The Dog House

Photograph: Channel 4
Rating 7.3
Streamer All4
Seasons 2
Episodes 16 x 45 mins

No, this programme isn’t about a husband disgruntled by his wife’s refusal to forgive him three days after he loaded the dishwasher incorrectly. It’s about something even better than that: the joy of dogs.

There have been few phrases that have come out of the last year: hands face space, ‘the rona’, covidiot, and our personal favourite, pandemic puppies. And that last one is what Dog House is all about.

We must admit, we’ve been diving headfirst into the pool of winter drama recently, but even for us, there’s only so many drugs that can be trafficked, and affairs that can be had. So we’re ready for a TV palette cleanser, something easy with the soothing energy of The Repair Shop, and the furry friends of All Creatures Great and Small.

This series is exactly that: each week the rescue dogs from Wood Green animal shelter are introduced to potential new families, who are looking for a four-legged pal to bring home. We hear the stories of those looking to adopt, and the tragic circumstances of those who had to give their dogs away. And let us tell you, some of these tales are more heart-breaking than an episode of This is Us.

But there’s also elements of First Dates thrown in – on arrival, each family is assessed for their wants and needs in an interrogative interview. You ok with a yapper? How much spare time do you have? Do you plan on keeping your furniture intact? Is your lint roller collection built to handle continuous shedding?

Then there’s the best moment. These prospective dog owners sit, nervously waiting in anticipation as they’re matched with their (hopefully) dream dog. Honestly, we’re more invested in these perfect pooch matches than any couple on a dating show we’ve seen.

Read our review for All Creatures Great and Small here

In The Guardian Rebecca Nicholson says “This was a charming series when it first appeared a couple of years ago, and it has only grown more lovely.” And that’s got to be a compliment, because her season one review was awash with loveliness: “In The Dog House, people give homes to dogs who need one, but the dogs bring health, love, support, comfort and often, simply a reason to get up in the morning. That seems like a fair exchange.”

The Telegraph’s Michael Hogan also enjoyed the show, which he calls “the most heartwarming show on TV,” whilst the Daily Mail’s Christopher Stevens gives it four stars, saying it “cannot fail to lift the mood.

First shown September 2019.

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