If you think your family is interesting, imagine growing up in the most famous bounty hunting family in the country. That's the case for Dakota Chapman, the grandson of Dakota "Dog" Chapman and newest member of the Chapman family team that's featured on CMT's reality series Dog and Beth: On the Hunt. Dakota joined us on Tuesday to discuss how he decided to get into the family business, and what ordinary folks can take away from watching the Chapmans help other bounty hunters and bail bondsmen every week.
Dog and Beth is in its second season, and we asked Dakota what we can look forward to in upcoming episodes. "It's really, really amazing to see all this action and to see how we're not the only family that's in this line of business. We made many connections," he told us. "I was pretty surprised to see that our line of business is not only going just on the Island but it's everywhere."
"One thing that is very important is a lot of people think that our show is staged and fake but I promise you that it is reality at its fullest," he continued. "What you see is what happens, and what happens is what you get. Basically, right when we show up to work the cameras start rolling until we're done working. At any given, moment anything can happen. And if they get it on camera, that's what happens. If they don't, they don't."
It's been ten years since Dog the Bounty Hunter first hit the airwaves, so we asked Dakota what it's been like to be part of a family who's lived a whole decade in front of the cameras. "They got famous when I was in fourth grade, so ever since then, people have kind of looked up to me a little bit," he told us.
"Two days after I graduated high school, my father and grandfather took me out on my first bounty, and since then I've been traveling with them. I also go to college and I'm currently trying to get my associate's degree in Criminal Justice."
"I'm the oldest of all my siblings, so right now I'm just trying to be the right role model and set the right example," he continued. "I'm showing them that I can also go to college at the same time and further my education."
Did he eventually get used to having TV cameras following everyone around? "At a certain point it just becomes like second nature," Dakota told us. "You kind of don't notice the camera there. You just snap into what's going on; you just go up there and do what you've got to do. You get used to it."
While every week on the show, the Chapman family helps bounty hunters and bail bondsmen whose businesses need a boost, the people watching at home aren't necessarily in need of fugitive-busting advice. Dakota told us what he's hoping that the audience takes away from episodes of Dog and Beth: On the Hunt.
"We're trying to teach about how to become a bondsman. How to go out there and protect your life while apprehending the fugitives, [and] not only protecting yourself but also your team," he told us.
"We also want to send out the message that no matter what past decisions you've made, there's always another door open. There's always another opportunity, no matter what you've done. That's what we're trying to show people."
Dog and Beth: On the Hunt airs Saturdays at 9 PM ET/PT on CMT (check your local listings for specific channel). You can also follow Dakota on Twitter (@dakotadog808).