Customer Testimonials

I thought Graham was a gem. He was kind, patient and clearly has a great understanding of dogs. Have been practicing with them every day and walking them has been so much more pleasurable. Cannot thank him enough.

L.B., Chiswick, Middlesex 30th January 2019
Trainer's Comments

What a delightful mix of dogs! Two large girls (Rottweiler & Bulldog) and a small boy (Maltese Terrier). The girls were competing to be at the front when walking and dragging the owner down the street, This was the main issue and the owners are now working successfully on turning this around. Additionally we worked on training the girls to be more attentive and obedient. 

We got Ruby,our fox red Labrador in October 2018 when she was 8 weeks old. We've had 3 dogs in the past with no training and although they all were lovely dogs we as owners made mistakes. We wanted to get it right this time round. In November, when Ruby was 12 weeks old, Jo came to visit. It was important to me to get it right indoors first so chose to have someone come to our home rather than go to training classes outside. Jo helped in so many ways, best of all she gave me the confidence in what I was doing with Ruby and it was great having someone there in person showing me the ropes and praising me as well as Ruby for getting it right, or indeed guiding me in the right direction when I got it wrong. One of the best things Jo taught me was "Watch me". Ruby's recall is excellent using this, she is off lead 90% of the time and so far this has worked without fail. It also focus's Ruby on me when she feels threatened or excited. It gives me control and works so well for so many things. It is easy to teach and Ruby picked it up very quickly with regular training. It's not been plain sailing all the time of course,  we've had issues with lead pulling and alarm barking and some other minor things but on Jo's second visit I addressed her with these and she put me on the right path. Simply changing Ruby's lead and harness has improved lead pulling enormously and the barking is improving too. I am so pleased I chose Bark Busters. Initially the cost seemed a lot, but it really has been money well spent. Although I've had my three sessions with Jo, she is contactable by email or phone anytime and always responds very quickly, so it's comforting to know if I need any input she is always at hand to help. Training a puppy can be hard work, but having Jo's guidance along the way has made it enjoyable and thoroughly rewarding. Thank you Jo.

S.B., Upminster, Essex 24th January 2019
Trainer's Comments

Ruby is a lovely natured and now very well trained dog who is a total credit to her owners hard work.  It is rare that puppy owners have absolutely no issue with their dog as it grows and Ruby's owner has been quick to deal with any problems on the way.  In particular tackling her barking in a timely manner (she barked at the family Parrot) has made a huge difference.  

Graham was relaxed and put me and Albie at ease. He was very knowledgeable about training and clear with his instructions. The canny collar had an amazing effect on my dog and I was able to get to grips with some basic commands. His recommendations for websites for researching into dog food were very helpful. Overall I would give the session 5 out of 5 .

H.L., London 22nd January 2019
Trainer's Comments

Albi is a large, adolescent, standard poodle cross breed. He is very friendly and gets super excited when on walks or when people visit his house. He likes to jump up to greet people and uses his strength to pull his owner on walks. We did some exercises to teach Albi to be polite when greeting people and he responded beautifully. Next, we went for a walk and introduced Albi to a gentle training collar, after some persuasion, he accepted the collar and began to walk nicely. His training is progressing nicely and we will be moving on to some off-lead recall work quite soon.

Graham was excellent. Very patient and great at explaining things to us and why we need to do things a certain way. We are practising and our dog is making good progress. We are looking forward to our next visit.

N.R., London 15th January 2019
Trainer's Comments

Brody is a lovely little miniature poodle, trying to come to terms with the onset of adolescence. He responded really well to being taught new commands and seemed to genuinely enjoy showing us what he could do. Regular commands and games where he has to use his brain will help him to become more relaxed and confident. Beyond this he just has to learn some manners with regard to jumping up to greet people and pulling on his lead. His owners now know how to deal with this and will get it sorted out in due course. 

