what our clients say about Jo & Graham Milgrew

Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist

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26th April 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Digging Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead Puppy Management Recall or not coming when called Toileting
Photo of N.K.'s dog

Jo was extremely helpful and spend a good few hours talking to us about managing Max's behaviour, offering some practical advice including demonstrations of the more complex instructions. Max had an excellent time (especially with the socialisation section with Smudge) and Jo engaged all family members with everyone walking away with an exciting task to work on over the next few weeks! We can't wait to see Jo again - we ALL had a great time with first class advice! Thanks Jo for being such a patient, knowledgeable and excellent teacher!

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Max is an adorable Labrador puppy. This is the families first dog so we covered the importance of good socialisation so that Max is happy and comfortable around people, dogs and other animals and confident going out and about in the world. He met my dog Smudge and had a great time running around the garden with him and learning how to relate in nicely to an older dog. We also did general training including sit, stay, come when called and walk nicely on the lead so the family could focus on the most important aspects of training a young puppy. They had previously struggled getting him to walk on the lead. Like many puppies he found the lead a very alien thing and plonked his bottom on the floor and didn't want to move. It is important to always encourage puppies to walk rather than dragging them and the family did a great job of getting Max excited and willing to walk with them. It was a delight to see him walking up the road happily by the end of the session.

N.K.
Gidea Park, Essex

8th April 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Hyperactivity
Photo of L.C.'s dog

When I contacted Barkbusters my pug puppy was 9 months old and had acquired a habit of barking at everything and anything … cars, birds, people etc. In the garden and house she would territorial bark and when out on the lead would get extremely nervous and bark at passersby.

I had tried several techniques but all to no avail. Then one day I came across the Barkbusters website. Feeling I had nothing to lose I contact them and was put in touch with Jo Milgrew. This was the first step to a happier and contented pug.

After just a few hours with Freya, Jo was able to let me know why Freya was behaving the way she was and how to avoid or handle this behaviour going forward. Just understanding why Freya was acting this way helped us both deal with situations better and although Freya will always be a nervous dog she is so much happier and confident now.

There is still a long way to go, with continuous reinforcement needed but Jo is always there to answer my questions and deal with anything new that arises. The training notes provided are a constant source of reassurance, allowing me to refer back to Jo’s advice as and when needed.

Jo is a fantastic trainer and never once made me feel inadequate as an owner. She provided practical advice that fitted in with our lifestyle and gave several alternatives so we could find what works for us. And the most important thing … Freya adores her!

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Freya is not a confident dog and gets distressed when out on walks and in the garden. She feels the need to bark to alert her owner to "danger" and to try and keep anything away that might possibly be a threat. This type of behaviour can get worse over time because the dogs thinks it is successful. Birds will fly away, people will jump back so all that barking works from the dogs point of view. Dealing with this takes time and patience. The owner has to build her dogs confidence and at the same time let her know that she doesn't need protecting from possible dangers. Anyone who has tried to break one of their own habits will know that this isn't something you can do overnight, but can be done. Freya is making amazing progress and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Freya and her owner.

L.C.
Southend-on-Sea, Essex

5th April 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Sibling Rivalry - aggression or fighting between dogs in the same household Separation Anxiety

Jo spent 3 hours with us and identified problems I hadn't spotted, particularly with my older dog. Everything she told, and showed, me was excellent and made so much sense - I felt so much more relaxed when she left and my two dogs are getting on so much better with the instruction she gave me.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
This owner got her new dog from Serbia. Street dogs generally make wonderful pets, but can take time to settle down to living in a home and understand what is expected of them. When an owner gets a new dog it totally natural to assume that any problems occurring are caused by the new dog, but it is very often a combination. The existing dog has to make just as many adjustments as the new dog and is just as capable of misbehaving! Knowing what to do is half the battle and I have every confidence that this owner will do a brilliant job with both her lovely dogs.

