Finding shows to watch with the kids can be a huge challenge. We just don’t have a ton of shared interests. My kids are into fairies, Lego, and fart jokes. My interests lean toward politics, gardening, and…well, fart jokes, actually. There is one other thing we all agree on: We love dogs!
Lucky for us, there are plenty of kid-appropriate, canine-focused TV shows. I sat down and watched a few shows with my kids, and I have some thoughts to share. Here are, from worst to best, six kids shows for dog people, young and old.
6. Dog with a Blog
No one ever believes me when I tell them about this show, and I need more people to know that this is real, and not something I manufactured in a fever dream.
Someone (Philip Stark, best known for writing Dude Where’s My Car?) pitched a show about a talking dog that writes a blog to a Disney executive, and that exec, instead of saying, “Security, please get this man out of my office,” actually went ahead and spent American dollars to produce this bizarre show for THREE SEASONS.
My children, who had never before asked for less TV time, begged me to turn it off. It’s actually worse than what you’d imagine.
5. Paw Patrol
Paw Patrol is a very popular show about dogs that are civil servants. I’m gonna keep it 100 with you here: this show isn’t really for grown-ups. The CGI visuals are offensive to my Old Millennial eye, and the voice acting is grating. But the kids LOVE IT, and there are more of them than there are of me.
“I like it because there are so many animals,” the 5 year-old told me.
I can’t argue with that.
I remember stumbling on this show as a kid and being too confused to watch more than 5 minutes, which is pretty much what happened this time, as well.
From what I could glean, it’s about a well-read dog who daydreams he’s the protagonist of a classic novel, the plot of which parallels the current challenges faced by his human family. I guess it’s educational?
I am simply incapable of suspending my disbelief hard enough for this show to work for me. My kids were into it, but they could not explain to me who taught that dog to read, or to what purpose.
3. Clifford the Big Red Dog
As good-natured and sweet as the book series it’s based on, Clifford went over well with the whole family.
Clifford and his friends are caring and oriented toward problem-solving, which I appreciate in a kids’ show. My kids like the gentle humor and mild predicaments. It’s a soothing show, with enough drama and humor to keep a kid engaged.
2. Dogs 101
Dogs 101 is dope, and I would watch it even without kids. These online shorts devote a few minutes each to a different dog breed or issue.
Super informative, interesting, and fun!
1. Adventure Time
Of all the shows we watched, this is my favorite. ‘Adventure Time’ presents itself as the simple tale of a hero boy named Finn and his adopted brother/best friend, Jake the Dog. They live in a post-Apocalyptic land where wizards and anthropomorphized candy reign.
My kids love it because it’s colorful, fun, and silly. I love it because it’s actually pretty deep, tackling subjects like the creative process and complicated family dynamics. One of those rare shows that the whole family enjoys equally. Plus, the music is great, and the kids and I sing songs from the show to one another all the time.
We had a great time checking out these dog shows, although I’m pretty sure the kids think watching TV is my job now. As with most cultural products, there’s a ton of variance in quality and tone, but there are definitely some gems to be found.
Let us know which dog shows your family likes to watch!