We had only rehomed Rocky 3 weeks before our appointment. He was aged 7 months and had no prior training. From the minute we met Graham we knew we had made the right decision to contact Bark Busters. Graham straight away put us at ease and showed us a variety of commands we could practice with him to support the basics that we had started. We were amazed how well he responded and thought it wonderful that our children were also involved in the training. One of the issues we raised was pulling on the lead and as he had no recall we were unable to let him off. After observing Rocky walking and listening carefully to us Graham introduced us to a different type of collar which worked brilliantly and made me feel more confident to walk him especially in busy places. He then accompanied us to the park and demonstrated how to use a 25m lead we had, but was unable to use as it was biting it. Within a very short space of time Rocky was not only running around but the biting had stopped. Graham then suggested we let him run without holding the lead and gave us confidence to try. It was wonderful to see him running freely and enjoying himself. Less than two weeks after the session we took Rocky to a new park and let him off the lead completely. He interacted beautifully with other dogs and came back when we called him; it was such an enjoyable experience for us all! A month on and we have just taken him on holiday to the beach where he ran freely and visited busy restaurants with him. We cannot recommend Graham enough for his support and look forward to our follow up visits. Thank you!

J.B., Bexleyheath, Kent 7th January 2019
Trainer's Comments

Rocky is a typical, adolescent Boxer - big, bouncy and full of life. It was clear from the outset that the family had fallen in love with him from the outset and just needed guidance on how to communicate with him and channel his energy. The whole family participated enthusiastically in the first training session and Rocky responded beautifully. I'm really looking forward to watching Rocky grow and develop over the coming year.

I adopted a dog last year and initially contacted bark busters for help with basic training. It soon became apparent, however, that there were some more serious issues to deal with as my dog began to exhibit aggressive behaviours upon being re-homed. Jo was brilliant and spent a lot of time with my family and I, trying to understand how everybody felt about the situation and offering solutions that would benefit both my dog and the people he spends time with. Unfortunately, my dog wasn't a straightforward case but Jo persevered with suggesting different training methods and coping mechanisms to manage the behaviour and she was always at the end of the phone to offer advice and support when things were especially tough. As time went on Graham also came to offer help and he was brilliant too. He really put me at ease and explained everything clearly so I didn't feel so overwhelmed and daunted by the situation. I would highly recommend Jo and Graham, they are lovely people who clearly really care about the welfare of the dogs (and owners!) that they work with. Thanks so much for all the time you have put in and the support that you have offered over this past year!

J.L., London, Surrey 6th January 2019
Trainer's Comments

This owner took on a dog who exhibits the most difficult of dog behaviours.  He is randomly aggressive to strangers, other dogs, family and friends and worse of all, he is aggressive to his owner on occasion.  This type of behaviour is fortunately rare.  Owners can be blamed for their dogs’ behaviour as the assumption is that they must be “causing it” or someone else has “caused it” in the past, simply because there are many aggressive behaviours are caused by human lack of understanding and/or mishandling, however, some dogs are aggressive and there is nothing obvious about why.  This is very difficult to manage and even harder to solve and requires very committed owner(s) who are prepared to work with their dog on an ongoing basis.  We have a lot of respect for this owner as she is prepared to go the extra mile and will continue to work with her.    

Great, very relaxed and the dogs responded quickly thank you

J.T., London 17th November 2018
Trainer's Comments

This owner has a Westie and Shih Tzu who were rescued in Australia and came to the UK when their owner moved to London. They were barking at other dogs, pulling on the lead and occasionally causing problems in the home. The main source of these problems was that the dogs were trying to protect their owner and themselves rather than listening to their owner. Once we established a few boundaries and some communication rules, both dogs behaviour improved rapidly and they are doing really well. 

Graham was great. We learnt so much from him in our first session and fast forward to a week later and Maggie is doing so much better in all her problematic areas. I highly recommend Graham’s services. He’s very patient and knows exactly what to do when training a dog. He does it the right way and you really do see amazing results.

