A new show by CBS takes on a topic we’d like to see more of in network TV: shelter dogs. In Lucky Dog, airing Saturday mornings and premiering this weekend, animal trainer and behaviorist Brandon McMillan, the host, visits his local shelter to rescue “hard-to-love, out-of control, untrained, and unadoptable dogs.” Then he takes the dog back to his ranch for training before finding each one a home.
This doesn’t seem to be shoddy operation. According to his bio, McMillan trained as many as 10,000 dogs for television, movies, commercials, videos, and people before he started visiting shelters to rescue dogs, train them, and find homes for them.
“Over 1.5 million dogs are euthanized every year in America because they can’t find homes. I’m just doing my part,” he says on the show’s website.
For the show, he spends each week at a shelter, evaluating dogs before picking one for the episode. Ultimately, he’ll save 22 dogs in 22 weeks during the run of the show.
“I can only take one out. That means I have to walk by 99 I can’t take. All 100 are very trainable, very place-able, and just as smart as the next dog. Often the one I choose just comes down to one I make a connection with,” McMillan told the AP.
After he takes the dogs back to the ranch, he trains them in seven common commands: sit, stay, down, come, off, heel, and no.
“Less is more when it comes to dog training,” he says.
Then he turns his attention to finding the dog a home, interviewing families and visiting their homes and yards. The show ends with the dog and family meeting.
The show is aimed at teens 13 to 16 years old, and the dogs are going to families with young children. Because of that, McMillan won’t be saving abused dogs, though he says that’s a passion of his off-camera.
”The viewers that watch this show are not going to want to see a dog that’s been in a fight. This is a family show,” he says.
McMillan was born into a family of animal entertainers, and he says he’s been training animals since he was a baby. The show says he’s “well known for rescuing dogs on death row, then turning them into well-trained pets, service animals, and sometimes even movie stars.”
“My school was the school of hard knocks,” he says. “All my educational background is from 100 percent experience in the field — no books, no classrooms.”
Are you going to watch the show? Let us know in the comments.