the big bad Dog,
the bounty hunter!"
Dog the Bounty Hunter is a Reality Show on A&E that follows bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman and his wife Beth, sons Leland & Duane Lee, and daughter Lyssa as they pursue bail jumpers across Hawaiʻi and Colorado. The show has run since 2004, and has propelled the Chapmans to celebrity status. The show was cancelled in May 2012, but a new series, tentatively titled simply "DOG", was picked up by CMT for 2013.
The new show, Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, followed a new format in which Dog and Beth try to turn around failing bail bond agencies, in a style similar to shows like Kitchen Nightmares. The show ran for three seasons between 2013 and 2015.
This show provides examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Beth's reaction to the South Park parody of her where she is basically a walking pair of giant boobs. She even joked that they should be a bit bigger.
- American Accents: Some of the locals' Hawaiian accents are so thick that they require subtitles.
- Angry Guard Dog: One episode had a fugitive's family owning a pitbull that was particularly aggressive; the team had to mace it because they thought it was about to attack them. The dog was chained to a truck tire and was dragging it along.
- Berserk Button: Do not insult or try to harm a member of Dog's family when he's around.
- Big Fancy House: Dog has at least one of these.
- Bounty Hunter: Or "bail bondsmen", as the team prefer to call themselves.
- Bragging Theme Tune: See for yourself.
- Buxom Is Better: Beth is very well-endowed. Doesn't hinder her effectiveness in the field, though.
- Catchphrase: "Aloha" and calling people "bra" (surfer slang for "brother"). Justified in that they're in Hawaii and those phrases are commonplace there.
- Chase Scene: One episode had a high-speed chase with a fugitive, resulting in the suspect crashing into a ditch and escaping on foot.
- Cluster F-Bomb: At least once per episode, the bleeps will start coming hot and heavy when the team gets into a heated argument with each other, a fugitive, and/or a fugitive's friends/family.
- Cool Shades: Dog is very rarely seen without these on when out in the field. The rest of the team will don these on occasion as well.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The team often wear black body armor and tactical gear in the field, yet are incredibly compassionate to the fugitives once they have them in custody, even offering them drinks, cigarettes, (they even stopped by McDonald's en-route to the jail for one fugitive) as well as help in getting their problems straightened out once the fugitives' legal troubles are resolved. Though in rare cases, if the criminal is horrible enough, such as one case the fugitive was a murderer as well as a drug dealer, Dog didn't give him a "turn around speech" and instead passively aggressively told him he was shit and left it at that.
- Determinator: Dog and the team are relentless in their pursuit of fugitives, and don't stop chasing them until the fugitives are caught by them, other bounty hunters, or the cops. Backfired big-time when they went into Mexico to arrest a fugitive, since bounty hunting is illegal there.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Beth has accused Dog of this a few times, mainly when he treats female fugitives with kid gloves or shows more leniency than he would with a male fugitive in the same situation.
- The team sometimes use this as a ploy to lure in fugitives.
- Does Not Like Guns: Setting aside the fact that Dog cannot own a gun due to having a felony conviction on his record, he does not like them very much at all.
- Do Not Try This at Home: The show starts with a disclaimer warning viewers of the hazards of chasing potentially dangerous fugitives and advises them against trying it themselves. The very low entry requirements for the profession in most states may be behind this.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: There's been multiple times on the show where a person arrested by the team with various heinous charges against them will become emotional when their parents or other family members are discussed, sometimes even calling them to apologize before being taken to jail.
- Everybody Owns a General Motors Product: The main "work" cars are either GMC, Chevy, and/or Cadillac SUV's, with Leland's H2 Hummer thrown into the mix.
- Family Business: Dog runs Da Kine Bail Bonds with his wife and kids, as well as a few family friends. Sadly, Da Kine Bail Bonds was shut down in 2019. This may have been attributed to the passing of Beth Chapman due to cancer, leaving Dog and the family devastated and forcing the closure of the business.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Due to the reasons mentioned above in Does Not Like Guns, Dog and the rest of the team use only less-lethal weapons, namely mace cans and pepperball guns (basically paintball guns firing powdered mace).
- Guns Akimbo: One episode had Dog wielding two pepperball guns while searching a home for a fugitive.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: There's been several times where the team has maced a fugitive and ended up getting it in their faces as well. One time a fugitive even managed to get ahold of Leland's mace can while struggling with him and sprayed Leland with it.
- Huddle Power: The team often does this to pray before and/or after going after a fugitive.
- Hypocrite: Dog, Leland and Tim were famously arrested in Mexico in 2003 for deprivation of libertynote . They fled the country and became international bail jumpers. Now think about the fact bail jumpers are 80% of their targets.
- Kirk Summation: Dog is pretty darn good at giving out these once he catches his quarry.
- Let Me at Him!: Often happens when the team gets into heated arguments with family and/or friends of the fugitives.
- Lightning Bruiser: Leland often runs down fugitives who try to flee on foot and is more than capable of holding his own should things get physical, seeing as he partakes in boxing matches when not hunting down bail jumpers.
- Mission Briefing: Done prior to going after each fugitive; the team gathers together and goes over the information on the person such as their description, likely location, who signed for their bail, what their criminal history is, and so on.
- Mr. Exposition: Dog often does this when the team is having Mission Briefing on a fugitive before going out after them; often explaining the hazards they're likely to face with that particular fugitive due to their criminal history. Since the others are likely well-aware of this information already, it's likely done for the benefit of the viewers.
- Navel-Deep Neckline: A rare male example. Dog tends to button the bottom 2-3 buttons of his shirt, exposing his massive chest. His nipples get easily exposed because of this.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Dog has strong and very obvious religious beliefs and his briefings and captures often involve his team or him and the fugitive praying for protection and salvation. It is suggested in one episode that Dog had a religious experience while in prison on 07/07/1977.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Beth and Lyssa completely avert this; both regularly go out into the field and are just as capable as the guys. Lyssa was even chasing bail jumpers while pregnant.
- Team Mom: Beth often fills this role, both figuratively and literally as she's often shown carrying out parental duties for her youngest son, Gary Boy.
- Turn Coat: Dog's son Tucker. A troubled kid with a number of drug-related run-ins with the law, he had been taken in by Dog for a short time. Only a while later, Tucker recorded a conversation he had with Dog, during which Dog repeatedly used the N word to describe Tucker's girlfriend. note Tucker then sold the tape to the media, which resulted in the show being suspended indefinitely and nearly cancelled before Dog came out and publicly apologized.
- Un-Cancelled: Subverted: the show has been suspended by A&E a few times due to several incidents involving the Chapmans, but fan outcry and closed-door negotiations have kept the series from being permanently canned.
- Played straight in 2012 when the show was finally actually canceled by A&E, but then picked up by CMT.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Dog and the others are noticeably less aggressive when apprehending female fugitives.