicated rescuer Shorty Rossi is passionate about the dogs but sometimes resorts to violence and/or illegal tactics to save them. There are some conversations about criminal behavior, and cast members sometimes argue, yell, and fight (although some of these conflicts appear staged). Expect plenty of strong vocab (words like “piss,” “hell,” and “ass" are audible, while stronger choices are bleeped) and occasional scenes of things like suggestive dancing, cigar smoking, and beer drinking. Rossi takes many risks when approaching stray pit bulls; remind kids never to attempt similar tactics when coming into contact with unfamiliar, potentially aggressive animals.

What's the story?

PIT BOSS follows the efforts of Shorty’s Rescue, a dog rescue effort run by actor Shorty Rossi. Rossi, who is also the owner of a talent agency for little people called Shortywood Productions, combines his streetwise smarts and connections in the entertainment industry to rescue abandoned pit bulls and help find them good homes. With the help of his team -- which includes receptionist Ashley Brooks, booking assistant Ronald Lee Clark, and entertainment coordinator Sebastian Saraceno -- he divides his time between managing actors' Hollywood careers, rescuing strays, going on patrol with Animal Control officers, and raising awareness about the plight of pit bulls.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Pit Boss ultimately offers a fairly convoluted blend of information about the little people community, the world of entertainment management, and pit bull rescue. Rossi consistently parallels his life with the dogs', claiming that they -- like him -- are members of a community that is stereotyped and misunderstood. But while he seeks to highlight and empower his community, his employees (all of whom are also little people) often come off as comical or silly when they're thrown into dog rescue missions thanks to their lack of knowledge and/or passion about the animals.

Rossi's heart is in the right place, but his tendency to resort to shouting matches and staged-feeling physical fights over dogs doesn’t send the best messages. And some of his rescue tactics -- like breaking locks to enter people’s private property -- aren’t very ethical, either. In the end, while the show means well, some of the antics featured here just aren’t very constructive.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how pit bulls are typically seen by the public. Do you think the breed's reputation has a connection to the way the media has chosen to portray the dogs?

  • Should you ever approach a stray animal? What if the animal looks aggressive? When should animal control be called? Where is your community’s local animal shelter?

  • Do you think any stereotypes about the little people community are perpetuated by the media? Do some shows counter these stereotypes?

TV details

This review of Pit Boss was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byHotaru Chan March 15, 2011
 

Meh...

I will admit, I've never watched a full episode, but when I do watch some of it, I never see Pit bulls, or at least where they're the main focus. I think it focuses a little too much on the drama, instead of the dogs, like it should. I miss the old Animal Planet...
Teen, 17 years old Written byRissa_Karma March 14, 2010
 

Great Show!! Everyone Should Watch It!

Hello, I'm Karissa! I love ths show. It's really cool. I Have a pitbull named Karma. She is pure white and a total love bug! Even though before I got her the people who had her gave her no love. It was sad. She was skinny and still a puppy! It made me really upset so I took her in! I love the possitive messages that you give out on pitbulls! You open a lot of other people's eyes to show them that NOT all pitbulls are mean, and it depends on how you raise them (:
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byRubystars February 24, 2010
 

I enjoy watching it

The main thing I didn't agree with was portraying the lesbian relationship as normal and acceptable. I felt sad for Ashley's mom who was trying to keep a good relationship with her daughter but really didn't feel comfortable with her daughter's lesbian relationship. The rest of the series is pretty cool though. I don't know if I 100% agree that pit bulls aren't dangerous (some are deliberately bred to be more aggressive by bad people), but I do think that Shorty's work at rescuing adoptable dogs is really wonderful. I enjoy watching shows with little people because I find it interesting to know more about them and what their lives are like day-to-day. Anybody could have a little person child so it's good information. I think Shorty does break a lot of stereotypes associated with little people.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages

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