How To Train Your Dog Like Justin Silver

Justin Silver – the dog trainer from ‘Dogs In The City‘ may be a bit too cutesy for my liking but he does have a few good training tools that you can use to improve the behaviour of your dog. Here are his main point in a nutshell:

  1. Don’t reward the bad. This sound simple, but the trick is to understand that your dog’s definition of ‘reward’ is different from yours. Shouting ‘Bad dog!’ for example is actually rewarding for your dog because it gives your dog what he craves most – your attention. The real way to not reward the bad is to ignore your dog. That’s right – even if he wets your bed and tear up your slippers. Believe me – shouting will not help.
  2. Teach a positive alternative. Don’t just reprimand bad behaviour – teach the dog an alternative, good behaviour in place of it. That might be sitting for a reward or chewing a bone on his bed. Remember – bad behaviours are usually a psychological adaptation to stress. They will not go away unless an alternative adaptation is developed.
  3. Obedience is key. They talk about ‘assertiveness’ in dog training. What that means is that you need to be the leader of the pack – not your dog. One of the best ways to develop that is to practice obedience. Following your commands teaches your dog that you are actually in charge. It also gives the dog a great outlet when stress levels are high. Obedience training is not just for puppy school – it needs to be practiced every day!
  4. Dogs are dogs – not four-legged people. In the show, Justin gets to deal with some people who really need this advice. Before we start dog training we need to recognise the simple fact that dogs are different from us. There is no ‘equality’ in the dog world – someone is in charge and someone else is following orders. In your family the ‘someone in charge’ needs to be you.

Now you are ready to get out there and turn your dog into a ‘model citizen’. Maybe without the cutesy jokes, though.

For detailed advice on specific conditions please view my articles:

How Justin Silver Would Treat Separation Anxiety’    and

‘How Justin Silver Would Treat Aggression’

Or for a list of latest articles click HERE.

About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim is a house call Veterinarian in Melbourne


  1. Pingback: Justin Silver: Ricki Lake Of Dog Trainers? « Pets. Safety. Education.

  2. Tracey

    When will they get someone on TV like Dr. Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell or Jean Donaldson? sigh….I’m tired of all these uneducated men getting dog tv shows and doing the dog owning public a disservice 😦

  3. gariota newgebergwon

    Dr. Chelom: It is your opinion that the people on tonights show were idiots who didnt need to own a dog. This is the USA and you are entitled to your opinion. I found the people on the show to be sincere, loving people who just needed a bit of help to get them on the right road, and Silver accomplished this quite nicely. Maybe you could cut the man some slack while he is doing a job that he OBVIOUSLY loves, and give us idiots some good advice at the same time.

  4. Pingback: The Great Dog Trainer Face-Off: ‘Dogs In The City’ VS ‘The Dog Whisperer’ « Pets. Safety. Education.

  5. Lisa

    Tracey, there is one good dog training show: Victoria Stilwell’s It’s Me or the Dog. Perhaps a sliver of hope?

  6. Alyssa B.

    I have a 1 year old Yellow Lab, and when he gets around people he wants to jump up on them. How do I stop this behavior?
    Thank you

    • Hi Alyssa,
      As soon as your dog jumps on you, stand still, turn to the side and ignore him for 3 minutes. If That’s hard to do, you may need to take him to another room and leave him there alone for 3 minutes. Then let him back without making a fuss. Repeat this every time he jumps on you and you will see improvement.

  7. Lily

    Bad advice at best (with the one exception of getting rid of a retractable leash on a strong dog), dangerous at worst. Hope program is dropped pronto!.

  8. Amy

    Like your thoughts here and love the It’s Me Or The Dog show just never can find it on enough, I agree it is the best for the typical dog owner. I own a 9 month old great dane puppy and was searching for the right kind of collar for her when I Stumbled upon this url. I was searching for Justins collars he suggested, not choke collars but as she is already 103lbs I need something to keep her from pulling, we use a retractable leash….guess we shouldnt be? Please help with suggestions on halters, collars, leashes. Thanks

    • There is a range of head collars available which work by turning the head or applying gentle pressure when the dog pulls too hard. These usually have a halter wrapped around the dog’s nose attaching to the collar. ‘Halti’ is one good brand, ‘Gentle Leader’ is another. There are other good brands. These would work best for you.

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