Tag Archives: Vieux Barbet

Getting to the core of the Barbet matter.


As many/most of you know I have not ever given up on getting to the core of the history of the Barbet, being thoroughly convinced the Barbet is not at all the ancestor to the Poodle…

IF it were, it would look like one and it does not. The drawing below was made in the late 1990’s by 2 Australian sisters, commissioned by the Nordic Kennel Club. This is what best portrays the Vieux Barbet, Old Barbet or Old Bloodlines. Nothing to do with the looks of a Poodle.


Several have laughed and tried to ridicule what work/ research I have done, or simply tried to ignore it, but however keeping an eye on my every move. It does become frustrating to be under a magnifying glass on a permanent basis, but that is life. It does, as recently read on a social network page, get rather annoying.

I have found help along the way and more help and finally we have gotten to a point where something can be said publicly.

The person above  dragged with him Belgian and Luxemburger nationals, along with some Canadians and Swissers, others being lessers in “contributing” such as french nationals and the likes.

The opinion given below is of another historian not en herbe this time! This ought to answer another MDG aka Vérité Barbet who spread terror in the hamlets in 2012 ( not under his own name)

I tried to understand what this is all about and read the article of Lanckmans; must say he should have asked one of his colleagues to help him with a proper English translation, because it seems to be some online translator’s product. At the end but it doesn’t make so much difference. It seems he got his certificate for history teacher, which technically does not make a man a historian, but a school teacher whose task it is to bring some basic awareness of history to school children. I’m sorry to be a bit fixed on the person, but the picture of his certificate seems to meant to deliver the evidence that we should stop using our brains.
Analyzing I must say it’s interesting how he points out where the idea comes from about the North African origin: one had such assumption 400 years ago or so and after that people loyal copied it, but no one ever checked it.
Further he makes a fixation of the facts several phases of the registered breeding started with dogs of unknown descent or from locally known lines, which weren’t registered with the LOF.
He seems to try to let the reader believe a dog breed does not exist when it has no papers …. this is the thinking level of an office clerk, and not of an historian. If he had any sense for history he would have obtained a solid level of background information what starts with the French hunting dogs and the French registration system and how it worked over the years. I have some original pedigrees of Petit bleu de Gascoigne from the early 1960ties, when there were only 2 registered with the LOF. Most was bred without papers, but people knew rather well their origin and lines. The system was, inf I remember well, more or less any good looking specimen of the breed could become registered but got provisional papers and had to be confirmed at the age of about 1, to be sure the dog really turned in to the breed he should be. It should be to expect that after lets say 4 or 5 generations of registered dogs, the confirmation wasn’t necessary any longer, but I don’t know exactly how that went. This made is also possible to use a crossbred with a related breed (in case of the Bleu de Gascoigne, some had blood of the Gascon-Saintongeois, or Anglo-Gascon). At the confirmation it was definitely decided what breed it was: Bleu de Gascogne or Gascon-Saintongeois. A very simple system, but effective and helpful for the situation.
Lanckmans seems to think that when a dog has no papers it does not exist, and when after some period people start to breed it and have it registered, that their dogs, in exterior and character (working capacities) may just have fallen from the sky. Evidence for the purity of breedtype you obtain by observing the results of breeding. If there is some degree of permanency, fitting in a certain frame, what more evidence does one need to understand dog of those special characteristics must have descended from other dogs with the same characteristics. So dogs from after the war somehow descent from the dog before the war, and those from before the war descent from those in the later 19th century and those in the later 19th century from those early in th 19th century, &c.

Those who need to know the name of the author, know.

This is info from the SCC, I( meaning ME) finally got it today.
“Nous ne pouvons malheureusement pas vous donner plus d’indications sur les parents de Bézeff de Floirac ( in the database that everyone runs to that is pseudo official). En effet, le registre du LOF n’indique que leur nom : Médor et Timballe.
L’information sur les races provient du site d’Alain Lanckmans (contact que nous avions transmis à M. Targowski) qui vous cite (voir lien ci-contrehttp://barbet-francais.fr.gd/L-h-avis-d-h-un-historien-.htm). [ That info cites Médor as a Bouvier de Flandres, but no one knows where it comes from and I find out the SCC cites me…]
N’ayant pas eu accès aux documents primaires, nous avons préféré écrire les races entre crochets. So, the SCC says “we think” and the next one says we think is a fact and it snowballs into what we have today. I am the one who got the info about Medor and Timballe from the family/descendants of that particular breeder when they let me use their archives. So, what I say is “croire ( infinitive)= cru”( past)= believed, but then on the other hand…Then you say cross check everything you say which I believe (croire) is certainly wise. So I published what you said without referring to anything or anyone. The ones who come here know who wrote it, of course, but no one batted an eyelash on it, whilst continuing to claim the drawing ( stupid, I agree, but official SCC/FCI and only breed club can modify it which does not seem like a complicated task.



Une race en perdition…. Feu le Barbet


It’s about Hercule di Barbochos Reiau de Prouvenco. With the breed club, he was almost in the same position as Ulysse is and has been, meaning banned. Hercule was a working dog. Had BCE and had done German tests.

When some indelicate breeders claim indelicately that some of their dogs are international working champions, there are none especially not in the Barbet since they are not allowed in any field trials. This is a good example and shows another level of…incompetence and lack of knowledge of a breed. Sadly so.

