what dog owners say about Graham Milgrew
Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist
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What dog owners are saying about us
I contacted Bark Busters when I realised my puppy is very reluctant to stay on his own. I was not able to take a shower without him panicking and starting to bark like there's no tomorrow. I frantically googled what to do with him and advice was mainly: start by leaving him for short periods of time such as 5 minutes. I was not able to leave him for 5 seconds and this was starting to affect my mental health. I had considered getting a dog for years and I have had dogs before but nothing prepared me for what I was facing now with my puppy. I had the first Zoom session with Jo and she ensured me that I am not the cause of this problem and she was very understanding that I was struggling. Jo helped me by being very encouraging and ensuring me that progress is being made. I have a habit of seeing the negative things and ignore the positive ones. We are now at the stage where my puppy is able to be on his own for 2 hours and the time keeps increasing slowly but surely. I take this as a huge success when I think back: even 5 seconds of alone time was too much for the dog. Graham also came to visit us and gave me great tips how to train with the puppy. I am now about to contact Jo again to help us further with the training (barking etc.) Jo did not only help the puppy, she helped me to cope.V.V., London (Testimonial)7th June 2021
Our Miniature Goldendoodle, Indie, is a resource guarder. As our first dog, training a puppy was utterly new to us, and while we were successful in some areas, we were also struggling in others. It wasn’t long before our lack of understanding showed, and our puppy soon developed a possessive aggressive nature over things she would pick up and find. We were at such a loss on what to do, and it was causing us a lot of stress and anxiety; cue Jo & Graham Milgrew, who – quite literally – came in and rescued us from this downward spiral. They showed us that it wasn’t an issue with her alone but with how we were handling the situation and that we needed to change to help Indie. Indie’s guarding was quite severe to give you some background, although it never happened with food or toys, her resource guarding came into play whenever she picked something up on her walk or if she found something around the flat. Instead of growling to warn us off, she would go straight to biting and with every episode, we knew the situation was getting worse. In our initial meeting with Jo, she talked us through resource guarding, explained the situation from Indie’s point of view – which was eye-opening – and gave us some steps which we could take to help the situation. We immediately followed those steps, which centred around getting Indie to trust us again, and since then, she has completely changed. It took some time to build up that trust, but it was like a sudden switch in her behaviour one day. She would allow us to stroke her when she had something she would typically guard, and then she learnt to drop and swap it for something else. Which was just amazing and a point I’d never thought we’d get to. We understand that Indie is and probably always will be a resource guarder, but we don’t take anything away from her as she listens to us and swaps it for something else. A key takeaway from the training was learning to remain calm and relaxed when she had something; if we got stressed, her guarding would worsen. We know now that dog training is not a linear process, but with both Jo & Graham’s help, it can be an easier thing to tackle. We’d highly recommend getting in contact; it’s a decision you and your best friend would never regret.J.M., Croydon, Surrey (Testimonial)6th April 2021
Started my training way back in September 2019 with Jo and from the moment of meeting Jo I just knew I was in good hands. Jo was so knowledgeable, confident and put me and Gypsy at ease very quickly. The training tips she showed me helped so much with my feelings of despair. Gypsy was a rescue dog having been dumped in my daughter's front garden spray painted blue and her tail had been docked so she had a lot of issues. Fast forward to 2020 and COVID. Jo has always been ready and happy to help with any “niggles” whether by phone or text or email or video. Now in another new year and some problems have been causing me concern; in comes Graham and must say our meeting yesterday was “spot on” he had such simple answers to what I thought were big problems. All his ideas and answers have been so helpful. Jo and Graham thank you and you two are amazing.S.B., Beddington, Surrey (Testimonial)4th March 2021
Absolutely FANTASTIC. Both Jo & Graham are total experts. They analysed instantly what was going on with Obi's body language and where the root cause of his anxious behaviour was coming from. Jo spent hours at the initial zoom meeting really getting in depth with Obi's history and daily routine. She gave us really useful information about change of diet and other helpful tools to help us progress. Graham came over to our house and spent over two hours working with us and Obi to train us into better routines. Obi struggles with fear of the neighbours children and would growl and bark at them. Within ONE hour of graham working with them, Obi was happily sitting on the sofa with the little girl from next door. We've seen great improvement since then. Haven't stopped telling everyone I know with a dog what a god send these two are!J.W., bromley, London (Testimonial)17th January 2021
Jo and Graham have not only been very helpful but also great fun. They both obviously have a great depth of knowledge and experience and they pass it on in a very clear and easy to understand way. I felt like an experienced dog owner but wanted advice on introducing a puppy to my older dog. Jo not only helped with the transition phase but also taught me a LOT about both the new and the old dogs. My wife and I actually felt empowered after speaking to her. Graham is the one who visits and he also has a lovely manner and a calm, sure way of explaining things. He got INSTANT results with the puppy and in seconds he solved the problem of our old dog pulling on the lead. This has been bothering us for 9 years!!! I can't recommend Jo and Graham enough and we will be continuing to work with them over the coming months/years as I now see how expert advice has improved our relationship with our dogs.G.K., Ealing, London (Testimonial)17th December 2020
5th September 2021Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Jo and graham have been absolutely amazing for us being first time dog owners! We NEVER would have thought about food making such a difference to a dog’s behaviour, but Jo recommended new food and treats and it is like we have a new dog!
