Story

Pick of the Litter is a documentary about a litter of puppies who are bred specifically to be trained as guide dogs for the blind. It follows the pups from the moment they’re born, through their intensive training to the moment when they either graduate as guide dogs or are ‘career changed’ to become other types of companion animals or pets.

The documentary shows us how much work goes into training these remarkable dogs and how it takes a dedicated team of both professionals and passionate volunteers to make the program possible. Finally, we’re shown just how important and valuable a guide dog can be in the life of someone who’s visually impaired.

Themes

Guide dogs; disability; vision impairment; dog training and behaviour; animal breeding

Violence

There’s no violence in Pick of the Litter.

Sexual references

Pick of the Litter has some sexual references, including conversations about dog breeding and dog anatomy. These conversations might raise questions about animal reproduction for younger children.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Pick of the Litter has one example of mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Pick of the Litter is a heart-warming and gentle documentary that should appeal to most ages. Although it has very little to scare or disturb children, this movie might not engage all younger viewers and you might need to explain what’s happening. You should also be aware that there’s one example of coarse language in this movie.

The main messages from this movie are that guide dogs make a significant difference to the lives of people with vision impairment and that it takes a lot of time and effort to train them.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • being kind and compassionate towards animals
  • giving up something you love so that someone else can benefit
  • volunteering your time towards a good cause
  • developing strong relationships between humans and dogs.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the following:

  • Although it’s sad when a puppy can’t become a guide dog, it might just mean that the dog’s temperament is better suited to another type of ‘career’. Could this be the same with humans?
  • It’s very difficult to say goodbye to animals that you love. Are there positive ways to see this experience?