meet your specialist trainers Jo & Graham Milgrew
Behavioural Therapist & Dog Training Romford, Ilford, Essex.
Hello, our names are Jo and Graham and we are your local Bark Busters Dog Trainers and Behavioural Therapists for Romford & Ilford.
We specialise in one-to-one training in your home. We have a genuine any breed, any age, any problem policy and help you and your dog in the environment where the problems are occurring whether this be in your home, on the lead or in the park. We provide you with concrete practical solutions and demonstrate how to actually train your dog. We then provide follow up visits along with telephone and email support for a whole year after your first visit.
We can help with jumping up, recall (dogs that don’t come back) pulling on the lead or harness, mouthing and nipping, aggression to other dogs or humans (dogs that bark, growl and/or lunge), attentiveness (dogs that don’t listen!) destructive behaviour including chewing and digging, chasing (squirrels, cyclists and even children!), barking, howling, separation anxiety (dogs that get distressed when left on their own) hyperactivity (dogs that don’t calm down!), toilet training for all ages, obsessive behaviours and general obedience. We will not be judgemental or critical or tell you off in any way about your dogs behaviour. What we want to do is move forward, together, so that you and your dog can be happy.
For puppies we make sure you get off to the best start possible with the reassurance that you can contact us, whichever of us is your trainer, to answer all those little questions that always crop up with puppies together with follow up visits for further training.
More about Jo
I have always been what my friends and family call a "doggie person" so in addition to many years of dog behaviour and training experience, I have hands on experience of doing the job myself. Over the years I have taken ownership of a lot of unwanted dogs, who all came with their own doggie baggage.
There was Bobby, a cute 9 year old scruffy mongrel who was attacked in the park and then started to attack any other dogs he met. Zak, a huge German Shepherd who pulled so hard I couldn’t walk him. He had terrible separation anxiety and ate his way through a sofa, two doors and a coffee table before he settled down. Jason was a miniature poodle whose owner died and nobody in his family liked him. He also had separation anxiety and barked and whined constantly when he was left alone. He also would sit on laps and growl at everyone and anyone who came near. He was 10 years old and I was told I couldn’t help him, but that was not true. He ended his life happy and loved by my whole family.
I did have one puppy and chose a Yorkshire Terrier; Billy had a lovely personality and had no behaviour issues, but he developed a serious medical condition which meant he couldn't deal with any stress and would toilet in the house. This personal experience means that I am always very careful to look at possible medical reasons for problem behaviour.
At the moment my husband and I have the pleasure of owing 3 dogs. When we met I had a Whippet/Terrier cross girl who I named Lottie. She was a working rat and rabbit dog until she had a serious accident when she was 7 and was then too slow to do her job. She didn’t realise that she had slowed down so would chase squirrels and cats with absolute determination. Nothing would stop her when she was in “prey” mode and it was hard work to train her to come back on command. She came to me with a jumping problem and would growl and nip people if they tried to stop her stealing food. She didn’t like some dogs and would sometimes charge at them to drive them away. This was sorted long ago but she is now going deaf so we have sleigh bells on her collar so we know exactly where she is going off lead. She is also losing her sight so we have to keep her on lead at night because she gets disorientated and runs at speed in the wrong direction.
I became a Bark Busters Trainer because of personal experience. My sister’s dog was a lovely, friendly and obedient dog, but from the time my nephew started to crawl he would occasionally growl at him. One day he came too close to my nephew who was then 15 months old. He grabbed his face and Ouzo nipped him. At that moment our world turned upside down. Everybody told my sister and brother-in-law to re-home him or put him to sleep. They said that once a dog has bitten he will bite again and couldn’t be trusted. Fortunately they recognised that they needed help and called in Bark Busters.
The Bark Busters Therapist came to see us all and we were given a simple programme to follow. From the first visit he was a changed dog. The fretful, growling dog around my nephew was gone. At the time my sister gave feedback saying "immediate and remarkable results...truly fantastic". For me, it proved to be a life changing moment. This is what I wanted to do! I realised that people did not have tolerate their dog’s issues or try to resolve it themselves. Even if the problem was truly difficult, a dog could be helped by caring owners by following proven and practical training methods.
More about Graham
Hello, my name is Graham and I was introduced to the world of dog behaviour training by my wife Jo. Prior to this introduction, I had considered myself to be pretty good with dogs because most of the dogs that I encountered were ‘pretty good’!
In a nutshell, that’s the problem – many of the dogs that we encounter in day to day life are fairly accommodating and just fit into our life. This is what we expect. So when we encounter a dog with behaviour problems there’s a tendency to get confused and then frustrated with the dog. “Why won’t it just do as it’s told?” “Is it my fault?” - If you’re looking at this page then you’ve probably asked yourself at least one of these questions – I did once!
Since learning about dog behaviour I’ve been able to help others, as well as helping myself with our own dogs. My Whippet, Smudge, suffered terribly from separation anxiety and I made very elaborate arrangements so he was never left on his own because he would otherwise howl and pee around the house. I then met my wife and found that finally there was a way to truly help him. Now he doesn’t mind being left behind and is a much happier dog.
Our dog, Lottie, deployed all manner of attention seeking tricks including standing and staring at me intently which made me feel very uncomfortable when I first got together with Jo. Once I learned how to handle her, she went from pest to being a dog who is a real pleasure to be with.
And then there’s our Greyhound, Angus, who we rescued last year. Most Greyhounds are laid back couch potatoes but Angus wouldn’t come when called, ran up and down the garden barking so loudly the windows seemed to shake and was aggressive with all larger dogs. He didn’t like anyone disturbing him when he was sleeping and would growl at all of us. He had been stuck in a rescue centre for nearly six months as nobody wanted him and my wife persuaded me that he would be the perfect for us. A year on we have a beautiful dog who is a joy to live with. He is not perfect as big dogs still scare him terribly, (which seems strange as he is a huge dog himself) but he looks to us now for guidance and to protect him rather than going into “attack first and ask questions later” mode.
As you can see, we have hands on experience of doing the job of training ourselves. I guess you could say that we truly practice what we preach! So if you want to get it right from the outset and give your puppy the best start in life, or you have doggy problems you want to resolve, then let us give you the tools and techniques so you can have the pleasure of a calm and happy dog. Please call or email to find out more; we'd love to help.
how we can help you and your furry friend
The Bark Busters communication methods help solve behaviour issues such as aggression towards people or other animals
- Cure embarrassing habits like barking, jumping up on people, scratching & whining at doors or inappropriate toileting.
- Create an obedient dog or puppy that will happily walk on the lead without tugging, sit or stay on command, and come immediately when called.
- Set off-limit areas.
- Reduce the stress of separation anxiety without the need for sedatives or drugs.
We teach you to communicate with your pet.
Do you find yourself shouting? Do you think your pet isn't listening to you? Maybe you're simply not speaking their language. The Bark Busters communication method is based on the way how our dogs communicate with each other and how they learn from older, more experienced members in the pack. This is what makes our training unique and effective.
Why do we train in your home?
Your pet lives with a family, in a home. This is where he spends most of his time and misbehaves most often, so this is where our programme is most effective. Our dogs learn by association. Bark Busters teaches him to listen in the home environment. If he does not listen at home, he will most probably not listen outside where there are far more distractions.
In your home we teach a one-on-one system without other distractions or the stress of being sent away from you to learn.
Of course, where you are experiencing problems outside the home such as pulling on the lead or dog aggression etc..., we will set up controlled situations in the park or wherever is most practical.