G.T.
London

14th March 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Hyperactivity

Jo was excellent as to explaining all my concerns with Dudley. A really lovely lady. We have followed her advice regarding Dudley's diet and there has been significant changes in Dudley's behaviour. I still find walking him very stressful as constantly avoiding other dogs is very hard work. He now wears a "Thundershirt", as recommended by Jo, when I take him out for walks. It has helped. He still wears a muzzle and when we do incur another dog he tries to remove it!

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Dudley is a huge Bull Mastiff/Labrador cross dog who came to his owner as a Rescue. It is very obvious from his behaviour that he doesn't understand the world outside at all and he pulls his very slight owner all over the place when he sees people, children and in particular dogs. He is controlled with both a face collar and wears a muzzle so he is safe but he is so powerful he cannot be safely walked past other dogs at this time. His owner is working on his fears so he can become calmer when out and is making progress, but Dudley will need a lot of time and patience before he will understand that not everything outside is scary and a threat to him. This type of behaviour is typical of rescue dogs who have had a bad start in life and it takes the sort of owner Dudley has to give him the chance of a normal life.

Update (June 2014): This owner has done daily work with Dudley and he can now be walked safely on the streets. He can now see dogs on the other side of the road and people can walk past him without him lunging and getting distressed or aggressive. We have now started work in more open areas where there are dogs off the lead nearby.

A.S.
Chelmsford, Essex

23rd February 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Digging Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Puppy Management

Really good session. Very useful with daisy. Daisy is doing really well walking properly on her lead and not jumping up and barking so much.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Daisy is a lovely Cockerpoo. She is really bouncy and was doing lots of jumping up at kitchen surfaces when her owner was cooking or preparing food and generally to get her owners attention. This is hard work when you have a busy household and Daisy was getting away with it simply because if she couldn't get the attention she would start to bark at her owners instead. It takes calm gentle persistence from owners to fix this and they are making good progress. Because she is so excitable she pulled heavily on the lead when she went out which was particularly difficult when walking with the children. She is walking very nicely now and the next thing we will be tackling is to teach her to walk calmly alongside a pushchair. These owners are proof that even if you have lots of things going on at all times, you can still train your dog successfully.

L.C.
Upminster, Essex

2nd February 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks
Photo of S.C.'s dog

The reason I called bark busters in the first place was because my puppy Olly was biting me and destroying my house, I felt like I wasn't going to be able to cope with him.

Jo came round and made me so much more confident with Olly. She was excellent with Olly and me, Jo was a real god send we discussed everything we could about bringing up my puppy who has anxiety problems and is afraid of everything even going for a walk. Jo spent all afternoon with us and didn't leave until I was confident enough.

I would recommend Jo to anyone I know as I now feel a million times better bring up Olly the best way I can.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Olly is a very fast growing Pointer/Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross. He was taken away from his Mother way too early and this owner has not had normal puppy behaviour to deal with. This means that Olly wasn't just puppy biting he was taking lumps out of his owner and biting her grandchildren. He wasn't just having a chew on things, he was chomping his way through the house. He couldn't bear to be left on his own and if he was he became very distressed and was destructive. He also had no confidence and struggled to do even the basics. When that happens it is easy to think that you are the one at fault as everything is such hard work with these types of pups. Olly is a very lucky puppy as many owners would have simply given up faced with so many serious problems at such a young age. The good news is that with a lot of patience and perseverance these types of puppies can grow up into perfectly normal dogs provided they are trained in a gentle and consistent manner and supported while they gain confidence lost when they were taken away from their mothers. Olly has the right owner to do this and I am looking forward to seeing Olly as he grows up.

S.C.
Dagenham, Essex

21st January 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead Sibling Rivalry - aggression or fighting between dogs in the same household Separation Anxiety Other
Photo of D.N.'s dog

Excellent first lesson and Jo is lovely. We wanted to understand our dogs behaviour and feel more comfortable with having them around our small children (Demi in particular is very nervous). Jo explained why they behave the way they do and how we need to help them, not just train them which was was an eye-opener. We noticed a difference immediately and Demi's bond with our eldest son is already much stronger. We've still got a lot to do and correcting the barking and excitement is going to take some time but it's worth it. We haven't even begun to tackle walks yet but that's the excellent thing about paying a lump sum, we can ask Jo to come back whenever we need her to and she's always available by phone/email. I'm glad we went ahead with this, we were starting to feel we couldn't handle both dogs but now feel much more confident with them and wish we'd done this sooner, preferably before having kids!!

