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.
29th October 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We did really thought we tried it all, but after a sleepless thundery night with the dog jumping on the bed scratching us etc I decided to e-mail Barkbusters. We'd never get rid of our dog, but we definitely needed help with his fear of noises.
Our Border Collie Darcy is now 11 years old and over recent years developed fears of fireworks and thunder. He always had a hate for noise, as when he was a pup he had to deal with refurbishing works a couple of houses down, which probably progressed over the years to this. I did try the famous noise desensitizing, but our dog seemed to know it was fake. I thought I was going mad, but Jo confirmed I wasn't. Being a Border Collie he is too smart for his own good in a way and indeed knows fully well it isn't real and therefore doesn't feel the same threat. Hence a cd becomes useless, instead we got the advice of using something else that triggers him to train him. Eg the hoover, the one thing all dogs appear to hate. He expressed his fear differently (barking, trying to nip it), but in the end it's fear.
We tried DAP before but didn't appear to get the result the product claimed we would have. Turns out the only thing we did right with it was plug it in. What is needed together with the product is someone that helps with how to use it all round to get that success. We created him a safe space as advised by Jo around the Dap diffuser, leave his treats in there every night and noticed this area is now his own chosen safe place. He retreats to this area when he hears a bang and we won't see him till he is ready to return. We put on his thunderjacket everyday as well and this also appears to have a calming effect on him. Again it is a tool that only works if you know how, which we now know. :) The dog needs to associate it as "wonderful" first, not as "I am terrified and now I am dealing with my owner as well trying to put something I don't know on me!"
T-touch was explained to us as well and this really calms him down. Similar to a massage or meditation with humans.
I don't think we're out of the woods yet (we were told honestly there are no quick fixes), but we are definitely on our way. Still not looking forward to bonfire night, but I think we will actually cope better than other years.
Day by day, step by step we'll get there.
Border Collies are known for noise sensitivity. They are bred to have acute hearing and in some poor dogs this very acuteness can mean that any crash bang and wallop can send them into a frenzy of fear. Darcys' owners really had tried it all in their bid to help their dog. Much of the advice was correct - using CD's or other "noises" that trigger him so he can become de-sensitised, but that doesn't work with all dogs (Darcy being a case in point) and they really were at their wits end. Fortunately for Darcy he had owners who were willing to work on a whole program to provide a true safe place for him and the use of a range of calming exercises (where to go when frightened), techniques (calming touch) and products (a DAP diffuser and Thundershirt). They have had great results with all the recent Thunderstorms and are now fully prepared for fireworks (including already dealing with the early bangs we always get from keen firework buyers!) You can't stop a noise sensitive dog being noise sensitive, but you can prevent the extremes Darcys owners were dealing with (trying to dig his way through walls for example)and make Thunderstorms and Fireworks night a lot less frightening for a dog. It has been a real pleasure to get Darcy's owner updates and hear how well he is doing. It proves that even an older dog can have a much better quality of life when he has caring and thoughtful owners willing to help their noise sensitive dog.
29th September 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
George our deaf boxer was becoming increasingly vocal and frustrated. He was barking constantly and this would in turn antagonise our older steady boxer Bogey. On her first visit, George put on a really good show for Jo, barking and constantly play fighting with Bogey. She taught us that our efforts to correct George were perhaps misguided and she focused our training on both dogs, not just the 'troublemaker'. We were given a variety of different techniques to use and all were flexible to adapt to the needs of each individual dog. After two weeks we had seen a real change in George's behaviour and also Bogey was much happier with the new situation. We still have a little way to go, especially with lead work, but we have ongoing support from Jo who is constantly available via all forms of communication. She gave us advice regarding all aspects of having dogs in the family, and was a factor in deciding to AstroTurf our garden to great effect. Many thanks xxx
Deaf dogs are just as trainable as normal dogs. They simply need a different form of communication. All owners of deaf (and blind) dogs will tell you that this soon becomes second nature, but at the start it is a case of learning a new language and then teaching your dog what this new language is. Dogs are not robots and one size doesn't fit all, so it is working out a strategy to deal with your dog based on how your dog responds to you. In Georges case he is fortunate to have an older more experienced Boxer, Bogey, to learn from as well as his owners, but Bogey was getting just as carried away with playtime as George and forgetting to listen to his owners, so it was a case of double trouble. His owners have now been working with both dogs establishing sign language, touch and floor vibrations for George and sign language plus vocal commands for Bogey so both dogs know what they can and can't do and what is expected from them. Instead of two huge Boxers running around creating havoc they now have a calm household where the dogs look to them for guidance. As George is young and a typical bouncy Boxer this will take time, but no more time than a normal hearing Boxer now he understands what is wanted from his owners. A truly great result.
