Before Cesar and Victoria

Before Cesar Millan and Victoria Stilwell, there was Barbara Woodhouse.  I have just finished reading one of Barbara’s books, Almost Human.  It made me realise that today’s craze of celebrity ‘dog experts’ isn’t new; we are just repeating a more modern version of what has gone before.


Barbara’s Great Danes, Juno and Junia,  appeared in many British television and films, acting alongside famous actors such as Sir Alec Guinness, Clark Gable and Roger Moore.

In Almost Human, Barbara writes:  My Danes were treated in exactly the same way as our children, and in so doing I learnt an awful lot about how much dogs like to be included in everything the family does…By the end of their lives I am sure they knew at least 250 words and their meaning.

Almost Human was published in 1976 and is a memoir about all her Danes: Jean, Jyntee, Juno and Junia.  There are chapters about owning and caring for a Great Dane.

Her other books included No Bad Dogs, Talking to Animals, Dog Training My Way, and A-Z of Dogs and Puppies.  In the 1980s, Barbara hosted a UK television programme called Training Dogs the Woodhouse Way.  Mrs Woodhouse even recorded an LP (the precursor to DVDs!) entitled Training Dogs Her Way.

Barbara suffered a fatal stroke in July 1988, she was 78.

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