With the first episode of ‘Dogs In The City’ now out in the public domain, the ‘Best TV Dog Trainer‘ title is becoming a hotly contested item.
So now the time has come to decide on who will be the top dog to hold the coveted crown.
Introducing the two contenders:
In the blue corner you have the new boy on the block – Justin Silver (‘Dogs And The City’)
In the red corner is the seasoned contender Cesar Millan (‘The Dog Whisperer’)
Category One: Star Appeal
As much as Cesar Millan has as incredible life story to tell, it is hard to pass by the goofy, humorous Justin as a winner in this category. My female readers tell me that he is not heavy on the eye either.
You may ask – why am I, a Veterinarian giving this aspect of the show even a passing mention? The answer is, it is no secret that we listen better to those who appeal to us. If Silver’s appeal is what makes more people out there act more responsibly towards their dogs, I say it’s a quality worth nurturing.
The Winner: Justin Silver by a nose.
Category Two: Training Technique
I have seem Millan at work and I must admit, his results are incredible. Textbooks aside, there is one quality you just can’t learn in a training class – personality. Dogs respond to a certain assertive mindset and Millan has oodles of assertiveness. I guess he hasn’t spent years training dogs for nothing.
Silver is a different cattle of fish – an ex-comedian, he is more a joker then a doer. His technique is polished but if you put him up against a vicious Pit Bull you know who will come out the winner of that contest.
The Winner: Cesar Millan
Category Three: Usability
This, you might say is the most important category of all. After all, a ‘how-to’ show is only as good as the helpful advice you can take out of it. On this score, I must admit neither of the contenders rate very highly. Cesar has personal appeal but little ability to communicate his technique to the mum-and-dad dog owners out there. ‘Look into his eyes’ just doesn’t work with a backyard Chihuahua.
Justin seems to do better – at least he puts into practice some basic training tools all Vets and dog trainers are familiar with. What lets the show down is the decision to go for the ‘weird’ rather then ‘practical’. You get the laughs but not much learning along the way. You can’t help but feel that you are laughing at the owners, not with them. That’s not good training.
The Winner: Justin Silver minus the jokes
So now for the final verdict.
After long deliberation my vote goes to Justin Silver of the ‘Dogs In The City’ with an impassioned request to concentrate less on comedy and more on the substance of dog training.
By the way, if anyone is looking for a summary of Silver’s dog training techniques, I’ve got it here at https://safetypets.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/how-to-train-your-dog-like-justin-silver/
sorry, no jokes.