18th September 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
We have never owned dogs before so having two 8 month old Daschunds was a bit of a challenge. They barked and growled at everyone and everything, did not respond to any kind of commands, fought over their food bowls and taking them out was a complete nightmare. Pulling on the lead, picking up everything on the ground, snarling at passers by as well as being very frightened of them.
When Jo arrived we spent about an hour chatting about the dogs and what we would like to achieve with them and then she met them. The barking was fearsome but using the commands Jo gave us and the Ttouch technique we were able to calm the girls. We were all able to sit in the garden while she talked to us and wrote up her notes. We have carried on with the training and are implementing that with lead training, making the walking far more pleasant. We also use the Ttouch technique every day which has had a calming effect and enabled us to make significant progress with the training.
Jo is fantastic, very calming to us as well as the dogs and from her first sight of the dogs was able to pinpoint the issues with both of them.
Jo took the time to explain everything in great detail to ensure we understood what we needed to do. Her knowledge was comprehensive and she made sure we had a training plan in place ready for her next visit which was simple for us to achieve. After spending almost four hours with us, from the first visit we started to notice an huge improvement in the dogs behaviour.
Jo has been terrific and very supportive and we are very grateful for the on going help we are receiving.
These clients were rather brave. They agreed to take on 2 Daschunds who were sent from family abroad. The families location in Africa meant that the dogs had no experience of walking on roads, traffic, plus meeting people on walks because the local population actively avoided meeting any dogs. Their busy lifestyle meant the dogs had not been taught basic manners and their new owners had to start from scratch with two extremely frightened dogs who had travelled half way around the world to get to them. Even experienced dog owners would have been hard pressed to deal with the little whirlwinds that came out of the crate from the airport. Fortunately the girls have landed on their paws with their 2 new owners as they are prepared to put all the time and effort needed to deal with all their fears and work patiently and carefully to build up the girls confidence and protect them when they are anxious and unhappy. They are making really good progress and it is lovely to see the true loving nature of these two little dogs emerge from behind the snarling barking masks they put up to protect themselves from the world. The greatest pleasure was to see the dogs pottering around and having the confidence to have a little sniff to check me out on my last visit and I look forward to seeing how they do in the future.
4th September 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
From the very start Jo could identify straight away the issues we were having with Bentley. After spending four hours with us, from the 1st visit we instantly started to notice Bentley's behaviour improve.
Jo was brilliant and took the time to explain everything in great detail to ensure we understood everything. Jo's knowledge was very impressive. She ensured we had a training strategy in place ready for her next visit which was simple for us to achieve.
Bentley's progress is still ongoing but without Jo's help we wouldn't be where we are today with him!!! Big thanks
Bentley is a Dogue De Bordeaux and a gentle giant. He is very noise sensitive and if something startles or scares him when he is outside he will pull his owners to get away and go back home. His owners are patiently working with him to help him cope with his noise fear. This is not something that can be achieved quickly but they are making great progress.
When it comes to general training, Bentley is excelling himself. He has been doing really well with recall (coming when called)and is already at the stage where he can move on from basic to advanced training. He loves every minute he spends learning new things with his owners and for such a young dog he is showing remarkable promise.
2nd September 2013
We were very pleased with the information that Jo gave and is continuing to do. Penny has come on leaps and bounds since and Jo came back and taught us the recall programme. Penny is responding very well to this and we have to do this for another 3 weeks. Her barking is toning down too and she now knows the word "no" which is a huge success for us.
Penny is a lovely little Westie Puppy. She was a little reluctant to come to her owners. There was no obvious reason for this and as soon as they started to make coming to them a fun game she has got the hang of it and is happily running backwards and forwards on their command. She loves to bark at anything and everything so her owners have been working hard to make sure her barking doesn't become a nuisance and that she understands when to stop when she gets too excited. She is growing up into a delightful dog and is bringing real pleasure to her owners life.
13th August 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Although Chester is a lovely natured dog with no particular problems,
we just felt we needed some guidance to help us achieve his full potential. Jo was very helpful and left us some good routines to be working with. We haven't called Jo back yet but it is good to know the option is there if we felt we needed it.
Chester is a really beautiful looking Rhodesian Ridgeback. His owners had had two Ridgebacks previously and the older dog had demanded a lot of their time and attention particularly when her health was failing, so they felt they had not given Chester the time he deserved while she was still with them. Chester absolutely loved having one to one attention from his owners and was really eager to please and keen to learn new things. It was lovely to see him bouncing around and enjoying himself. Chester is capable of going onto advanced obedience and I am looking forward to spending further quality time with him and his owners.
woodford green, Essex
12th August 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Jo gave us lots of helpful tips to help us train Lottie as well as ideas for her meals and diet. She is also going to find out about training Lottie to be a hearing dog to help our daughter, who is deaf, around the house. Jo was happy to chat to us about everything we wanted to know and stayed a long time to make sure we understood all the information she gave us.
