what our clients say about Jo & Graham Milgrew
Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist
You can filter these results to find reviews related to behavior problems of interest.
6th January 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
I was referred to Jo with an issue I was experiencing with my six month old Boston Terrier, Basil, my first dog Iâ€™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 Joâ€™s other cases, Iâ€™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 Basilâ€™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 wasnâ€™t the worldâ€™s worst pet parent. The first few days of Joâ€™s plan werenâ€™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 canâ€™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 Basilâ€™s focus and I cannot tell you the difference it has made to his behaviour and our bond. He does as heâ€™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 dogâ€™s care and well being. Ultimately I will always make my own decision but Jo would most definitely be my phone a friend option!
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.
30th December 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
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.
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.
17th December 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Jo seemed to understand Ben and me right from the startâ€¦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.
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.
15th December 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
All very helpful and instructive
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.
12th December 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We were all made very welcome into a safe and secure area.
Ttouch was demonstrated and we tried it and although the dogs were distracted, we could see the positive effect straightaway and it revealed how our dogs were feeling which was an eye opener. We have been practicing it since.
It was amazing to be with non reactive dogs as I was so worried about them getting injured by mine, especially Dobby as he shot toward Blue and seemed to really go for him but Blue took no notice of him.
Both me and my husband hadn't been well all week but we didn't want to miss the opportunity of getting together with other dogs and we really got so much out if it and we were so glad we went. It was a very positive experience with much encouragement and praise for the dogs and us! I wish we could have something like this every week but Jo gave us written advice which we can refer back to and we will try and find some company for the dogs to help with the socialising. Jo really helps us to understand our little pack and we are always learning and we will get there with her help.
These owners have four Dachshunds and first saw me for help with their barking, separation anxiety and occasional toileting issues at home. They have made amazing progress with this and have now attended a workshop I run for clients so they can practice in a safe and secure environment when they need help with dog or people reactivity, recall (coming when called) or over enthusiasm. The owners were shown how to calm their dogs down and get their dogs focus and then we practiced with non reactive dogs so their dogs could experience socialising with dogs in a non threatening environment. It was lovely to see all their dogs settling down and listening to their owners and after a while simply enjoying running around and even playing ball. It was a great achievement and their owners should be truly proud of what they have achieved. Managing four dogs is not an easy task for the most experienced of owners, but these owners prove that it can be done with practice.
East Tibury, Essex
4th December 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Jo has been a godsend in helping me train my German Shepherd, Coby, who from a very early stage has felt the need to guard me from everything. Jo spent a long time with me in my home observing Coby and advising ways to train him. More than that, she has also come to the Doggie Day Care I run to see how Coby interacts with the other dogs. She has guided me in many directions which have not been limited to simply helping Coby to become a more confident and social dog but in addition has been enormous help in showing me how to read body language and allowing me to spot possible problems before they arise. At every step of the way, whenever I have encountered a new situation with which I have found difficulty, I have simply given Jo a call and she has either explained how to best deal with this over the phone or come again to give me more hands on help. Jo has been the equivalent of a dog care encyclopaedia and never fails to give me sound advice and guidance on any problem that arises. If I had not called upon Jo for her help I would definitely be floundering still.
This owner is very skilled when it comes to dogs and has had years of working in dog day care both as an employee and later as a business owner. She has a very well behaved Labrador and Coby was extremely well socialised and trained as a puppy. It was therefore a bit of a shock to find she needed help with her young German Shepherd. Dogs have their own personalities and although they may have many or all the characteristics of their breed, each dog is different and will behave differently depending on what circumstances they find themselves in. Coby is nervous of things that "look different" and can be "spooked" when this happens triggering guarding behaviour when he doesn't need to actually guard. To counter this his owner has had to work hard to make sure he is prevented from being scared in the first place and has a huge range of positive experiences to enable him to build his confidence so he can make the right decisions for himself. A nervous dog cannot be turned into a confident dog overnight, but his owner has made huge progress so far and Coby is fast growing into a dog she can be truly proud of.
25th November 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
It had been a very long time since I had last had a dog never mind a puppy, but Jo was amazing, training me as much as Pancho! Thanks to Jo he now listens to me and (mostly) does as he is told. We are both still very much a work in progress, especially his separation anxiety but we are getting there.
This owner rescued her puppy from Spain and he is now a European traveller moving back and forwards with his owners. Although proving to be a great traveller he was very excitable with dogs and people - jumping up, mouthing, nipping, pulling on the lead, not coming back when called and very unenthusiastic about our damp English weather. His owner has made amazing progress with Pancho who has grown into a rather large dog so she can safely take him everywhere with her. Owing to his rotten start in life he had severe separation anxiety but her and her husband are slowly but surely convincing him that he is safe on his own and they will be coming back. I am looking forward to seeing Panchoâ€™s future progress with these special owners.
