what dog owners say about Jo & 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
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
Our Springer came to us as a rescue, with multiple issues, 5 years ago. At the time we had a lot of help from both Jo and Graham and due to their patience and advice we managed to settle her with our 2 other dogs. Fast forward 5 years and following major surgery poor Geri had a major meltdown, starting with not wanting to sleep at night and escalating into not being able to stop running around during the day unless restrained, really heart breaking. I called up Jo, and there were her and Graham ready to help with a whole new problem. Geri is a long way from fixed but with Jo and Graham’s help we are taking little steps every day and moving in the right direction. Without them I am pretty certain i would have lost my girl by now. As you can imagine I can’t recommend Bark Busters highly enough.T.C., Basildon, Essex (Testimonial)30th 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
We have been very impressed by Jo & Graham. Jo gave us a thorough virtual interview for our first session to understand our outcomes and to ensure that we had all of the relevant info needed for keeping a puppy happy and healthy. She was able to give us immediate guidance and advice about a number of issues specific to the border collie breed. We have since had two face-to-face sessions with Graham, and on both occasions he was very professional, a good listener and got to work straight away to help Sacha and us with simple and easy to understand techniques. It has been reassuring to understand what we are doing that is effective and what we are doing that is ineffective. We have seen significant improvements in the areas he worked on and so would highly recommend.Z.R., London (Testimonial)9th December 2020
7th June 2021Jo & Graham 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 2021Jo & Graham 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 2021Jo & Graham 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 2021Jo & Graham 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.
london, London (Testimonial)
9th May 2021Jo & Graham 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 2021Jo & Graham 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.
6th April 2021Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
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.
Resource guarding only happens when a dog is guarding something he or she prizes. It can be food, toys, items they like the look of (and steal), where they sleep and in some cases people they prize like their owner or owner's children. In many cases, this can be managed successfully like leaving a dog to eat in peace. However, that is not always possible, as in the case of Indie. Her owners took the time to do the work to ensure that Indie no longer feels threatened by an approach from them and is happy to give up items on request. It is well worth doing as a dog can be trained successfully and you can live in harmony with your dog.
Croydon, Surrey (Testimonial)
20th March 2021Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We initially got in touch because Finzi had separation Anxiety and we couldn't leave him alone for any length of time without him becoming distressed. Jo met with us several times on Zoom and talked us through some techniques we could use. Our routine has been changing because of lockdown but the work we have put in has paid off. Finzi has had a very good week- I’ve been back on the school site for 2 weeks now and he is getting into the new routine with me not there and Tim coming and going or in meetings in another room. It was really good to see Graham last week and get some advice on walking Finzi. The specialist lead arrived during the week- what a difference it makes. We have had a few walks with it now and this morning I took him across the Heath and into Greenwich park without getting my arm pulled out of its socket! It has made such a difference. Every now and then he tries to get to off, but mostly is not bothered by it Let’s hope it continues.
These owners had particular work setup difficulties which made it impossible to do the normal graduated separation program. They were happy to be quite creative and work with me to find what worked. There have been recent changes that disrupted Finzi because they were both at home again when the schools closed, but they have followed the advice and he has settled again. He is a beautiful looking and very powerful Lurcher which made lead walking difficult, but he is doing really well using a specific type of lead and head collar which ensures a dog can be walked safely and over long distances.
Lewisham, London (Testimonial)
16th March 2021Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Jo and Graham have been so great. I had a long chat with Jo on Zoom to discuss training/biting and everything in between and then Graham has been to see us twice, both times have been so useful especially with leash training, it really has given me the confidence to ensure Winn and I working together. I'm really so pleased with their knowledge and helpfulness.
Winn is a whippet puppy. What many people don't realise is that young whippets can be a real handful - cheeky, nervous and very, very fast! Winn and his owner responded very well to their training and doing really well now.
10th March 2021Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We contacted Bark Busters as we were new to owning a puppy and felt we needed guidance on all aspects associated with being a new dog owner. We found Graham to be a very calming influence to us and also Murray. His techniques for training Murray were excellent and covered all aspects of dog behaviour etc. It was great to see that after only a few minutes with Murray Graham had brought him under control. The instruction and face to face contact with Graham enabled us to see for ourselves what we should/should not be doing. Graham was always to hand when we were having a problem we could not deal with and he guided us through what to do. We found the notes he supplied to be very comprehensive and helpful. Murray is progressing with training, walking and recall work - not quite the finished article yet but we are getting there. He has said that should we need his help he is always at the end of a phone which we found reassuring. We were asked recently who our trainer was and we had no hesitation in recommending Bark Busters as we found Graham to be of great help to us.
Murray is a fantastic little fellow who just needed a guiding hand on his journey from puppy to fully grown dog. He's currently doing well in his teenage phase and his owners are coping brilliantly.
Orpington, Kent (Testimonial)