what our clients say about Jo & Graham Milgrew
Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist
You can filter these results to find reviews related to behavior problems of interest.
8th April 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
When I contacted Barkbusters my pug puppy was 9 months old and had acquired a habit of barking at everything and anything â€¦ cars, birds, people etc. In the garden and house she would territorial bark and when out on the lead would get extremely nervous and bark at passersby.
I had tried several techniques but all to no avail. Then one day I came across the Barkbusters website. Feeling I had nothing to lose I contact them and was put in touch with Jo Milgrew. This was the first step to a happier and contented pug.
After just a few hours with Freya, Jo was able to let me know why Freya was behaving the way she was and how to avoid or handle this behaviour going forward. Just understanding why Freya was acting this way helped us both deal with situations better and although Freya will always be a nervous dog she is so much happier and confident now.
There is still a long way to go, with continuous reinforcement needed but Jo is always there to answer my questions and deal with anything new that arises. The training notes provided are a constant source of reassurance, allowing me to refer back to Joâ€™s advice as and when needed.
Jo is a fantastic trainer and never once made me feel inadequate as an owner. She provided practical advice that fitted in with our lifestyle and gave several alternatives so we could find what works for us. And the most important thing â€¦ Freya adores her!
Freya is not a confident dog and gets distressed when out on walks and in the garden. She feels the need to bark to alert her owner to "danger" and to try and keep anything away that might possibly be a threat. This type of behaviour can get worse over time because the dogs thinks it is successful. Birds will fly away, people will jump back so all that barking works from the dogs point of view. Dealing with this takes time and patience. The owner has to build her dogs confidence and at the same time let her know that she doesn't need protecting from possible dangers. Anyone who has tried to break one of their own habits will know that this isn't something you can do overnight, but can be done. Freya is making amazing progress and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Freya and her owner.
5th April 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Jo spent 3 hours with us and identified problems I hadn't spotted, particularly with my older dog. Everything she told, and showed, me was excellent and made so much sense - I felt so much more relaxed when she left and my two dogs are getting on so much better with the instruction she gave me.
This owner got her new dog from Serbia. Street dogs generally make wonderful pets, but can take time to settle down to living in a home and understand what is expected of them. When an owner gets a new dog it totally natural to assume that any problems occurring are caused by the new dog, but it is very often a combination. The existing dog has to make just as many adjustments as the new dog and is just as capable of misbehaving! Knowing what to do is half the battle and I have every confidence that this owner will do a brilliant job with both her lovely dogs.
14th March 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Jo was excellent as to explaining all my concerns with Dudley. A really lovely lady. We have followed her advice regarding Dudley's diet and there has been significant changes in Dudley's behaviour. I still find walking him very stressful as constantly avoiding other dogs is very hard work. He now wears a "Thundershirt", as recommended by Jo, when I take him out for walks. It has helped. He still wears a muzzle and when we do incur another dog he tries to remove it!
Dudley is a huge Bull Mastiff/Labrador cross dog who came to his owner as a Rescue. It is very obvious from his behaviour that he doesn't understand the world outside at all and he pulls his very slight owner all over the place when he sees people, children and in particular dogs. He is controlled with both a face collar and wears a muzzle so he is safe but he is so powerful he cannot be safely walked past other dogs at this time. His owner is working on his fears so he can become calmer when out and is making progress, but Dudley will need a lot of time and patience before he will understand that not everything outside is scary and a threat to him. This type of behaviour is typical of rescue dogs who have had a bad start in life and it takes the sort of owner Dudley has to give him the chance of a normal life.
Update (June 2014): This owner has done daily work with Dudley and he can now be walked safely on the streets. He can now see dogs on the other side of the road and people can walk past him without him lunging and getting distressed or aggressive. We have now started work in more open areas where there are dogs off the lead nearby.
23rd February 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Really good session. Very useful with daisy. Daisy is doing really well walking properly on her lead and not jumping up and barking so much.
Daisy is a lovely Cockerpoo. She is really bouncy and was doing lots of jumping up at kitchen surfaces when her owner was cooking or preparing food and generally to get her owners attention. This is hard work when you have a busy household and Daisy was getting away with it simply because if she couldn't get the attention she would start to bark at her owners instead. It takes calm gentle persistence from owners to fix this and they are making good progress. Because she is so excitable she pulled heavily on the lead when she went out which was particularly difficult when walking with the children. She is walking very nicely now and the next thing we will be tackling is to teach her to walk calmly alongside a pushchair. These owners are proof that even if you have lots of things going on at all times, you can still train your dog successfully.
