17th Mar2021

‘Canine Intervention’ Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

Nothing used to fill me with excitement more than going for a walk and seeing all the cute dogs that were also out and about. This has become less common due to the current global situation…

Now if you saw the cover photo for the new Netflix original series Canine Intervention you would be led to believe that this is another dog based show whose main intention is to just create the “awwww” factor from the audiences. However, you would be wrong to think that! Despite the cute and friendly dog image used on the artwork, this is a show that focuses more on the behavioural issues of man’s best friend and how we can go about resolving them.

Canine Intervention follows the life of Jas Leverette who is the founder of Cali K9s and if you have read any of my reviews before you will know that I appreciate any show that promotes a local/small business as this can only benefit the company! Cali K9s is a company that, among other things, goes to train dogs that would usually be abandoned due to bad behaviour. This is a sharp contrast to the normal ‘Awwww factor’ which shows that involve dogs try to bring. Jas is a cool and collected person who brings a very different perspective on dog training and that helps make this show unique in the thousands of other dog-related shows out there! He takes these naughty dogs and whips them into shape and his control over the animals is incredible to see.

What was most surprising about Canine Intervention was how Jas weaves into each episode his personal experiences (he has gone through a very rough upbringing) with the most surprising being his discussion of faith. Jas is a practising Muslim, and the show features a scene in which we see him praying as he discusses how his faithfulness to God is the same “faithfulness” to their owners that he tries to instil into the animals he works with. Not only does he talk about religion openly but also talks about how he uses these teaching to influence his training style which I enjoyed.

Any show that stops the ridiculous amounts of dogs who are abandoned or put to death due to behaviour (usually as a result of the owners not giving them the effort they deserve) can only have a positive effect. Most of the episodes in Canine Intervention follow the same structure, with the episodes beginning with cute stories and pictures of the dogs. It is clear that all the owners love their dogs but throughout the episode, we learn about the behavioural issues these dogs have and Jas solves them! One of the show’s main purposes is to educate the viewers on practical ways that people can improve their dog’s behaviour with one skill, in particular, being the use of a box. A box is an object that dogs are required to stand, sit and lie on which helps to provide structure and encourages owners to give clear instructions. This box appears in most episodes and I would be very surprised if you can not buy Cali K9 branded boxes online!

The first episode in Canine Intervention focuses on Lady Macbeth, who seems to be a very jealous and at times aggressive dog with a very strong connection to its owner. Jas had to take this dog away from its owner, which led to a very interesting discussion around how they simulate real-world interaction and what effects this could have on the dog’s behaviour. Episode 2, however, was a lot more based on the dogs home and so had much more practical and accessible hints and tips for owners, which would be incredibly helpful for pet owners. I found the episode that focused on the importance of defense dogs was one of the best episodes in the series. Throughout this episode, Jas talked about the benefits of giving pet instructions in a foreign language to stop strangers from being able to control the dog in dangerous situations. They also talked about how the training of these aggressive dogs with bite suits. This was interesting to see on television where the importance of feigning paining can be beneficial for the dogs. Despite finding this very interesting, this was a very intense episode that does contain a lot of implied violence throughout. The final episode  of Canine Intervention focused on rescue kennels for dogs – which are particularly important right now. During the first lockdown, people flocked to rescue homes to adopt a pet and then once everything began to go back to normal they quickly realised that they could not offer the dogs the time and effort they require so the pets were abandoned. This episode showcases the treatment of these adopted dogs and how detrimental leaving them can be.

Overall, Canine Intervention was a very educational show that explores a more intense and serious side to dog behaviour management. Jas was a very charismatic host while also providing helpful and beneficial hints and tips that will help the thousands of dog owners who watch the show.

***½  3.5/5

Canine Intervention is available on Netflix now.

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