CBS' Dogs Guru Talks Tackling the Human Factor and Cases That Are Emotional Roller Coasters

Dogs in the City, premiering tonight at 8/7c, is set to wag its furry little self into hearts CBS’ summer lineup as it follows “dog guru” Justin Silver on his mission to help troubled canines — and more importantly, their owners — in New York.

Here’s what the pup-whispering pro tells TVLine about his small-screen venture — and why it’s different than the other dog training series on television today.

On Delivering a New Dog Show |Dogs in the City is different because it isn’t so much of a technical show,” Silver explains. “There’s definitely a lot of takeaway with it, but it focuses on the human and emotional element that is behind the problems that we see in the dogs…. It’s not a ‘How To’ show.” The trainer adds that the CBS series’ unique quality is never more evident than in an episode that focuses on an obese couple with a severely overweight dog. “I actually ended up doing some personal training with [the owners] because… this was about identifying their unhealthy habits, correcting those habits and then living the solution instead of the problem. That’s always been the way I’ve looked at it.”

RELATED | Hot for Summer: 100 Premiere Dates and More!

On Realizing He Was a ‘Dog Guru’ | Silver says that his past as a personal trainer really “taught [him] a lot about how people ticked,” and helped form his ability to target problems within dog owners (as opposed to with the dog itself). “I’ve always had an ability to relate to animals, but those two things fused together about 10 years ago for me,” he explains. “I’ve honed the craft more and more and more, and I continue to every day.”

On the Power of Talking to the Animals | “I talk to dogs all the time, I really do,” Silver tells us with a laugh. “I speak to them the way someone would speak to themselves when they’re alone in their apartment.” However, viewers will witness the trainer having full-blown conversations with pups, to which we ask: Is he for real?! “Look, the whole idea is that [this show] is supposed to enlighten people about issues in an entertaining way. Although I don’t really have those conversations as spelled out [in real life] as I do in front of the camera, it’s like I’m just voicing what’s going on inside of my head.”

On His Favorite Four-Legged Clients | Silver says the toughest cases are always the most rewarding. “When I work with the dogs that have serious aggression problems, those are the ones I love the most,” he shares. “I kind of cut my teeth working with dogs in shelters that had severe trust issues, the ones that get put down the quickest… So, you’ll see the episodes where I’m working with multiple rescue dogs with a lot of aggression… and those were the biggest roller coasters for me, personally.”

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33 Comments
  1. daviduter says:

    Understanding its Summer, but every time I have seen this advertised over the last couple weeks, it makes me sad for our society. Absolutely brutal the garbage that entertains the masses.

    • The WB Frog says:

      Agree!

    • poolie says:

      agreed, I cant believe CBS is airing that crap. Someone at CBS actually thought that anyone would watch this wanna be Cesar dispensing psychological advice? Les, fire whoever green lighted this crap that even TBS would spit on

    • Hi JUSTIN SLIVER WE HAVE A 8 MONTH OLD TERRI LAB FROM THE DOG POUND OUT HERE IN CALI . AND WE NEED HELP TRAINING HER SHE BITE TOO MUCH AND ATE HER LEASH AND ONE OF MY DAUGTHER SHOE WE DO’NOT KNOW UP TOO DO WITH HER

    • bobifin says:

      First of all its not about the entertainment aspect, it helps dog owners like myself. He talks about how to properly train your dog, how to introduce them properly and how a dog should really be treated! Do i personally find the show entertaining YES! I enjoy watching this show and since it’s aired i’ve learned how i should properly train my 6 month old Pit Bull. This show isn’t garbage there are plently of BS reality show’s out here that are straight garbage ie mob wives, 16 & pregant (Teen Mom) and basketball wives at least this one can actually teach me something other than being a whore can get me a TV SHOW!

      By the way I actaully like all the show’s i mentioned HAHA

  2. stevie says:

    oh god, i hate summer tv..

  3. Chris says:

    Shouldn’t this show be on Animal Planet instead? It fits right in there.

  4. G says:

    The show didn’t even air and you people are dogging the show. I can understand if you are not dog people however, it just isn’t fair. I watched the opening show tonight and it was great!!! Really people should rate things after they watch them!!!!

  5. Lori says:

    I agree….. you all must not be animal people,

  6. David Penn says:

    This drivel garbage. This man is such a hack and tries to claim his show is so different than Ceasar’s, and throughout the whole episode he’s done nothing but chit-chat with the dog owners and walk around New York with his tight clothes, like he’s such a model. All he does is trash the owners, and boss them around by telling them to tell their dog to “stop,” which does absolutely nothing. The bulldog was still barking. This is nothing but a wannabe trying to cash in on an already established, and REAL dog-training show. Ceasar can deal with multiple dogs in under 30 minutes and move on to the next appointment. It doesn’t take him the whole episode and he gets right to the job instead of standing around. What type of dog trainer just tells the owners to go to the corner store and get a cheap leash? Ceasar knows how to be kind to his clients and still get the lesson across at the same time. And this guy doesn’t even know how to train a dog how to act well in an employment environment, something that Ceasar has shown with ease on his show. He needs to go back and take some actual classes on dog psychology and come up with something original instead of trying to leech off of someone else. Anyone with logic would know not to let two pet dogs have a fight. That’s common sense.

