what our clients say about Jo & Graham Milgrew

Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist

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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

30th December 2013

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Puppy Management Separation Anxiety Toileting Other

We had our first session with Jo on the day that Lola arrived. I'd never had a puppy so was really daunted by the prospect, as well as excited. Jo was a wonderful, soothing presence from the minute she walked in. She immediately calmed me and the puppy down without seeming to do anything. The puppy had been dashing round the flat, obviously terrified and confused by her new surroundings but by the end of that first visit, she was practically purring in my arms. Jo's style really suited both me and the puppy, encouraging both of us along with real dedication and care. I was and still am, very impressed! Her tips on toileting worked wonders, as did her instructions on how to get Lola used to her crate. Jo spent a lot of time with us that first session and I honestly could not have done without it.

Since then I have been in touch with Jo many times either by email or by phone and she was always extremely helpful. It is really good for me to know that there is someone there whom I can call and whom I trust, for advice as the puppy was growing and developing. So for example when Lola started nipping at me and practising little bites on me, Jo's advice literally put a stop to it within 24 hours.

We had a second visit from Jo just before Christmas, and again that was a much needed and extremely useful session. She taught me a special massage to perform on Lola when she is anxious and the puppy absolutely adores it. She also helped with Lola's lead reactivity and we are currently working on that.

In sum, I really really recommend Jo! She is so caring and loving with the animals and a complete professional.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Lola is a gorgeous little Westipoo puppy who has not been a straight forward puppy for her owner. Her owner has done absolutely everything right. She goes to puppy day care and is very well socialised with other dogs. She meets lots of people and has walking companions. She loves learning new things and is delightfully well behaved. However, she has had health issues and can be very anxious at times so it has often been 2 steps forward and one step back for her owner. Throughout all of this her owner has not tried to second guess anything - she simply asks for advice and puts it into practice. Because of this Lola is growing into a confident and happy little dog and I am looking forward to continuing working with her owner as Lola matures from puppy to adult dog.

Z.K.
london, London

17th December 2013

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 Puppy Management Separation Anxiety
Photo of R.M.'s dog

Jo seemed to understand Ben and me right from the start…she helped us work together. Thank you for saving our relationship and I write this in appreciation for the excellent training work you suggested for separation anxiety and being an anxious puppy brought on by an electronic collar. While Ben has started to become well behaved the additional structure you have given him through training has benefited him and us. My husband and I are truly appreciative for your fine work.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Ben is a Bernese Mountain Dog who lives on a farm near very busy main roads. After a previous dog was killed on the road an electronic collar was fitted as his owners want to keep him safe. Unfortunately these type of collars can malfunction and his owners have had to undertake training to deal with anxiety and fear after a malfunction. He has severe separation anxiety and as he is a big dog he was using his bulk and his teeth to try and stop his owners leaving. This was perplexing to his owners but now they understand why he was behaving so badly they are teaching him to be comfortable, safe and secure when on his own. It is a delight to visit and be greeted by a truly happy Ben.

R.M.
Billericay, Essex

15th December 2013

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Puppy Management Separation Anxiety
Photo of L.C.'s dog

All very helpful and instructive

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
This owner has a lovely Cockerpoo girl puppy. This is her first dog so we covered everything including general training such as sit, stay, come when called and walk nicely on the lead. The importance of good socialisation and how to deal with problem behaviours such as chewing and biting. Like many puppies she is suffering from some separation anxiety and is now learning how to be comfortable resting and playing on her own. She really is a delightful puppy and I am looking forward to seeing her grow and mature over the next year.

L.C.
LEIGH-ON-SEA, Essex

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