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The power of conviction

Depending on who you want to believe (or what), the country they/you live in or what documented research has been done( which in many cases has not been done). The issue here is the popular belief that the BARBET is the ancestor to the POODLE, and that appears to be not at all the case. People believe the Barbet is a breed and has been for centuries and centuries, going back to antiquity, Henri IV, the Royals in France and what have you.

It appears that a rough coated water dog ( not spaniel?) would be the ancestor to the other water dogs, but by no stretch of the imagination is the Barbet as we think of it today, an old breed who made it down to us through thick and thin, wars and everything else that has happened on this planet.

France originated this, of course and through the years the beliefs of some who created a club and followers who created a myth.

Thanks to internet, books available in several countries and people’s contributions from those different countries, we have managed to get to this conclusion. Next step is coming soon.

Enjoy the pictures, they are self explanatory.

As an example:

The Dutch version


The French version:


The German version:



The Ebay version:




And most important, the British version…since this etching is from a Britsih artist!



………..and so it goes with the “Grand Barbet”:

In Germany:


In The UK:


In France:


In Italy:





It used to be…

It used to be that breeders were extremely proud to announce litters 6 months ahead of time: so and so will be mated to so and so because of this and that…Nowadays, some breeders think that by just announcing their female is going to produce, it’s enough to get the list of “would-be” buyers going. People just wanting a Barbet regardless of the selection of the male, who does have something to do with it, or doesn’t he?

I wonder why that is the case. Isn’t a combination based on a selection of complementary attributes of one or the other to produce dogs as close to the ideal of the standard? ………or is it that there is not an ideal and we go back to the original description of what a generic Barbet is?


Looking back at Barbet, Poodle type

BB_esturgeonneThis is a Barbet called Esturgeonne. She has an extremely dense  bushy coat.  It comes from the crossing of a  pure Poodle  with what could be another Poodle type. Serienoire, found in an SPA around Paris was most likely a Poodle. We cannot be sure that Lynx was her father as he was not always willing to mate ( information from some private letters I have read).

When selecting partners for matings putting together 2 Barbets with this type of coat will certainly produce a great majority of this type of coat. Basically, you can do nothing with it for it is so dense and so thick, that you have to keep in extremely short as we see some dogs. They cannot have a longer coat than 3/4 centimeters or it gets completely matted. That is non-standard, but perpetrated over the years.


Thelma (open curls) Molly ( tight frizzy curls)

On a positive note, a nice combination is a open curl coated dog with a such bushy type. Then, you will have part of the litter with bushy coats and the other half with looser open curls.

Below, is Duel, as JC Hermans was quoted, he was a Poodle put into a litter of Barbets. Same morphological type.


This is Molly, in 2003. She is from that line. Notice her morphology, dense coat and also the tail that hangs down. The tail as we know is a very important detail, as is the head, when determining a breed.

molly2003 - tailGuide dog

Very often,  the tail is hidden…there’s no “crochet” at the end. It’s also up at 12:10 which is a standard Poodle detail. Or worse…the Portuguese Water Dog tail comes out.Notice how this particular dog, on the right has a very thin head,  look at the position of the ears which are quite high and of course the body is rather thin and too long.

Covered in a bushy thick coat…hold the tail down when needed, and voilà.





Well, well.

Many years ago when I started all this, I was told that the Barbet had no history… well it does but it is not the one we would like to hear the best.Enjoy leaning about what the Barbet d’arrêt or Griffon Barbet, is.