A.B., Shoreditch, London 11th November 2018
Trainer's Comments

Poor little Maggie was abandoned and found tied to a fence in rural Ireland. She spent some time with the Dog's Trust, who brought her to the UK where she was adopted by her owners. She is a highly intelligent little terrier cross-breed but very distrustful and scared of other dogs. Her owners are working really hard with Maggie and she has now attended 2 group client walks with us. Maggie has progressed from a dog who could not bear the sight of another dog to being able to now go into the park and enjoy herself as long as other dogs keep their distance. It's still early days but with patience and understanding together with guidance and training, she will get over her fears.

I am just giving an update to my review on 18 May 2018. At that time Hollie was almost out of control, chewing the furniture and carpets, wouldn't listen to any commands and was generally so naughty that we were going to give her back to the breeder until a friend stopped us. I made an appointment with Barkbusters and thank goodness Jo came into our lives with reassurance and good advice and was so friendly and easy to talk to. She assured us that Hollie's behaviour wasn't due to anything we had done and that she was just a very naughty puppy with no off switch. We followed Jo's advice and continued with Hollie's training knowing that we could contact Jo at any time. I can't pretend it was easy and it took time, Hollie was very wilful, but gradually we started to see an improvement in her behaviour and she started to listen to us. Hollie is 13 months old now and is a happy, friendly, beautiful little girl who loves people and other dogs. I am so glad that our friend stopped us giving her back to the breeder, we wouldn't have known the lovely dog she is now. I just wanted to reassure anyone with a naughty puppy please persevere, it is sometimes an uphill struggle, but with continuity of training there is light at the end of the tunnel as we have discovered. A million thanks to you Jo.

S.S., Welling, Kent 2nd November 2018
Trainer's Comments

Many puppies are relatively easy once an owner knows how to handle them and what to do with them, but some puppies can be like Hollie.  On the go constantly and into everything.  This is totally exhausting for owners and they often feel “it must be my fault” that their puppy is so difficult.  However, some pups are simply very high energy and have very short attention spans.  They can be difficult to train initially because they can’t focus and no amount of “no” will stop them getting into mischief.  Having the knowledge of what to do, and when, is the key to dealing with these puppies. As they mature the owners reap the benefits of all the groundwork the owner has put in. Hollie is brilliant with other dogs, very friendly with people, obedient to her owners and her owner has had many admiring comments about what a well-behaved dog she is. As she says, “there is light at the end of the tunnel” and Hollie is a dog that they can be truly proud of.

Compassionate, knowledgeable and always learning are just some of the words I would use to describe Jo. Our experience with her thus far has been excellent! After just two sessions with our 6 month old miniature schnauzer (Sonne) we have seen massive improvement and now have the tools not found on the intranet to work with her in the right way. Ultimately we are feeling like we are on our way to making our lives much more calm and happy. Compassion, Jo is always fully engaged and her approach is sympathetic, yet equally firm in highlighting the areas that are very important. Knowledgeable, she was able to pick up straight away on many of the problems that we were encountering (at home and out) and able to answer our questions with a true reasoning and detail. I should also add she is quite patient. Always learning - One can always tell when someone is passionate about what they do, thus knowing Jo is currently in a Masters in Animal Behaviour and Training is incredibly reassuring and commendable. We highly recommend Jo’s services to anyone looking to help you deal with puppy/dog problems or just improve an already great one's behaviour to make for a happy home. - Brian, Yen and Sonne

B.K., London 1st November 2018
Trainer's Comments

Sonne is a delightful little girl pup who has been struggling with meeting people in the home and public places such as cafes.  She gets fearful and can alarm bark for long periods of time.  Her owners had been doing everything right with her, but it is not a simple problem to fix and she was getting to the point where she would run at some people and try to nip at their legs or feet.  This was complicated by the fact that when excited and happy she would also run after feet and nip at legs so it was very difficult to tell when she was getting over excited and when she was scared. Most upsetting for her owners was her wariness around even the calmest and most friendly children.  Puppies like Sonne need careful handling and training. They need clear instruction as to how to behave and have to be trained to look to their owners for guidance. Sonne’s owners have been working on building her confidence and teaching how to make the right decisions when she is fearful.  She has made significant progress and I am confident that she will continue to do so.

