meet your specialist trainers Jo & Graham Milgrew
Home Dog Training West London
Hello, our names are Jo and Graham and we are your local Bark Busters Dog Trainers and Behavioural Therapists
We specialise in one-to-one training in your home where we don’t just provide a behavioural consultation with advice, we actually demonstrate how to train your dog. We have a genuine any breed, any age, any problem policy and see you and your dog in the environment where the problems are occurring. This includes in your home, when out walking and in the local park or on the common. We then provide concrete practical solutions with follow up visits and phone and email support for a whole year after your first visit.
We can help with jumping up, pulling on the lead, recall (dogs that don’t want to come back), mouthing and nipping, aggression to other dogs or humans, attentiveness (dogs that don’t listen!!) destructive behaviour including chewing and digging, toilet training for all ages, chasing (animals, joggers, cyclists and even children), separation anxiety (dogs that get distressed when left on their own) barking, whining, howling, hyperactivity (dogs that find it hard to relax), attention seeking, obsessive behaviours and general obedience.
For puppies we make sure you get off to the best start possible with the reassurance that you can contact whichever of us is your trainer to answer all those little questions that always crop up with puppies together with follow up visits for further training.
More about Jo
I became a Bark Busters Trainer because of personal experience. My sister’s dog was a lovely, friendly and obedient dog, but from the time my nephew started to crawl he would occasionally growl at him until one day he came too close to my nephew who was then 15 months old. He grabbed his face and Ouzo nipped him. At that moment our world turned upside down. Everybody told my sister and brother-in-law to get rid of the him because couldn’t be trusted. Fortunately they recognised that they needed help and called in Bark Busters. The Bark Busters Therapist came to see us all and we were given a simple programme to follow. From the first visit he was a changed dog. The fretful, growling dog around my nephew was gone. At the time my sister gave feedback saying "immediate and remarkable results...truly fantastic".
For me, this proved to be a life changing moment. I realised that people did not have put up with their dogs problems or try to solve it themselves. Even if it was a truly difficult problem, a dog could be helped by caring owners by following proven and practical methods. This was something I wanted to do and was a perfect fit with my own life experience.
I had always been what my friends and family call a "doggie person". Over the years I have taken ownership of a lot of unwanted dogs, who all came with their own doggie baggage. Bobby a mongrel who was badly attacked in a park and then went onto bark and lunge at any other dog he met after. Zak, a beautiful German Shepherd who pulled so hard on the lead he literally walked on his back legs. He had terrible separation anxiety and destroyed my sofa and tried to chew his way through two doors when we first had him. Russ was an elderly mongrel my Vet gave me, who had a benign brain tumour and had to be hand fed. Jason a 10 year old miniature poodle who’s family wanted to put him down when his owner died. He also had separation anxiety and barked and whined and scratched at the door constantly when I went out. He sat on my lap growling at everyone and anyone who came near and I thought I had taken more on than I could handle, but with some of hard work he became a happy dog who enjoyed sitting on any family members lap in the end.
I did decide that I wanted a puppy at least once chose a Yorkshire Terrier. He was a delight to train, but unfortunately he had a serious medical condition which meant he couldn't cope with any stress and would toilet in the house. Vets told me that I couldn’t have toilet trained him properly and this experience means that I am always look at possible medical reasons for problem behaviour.
More about Graham
I was introduced to the world of dog behaviour training by my wife Jo. Prior to this introduction, I had considered myself to be pretty good with dogs because most of the dogs that I encountered were ‘pretty good’!
In a nutshell, that’s the problem – many of the dogs that we encounter in day to day life are fairly accommodating and just fit into our life. This is what we expect. So when we encounter a dog with behaviour problems there’s a tendency to get confused and then frustrated with the dog. “Why won’t it just do as it’s told?” “Is it my fault?” – You’ve probably asked yourself these, or similar, questions at some time or another. I know that I have!
I don’t ask myself these sorts of questions any longer, because I understand how dogs think and communicate and I will be able to help you to do the same.
This knowledge has helped me and Jo with our own dogs (Lottie, Smudge and Angus) all of whom had their own issues.
Smudge, suffered terribly from separation anxiety and I made very elaborate arrangements so he was never left on his own because he would howl pitifully and wee everywhere when he was. Now he gives us a disdainful Whippet glance as we head out the door, and settles down to his favourite pastime of sleeping.
In addition to Smudge we have a Whippet/Terrier cross girl called Lottie. When Jo took her on, she was a food thief who bit anyone who tried to stop her. She chased anything small and furry with absolute determination until and if she took a dislike to a dog she would charge at them barking to drive them away. Now she’s a settled and happy little dog and still has lots of energy and enjoys running and trying to “kill” her favourite soft toys, despite having lost most of her hearing and beginning to lose her sight.
Then there’s our Greyhound Angus, who we rescued a year ago. Most Greyhounds are laid back couch potatoes but Angus wouldn’t come when called, ran up and down the garden barking so loudly the windows seemed to shake and was aggressive with all larger dogs. He had been stuck in a rescue centre for nearly six months as nobody wanted him so my wife persuaded me that he would be the perfect for us and a year on we have a beautiful dog who is a joy to live with. He is not perfect as big dogs still scare him terribly, (which seems strange as he is a big dog himself) but he looks to us now for guidance and to protect him rather than going into “attack first and ask questions later” mode.
As you can see, we have hands on experience of doing the job of training ourselves. I guess you could say that we truly practice what we preach! So if you want to get it right from the outset and give your puppy the best start in life, or you have doggy problems you want to resolve, then let us give you the tools and techniques so you can have the pleasure of a calm and happy dog. Please call or email to find out more; we'd love to help.
how we can help you and your furry friend
The Bark Busters communication methods help solve behaviour issues such as aggression towards people or other animals
- Cure embarrassing habits like barking, jumping up on people, scratching & whining at doors or inappropriate toileting.
- Create an obedient dog or puppy that will happily walk on the lead without tugging, sit or stay on command, and come immediately when called.
- Set off-limit areas.
- Reduce the stress of separation anxiety without the need for sedatives or drugs.
We teach you to communicate with your pet.
Do you find yourself shouting? Do you think your pet isn't listening to you? Maybe you're simply not speaking their language. The Bark Busters communication method is based on the way how our dogs communicate with each other and how they learn from older, more experienced members in the pack. This is what makes our training unique and effective.
Why do we train in your home?
Your pet lives with a family, in a home. This is where he spends most of his time and misbehaves most often, so this is where our programme is most effective. Our dogs learn by association. Bark Busters teaches him to listen in the home environment. If he does not listen at home, he will most probably not listen outside where there are far more distractions.
In your home we teach a one-on-one system without other distractions or the stress of being sent away from you to learn.
Of course, where you are experiencing problems outside the home such as pulling on the lead or dog aggression etc..., we will set up controlled situations in the park or wherever is most practical.