Is Your Dog This Bad? (Probably Not.)
Last week I read a New York Times review of a new Animal Planet series called Bad Dog! The pilot aired last year and was a hit, so it looks like we're going to have a season full of particularly mischievous dogs. Here's an amusing synopsis of the show from the review:
The show presents assorted dogs that are expanding the boundaries of bad canine behavior, then does nothing to correct the beasts. Instead, it seems to revel in their wickedness. Its as if your toddler slugged Granny when she wouldnt give him a cookie, and rather than discipline him, you posted a video of it on YouTube.
Bad Dog! features segments where a dog's behavior is so over the top that it makes just about any viewer's dog like positively angelic. And therein lies part of the show's appeal. We've all had dogs who at some point have been less than perfect. (I shall mention no names, Jake, who just yesterday absconded with half an apple pie I'd left on the stove.) This show makes you feel pretty good about your own dog, warts and all.
For instance, Jake-who-shall-not-be-named has never beeped the car horn ad nauseam to get my attention, or destroyed the house to the extent these dogs have, or pulled an escape stunt like one crazy dog did. So he got half a pie yesterday. So what? He wears a halo compared to the dogs in these segments.
There are some negatives.
1) I'd prefer a less grating, in-your-face voice than the "narrator" has.
2) A segment on Saturday featured a dog with a severe and dangerous condition that makes her walk or run in her sleep. She's not bad. She just needs some expert help, and soon.
3) I don't mind not seeing a Dog Whisperer-type stepping in to correct the problems and educate owners on how to erase bad behaviors; there are plenty of shows like that. But I can see some of my blog's readers not being too happy about using bad behavior for its own sake as the premise of a TV show. It feels a little voyeuristic when there is no solution offered.
Bad Dog! airs on Animal Planet, Saturday nights at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time. Below are three of the segments from Saturday's show. Dogsters, how does your dog's worst behavior compare to some of these guys?