    • sherina bockman says:

      I LOVE Ceasar, but he’s not on regular network. Also, just like every other service provider in every business – not everyone “clicks” with everyone else. There is plenty of dogs, people, and airtime for both shows. I have found when you are awesome at something, you aren’t so threatened by others awesomeness or sheer good fortune. Chill, it’s TV!

  7. john says:

    I agree with David Penn – this show is a complete mock off of Dog Whisperer. And Justin is NO Cesear Milan! He doesn’t know how train these animals at all…Cesear should sue CBS for producing this pathetic “wanna-be” of a show. Watch the real Dog Whisperer if you want to learn anything about really training your dog.

  8. Victoria M. says:

    How do I get in contact with Justin Silver?

  9. Ellen in NYC says:

    Awful. I like dogs and I like watching shows that are filmed in NY, but this was dreadful.

  10. LS says:

    Hello Justin, great show. My daughter and enjoyed watching.
    Tell Alex and Noah I said Hello.
    Continued success!

  11. jade hawk says:

    I watched the premier of the show with high hopes and high expectations. I found myself sadly disappointed and frustrated.As a professional dog/animal trainer I was appalled not only by the archaic methods employed by a seemingly uncredentialed trainer, but by the fact that your network would choose to broadcast and support such old school aversive training methods. I and other trainers around the globe have spent many years educating pet owners and helping them solve behavior problems, and move forward away from such punitive, dominant-based training to more positive reinforcement training models. These models based in science have been proven time and time again to be the most effective and humane approach to training all types of animals. It is the preferred method used in zoos, aquariums, and anmal exhibits around the world.I strongly suggest you do your reasearch and help educate the public about more positive approaches to training and problem solving.

    • Agreed! Problem with aversives (besides the obvious) is they don’t transfer well to the owners as it is not a “job” to them…its their family member. My experience as a professional dog trainer is the owners have some negative emotion tied to aversive tactics and negative emotions should never be a part of dog training.

      If you want to do a dog training show that will be of service to dog owners, contact any of the amazing trainers associated with the Association of Part Dog Trainers!

  12. Dang the Hate ,,
    Dudes the show was cool and fun and light ,
    So many people complain about how CBS only broadcasts the same sort of shows ,
    You got to admit this was different and the sort of thing you would normally see on either Cable or possibly NBC.

  13. H says:

    Anyone who has ever accomplished anything in life knows that the first sign that you are on the right track to success is….THE HATERS!!! So, because I think Justin is great and the show is adorable, I give love to all of you silly haters on this thread because I feel bad that you have never had the experience of putting yourself out there! (And I know this from experience because if you had ever tried something great, you would not be so quick to squash someone else’s efforts at greatness). Now, all of you GO DO SOMETHING instead of bashing others who do what you can’t or won’t do.

  14. David Penn says:

    Sorry but this has nothing to do with hate. It’s common sense that you don’t ever have a little girl try and train a full breed twice her size. That is very dangerous to do and it’s dangerous to put a treat in a dogs face and slap them when they try to take it.

    You people who support this hack just goes to show that you know nothing about basic dog psychology and only care about the hack theatrics of this rubbish.

  15. steph says:

    I liked the show! I love animals. I think the silver guy is credible. People do create problems with their pets! Leave it alone and just enjoy the mid season
    !

  16. Aidann says:

    I’m a new dog owner and I have watched Cesar religiously since getting my Great Dane. I watched Justin’s show and was sadly disappointed as well. Cesar’s shoes are a pretty big size to fill. Cesar is humble, compassionate and loving. He doesn’t do it for the money or the glamour. Justin is clearly all about the fame and the fortunate.

  17. Becky says:

    I think “Dogs in the City” is a refreshing summer fill-in. I was a bit offended though by Mr. Silver’s remarks about the lady who pushed her dog around in a stroller. I have a blind dog who has no other safe means of getting out in the fresh air, other than my taking her for walks in an enclosed pet stroller…..and I don’t live in New York City!

  18. Jeanne Greenland says:

    I think Justin is great. I wish he could help me out with my dogs

  19. All I know is the dogs behavior improves. I have a 10 month Maltese who is a good puppy, but, is very hyper and cannot hide his frustration or excitability. He goes crazy when he sees another dog or when someone comes to the door. Can you help me?????

  20. Cee Scalinger says:

    This is one of the best shows on CBS and there are quite a few! Usually my husband and I can’t agree on the same program to watch. However we both love Dogs in the City. We can’t understand why so few episodes were made. Please keep it going and don’t cancel it.
    Anyone who loves animals will love this show. So interesting jon MANY levels!!!
    DON’T END IT.

  21. Betty says:

    Love your show have an issue with my German shepard afraid of everything

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  24. Andrea reid says:

    My young girls and I love the show! We love Justin too! We hope they do another season!

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