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
These owners have 2 lovely dogs, a Doberman cross and a Chihuahua cross. Both the dogs and themselves have spent lots of time living in Europe and the dogs had to stay with other family members for a long period at one point when they were in transit. This and the arrival of children in the interim meant that their previously well behaved dogs have got confused about what is expected and don't know how to behave in certain circumstances. Before they knew it they had a myriad of problems such as squabbling dogs, barking, lead pulling and a mix of either hyperactivity or nervousness around the kids. As this is a very busy family who still travel to Europe they are now working at rebuilding relationships and working at their own pace with the training required. Their dogs really love and respect them and I have no doubt that they will achieve everything they want to with their ongoing patience and consistency.

D.N.
Chelmsford, Essex

16th January 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Hyperactivity Puppy Management Recall or not coming when called Separation Anxiety Toileting Other
Photo of A.M.'s dog

Jo is simply amazing! And with her warm, friendly and bubbly nature there was no doubt Chino, our little Shih Tzu thought so too!

As first time owners and feeling as if we were only half succeeding on our own, it was only fair on Chino and ourselves to call in help to get him out of his puppy ways. After a few good hours with Jo in our crazy household we saw a change in him pretty much straight away.

Not only did she show us the best way to train and communicate with Chino, she assessed everything about his daily routine and needs, and after a few simple 'I didn't think about that' suggestions, as well as the loads of info she left behind, we have not once looked back.

Jo is seriously like the super nanny of puppies! Her sound advice has not only set Chino well on his way but has importantly given me and the family the confidence as owners. Knowing she is there for the year to give us hands on advice is a huge reassurance and worth every penny at such an important stage in his life.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
These owners applied a lot of common sense and were doing a good job for first time puppy owners of their little Shih Tzu, Chino, but as their little boy is a bit nervous they were getting stuck in few places and simply weren't sure of the best way to tackle it. Puppy advice is a bit of a mine field and unless you see how a puppy lives with a family it can be difficult to work out what is best for a particular pup. Fortunately Chinos family have his best interests at heart and wholeheartedly adopted everything he needs to make him safe and happy and keen to learn. I am looking forward to seeing him grow up as part of this loving family.

A.M.
Ilford, Essex

12th January 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Digging Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead Recall or not coming when called
Photo of T.C.'s dog

I recently attended a training day on a farm with Jo and other dogs and their owners that was again really helpful. Ringo is much improved since Jo has helped us and this was an extra bonus. We practised recall and walking skills but also Ringo got to play with several dogs his size which also helped his social skills. All in all we had a fun and muddy day and we both look forward to future events. Thanks Jo again for all your help

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Ringo is a full grown Rhodesian Ridgeback and is totally unrecognisable from the dog I originally saw 11 months ago. Gone is the fearful stranger and owner aggressive young dog and in his place is a mature dog who can be surrounded by other dogs and people and still listen to his owner and be respectful of other dogs even when he got really excited playing. He is a testament to what can be achieved by dedicated owners after a shaky start and is a delight to see.

T.C.
Chigwell, Essex

6th January 2014

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Puppy Management Recall or not coming when called Toileting
Photo of A.F.'s dog

I was referred to Jo with an issue I was experiencing with my six month old Boston Terrier, Basil, my first dog I’ve ever owned as an adult. My issue was his toileting. With a lounge on the middle floor, we were really struggling to get him to do his business either by the back door or wait for us to take him outside. Although not perhaps as serious as some of Jo’s other cases, I’m so glad she took us on as I was tearing my hair out at the contradiction of advice we were getting from various sources, none of which seemed to be working. Sick of cleaning up Basil’s mess over and over again each day, I was a desperate for someone to see our set-up, discuss our lifestyle, give us one-on-one attention and devise a bespoke plan to follow.

