Thank you Cesar Millan…
My Mom was a loyal fan watching every episode… woof !
Woman’s Best Friend
Before there was Cesar’s way, there was the Woodhouse way. Popular British television personality and dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse was born in Ireland in 1910. It’s probably safe to say that she became a dog lover when the canine bug bit her at just two years of age – literally.
She was bitten on the nose by a mutt purchased from a gypsy when she hugged the dog too tightly. Years later, she rescued a pit bull, smuggled it home on a bus, trained it, and placed it in a good home. She trained animals from that day until her death in 1988. The young Mrs. Woodhouse began as a “horse whisperer,” learning the Indian trick of breathing into an animal’s nose to get acquainted – the way horses talk to each other. It wasn’t until 1980, at the ripe old age of 70, that Barbara caught the world’s eye. On the BBC series, Training Dogs the Woodhouse Way, Barbara Woodhouse held a televised obedience class where she would bark out orders to her human and canine students. The humans often looked frightened, but the dogs seemed the happiest. She rarely referred to the owners by name, but by the breed of their dog. Calling them “Mr. Doberman” or “Mrs. Black Labrador.”
Barbara’s techniques share similarities with those of Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan. In her 1982 bestselling book, No Bad Dogs: The Woodhouse Way, Barbara Woodhouse wrote, “There is no such thing as a difficult dog, only an inexperienced owner.” She also encouraged owners to have their dogs work for them, suggesting that dogs, like humans, get bored. Unless given something to do, canines will find their own, often destructive, activities. Using her own version of calm-assertive energy, Mrs. Woodhouse once ran an obedience lesson in vegetables. “I said, ‘potatoes’ and ’carrots’ instead of ‘sit’ and ‘heel.’ It’s the tone of your voice, your touch. I use three things: touch, tone, and telepathy,” Barbara relayed to Los Angeles Times’s Ursula Vils. At the height of her television career, Barbara reported getting 400 letters a day and being unable to leave her home without being bombarded with canine questions.
Before her death, Barbara Woodhouse certainly helped pave many roads for women. She was the only female student at Harper Adams Agricultural College and wrote several books on the subjects of dogs, horses, and herself. In twenty years, Barbara personally trained over 17,000 dogs, clearing the way for female animal trainers and behaviorists everywhere. In 1988, as a result of a stroke, Barbara Woodhouse crossed over the “Rainbow Bridge” and was surely welcomed by the dogs that went before her. The woman who made “walkies” a part of British vocabulary, also made canines acceptable as a woman’s best friend. What a clever girl.