2nd February 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
The reason I called bark busters in the first place was because my puppy Olly was biting me and destroying my house, I felt like I wasn't going to be able to cope with him.
Jo came round and made me so much more confident with Olly. She was excellent with Olly and me, Jo was a real god send we discussed everything we could about bringing up my puppy who has anxiety problems and is afraid of everything even going for a walk. Jo spent all afternoon with us and didn't leave until I was confident enough.
I would recommend Jo to anyone I know as I now feel a million times better bring up Olly the best way I can.
Olly is a very fast growing Pointer/Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross. He was taken away from his Mother way too early and this owner has not had normal puppy behaviour to deal with. This means that Olly wasn't just puppy biting he was taking lumps out of his owner and biting her grandchildren. He wasn't just having a chew on things, he was chomping his way through the house. He couldn't bear to be left on his own and if he was he became very distressed and was destructive. He also had no confidence and struggled to do even the basics. When that happens it is easy to think that you are the one at fault as everything is such hard work with these types of pups. Olly is a very lucky puppy as many owners would have simply given up faced with so many serious problems at such a young age. The good news is that with a lot of patience and perseverance these types of puppies can grow up into perfectly normal dogs provided they are trained in a gentle and consistent manner and supported while they gain confidence lost when they were taken away from their mothers. Olly has the right owner to do this and I am looking forward to seeing Olly as he grows up.
21st January 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Excellent first lesson and Jo is lovely. We wanted to understand our dogs behaviour and feel more comfortable with having them around our small children (Demi in particular is very nervous). Jo explained why they behave the way they do and how we need to help them, not just train them which was was an eye-opener. We noticed a difference immediately and Demi's bond with our eldest son is already much stronger. We've still got a lot to do and correcting the barking and excitement is going to take some time but it's worth it. We haven't even begun to tackle walks yet but that's the excellent thing about paying a lump sum, we can ask Jo to come back whenever we need her to and she's always available by phone/email. I'm glad we went ahead with this, we were starting to feel we couldn't handle both dogs but now feel much more confident with them and wish we'd done this sooner, preferably before having kids!!
These owners have 2 lovely dogs, a Doberman cross and a Chihuahua cross. Both the dogs and themselves have spent lots of time living in Europe and the dogs had to stay with other family members for a long period at one point when they were in transit. This and the arrival of children in the interim meant that their previously well behaved dogs have got confused about what is expected and don't know how to behave in certain circumstances. Before they knew it they had a myriad of problems such as squabbling dogs, barking, lead pulling and a mix of either hyperactivity or nervousness around the kids. As this is a very busy family who still travel to Europe they are now working at rebuilding relationships and working at their own pace with the training required. Their dogs really love and respect them and I have no doubt that they will achieve everything they want to with their ongoing patience and consistency.
16th January 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Jo is simply amazing! And with her warm, friendly and bubbly nature there was no doubt Chino, our little Shih Tzu thought so too!
As first time owners and feeling as if we were only half succeeding on our own, it was only fair on Chino and ourselves to call in help to get him out of his puppy ways. After a few good hours with Jo in our crazy household we saw a change in him pretty much straight away.
Not only did she show us the best way to train and communicate with Chino, she assessed everything about his daily routine and needs, and after a few simple 'I didn't think about that' suggestions, as well as the loads of info she left behind, we have not once looked back.
Jo is seriously like the super nanny of puppies! Her sound advice has not only set Chino well on his way but has importantly given me and the family the confidence as owners. Knowing she is there for the year to give us hands on advice is a huge reassurance and worth every penny at such an important stage in his life.
These owners applied a lot of common sense and were doing a good job for first time puppy owners of their little Shih Tzu, Chino, but as their little boy is a bit nervous they were getting stuck in few places and simply weren't sure of the best way to tackle it. Puppy advice is a bit of a mine field and unless you see how a puppy lives with a family it can be difficult to work out what is best for a particular pup. Fortunately Chinos family have his best interests at heart and wholeheartedly adopted everything he needs to make him safe and happy and keen to learn. I am looking forward to seeing him grow up as part of this loving family.
12th January 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
I recently attended a training day on a farm with Jo and other dogs and their owners that was again really helpful. Ringo is much improved since Jo has helped us and this was an extra bonus. We practised recall and walking skills but also Ringo got to play with several dogs his size which also helped his social skills. All in all we had a fun and muddy day and we both look forward to future events. Thanks Jo again for all your help
Ringo is a full grown Rhodesian Ridgeback and is totally unrecognisable from the dog I originally saw 11 months ago. Gone is the fearful stranger and owner aggressive young dog and in his place is a mature dog who can be surrounded by other dogs and people and still listen to his owner and be respectful of other dogs even when he got really excited playing. He is a testament to what can be achieved by dedicated owners after a shaky start and is a delight to see.
