what dog owners say about Jo & Graham Milgrew

Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist

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4th 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 Hyperactivity Pulling on the Lead

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
This owner has had to deal with issues that not many owners have.  The spray paint mentioned is used in the illegal world of dog fighting so Gyspy had a lucky escape whether from this or from general neglect where someone thought it would be fun to put paint on a puppy.  Gypsy has many issues and her owner has always stayed in touch and got help when needed with Gypsy.  As a result, she has brought Gypsy up to be a really lovely happy girl who has a great life. It has been a total pleasure to help.

Beddington, Surrey (Testimonial)

28th February 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 Hyperactivity
Photo of S.B.'s dog

We are delighted with the progress made with Harley, and look forward to further, beneficial support from Bark Busters. We would certainly recommend them.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Harley is a 4 year old lurcher who is very friendly and affectionate to his human owners, who adopted him 6 months prior to asking us for some help. The main problem that they encountered was that Harley was very reactive to other dogs outdoors and would try to attack them. Walks were not fun or calming! After a couple of sessions we had reached the stage where the owners could go for a relaxing walk with Harley who, is now stand-offish rather than aggressive to other dogs. He still has his moments but things are progressing well.

West Wickham, London (Testimonial)

16th February 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Barking at people, dogs and animals or barking for attention or at noises Hyperactivity Pulling on the Lead
Photo of C.P.'s dog

The 3 sessions we have had with Jo and Graham have been so helpful. Jo helped us with a long zoom call to go through our concerns about Vita and gave us some helpful training strategies and also sent us notes. Graham came to visit us and went through training techniques and when I was concerned about Vita's behaviour came to see us very quickly and gave us some really useful advice. I have found them very supportive and not at all judgemental and would recommend them. Graham’s calm approach had an almost immediate effect on our dog's challenging behaviour.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
These owners have a wonderfully energetic young Miniature Schnauzer.  Unfortunately, Vita found children particularly exciting and had started to chase after them barking which was scary for both the children, their parents, and Vita's owners.  Chasing starts out as a novelty whether exciting or scary.  It can be very difficult to control as it is natural dog behaviour and can also turn predatory with a dog trying to nip at feet and legs as they would if chasing an animal. Vita's owners have taken action while she is still young and they are having success at managing and retraining Vita.  She is still an adolescent so this will take time, but they are progressing in the right direction and will have our support on the way to deal with any glitches in the process.

London (Testimonial)

30th January 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 Sibling Rivalry - aggression or fighting between dogs in the same household Separation Anxiety Other
Photo of T.C.'s dog

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Geri had serious behavioural issues after her surgery.  This was brought on by needing to be crated to recover from surgery when she has separation anxiety.  The stress of this unbalanced her and once she recovered from her surgery she was unable to settle either in or out of her crate. Geri's owner is not exaggerating about losing her dog. The Vet had advised considering euthanasia the circumstances were so extreme. Fortunately we were able to advise on a behaviour program supported by Vet medication that alleviated the crisis. Geri's road to mental and physical recovery will be slow but she is on the way now.

Basildon, Essex (Testimonial)

17th January 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 Puppy Management
Photo of J.W.'s dog

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!

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
Obi is a lovely dog but he is not confident and becomes easily unnerved. His owners got on really well with their neighbours and were concerned at his fears around their children. Many dog are fearful of young children because they are unpredictable. They can cope with older children and adults because they know what is going to happen next.  With young children it is helping a dog observe a child so they can get used to them without feeling under threat.  This does have to be undertaken carefully as it can backfire and scare a dog more.  This is why putting training in place first was so important with Jo before a hands on follow up with Graham.  Obi's owners practiced and gave Obi the best chance they could of success. It will need ongoing work, but Obi is looking to his owners now for support and help when he is scared and this will reap rewards going forward.

bromley, London (Testimonial)

4th January 2021

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Barking at people, dogs and animals or barking for attention or at noises Puppy Management Recall or not coming when called Separation Anxiety Toileting
Photo of L.O.'s dog

I had training on my Puppy panic! from Jo and Graham. Their service is exceptional. When they say "We will offer follow up sessions and advice whenever needed" they actually mean it! As a first time dog owner I found it reduced my anxiety a lot to know that I could keep asking questions and get help throughout Piglet's first year and that there would be continuity so I could just listen to one person (or in this case two) who knew what they were talking about. It seems anyone and everyone I came across had an opinion on what I should do with Piglet and they all contradicted each other so I was feeling overwhelmed and guilty before I signed up with Jo and Graham. I'm trained with a science background so I really appreciated having clear explanations from Jo in particular, of why and how the training tips work as this helped me have faith that things would improve - which they did! Piglet has got so much better with toilet training, crate and pen training, sleeping through the night, walking on the lead and recall. I've gone back to Jo and Graham recently only because now he's entering adolescence Piglet has started the typical things (e.g. territorial barking) and they are again being fantastic! The combination of Zoom sessions with Jo and in-person with Graham works really well. We are soon likely to do completely online sessions too with me providing live video of Piglet, which I think will work just as well. They are really flexible with appointment times and always send emails with notes and helpful documents at the end of the session. That means you don't have to scribble down your own notes you can focus entirely on what they're teaching you and you have a good resource to go back to afterwards. I have nothing but praise for this service and have already recommended it to several other new puppy owners in my local park. It is extremely good value for money. If like me you're keen to the 'right' thing by giving your dog the best experience of you as an owner, and you don't want your dog to be a pain to anyone else and you don't know which books/people/free YouTube advice to trust....just call Jo and Graham!

