what dog owners say about Jo & Graham Milgrew

Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist

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What dog owners are saying about us

7th June 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Separation Anxiety

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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.

London (Testimonial)

27th May 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs and animals or barking for attention or at noises Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Recall or not coming when called

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 !!!!

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Puppy Management
Photo of J.G.'s dog

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

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs and animals or barking for attention or at noises Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Puppy Management Separation Anxiety Toileting

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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.

London (Testimonial)

26th April 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Pulling on the Lead Puppy Management

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

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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.

London (Testimonial)

6th April 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Other
Photo of J.M.'s dog

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Pulling on the Lead Separation Anxiety
Photo of B.G.'s dog

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Puppy Management
Photo of L.A.'s dog

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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.

London (Testimonial)

10th March 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead Puppy Management Recall or not coming when called Toileting

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
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)

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Areas Covered
Abridge, Acton, Addiscombe, Angel, Ardleigh Green, Aveley, Baker Street, Balham, Banstead, Barbican, Barking, Barking, Barkingside, Barnes, Barnsbury, Battersea, Battersea Park, Battersea Rise, Bayswater, Beckton, Becontree, Becontree Heath, Belgravia, Belmont, Bermondsey, Bexley, Bexleyheath, Bickley, Blackfriars, Blackheath, Bloomsbury, Bow, Brentford, Brixton, Brixton Hill, Broadgate, Brockley, Bromley, Brompton, Buckhurst Hill, Camberwell, Camden, Camden Town, Canning Town, Canonbury, Carshalton, Caterham, Catford, Central Croydon, Central London, Chadwell Heath, Chadwell St Mary, Chafford Hundred, Charing Cross, Charlton, Cheam, Chelsea, Chelsea, Chigwell, Chipstead, Chislehurst, Chiswick, City, City Of London, Clapham, Clapham Common, Clapham Junction, Clapham North, Clapham Park, Clapham South, Clapton, Clayhall, Clerkenwell, Collier Row, Collierswood, Coulsdon, Covent Garden, CR0, CR1, CR2, CR3, CR4, CR5, CR6, CR7, CR8, CR9, Cranham, Crayford, Croydon, Crystal Palace, Crystal Palace, Dagenham, Dagenham, Dartford, Denmark Hill, Deptford, Dulwich, E1, Ealing, Earls Court, Earls Court, East Balham, East Croydon, East Ham, East Tilbury, EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4, Elm Park, Eltham, Embankment, Emerson Park, Euston, Farringdon, Finchley, Finsbury, Footscray, Forest Hill, Fulham, Gants Hill, Gidea Park, Golders Green, Goodmayes, Grays, Green Park, Greenhithe, Greenwich, Grove Park, Hackney, Hainault, Hammersmith, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hampstead, Harlesden, Harold Hill, Harold Park, Harold Wood, Havering-atte-bower, Hayes, Heath Park, Herne Hill, Highbury, Holborn, Holland Park, Homerton, Hornchurch, Hoxton, Hyde Farm, Hyde Park, Ilford, Islington, Kenley, Kennington, Kensington, Kensington, Kentish Town, Kidbrooke, Kings Cross, Knightsbridge, Ladywell, Lambeth, Lavender Hill, Lee, Lewisham, Limehouse, Little Heath, Liverpool Street, London, London Bridge, Loughton, Maida Vale, Manor Park, Marks Gate, Marylebone, Mawneys, Mayfair, Mitcham, Morden, Mottingham, N1, N5, Navestock, New Cross, Newbury Park, Noak Hill, Norbury, North Ockenden, North Stifford, Norwood, Notting Hill, NW11, NW3, NW8, Old Street, Olympia, Orpington, Orsett, Oval, Oxford Circus, Paddington, Penge, Petts Wood, Piccadilly, Pimlico, Plaistow, Plumstead, Poplar, Primrose Hill, Purfleet, Purley, Purley Downs, Rainham, Redbridge, Regents Park, Riddlesdown, Romford, Rotherhithe, Rush Green, Russell Square, Sanderstead, SE1, SE11, SE19, SE21, SE24, SE25, SE27, SE5, Selhurst, Selsdon, Seven Kings, Shepherds Bush, Shirley, Shooters Hill, Shoreditch, Shortlands, Sidcup, Sloane Square, SM1, SM2, SM3, SM4, SM5, SM6, Smithfield, Soho, South Croydon, South Hornchurch, South Kensington, South Lambeth, South London, South Norwood, South Norwood, South Ockenden, South Stifford, South West London, Southall, Southborough, Southwark, Square Mile, St Mary Cray, St Paul's Cray, St. James, St. James Park, St. Johns Wood, St. Pancras, St. Pauls, Stapleford Abbotts, Stapleford Aerodrome, Stapleford Tawney, Stockwell, Strand, Stratford, Streatham, Streatham Common, Streatham Hill, Streatham Vale, Sutton, SW London, SW1, SW10, SW11, SW12, SW16, SW17, SW2, SW3, SW4, SW5, SW6, SW7, SW8, SW9, Swanley, Swanscombe, Sydenham, Thamesmead, Thornton Heath, Thurrock, Tilbury, Tooting, Tooting Bec, Tulse Hill, Upminster, Vauxhall, Victoria, W1, W10, W11, W12, W14, W2, W8, W9, Wallington, Walthamstow, Walworth, Warlingham, WC1, WC2, Welling, Wennington, West Brompton, West Croydon, West Dulwich, West End, West Ham, West Hampstead, West Kensington, West Norwood, West Thurrock, West Tilbury, West Wickham, Westminster, Willesden, Woldingham, Woodford Bridge, Woodford Green, Woolwich

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