Vancouverites love their dogs. So when I was asked to review the new show from CBS “Dogs in the City”, I said why not? It is perfect summer fluff for city dog owners. I was excited, being a dog lover and fan of “The Dog Whisperer”- I jumped in with high expectations.
“Dogs in the City” isn’t the cure for cancer, and there’s nothing here that you haven’t already seen Cesar Milan do on “The Dog Whisperer” — and do more effectively, in many cases. Instead of Milan traveling around the county, we have NYC dog trainer Justin Silver traveling the five boroughs. The premise is even the same: There are no bad dogs, just clueless people.
In the premier episode there’s a spoiled celebrity dog that hates that his “dad” got hitched. Unless you live in a cave and make pipe bombs all day, you’ll recognize the first dog as skateboarding Beefy the bulldog, the YouTube sensation.
The second case is about Elli, who runs a modeling agency and insists on bringing her aggressive dog, Charlotte, to work. She tells Silver that she’s not worried that Charlotte will attack someone but that Charlotte will feel bad about attacking someone. When Silver asks her how many people Charlotte has bitten, she asks whether he’s counting “blood bites or not blood bites.”
The third is the dog of a retired NYC fireman and his 9-year-old daughter. They are worried that their Bernese mountain dog is too fat. So Silver accompanies them to the vet. They pick up some good nutrition advice, but it’s never explained why they couldn’t have gone to the vet by themselves.
Justin steps into each situation head on, but the segments are not as detailed and interesting as Milan. Justin claims that he “speaks dog” (he doesn’t “whisper dog,” as I’m sure that would be a trademark infringement of some sort) instead Justin’s most amusing trick is to go off somewhere with the misbehaving dog and have a “private chat.”
After going in with high hopes, it’s not looking good for “Dogs In The City”. If you really love your dog, this show is not for you. With background music that is two parts “Sex and the City,” and one part “Survivor,” CBS“Dogs in the City,” seems at first like yet another version of Carrie and friends- just a few spoiled bitches behaving badly in New York City in need of a man (Justin Silver) to show them the way.