meet your specialist trainers Jo & Graham Milgrew
Home Dog Training and Behaviour for South East London
Hello, our names are Jo and Graham and we are your local Behavioural Therapists for Bark Busters Home Dog Training South East London
We specialise in one-to-one training in your home where we don’t just provide a behavioural consultation with advice, we actually demonstrate how to train your dog. We have a genuine any breed, any age, any problem policy and see you and your dog in the environment where the problems are occurring. This includes in your home, when out walking on the road or by the river and off lead in the local park or common and even at your local cafe. We then provide concrete practical solutions with follow up visits and phone and email support for a whole year after your first visit.
We help with jumping, pulling on the lead and harness, recall (dogs that don’t come back) mouthing and nipping, aggression to other dogs or humans (dogs that bark, growl and/or lunge), destructive behaviour including chewing and digging, hyperactivity (dog’s that find it hard to calm down) toilet training for all ages, chasing (animals, cycles, cars and even children), barking, howling, separation anxiety (dogs who don’t like being on their own), obsessive behaviours, attentiveness (dogs that don’t listen!!) and general obedience.
For puppies we make sure you get off to the best start possible with the reassurance that you can contact 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 my 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 dogs, who came with their own doggie baggage.
There was Bobby, a 9 year old scruffy mongrel who had been given up on by his owners after he was attacked in the park and then started to attack any other dogs he met. Zak, a huge German Shepherd who pulled so hard on both a lead and harness he walked on his back legs. He suffered from terrible separation anxiety and he ripped up my furniture and chewed doors when I left him on his own. Russ, an elderly mongrel, who had a benign brain tumour and was given to me by my Vet; we had to hand feed him his food and show him where his water was every day. Jason was a miniature poodle whose owner died and nobody in the family would have him. He and would sit on my lap and growl if anyone came near me. He also had separation anxiety and barked and whined constantly when I went out. He was 10 years old and I was told I couldn’t do anything with him at that age, but that was not true. An old dog can be helped just as much as a young one and he ended his life happy and loved by my whole family.
I did have one puppy and chose a Yorkshire Terrier; Billy was a total delight with no actual behavioural problems, but he developed a serious medical condition which meant he couldn't deal with stress and would wee in the house. This experience means that I am always careful to look at possible medical reasons for problem behaviour.
At the moment my husband and I have 3 dogs. The dog I had before we met is a 12 year old Whippet/Terrier cross girl who I named Lottie. She was a working dog until she had a serious accident when she was 7 and was then too slow to do her job. She had a jumping problem and would growl and nip people if they tried to stop her stealing food. She would chase squirrels and cats with absolute determination. Nothing would stop her when she was in “prey” mode. She didn’t like some dogs and would charge at the unlucky ones to drive them away. If a dog barked at her she would bark and bark and keep barking until they were a spot in the distance. With a bit of patience and training this was all sorted but she is now going deaf and blind so we have sleigh bells on her collar so we know exactly where she is going off lead 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. We thought we were managing it successfully until 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 get rid of the dog. Once a dog has bitten he will bite again. He was a bad dog and couldn’t be trusted. Fortunately they recognised that they needed help with their dog and called in Bark Busters.
The Bark Busters Therapist came to see us all and we were given a simple programme to follow that meant we changed how we behaved with Ouzo. From the first lesson 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 put up with their dogs issues or try to solve it themselves. Even if the problem was truly difficult, a dog could be helped by caring owners by following proven and practical methods.
More about Graham
My wife Jo introduced me to the world of dog training and behaviour. Prior to this 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?” You’ve probably asked yourself at least one of these questions at some point – I know that I once did!
Now I’m able to take the skills and techniques that I’ve learned and use them to help others to enjoy life with their dogs. But I don’t just preach, I practice these skills in my own life 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 howl pitifully and pee around the house when he was left behind. Now he waves us goodbye and settles down for a sleep when we leave. Whippets love to sleep...
We added our Greyhound Angus to our family last year, when we rescued him. Most Greyhounds are laid back couch potatoes but Angus wouldn’t come when called, ran up and down the garden barking loudly and would bark and lunge at all large dogs while wanting to play with all small dogs. He hated to be disturbed when sleeping and would growl at us when disturbed. A year on and we have a beautiful dog who is a joy to live with. He is not perfect as big dogs still un-nerve him, (which seems strange as he is a large 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.
Then there’s Lottie, who has already been mentioned. Lottie made a living out of pestering me when I first met Jo. But, after being taught how to deal with this behaviour Lottie and I settled down together and have a really close relationship. In fact, it was remarked by a speaker at our wedding that Jo and I had exchanged dogs as well as exchanging vows!
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.