A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Manhattan-based dog training reality series Dogs in the City points to dog owners as the source of most dogs' behavioral problems, which sometimes leads to some defensive reactions and iffy language (like "ass") from owners. Relationship problems between humans are occasionally discussed, and people drink wine and champagne at social functions (but no underage dogs are shown drinking). It's pretty family friendly, and dog lovers will definitely enjoy what they see here.
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What's the story?
In DOGS IN THE CITY, New York City dog expert Justin Silver trains stubborn, aggressive, and simply disobedient dogs and their owners. He visits Manhattan clients at their homes or offices to observe the unruly canines and to evaluate their owners to determine what they're doing to create or reinforce their negative behaviors. After his assessment, Silver explains why the owners need to change their habits in order to get their pets to behave differently and guides them through the exercises that will retrain the animals. Working with the dogs is great fun, but sometimes Silver has to keep their owners on a short leash in order to get the desired results.
Is it any good?
This entertaining and informative series underscores how training a dog is really about training the owner, who's usually behind their beloved pets' behavioral problems thanks to their desire to treat them like people. Silver points out the difference between loving a dog and spoiling one, which ultimately leads both the master and the owner to lose sight of who's actually in charge. He also offers some very practical information on how to retrain dogs in order to get them to behave appropriately.
The one-on-one conversations Silver has with each dog sometimes feel a bit silly, but they add some humor to the show. These moments also allow the trainer to articulate what the real (and often sensitive) issues are surrounding the behavioral problems. Dog owners might learn something new about their pets by watching, but you don't have to be a dog lover to enjoy Dogs in the City.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about owning dogs. What are some of the responsibilities that come with having a dog? How do these responsibilities differ from owning a cat or another animal?
Should anyone be allowed to have a dog? Why are dogs considered "man's best friend?" Do you think that some trainers can really "speak" to dogs in a way that most people can't? Why or why not?
What do Silver and the owners stand to gain or lose from appearing on this show?
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