6th January 2014Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
I was referred to Jo with an issue I was experiencing with my six month old Boston Terrier, Basil, my first dog Iâ€™ve ever owned as an adult. My issue was his toileting. With a lounge on the middle floor, we were really struggling to get him to do his business either by the back door or wait for us to take him outside. Although not perhaps as serious as some of Joâ€™s other cases, Iâ€™m so glad she took us on as I was tearing my hair out at the contradiction of advice we were getting from various sources, none of which seemed to be working. Sick of cleaning up Basilâ€™s mess over and over again each day, I was a desperate for someone to see our set-up, discuss our lifestyle, give us one-on-one attention and devise a bespoke plan to follow.
Jo was my Fairy Godmother. Turns out we had a little more than the toilet issue to deal but Jo handled everything compassionately, delivered her advice simply and clearly with both practical demos and written documentation and best of all assured me that I wasnâ€™t the worldâ€™s worst pet parent. The first few days of Joâ€™s plan werenâ€™t the easiest, as we had to go back to square one with the crate training but when you tot up all the wasted hours spent trying the other methods, it was nothing really and I canâ€™t tell you the joy I felt after being out of the house for a few hours and returning to a clean floor! In a subsequent visit Jo also taught me the best and easiest technique to hold Basilâ€™s focus and I cannot tell you the difference it has made to his behaviour and our bond. He does as heâ€™s told, stays close by on walks, responds to recall and well any other naughtiness is just my cheeky Basil. As a dog owner, you do get bombarded with advice from vets, other owners, trainers etc on all aspects of your dogâ€™s care and well being. Ultimately I will always make my own decision but Jo would most definitely be my phone a friend option!
This owner has a lovely little Boston Terrier. Her home set up which also involved cats, her husband working from home, her occasional working from home and nothing on the ground floor apart from the kitchen meant that routines were very hard to establish and maintain. Basil care was eating into her husbands essential work time and Basil had very quickly learnt that if he was demanding enough he got what he wanted from his frazzled owners. Not difficult for him to achieve as he is a delightful little dog! In Basil's case the home set up meant that a crate or playpen was the simplest way to keep him safe when his owners couldn't supervise him 100% combined with a structured toileting and supervision routine when out of the crate. He did actually want to be clean and these adjustments meant that he soon learned the difference between inside and outside and where he should actually toilet. As a growing puppy Basil has also needed to learn good dog manners so although the main requirement was to solve the toileting issue his owners have wholeheartedly thrown themselves into training Basil to behave well with visitors, other dogs and when out and about. He can now be taken literally anywhere and his owners be confident in his good behaviour and receive compliments as to how well he is handled. A fantastic result.
30th December 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We had our first session with Jo on the day that Lola arrived. I'd never had a puppy so was really daunted by the prospect, as well as excited. Jo was a wonderful, soothing presence from the minute she walked in. She immediately calmed me and the puppy down without seeming to do anything. The puppy had been dashing round the flat, obviously terrified and confused by her new surroundings but by the end of that first visit, she was practically purring in my arms. Jo's style really suited both me and the puppy, encouraging both of us along with real dedication and care. I was and still am, very impressed! Her tips on toileting worked wonders, as did her instructions on how to get Lola used to her crate. Jo spent a lot of time with us that first session and I honestly could not have done without it.
Since then I have been in touch with Jo many times either by email or by phone and she was always extremely helpful. It is really good for me to know that there is someone there whom I can call and whom I trust, for advice as the puppy was growing and developing. So for example when Lola started nipping at me and practising little bites on me, Jo's advice literally put a stop to it within 24 hours.
We had a second visit from Jo just before Christmas, and again that was a much needed and extremely useful session. She taught me a special massage to perform on Lola when she is anxious and the puppy absolutely adores it. She also helped with Lola's lead reactivity and we are currently working on that.
In sum, I really really recommend Jo! She is so caring and loving with the animals and a complete professional.
Lola is a gorgeous little Westipoo puppy who has not been a straight forward puppy for her owner. Her owner has done absolutely everything right. She goes to puppy day care and is very well socialised with other dogs. She meets lots of people and has walking companions. She loves learning new things and is delightfully well behaved. However, she has had health issues and can be very anxious at times so it has often been 2 steps forward and one step back for her owner. Throughout all of this her owner has not tried to second guess anything - she simply asks for advice and puts it into practice. Because of this Lola is growing into a confident and happy little dog and I am looking forward to continuing working with her owner as Lola matures from puppy to adult dog.