These owners have a wonderful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel girl. They have made wonderful progress and are well on their way to having a wonderful little dog they can be truly proud of.
2nd September 2021Graham Milgrew dealt with:
I had recently taken on two male pugs, very close in age. They would compete with each other; to have their harness put on first; to be first through the front door; to be first to sniff the approaching dog. Every walk was fraught. Then I came across Jo & Graham. Jo provided a very reassuring and understanding voice over the phone and took a great deal of time to talk through and note the issues we were experiencing, in order to equip Graham for his 1:1 visit with us. Graham arrived and immediately had gravitas with the dogs: they listened to him. He gave me very clear instructions to enable me to train and improve the dogs' behaviour. Things were improving, but there was still work to be done with the dogs and Graham kindly made another visit to us a few months later. That second training session with Graham really helped consolidate the training ideas I had been taught, and I now feel empowered and much more confident in dealing with any remaining behavioural issues. A huge thank you to both Jo and Graham - my "Manna from Heaven" - for helping us through our issues and for giving us the tools to keep improving.
This owner did every bit of training asked and more to the point practised with her two pups. Two young dogs can be very hard work when puppies and even more as adolescents but this owner spent a lot of time reinforcing the good behaviour she wanted and ironing out the difficulties over time.
11th August 2021Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We have received comprehensive guidelines both online and face to face. We feel comfortable with this and confident that this will help us and Bailey. We feel Jo and Graham will guide us with any issues that arise and already feel Bailey’s taking notice. We have a long way to go yet but this is just week one.
These owners have a nervous shy dog. She seems to be confident, but a lot of it is bravado. She has responded very well to being taught simple routines to help her when meeting visitors and new people. She has also been learning to be calmer around the grandchildren and another family dog. It takes time when a dog is not certain of itself, but these owners have made lots of progress already.
Bexleyheath, Kent (Testimonial)
21st July 2021
My first lesson was a zoom call, with Jo. I found this invaluable as it gave me a real insight into my dog and his behaviour and I realised he isn't being naughty but just being a puppy. We did a lesson on 'watch me' or 'look at me' which was very successful as a first training method and Hector and I practice every day.
This owner has a 10-month-old English Bulldog. He was a typical young dog and really struggled to pay attention to his owner, but adored her so was always getting underfoot. He was also very excitable and anything new would make him explode with energy. Not easy to handle in such a heavy-built dog. His owner has worked really hard on getting his attention and their follow up visit recently has shown how far she has come with him. He is a total credit to her.
London, Greater Manchester (Testimonial)
7th June 2021Graham Milgrew dealt with:
I contacted Bark Busters when I realised my puppy is very reluctant to stay on his own. I was not able to take a shower without him panicking and starting to bark like there's no tomorrow. I frantically googled what to do with him and advice was mainly: start by leaving him for short periods of time such as 5 minutes. I was not able to leave him for 5 seconds and this was starting to affect my mental health. I had considered getting a dog for years and I have had dogs before but nothing prepared me for what I was facing now with my puppy. I had the first Zoom session with Jo and she ensured me that I am not the cause of this problem and she was very understanding that I was struggling. Jo helped me by being very encouraging and ensuring me that progress is being made. I have a habit of seeing the negative things and ignore the positive ones. We are now at the stage where my puppy is able to be on his own for 2 hours and the time keeps increasing slowly but surely. I take this as a huge success when I think back: even 5 seconds of alone time was too much for the dog. Graham also came to visit us and gave me great tips how to train with the puppy. I am now about to contact Jo again to help us further with the training (barking etc.) Jo did not only help the puppy, she helped me to cope.
The assumption with puppies is that it is natural for them to cry for their Mum and Siblings and that if you leave them to cry it out for a few nights they will get over it. The sad thing is that for many puppies this is not true. If it is recognised that the puppy is struggling then the advice is to crate and to start leaving a puppy for 5 minutes and build from there. Again there are puppies who cannot cope with this and the owner is left to feel they are must be doing something wrong because their friends and family puppies were quickly fine. When a puppy has true separation anxiety help is needed to make sure the puppy doesn't grow up unable to be left on his or her own, This little pup is doing fine now but has started a common adolescent behaviour of barking on lead which we are tackling now.
27th May 2021Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We have had our first virtual meeting with Jo, who I found to be extremely experienced within her role and completely open and honest. Felt totally relaxed and relieved by the end of our call. Thank you Jo !!!!
These owners have taken on a Springer Spaniel who has a truly terrible history with multiple homes in his short 4 years. He has finally found a home who are prepared to help him with his numerous problems. We foster and rehabilitate dogs ourselves and understand how much a damaged dog can disrupt the household. These owners have been doing a huge amount right and need help with some of the more complicated issues he is presenting with. Both Graham and I are looking forward to continuing to work with these owners and both their dogs.