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
This owner has a miniature Dachshund. Piglet has not been the easiest of puppies and his owner has had to consistently work with him to overcome his fearfulness including walking issues, alarm barking plus separation problems as well as everything else required to bring up a puppy successfully  When you do have puppy or dog issues it is natural for people to give advice and some people can scare owners no matter how well meaning the advice is.  It is particularly difficult when it come to the breeder or other people experienced with dogs, for example in rescue, giving advice on behaviour, as they are still only giving it from their own point of view and not because they work and study in the field as we do.  We know that there is no "one way" and that every dog and owner is an individual unit so any advice must be tailored to their circumstances.  It is also not as simple reading a book or reading on the internet either because it can only be general advice, even though that advice might be excellent.  Recently Piglets separation problems have re-occurred and online is invaluable for that as we can either watch live or see video of Piglet, plus also coach his owner live via phone video when he is territorially barking in his garden. This is not to replace face to face. It is the better choice in these circumstances. A dog is not going to exhibit separation problems when you are there plus he loves people so is not going to territorially bark when the Trainer is there and distracting him.  Our combination approach means that owners get the help they need delivered in the most effective way possible,

South East London, London (Testimonial)

2nd January 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 Recall or not coming when called
Photo of C.W.'s dog

We came to Jo and Graham feeling like we were at the end of our tether with our 8 month old Chow Chow Indiana. She had started out as a very normal happy and playful puppy who loved interacting with new people and was very loving towards us. Then at about 5 months old she started to become very different, wary and aggressive towards new people, which led to her biting on multiple occasions. We were quick to realise that we needed to work on her behaviour immediately, so we sent her away to residential training in Kent, hoping for him to help with her people aggression. However the Trainers uncommunicative style and lack of openness about training methods wasn't suitable for us. Thankfully soon after this we found Jo and Graham at Barkbusters, who were helpful and reassuring with tips and advice even on our first phone call which was just to enquire about their training methods. They have continued to provide advice and information that has helped us in the journey towards sorting Indy's aggression problem. She still has a long way to go, as hers is not a problem that you can fix quickly and overnight, but we are making progress and we are thankful for the support that Jo and Graham have provided. We highly recommend.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
It is common to blame owners if they have an aggressive dog and especially if the breed is known to be wary of people like a Chow Chow is. The thing is that you can do everything right and still have a problem. It is how you tackle it that problem that is the most important. These owners have gone the extra mile. As well as training, they have been doing behaviour modification to convince Indy that people are not as threatening as she thinks. As she looks like a beautiful Teddy Bear people are still not respecting her and ignoring instructions even with a muzzle on, but over time she is becoming less scared and is now having good interactions. This is entirely down to the diligence of her owners who have made every effort to help Indy cope.

London (Testimonial)

17th December 2020

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Pulling on the Lead Puppy Management Recall or not coming when called Separation Anxiety
Photo of G.K.'s dog

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
These are wonderful owners with two amazing dogs.  The puppy Lurcher Elvis is a bouncing bundle of fun while the older dog Spike is like an elder statesman.  Spike was really nonplussed when Elvis arrived, but after a bit of hard work from their owners, in true elder statesman style he has decided that the young upstart can stay.  These owners are genuinely experienced including with Gun Dogs in the field but for anyone a new puppy can turn family life upside down - especially while so many of us are working from home and the puppy wants full time attention.  These owners have got it right and we look forward to seeing Elvis reach his full doggy potential.

Ealing, London (Testimonial)

9th December 2020

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: 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
Photo of Z.R.'s dog

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.

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
It is generally considered that Collies should not be in an urban environment, but this is not the case provided the owners fulfil a dogs breed needs.  Sacha's owners researched and chose carefully and then made sure they did everything right when it came to bringing up their puppy who is now an adolescent.  As a result they have really happy and fulfilled Border Collie happily living in London who has loads of doggy friends and is a delight to take out.

London (Testimonial)

2nd December 2020

Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Puppy Management Sibling Rivalry - aggression or fighting between dogs in the same household

Having had dogs all my life as a child and adult... getting new dogs didn’t seem such a big deal. Having trained our own dogs I would consider myself an experienced dog handler. We got a puppy first and then a few weeks later got a rescue pup and found ourselves out of Depth, 2 dogs in different rooms one being very aggressive towards the other I didn’t know what to do ... thanks to the help and advice from both Jo and Graham... we have 2 very happy dogs

Trainer note from Jo & Graham:
This owner really does know about dogs and was well organised and did everything right.  However, the rescue dog came earlier than planned, she had a puppy that wasn't easy to handle, and despite introducing them correctly the dogs were not getting on together.  She has now turned this completely around and it is a delight to see the dogs happy together.

Abbeywood, London (Testimonial)

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