23rd November 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Very helpful. I hope Lucy continues to learn the lessons we have learnt!
Lucy is a West Highland White and I first saw her as a 16 week old puppy. Like a lot of terriers she has a mind of her own and her owners were struggling to get her to focus and listen to them. She loves attention and gets very excited when she meets dogs and humans so ongoing work has been needed with her owners to teach Lucy how to behave appropriately. Although she seems a very confident dog, Lucy developed separation anxiety after her owners went on holiday and they are currently teaching Lucy to be settled and happy when apart from them. Separation anxiety is not a "quick fix" but she has patient owners and I am confident that Lucy will continue to learn the lessons her owners have been taught!
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
1st November 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Brilliant day Jo was with us for 5 hours and got the whole family involved. We had lots of fun & learnt lots and lots, have been putting what we learnt into practice and it has really helped. Using the â€œwatchâ€ technique has really helped with Hendrixâ€™s fear and aggression towards Chloe. Chloe is improving daily and family life is much improved. Now that the issue of the incorrect e-mail address has been sorted out the follow up help has been really good too. Thanks Jo we are all looking forward to the next session.
This family had 2 dogs, Hendrix and Chloe and when they got a lovely new puppy Roxy they decided it was time to get some help for Hendrix and Chloe so Roxy wouldnâ€™t copy their behaviour. Hendrix is very noise sensitive and when triggered by noise he would turn his frustration onto Chloe and the two dogs would squabble and fight. This can be viewed as sibling rivalry, but the source of the aggression is not actually rivalry and requires a different type of management within the family so the dogs donâ€™t fight. The family have made great progress to date and I am looking forward to continuing to work with them on tackling all of their doggy issues.
29th October 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We did really thought we tried it all, but after a sleepless thundery night with the dog jumping on the bed scratching us etc I decided to e-mail Barkbusters. We'd never get rid of our dog, but we definitely needed help with his fear of noises.
Our Border Collie Darcy is now 11 years old and over recent years developed fears of fireworks and thunder. He always had a hate for noise, as when he was a pup he had to deal with refurbishing works a couple of houses down, which probably progressed over the years to this. I did try the famous noise desensitizing, but our dog seemed to know it was fake. I thought I was going mad, but Jo confirmed I wasn't. Being a Border Collie he is too smart for his own good in a way and indeed knows fully well it isn't real and therefore doesn't feel the same threat. Hence a cd becomes useless, instead we got the advice of using something else that triggers him to train him. Eg the hoover, the one thing all dogs appear to hate. He expressed his fear differently (barking, trying to nip it), but in the end it's fear.
We tried DAP before but didn't appear to get the result the product claimed we would have. Turns out the only thing we did right with it was plug it in. What is needed together with the product is someone that helps with how to use it all round to get that success. We created him a safe space as advised by Jo around the Dap diffuser, leave his treats in there every night and noticed this area is now his own chosen safe place. He retreats to this area when he hears a bang and we won't see him till he is ready to return. We put on his thunderjacket everyday as well and this also appears to have a calming effect on him. Again it is a tool that only works if you know how, which we now know. :) The dog needs to associate it as "wonderful" first, not as "I am terrified and now I am dealing with my owner as well trying to put something I don't know on me!"
T-touch was explained to us as well and this really calms him down. Similar to a massage or meditation with humans.
I don't think we're out of the woods yet (we were told honestly there are no quick fixes), but we are definitely on our way. Still not looking forward to bonfire night, but I think we will actually cope better than other years.
Day by day, step by step we'll get there.
Border Collies are known for noise sensitivity. They are bred to have acute hearing and in some poor dogs this very acuteness can mean that any crash bang and wallop can send them into a frenzy of fear. Darcys' owners really had tried it all in their bid to help their dog. Much of the advice was correct - using CD's or other "noises" that trigger him so he can become de-sensitised, but that doesn't work with all dogs (Darcy being a case in point) and they really were at their wits end. Fortunately for Darcy he had owners who were willing to work on a whole program to provide a true safe place for him and the use of a range of calming exercises (where to go when frightened), techniques (calming touch) and products (a DAP diffuser and Thundershirt). They have had great results with all the recent Thunderstorms and are now fully prepared for fireworks (including already dealing with the early bangs we always get from keen firework buyers!) You can't stop a noise sensitive dog being noise sensitive, but you can prevent the extremes Darcys owners were dealing with (trying to dig his way through walls for example)and make Thunderstorms and Fireworks night a lot less frightening for a dog. It has been a real pleasure to get Darcy's owner updates and hear how well he is doing. It proves that even an older dog can have a much better quality of life when he has caring and thoughtful owners willing to help their noise sensitive dog.