Slade Green, Kent (Testimonial)
27th May 2021Graham Milgrew dealt with:
I came to Jo and Graham as I was incredibly upset that I was not doing well with my new puppy and thought I would have to give him up, which would have been devastating as I fell in love with Bob at first sight. But, I picked a border collie so an active dog - which I knew, but did not know it would be so hard. I was immediately reassured that I am not a bad Mum to Bob. I just needed to learn how to manage him and his needs. I hadn't appreciated the attention he needed 24/7 but that this could be on my terms. He also was a nipper so I thought he didn't like me as my arms could testify but I was again reassured that this was not good behaviour but could be changed. Yes! My puppy doesn't hate me! I learnt a lot from Graham's visits for training but have to say that Jo has been totally straight with me, honest and transparent when looking at dog behaviour. My relationship with Bob has become stronger as he has more direction from me and more structured time. My partner is happier when he comes home as Bob enjoys quality time but understands when to calm it down. Still very much work in progress as it's up and down but there are more positives and I am so pleased that I did not throw in the towel early doors as Bob has enhanced my life and I know he loves me as much as I love him. Should have got a lap-dog? No chance. He's the love of my life and I am going to do everything I can to make his life with me a good one. Thank you to Jo and Graham - highly recommended and always available for emergency chats x
Some dogs are hard going as puppies. Herding breeds are often very nippy. They are affectionately called Puppy Piranhas by some Trainers, but it is no fun for the owner who is on the receiving end and who is bitten black and blue. There is no quick fix. A lot of work has been done to appropriately train and direct these dogs, They have a very strong work ethic and when they are puppies they don't have the emotional or physical maturity to deal with many day-to-day situations. It is down to the owner to train and guide these pups. Despite this, many owners love their high energy dog and go on to own these types of dogs for life as they do give so much in return.
Dagenham, Essex (Testimonial)
10th May 2021Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We were in desperate need of help as my brother had to go into hospital at short notice and we were left with four very wild and uncontrollable rescue dogs. Graham was very patient and helped us feel confident with the dogs. He gave us several tips and made us aware of how to read their body language and the signals they were giving us. Graham has been invaluable in assisting us to manage the dogs as without his intervention they may have had to be rehomed. Very grateful for Graham enormous support and years of experience with training dogs. These dogs are like children to my brother and it was so important as a family that we are able to care and look after them in the future when he is not with us any more.
As stated, the owner of these 4 older, rescue dogs was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The dogs were very bonded to him and protective of him. Due to his illness it became necessary for the family and external carers to visit regularly and, in some cases, live with him. The dogs handled this badly at first and there was a real concern that they might have to be moved on as people were scared of them. For the first week we simply concentrated on getting the dogs relaxed and desensitised to their new reality. I'm pleased to say that everyone got involved and very soon it became a calmer and more relaxed household. We are continuing to work with the family as they face the future.
9th May 2021Graham Milgrew dealt with:
I was having issues settling my new puppy & contacted Barkbusters. My trainer was Jo Milgrew & she was an absolute lifesaver. Jo provided practice help & advice and supported me throughout. She gave sound tips on how to get my puppy settled into her new home, help on toilet training and provided guidance on setting a good night time routine. My puppy display separation anxiety and I had no clue about this or how to manage it and Jo was instrumental in guiding me through this really difficult and stressful time. I cannot recommend her services high enough she actually saved my sanity!! Jo is extremely knowledgeable, empathetic and professional and I would not have survived without her help. Thank you Jo and Barkbusters, you are providing a great service and worth every penny spent.
A new puppy is often much harder work than anyone can anticipate. This owner researched very carefully, prepared perfectly but had a puppy that was very fretful and unable to settle at night. This is exhausting for anyone and makes it difficult to cope. never mind enjoy the puppy you were really looking forward to. This is where we can help and give the ongoing support needed that cannot be found in books or online training (as much as both of those come highly recommended as well from us) to get owners through the difficult patches.
26th April 2021Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We first contacted Jo when Norfi was a puppy and were immediately impressed by her warmth, knowledge and dog whispering skills! Jo gave us the confidence to practice many of her suggestions without her supervision and there's no doubt she's made a huge difference to Norfi as we've watched him grow into the happy and cheeky little rascal he is. Recently Jo has been helping us with Norfi's car anxiety which has been very helpful and I'm sure will make a big difference! Many thanks, Kip & Jo
Norfi is a gorgeous Norfolk Terrier and has grown into a dog his owners can be really proud of. He is a very confident little dog and was happy traveling in the car, but recently has become very fearful when there is no obvious reason. Programs can be done to gently get a dog used to travel in a car/on a train/on a bus, but sudden onset fear like this means that it is not straightforward and his owners will have to try different options to see what helps Norfi. Fear is tricky to deal with as a dog can become more sensitive but if handled carefully Norfi will be able to enjoy traveling again.