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.
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.