Update on 5/24/18* Per a statement on Show Dogs Movie Facebook page, they are "Responding to concerns raised by moviegoers and some specific organizations, Global Road Entertainment has decided to remove two scenes from the film SHOW DOGS that some have deemed not appropriate for children. The company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film’s rating. We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of SHOW DOGS sent an inappropriate message. The revised version of the film will be available for viewing nationwide starting this weekend."
A new PG-rated children’s movie, Show Dogs, promises a light-hearted story of talking dogs who fight crime. However, it also sends a disturbing message to children about who is allowed to touch their private parts.
Most people are familiar with dog grooming, but “grooming” means something entirely different in cases of abuse. It is commonly used to refer to the way predators gain the trust of their victims over a period of time. This is the type of grooming parents need to watch for in the story line of Show Dogs.
The Show Dogs main character, Max, is a talking police dog who poses as an undercover dog show contestant in order to rescue a kidnapped panda. The audience learns that during the final part of the dog show, the judges inspect the dogs’ private parts. Max’s partner, Frank, touches him to help Max get used to this feeling. Because this is uncomfortable to Max, his instinct is to snap at Frank.
However, Max is told by the former competition champion that he should go to his “Zen place” while it happens so he can get through it. Frank makes several more attempts to touch Max’s private parts, but Max is visibly uncomfortable and continues to snap at Frank.
When the day of finals arrives, Max knows that if he doesn’t let the judge both inspect and touch his private parts, that he may lose the competition and any hope of finding the kidnapped panda. The movie shows the judge’s hand reach behind Max and he then goes to his “Zen place” where he’s flying through the sky, dancing with his partner.
Although much of the movie is suitable for children and all in good fun, parents should take this scene as an opportunity to discuss boundaries and grooming. Children should be taught that their body is private, and that if anyone (a child, peer or adult) tries to touch them or pressure them to do something uncomfortable, they should tell a trusted adult immediately.
To learn more about setting appropriate boundaries, click here.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers free printable and downloadable fact sheets on child sexual abuse and provides additional information to parents, teachers and caregivers about how they can navigate this topic appropriately.
Tamara Mapp is the Director of Program Development and Implementation at The Center for Family Safety and Healing (TCFSH). She oversees staff members for home visitation, child assessment center, fostering connections and adult services. She also provides administrative support to behavioral health and research at TCFSH. Tamara is also responsible for various grants and programs that support the work of the organization.
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