Lovable yet disobedient dog Milo was always sweeping his owner Melissa Moorhead off her feet – quite literally.

"Many a time I ended up in the ditch," laughed Melissa, explaining how her strong and energetic three-year-old Golden Labrador cross would take control when out on walks around their home town of Enniskillen, often to her disadvantage.

"People would have said, 'Are you walking Milo or is he walking you?'. Milo was definitely walking me!"

With the advice of her best friend Cathryn Gamble, who works for a TV animation company in London, Melissa decided to apply for 'The Dog Academy' – a Channel 4 show where professional trainers help weary dog owners learn tips and tricks to regain control of their beloved pets.

Melissa got Milo as a puppy in September, 2020, just ahead of the second Covid-19 lockdown. At this time, there were no puppy training schools and socialisation opportunities for dogs were slim, which Melissa believes may have had an impact on Milo's behaviour.

"I didn't really worry about it when I was getting Milo, but then he was getting older and his behaviour wasn't getting better," said Melissa, going on to outline some of the issues she was experiencing with Milo that she felt The Dog Academy trainers could help her with.

"[These included] general obedience, for one, but it exhibited itself in ways like his recall was terrible," she said, giving an example.

"If he took off on his lead, it was almost impossible to get him back, and he would see that as a game, rather than coming back to me, even if I had treats.

"That was a thing that I worried about the most because, living in Enniskillen, I was worried that he would get knocked down on the road," she explained.

She also noted how Milo has lots of energy and whenever people would visit the house, he would get overexcited.

"He would jump up, he would tear around the house. All pretty normal behaviours that dogs have, but the level was just 10 times more."

After a successful application process, Melissa and Milo travelled to England in July of last year to film The Dog Academy.

Ahead of filming, Melissa admitted that she was quite apprehensive of how much the trainers would be able to do in such a short space of time, considering that she and Milo were to be in London at the studio for one day, and then spend a full day in Shropshire at the academy.

"My concern was that we were going to go all the way over there, and it wouldn't really make much difference, but it was a really good opportunity because they were the top UK dog trainers," said Melissa.

She explained that the two trainers that she and Milo were paired with, Shaun and Kamal, initially focused on recall.

"They said that Milo basically needed to go back to basics with his training and if they could build a foundation of having Milo recognise me, come back to me, and listen to me, then that would be the start, and then I would be able to build upon that," she said, noting that they got Milo to recall in an "embarrassingly short amount of time".

"Considering I couldn't get him to recall at all," she laughed, commenting that she saw a "big improvement" in Milo following the training.

Catch all the training shenanigans with Melissa and Milo as they appear on next week's episode of The Dog Academy, airing on Thursday, August 3 at 8pm.

Looking forward to seeing the episode, Melissa told this newspaper: "I'm really excited to see Milo in it! There've been little clips of him, so I've loved seeing him so far on the series."