Milo's Dog Training

Dog training in Hampshire, Surrey & Berkshire

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Goodbye, Milo!


Milo. 18.04.2006 – 08.02.2018.

Almost a month ago Milo left us. It was sort of expected, but still sudden. He died in hospital after an emergency operation to remove some bits of plastic toys from his stomach. We have been prepared to say “goodbye” for quite some time because he has gone downhill over the past few months. His dementia had been getting worse by the day. We knew we were going to make the decision to put him to sleep soon: to spare him suffering from being confused and for our daughter’s safety, as he had shown aggression towards her. However, Milo decided to take matters into his own paws, and I am glad it happened this way. I will be honest and admit that it is also a relief. It had become very difficult in the last few months because of the safety concerns. I was under a lot of pressure to keep a constant eye on Milo and Sonya (who is two and can’t be trusted to keep her distance). I only wish we had a chance to say a proper “goodbye”.

We miss Milo a lot here and we will always miss him. He had been a part of our family ever since my husband and I moved out of our parents’ houses and moved into our first flat. We were eighteen and nineteen, and Milo was eight months old. Milo had been with us all our adult lives. He moved with us (twice across the Atlantic) and shared our ice creams (guilty!), our travels and, at some point, even our bed. He kept us warm in our first (very poorly insulated) flat in England. He was there when we brought home our daughter. Milo had been the reason I decided to become a certified dog trainer, and he probably taught me more than my dog training course. He was stubborn, independent, sometimes very annoying but always loving and loved. It had been almost a month, but I still sometimes expect him to be there – snoring on the sofa when I come downstairs in the morning. The house just seems too empty without a dog.

We will always remember our Milo.

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Back in Business

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It has been a long time since I updated this blog – I took time off to focus on caring for my daughter Sonya, whom we welcomed to our family just over a year ago. This was a huge change for Milo too, and it was interesting to see how his attitude towards Sonya was changing from complete indifference to curiosity to annoyance. Just before Sonya was born Milo was diagnosed with canine dementia. It is under control with medication, but it certainly makes life more challenging for Milo and for us. So there has been a lot going on and I am looking forward to sharing my experience and knowledge with my readers.

I am now ready to get back to work and will be taking on new clients. It would be nice to hear updates from my former clients too!



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Dog Training Process: How I Work

When I work with clients, my goal is to help the dog and the family to fit in together. I believe that there is no right and wrong behaviour (with a few exceptions). The only thing that matters is what the owners feel comfortable with.  Hence, the training will always be tailored to your needs, not to some general standard. For you to feel confident and to know what to expect, I have briefly outlined the way I work.

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Happy Birthday, Milo!

Milo is 7 today. Over the years he has lived in four countries, chewed numerous useful and expensive things, travelled in planed, came to love cuddling up with us on a sofa, learned a number of tricks, taught us many things (including keeping our staff out of his reach), and, most important, inspired me to become a dog trainer. I wish Milo to live twice as many happy and healthy years!


Love, Trust and Dogs

Trainer Trisha’s post made me think about the things I have learnt about dog training. I was lucky to begin my journey into dog training, when the harsh and often cruel methods were no longer taught. I wanted to write “no longer used”, but it is not true. Choke collars are still being sold, and I still hear about people giving advice based on the old-fashioned ideas of hierarchy and “what wolves do”. I often face the challenge of persuading the owners that their relationship with their dogs should not involve concepts like “domination” and “punishment”. Relationship with a dog is about leadership and guidance, not dictatorship and competition for the “alpha-male” status. Would you really compete with a creature that is, let’s be honest, intellectually inferior to you? Our dogs look up to us. They want to please us and make us happy, because it makes them happy.

The most important thing that I have learnt is that dogs don’t misbehave, because they want to be mean. They misbehave, because we taught them so.

I have mentioned that Milo’s behavioural problems are to the most part a result of these old-school methods such as choke collars and severe punishment. I didn’t know then, but when I look back at what was going on, I feel terribly sorry for him. He lost his trust in people almost completely and it took us a long time to earn it back. Although he still has some bad habits learnt back then, Milo is the most affectionate and loving dog. Every time he shows his trust and confidence in us, I am sincerely flattered and amazed. I am greatly touched, when he lets us clean his ears, when he asks for help and when he is worried, if he lost sight of us during walks. I think: “Wow, how did I manage to earn it?”.

After all, this feeling of being needed, trusted and loved is the very reason why we want a dog companion, isn’t?