meet your specialist trainers Jo & Graham Milgrew
Bark Busters Home Dog Training & Behaviour Covering South London
Hello, our names are Graham and Jo and we are your local trainers and behavioural therapists for Bark Busters Home Dog Training South London.
Jo and I 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 and in the local park or on the common. 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 all doggie problems including jumping, pulling on the lead, recall (dogs that don’t come back), mouthing and nipping, aggression to other dogs or to humans (dogs that bark, growl and/or lunge), hyperactivity (dog’s that struggle to calm down), destructive behaviour including chewing and digging, toilet training for all ages, chasing (animals, joggers, cycles, cars and even children), barking, whining, howling and separation anxiety (dogs who can’t cope with being on their own), obsessive behaviours, attentiveness (dogs that don’t want to listen!!) and general obedience. We will not be judgemental or critical or tell you off in any way about your dog’s 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 Graham
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 we’re not careful we can behave inappropriately towards the dog and this only makes the situation worse.
We can also just “manage” problems rather than tackle them. 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 wee everywhere when he was. I then met my wife and found that finally there was a way to truly help him.
We have a small Lurcher (Whippet/Terrier cross) girl called Lottie. She had been a working dog killing rats and rabbits until she had a serious accident when she was 7 and was then too slow to do her job but she would still chase squirrels and cats with absolute determination. Nothing would stop her when she was in “prey” mode. She didn’t like dogs and would sometimes charge at dogs to drive them away. If they barked at her she would bark and bark and keep barking until they were a spot in the distance. When I met her she was still a very high energy dog and needed a lot of channelling in the right direction. She is now losing her sight so gets disorientated and did run at great speed in the wrong direction and as she is going deaf we can’t call her. After a few scary incidents we have trained her to stay close and walks are no longer stressful.
We got our Greyhound Angus 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 had been stuck in a rescue for nearly six months as nobody wanted him so my wife persuaded me that he would be the perfect for us and 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.
More about Jo
I became a Bark Busters Trainer because of personal experience. My sister’s dog was a lovely, friendly and obedient dog, but when 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 get that once a dog has bitten he will bite again 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. 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, this proved to be a life changing moment. I realised that people did not have put up with their dogs problems or try to solve it themselves. Even if it was a truly difficult problem, a dog could be helped. This was something I wanted to do and was a perfect fit with my own life experience. I had always been what my friends and family call a "doggie person" and 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 scruffy mongrel who had been given up by his owners after being attacked in the park and had started to attack any other dogs he met. Zak, a German Shepherd who pulled so hard on his lead he was walking on his back legs. He suffered from terrible separation anxiety and he ripped up my furniture when I left him on his own. His previous owner had shut him under the stairs to stop him destroying the house. 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 water. Jason was a miniature poodle whose owner died and nobody liked him enough to have him. This was not surprising. He was possessive 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 urinate in the house. This personal experience means that I am always careful to look at possible medical reasons for problem behaviour.
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.