Really pleased. Lots of advice and tips. Immediate results and making our lives a lot easier. Still have some work to go but 100% better.

L.C., Orpington, Kent 23rd October 2018
Trainer's Comments

Pickles is a lovely little Border Terrier who had picked up some bad habits from her older friend, Lucky. Pickles was very excitable and jumpy when I first met her and would bark at other dogs while out on walks. Her owners have worked really hard and Pickles no longer jumps up on guests, is listening well to the owners and recently went for a nice walk with a strange dog. She still has a way to go but is definitely on the right track now. 

We were struggling with our puppy Teddy on several issues and desperately needed help with toileting and puppy management. Jo arrived and spent 4 hours teaching us how to deal with Teddy. He was exhausted when we finished but responded really well. We have to have a further session on recall when he is outside he does get distracted but we are working on this with the 35 foot lead Jo supplied which gives us the confidence and teddy the freedom to walk further away from us. Looking forward to the next visit. Thanks Jo

A.R., Tooting, London 19th October 2018
Trainer's Comments

Teddy is a wonderfully bright little Shih Tzu who had been taken to puppy training and had done very well, but his very brightness meant that he recognised if someone did something slightly different and as far as he was concerned it was "I don't do that". Dogs literally learn what we teach them and are not very good at generalising so if you teach them to sit with a hand action and/or with a treat they will often not do the command without the hand action/ treat.  This leads a lot of owners to say "my dog won't do it without a treat" which is not entirely correct.  It is just because that was the way they were taught originally..  Once owners know this is how a dog thinks they can then help their dog get it right and lots of training problems can be solved quickly.   

Jo gave us confidence to train our first puppy, Kelly. She provided us with lots of information and allowed us to decide what was best for us. She is very friendly and it was easy to ask about the things we were concerned with. Kelly is doing really well and we are happy that we can give her the training she requires. One of the visits she brought along Rosie, another puppy, to help Kelly socialise.

W.H., Bromley, Kent 30th September 2018
Trainer's Comments

Kelly is a very bright little Chihuahua girl puppy.  She is confident, but like many small dogs, she can potentially get hurt trying to negotiate peoples feet, steps/stairs, holes in the ground and all the other obstacles that small dogs have to deal with in life. Owners can worry about "babying" their small dogs, but Kelly's owners have just the right attitude.  They understand the difference between keeping Kelly safe while she meets people, dogs etc while not preventing her from experiencing the world and are doing an excellent job of training and socialising their puppy.

What a lovely man Graham Milgrew is and what an absolute host of knowledge he has about animals. Graham told me a lot about the food that would help my dog, showed me a new lead and harness (which has been great). As a result of the first meeting, I am pleased to say that as a result of the first meeting I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding training Cassie (because she does like to be in charge). I have already booked another appointment with Graham for Thursday 11th October.

M.S., Petts Wood, Kent 24th September 2018
Trainer's Comments

Cassie is a beautiful Border Collie who suffered from many of the common problems that Border Collies are prone to when living in an urban environment. She was excitable, noise sensitive and reactive on the lead. She pulled badly and I worried that she might seriously injure her owner on a walk. We got her walking nicely on an anti-pull training collar which took care of that immediate problem. Since then her owner has been working successfully on dealing with her other issues and I see improvements every tome that I meet them.

Graham is an excellent trainer and Pearl was very receptive with him, in fact she did everything he said. Graham never raised his voice and taught us lots of solid advice. We really enjoyed the session and look forward to seeing him again. Very happy and we’ve already recommended Graham to a friend.

J.B., Brentwood, Essex 22nd September 2018
Trainer's Comments

Pearl is a delightful young Labradoodle who is just about to enter adolescence. She had developed a habit of jumping up to say hello and this was an issue with the young grandchildren in the family. We were able to establish some rules quickly and show Pearl that she could have much more fun if she plays nicely!

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