Jo was my Fairy Godmother. Turns out we had a little more than the toilet issue to deal but Jo handled everything compassionately, delivered her advice simply and clearly with both practical demos and written documentation and best of all assured me that I wasn’t the world’s worst pet parent. The first few days of Jo’s plan weren’t the easiest, as we had to go back to square one with the crate training but when you tot up all the wasted hours spent trying the other methods, it was nothing really and I can’t tell you the joy I felt after being out of the house for a few hours and returning to a clean floor! In a subsequent visit Jo also taught me the best and easiest technique to hold Basil’s focus and I cannot tell you the difference it has made to his behaviour and our bond. He does as he’s told, stays close by on walks, responds to recall and well any other naughtiness is just my cheeky Basil. As a dog owner, you do get bombarded with advice from vets, other owners, trainers etc on all aspects of your dog’s care and well being. Ultimately I will always make my own decision but Jo would most definitely be my phone a friend option!

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
This owner has a lovely little Boston Terrier. Her home set up which also involved cats, her husband working from home, her occasional working from home and nothing on the ground floor apart from the kitchen meant that routines were very hard to establish and maintain. Basil care was eating into her husbands essential work time and Basil had very quickly learnt that if he was demanding enough he got what he wanted from his frazzled owners. Not difficult for him to achieve as he is a delightful little dog! In Basil's case the home set up meant that a crate or playpen was the simplest way to keep him safe when his owners couldn't supervise him 100% combined with a structured toileting and supervision routine when out of the crate. He did actually want to be clean and these adjustments meant that he soon learned the difference between inside and outside and where he should actually toilet. As a growing puppy Basil has also needed to learn good dog manners so although the main requirement was to solve the toileting issue his owners have wholeheartedly thrown themselves into training Basil to behave well with visitors, other dogs and when out and about. He can now be taken literally anywhere and his owners be confident in his good behaviour and receive compliments as to how well he is handled. A fantastic result.