This family have a lovely Cockerpoo puppy. She had some puppy issues like mouthing, nipping and not coming when called. Training obedience is very important to them because they would like Lottie to be able to learn to fetch their daughter and to alert her to certain sounds when Lottie is older. Lottie has proved to be a bright puppy who is eager to learn and willing to please and I am looking forward to doing "sound" training with Lottie and her family.
10th August 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Before Jo came to see us, I had been sleeping on the sofa as Gizmo would not settle in the night without me being near. Jo spent 4 hours with us, first asking us questions about our daily routines and what we feel the issues were and then she preceded to show us how to train Gizmo and get him settled of a night time. That day Jo left, my husband and I managed to sleep in the bedroom for the first time in 2 weeks, Gizmo was really happy to sleep outside the bedroom door and did not whine or bark throughout the night. We are still working on the other tasks that Jo left us with i.e recall and "watch me" which he is picking up really well. When we take Gizmo walking we have had quite a few comments of how well behaved he is for his age and his breed (Siberian husky) we are so grateful for Jo coming over that day and we look forward to seeing her throughout the year.
These owners did all the right preparation and planning for their Husky puppy including buying a crate for Gizmo. Most puppies suffer a from separation anxiety when they first leave their siblings and a crate can be a great "safe place" to help a puppy feel secure. However, in some cases crates don't work which is why his owners had weeks of trying different ways to settle Gizmo. In Gizmos case there is a small hallway where he can be safely enclosed behind a baby gate without panicking when his owners leave him. This may seem an obvious solution but it is not just a case of moving a puppy. It is creating the right environment and then educating him and so he can cope on his own. This is not a quick fix and is part of a whole education process which his owners are doing so that he can be confident and happy. Gizmo is now well on his way to being a well behaved and trained dog his owners can be proud of.
30th July 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Hello there, my name is Stanley. I know what you're thinking: Okay, so this chair may look a bit of a mess, but it was an early experiment, and I was only a wee bairn when I did it. Actually my brother Haggis put me up to it. He's got the brains but my teeth are bigger. Anyway what we want to say is: that lady trainer called Jo is really cool. She definitely learned us better manners. We nearly always sit, or go into our pen at our mistress' command now, and we stay close by her on walks, and try very hard not to strain when we are on our leads (even if it is VERY hard not to be excited at the beginning). Jo also taught us how we must always let the mistress go into a room before us, and not hog our food. We've also stopped chewing things and making puddles indoors, and are proper growed-up now. We'd like to say we're perfect, but we know that would be fibbing. We know we shouldn't bark at the cat (but she is soooo provoking!) We only bark now in the garden to frighten away would-be burglars or to let the mistress know how pleased we are when she gets home. Jo is still teaching us new things like improving our manners when we meet other dogs. We like all the humans we have met, but we do get worried that some of their dogs may have bigger teeth than us, so we shout at them loudly on walks to look bigger and braver than we are! Mistress doesn't like that, and she and Jo are trying to teach us to look at her instead when she says " watch me" and hopefully that way we can stop worrying about what the other dogs may do. So what we want to say is: this learning business has been a lot of fun with Jo, and we would be happy to recommend her to anyone. Lots of licks, from Haggis and Stanley xx
These two lovely Scottish Terriers are from the same litter and were more interested in listening to each other than their owners at first. They would squabble over food and fight for pole position when out on the lead so walking wasn't much fun and although they seem bold and full of themselves when they are out they are actually nervous and bark at other dogs. When they calm down and realise they aren't under threat, they are actually pretty good with other dogs so their owners are diligently working on building their confidence and making sure they can keep them under control. Before it was difficult for their owners to have a quiet night in front of the TV with the dogs as they wouldn't settle and behave themselves and visitors were jumped all over. Now they are really well behaved and listen to their owners rather than each other. It has been a delight to see the amazing progress made so far and I have every confidence that Haggis and Stanley will continue to be a source of pride for their owners. Top marks all round!
30th July 2013Jo & Graham Milgrew dealt with:
Jo was wonderful and very supportive she spent ages with us and highlighted the different issues that Barney had. Unfortunately my Barney died on the 1st of July most likely due to a brain tumour which caused his behavioural problems. Jo is truly amazing xx She is a guardian angel who helped us all in our hour of need. Barney was a very unique dog and his case was very distressing but Jo was with us through our journey and we can't thank her enough for that!!
These owners come into the "super special owner category". They took Cocker Spaniel Barney on from a Rescue and were his fourth owners. Unlike all the others who sent him right back they got help for his problems which were numerous and included obsessive compulsive behaviour, destruction, guarding, separation anxiety and aggression. Unfortunately his behavioural issues were related to a serious medical issue and despite the best efforts of all involved these issues could not be overcome. Cases like this are rare and are very upsetting and distressing for all concerned, but these owners were brilliant with Barney and enabled a very ill dog to live out his final days with a loving and caring family. Although the final outcome was sad I count myself as fortunate to have been involved and able to help this wonderful family.