Why Did Brandon McMillan Leave ‘Lucky Dog’?

When Lucky Dog first premiered on CBS in 2013, viewers of the show quickly became fans of its host, Brandon McMillan. Sadly, McMillan decided to step away from the show in October 2020. The good news for fans of Lucky Dog is that the show has found a way to continue without its beloved host. Read on to learn more about what’s next for the series, along with the answer to the question: Why did Brandon McMillan leave Lucky Dog?

‘Lucky Dog’ is a heartwarming and inspiring CBS series 

Surfin Jack and celebrity dog trainer Brandon McMillan pose for portrait while taping a segment for ‘Pawsitive Impact.’ | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

The premise of Lucky Dog is to rescue as many “unadoptable” dogs from animal shelters across the United States as possible. Once these dogs are rescued, award-winning trainer Brandon McMillan worked to rehabilitate these troubled dogs into lovable family companions. The work done on the show is both heartwarming and inspiring; he was able to help many shelter dogs find loving homes in the process.

According to IMDb, McMillan hosted 182 episodes of Lucky Dog during his seven years on the show. Throughout his time on the show, McMillan also accumulated quite a few accolades. In 2015, McMillan won the Daytime Emmy Award for “Best Host in a Lifestyle Series” for Lucky Dog. In 2016, the show won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Series. In 2018, McMillan would win an Emmy for “Best Host in a Lifestyle Series” for a second time.

So why did Brandon McMillan leave Lucky Dog?

Why did Brandon McMillan leave ‘Lucky Dog’?

After much success on the show, McMillan chose to leave Lucky Dog because he felt the show had moved too far away from its original purpose, turning into just another money-driven business.

“Seven years ago I was approached by a production company that wanted to showcase my passion for saving dogs and training them for a purpose,” he wrote via Instagram in October 2020. “… As the years went on big money started pouring into the show which meant more cooks in the kitchen making decisions. This is where Hollywood can take a great idea and turn it into a money driven business. When the fun gets taken out of a tv show then it’s no longer fun to show up. Today will be my final episode of Lucky Dog.”

He went on to explain:

“I always made it a point to wear my heart on my sleeve and not hold back my emotions. Being as real as I possibly can was the most important thing for me because you the viewers know acting from reality. This was a serious show that saved the lives of hundreds of dogs. Mission accomplished. But this is not the end … it’s just the beginning.”

Meet the new hosts of ‘Lucky Dog’

While McMillan left Lucky Dog to pursue other endeavors at the end of 2020, the show has found a way to continue on without the beloved host. The eighth season of Lucky Dog premiered in January 2021. While fans immediately took to social media to voice that they missed Brandon McMillan, they have started to come around to the show’s new hosts, Eric and Rashi Wiese. 

The news hosts of Lucky Dog are a husband and wife duo. Eric started training dogs when he was just 15 years old. Before coming to Lucky Dog, he devoted a great deal of his time to rehabilitating dogs at the Westside German Shepherd Rescue in Los Angeles. Rashi comes from a background in psychology and social work. When she met Eric, she instantly became fascinated with dog psychology, and she now works with her husband on canine behavior. With just a handful of episodes under their belt, Eric and Rashi quickly became fan favorites among loyal Lucky Dog viewers