A.F.
Brentwood, Essex

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Abridge, Acton, Addiscombe, Angel, Ardleigh Green, Asheldham, Ashingdon, Aveley, Baker Street, Balham, Banstead, Barbican, Barking, Barking, Barkingside, Barnes, Barnsbury, Basildon, Battersea, Battersea Park, Battersea Rise, Bayswater, Beckton, Becontree, Becontree Heath, Belgravia, Belmont, Bermondsey, Bexley, Bexleyheath, Bickley, Billericay, Blackfriars, Blackheath, Blackmore, Bloomsbury, Bobbingworth, Boreham, Bow, Bradwell, Brentford, Brentwood, Brixton, Brixton Hill, Broadgate, Brockley, Bromley, Brompton, Broomfield, Buckhurst Hill, Burnham-on-Crouch, Camberwell, Camden, Camden Town, Canning Town, Canonbury, Canvey Island, Carshalton, Caterham, Catford, Central Croydon, Central London, Chadwell Heath, Chadwell St Mary, Chafford Hundred, Charing Cross, Charlton, Cheam, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chigwell, Chipping Ongar, Chipstead, Chislehurst, Chiswick, City, City Of London, Clapham, Clapham Common, Clapham Junction, Clapham North, Clapham Park, Clapham South, Clapton, Clayhall, Clerkenwell, Collier Row, Collierswood, Corringham, Coulsdon, Covent Garden, CR0, CR1, CR2, CR3, CR4, CR5, CR6, CR7, CR8, CR9, Cranham, Cranham, Crayford, Croydon, Crystal Palace, Crystal Palace, Dagenham, Dagenham, Danbury, Dartford, Dengle, Denmark Hill, Deptford, Doddinghurst, Dulwich, E1, Ealing, Earls Court, Earls Court, East Balham, East Croydon, East Ham, East Horndon, East Tilbury, Eastwood, EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4, Elm Park, Eltham, Embankment, Emerson Park, Euston, Farringdon, Finchley, Finsbury, Footscray, Forest Hill, Fryerning, Fulham, Galleywood, Gants Hill, Gidea Park, Golders Green, Goodmayes, Grays, Great Baddow, Great Burstead, Great Warley, Green Park, Greenhithe, Greenwich, Grove Park, Hackney, Hadleigh, Hainault, Hammersmith, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hampstead, Harlesden, Harold Hill, Harold Park, Harold Wood, Harold Wood, Hatfield Peverel, Havering-atte-bower, Hawkwell, Hayes, Heath Park, Herne Hill, Herongate, High Ongar, Highbury, Hockley, Holborn, Holland Park, Homerton, Hornchurch, Hoxton, Hullbridge, Hutton, Hyde Farm, Hyde Park, Ilford, Ingatestone, Ingrave, Islington, Kelvedon, Kelvedon Hatch, Kenley, Kennington, Kensington, Kensington, Kentish Town, Kidbrooke, Kings Cross, Knightsbridge, Ladywell, Laindon, Lambeth, Langdon Hills, Lavender Hill, Lee, Leigh-on-sea, Lewisham, Limehouse, Little Heath, Little Warley, Liverpool Street, London, London Bridge, Loughton, Maida Vale, Maldon, Manor Park, Marks Gate, Marylebone, Mawneys, Mayfair, Maylandsea, Mitcham, Morden, Moreton, Mottingham, Mountnessing, N1, N5, Navestock, New Cross, Newbury Park, Noak Hill, Norbury, North Ockenden, North Shoebury, North Stifford, Norwood, Notting Hill, NW11, NW3, NW8, Old Street, Olympia, Ongar, Orpington, Orsett, Oval, Oxford Circus, Paddington, Penge, Petts Wood, Piccadilly, Pimlico, Pitsea, Plaistow, Plumstead, Poplar, Primrose Hill, Prittlewell, Purfleet, Purley, Purley Downs, Rainham, Rayleigh, Redbridge, Regents Park, Riddlesdown, Rochford, Romford, Rotherhithe, Rush Green, Russell Square, Sanderstead, SE1, SE11, SE19, SE21, SE24, SE25, SE27, SE5, Selhurst, Selsdon, Seven Kings, Shenfield, Shepherds Bush, Shirley, Shoeburyness, Shooters Hill, Shoreditch, Shortlands, Sidcup, Sloane Square, SM1, SM2, SM3, SM4, SM5, SM6, Smithfield, Soho, South Benfleet, South Croydon, South Hornchurch, South Kensington, South Lambeth, South London, South Norwood, South Norwood, South Ockenden, South Stifford, South West London, South Woodham Ferrers, Southall, Southborough, Southend, Southend-on-sea, Southminster, Southwark, Square Mile, St Mary Cray, St Paul's Cray, St. James, St. James Park, St. Johns Wood, St. Pancras, St. Pauls, Stanford-le-Hope, Stapleford Abbotts, Stapleford Aerodrome, Stapleford Tawney, Stock, Stockwell, Stondon Massey, Strand, Stratford, Streatham, Streatham Common, Streatham Hill, Streatham Vale, Sutton, SW London, SW1, SW10, SW11, SW12, SW16, SW17, SW2, SW3, SW4, SW5, SW6, SW7, SW8, SW9, Swanley, Swanscombe, Sydenham, Thamesmead, The Lavers, The Rodings, Thornton Heath, Thorpe Bay, Thundersley, Thurrock, Tilbury, Tillingham, Tollesbury, Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Tolleshunt Knights, Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tulse Hill, Upminster, Vauxhall, Victoria, W1, W10, W11, W12, W14, W2, W8, W9, Wallington, Walthamstow, Walworth, Warlingham, WC1, WC2, Welling, Wennington, West Brompton, West Croydon, West Dulwich, West End, West Ham, West Hampstead, West Horndon, West Kensington, West Norwood, West Thurrock, West Tilbury, West Wickham, Westcliffe-on-Sea, Westminster, Wickford, Willesden, Witham, Woldingham, Woodford Bridge, Woodford Green, Woolwich, Writtle

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