“Dogs in the City” joins the pack of canine behavior shows

Dog Whisperer. It’s Me or the Dog. Dogs 101. Good Dog U.

For as many dog-centric TV shows that there have been and that there currently are, and for as popular as they are, why does it seem to me like there are more bad dogs — or, more specifically, bad dog owners — than ever before? In my neighborhood alone I regularly see dogs running loose, harassing me and my (leashed) dog, and in fact I was bitten on the ass by a loosed neighboring dog earlier this year. People must be watching these programs only for the cute dogs and not picking up anything, and not recognizing their own issues as displayed by the featured problem owners (“Good thing we’re not like that, Fluffy!”).

Well, starting tonight, dog owners will have a new member of the dog TV show pack to follow if they want to see cute dogs and ignore potentially good advice on how to improve their relationships with their canine companions. And given that it’s on a broadcast network, what I believe is a first for this type of show, the cute dogs can be seen by — and the advice ignored by — a potentially larger audience than that tuned in for the previously mentioned cable programs!

Dogs in the City, premiering at 8pm ET/PT on CBS, follows New York City dog guru Justin Silver, who claims that he “speaks dog” (he doesn’t “whisper dog,” as I’m sure that would be a trademark infringement of some sort) and in each episode of the series tries to resolve issues between dogs and their owners. Silver is a dog trainer, behaviorist and owner of a pet care company, as well as a comedian and founder of Funny for Fido, a nonprofit that raises money for homeless animals by producing a yearly standup comedy event.

According to Dogs in the City executive producer Carol Mendelsohn, “Dogs are at the center of the story here, but this is a show that reveals as much about human nature as man’s best friend. Dogs are often a lightning rod for their owners’ emotions and dysfunction at home. Justin has an amazing gift to break down these complex issues with incredible heart, humor and, sometimes, much-needed candor.”

Maybe he can visit my neighborhood.

Dogs in the City premieres May 30 at 8pm ET/PT on CBS. After the East Coast premiere, at 9pm ET, Justin will answer questions online.

(UPDATE 5/31/12: CBS has announced that it will re-air the premiere episode of Dogs in the City on Sunday, June 3, at 8pm ET/PT. The premiere episode, which originally aired May 30, placed first in its time period, and second in key demographics, with 6.7 million viewers.)


Photo © 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Credit: Heather Wines/CBS