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Something different on Saturday morning


As part of its continuing effort to make Saturday morning television less cartoony and more educational, CBS is premiering a show whose host rescues a dog every week.

We applaud (almost) everything about that idea.

In the show, called “Lucky Dog,” dog trainer Brandon McMillan will rescue, train and find homes for 22 dogs in 22 weeks.

McMillan, who is said to have trained as many as 10,000 dogs — some for television and movie roles — will choose a dog each week from a shelter, bring him home, train him and find him a good home, according to the Associated Press.

The show, produced by Litton Entertainment, airs Saturday mornings (check your local listings) and is targeted to teens 13 to 16 years old.

According to McMillan, he will not pick any dogs for the show who have abuse in their past — something he says he can detect in his first 30 seconds with a dog.

While he works with those dogs on his own time, he says they won’t appear on “Lucky Dog” because “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.”

We — though liking the basis for the show — think that kind of thinking is wrong, and a cop-out, and a missed opportunity for educating an age group that needs to be educated about animal abuse, at least by 13, if not sooner.

“Lucky Dog” is one of four new shows replacing  Saturday morning cartoons at CBS, at least in part to fulfill the network’s requirement for educational television.

And it sounds as if — much like the cereal ads it will appear amid — it will be heavily sugar-coated.

But at least it’s educational.

McMillan, 36 , said he will likely choose dogs he “makes a connection with,” then train them so they are proficient in seven common commands — sit, stay, down, come, off, heel and no.

McMillan will choose the family each dog will go to by evaluating emails he receives at his Southern California ranch — the Lucky Dog Ranch — and checking out the house and yard where the new dog will live. He’ll also spend a couple of hours training the family.


Comment from Tina
Time October 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Interesting… I may have to add this to my DVR.

I’d guess the real reason he won’t use abused dogs for the show, is that they can take a LOT longer than one week to rehabilitate and make ready for a family…

Comment from Pat DeWald
Time October 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

Unfortunate that they are missing the opportunity to teach the young that rehabilitated dogs can make great family members. It’s like saying the victims of abuse are worthless and not deserving of a good life. I’m guessing that the star of the show isn’t a good enough trainer to even approach rehabilitation. Perhaps they should re-cast.

Comment from Ginger Smith
Time January 3, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Was so dissapointed you don’t have a book out on dog training, obedience, and behavior. I am getting a new puppy in March and love to watch your show every Sat. Our family owns a dog grooming Salon. Hope you will have a book out soon.

Comment from Yvonne Alexander
Time May 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Lucky dog ranch is my very favorite show. I love the way Brandon is so very patient with the dogs. Does he own those dogs that are always there? I watch every Sat.

Comment from Cheryl H. Minotti
Time November 21, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Love, love, love Saturday mornings “Lucky Dog” with Brandon McMillan. Always great lessons for young and old canines and humans! Please advise as to the name and brand of the dog treats Brandon uses as rewards in training. Thank you!