It says:

Heureux de retrouver un excellent barbet dont la race en France semble en perdition.
Ce sujet est( ?)  excellent? exposé dans son ensemble extérieur et son équilibre me rappelle les barbets
que m’ont fait connaitre les Pouchins, Fréville, Bazin et autres.

In English:
Happy to see an excellent barbet again of a breed in great distress.
This particular one shown is excellent overall and reminds me of the Barbets the following judges taught me to appreciate: Mr Poucin, Fréville, Bazin and others…

The above judges were basically all banned from judging any Barbets as the breed was replaced by a genepoodle of oodles.
Since 1994 to this date even moreso, the breed club is responsible for the decline of what was never promoted as a hunter and sold as a matted poofed tight curled ballerina-toed oodle, that has not any type of identity and can be confused/ mistaken for a Labradoodle, Spanish Water Dog or Poodle. Commonly now called a portuguse Poodle ( for the new colors on tall shaved dogs).
Sad fate for a dog caused by lack of any competence of the authorities who are supposed to “manage” it.

Experts and the likes…

cropped-Barbet_barbet_text_sm.jpg It is said by some new history experts that there is only one Barbet…

The one on the left is according to standard. The standard was modified several times so it would correspond to the Poodle type on the right.

The dog on the left still exists, but it is near extinction. The one on the right is rather rare, but as one says, needs to be vulgarisé, understrand make more and sell more. Nothing to do with selection but sales.

Have you seen ever the one on the right as a working gundog or “chien de chasse”?

More coming which you are going to really enjoy!

Vero Shaw: The Book of the Dog 1881


Fabulous book. I have had it in my hands which is not the same as online, but being able to access it is grandiose.

illustratedbooko00shawrich_0024 - Copie

In the first pages you will see the “mindmap” above, that shows very clearly that the water dog  is the ancestor to  all  rough coated water dogs and clearly not the Barbet. There has not ever been enough research done on this theme and  most everyone, unfortunately jumped on the bandwagon with not an ouce of proof. The Barbet as a breed does not at all date back to any kind of antiquity! It is a breed that was put together like all others in the late 1800’s.

It was a working gundog for a short time as a breed and not as a poodle. Its standard dates to 1886 for a Barbet d’arrêt.

Sad that it never really made it as a working gundog, and even less so than its cousin the Griffon BOULET, either extinct or on the verge of boulet

extinction, that it ressembled before it was  re-converted into a Poodle, the poodle having come before the French Barbet, but most likely was not the first ever rough coated waterdog…that is a myth.

Back at the beginning of the 20th century, the English gundogs were preferred over the barbet type dogs, because of the maintenance ( or lack of) of their coat. It is much worse of a situation today since there is less and less marshland in France, more and more people very adamant about hunting and fearful of having any type of hunting dog. Those beliefs unfortunately again, are deeply embedded in neophytes’ minds because a dog may have natural instinct, but that does not BY ANY STRETCH of the imagination mean he will be a natural- obedient- gundog. The gundogs require a lot of training and that is why trainers exist.

The French breed club again, insisting on the Barbet remaining a gundog which it has not really been in over one hundred years is absolutely absurd.

People who claim that any Barbet is a working gundog retriever or whatever you wanto to claim must then explain HOW the Barbet works…and there are TREMENDOUS differences between the different waterdog breeds ( the Poodle being a waterdog, the Puli being a waterdog)! All they have in common is a coat..and hair that keeps growing…. that’s it.



Puppy weights

An official veterinary thesis was written in 1991, by O. Chapusot, for the ECOLE NATIONALE VETERINAIRE D’ALFORT, in France. It dealt with the Barbet past ( 1930 ) and present. This means that the 2  lines were dealt with.

Among other items covered in the thesis was the weight of puppies.

It is, of course, very important to have documented weight curves and whenever possible, share them. Not much has been done to that effect other than what we manage to get ahold of once in a while. Most everything is kept hushhush for some unknown reasons.

In a club bulletin a few years ago,  a breeder  had published the weight curve of his litter. I believe that was the only time I have ever seen anything having to do with the subject since the weights given by Dr Vincenti of the Mas de la Chapelle kennel in the 30’s. This thesis used these weights and compared them to the Modern Barbet ( yes, it exists regardless of some sites claiming there is only one breed).

Finally today, through 2  completely different litters, I was able to pull out the document and check the veracity of the information.

Here you have a photo of 2 pups. One is from what I would like to call an “old” line and the other from a “modern” one. The composition of the litters relies mostly on what kennel names you want to work with or stay away from for various reasons.


The black pup is 8 weeks old and the brown one, 9. There is a 2-kilo difference between these 2 females. That is documented below in the chart.


When planning a litter, it is  vital to take all aspects of the stud or female ( I don’t use word bitch, because I don’t like it). This means the lineage, the size, the weight, the coat type, the morphology ( defects of the one or the other), not just 0% inbreeding as often is the case ( mixing oranges and apples) and how you can come out with something even better. I said absolutely nothing about breeding for color.

An “old” line female’s adult size would be 50-ish to great maximum 55cms. (some of the Griffon types with Chien de Crau are around 55)

A “modern” line female will size up to 61+ cms, with many around 58/59cms. They mostly have Poodle in the pedigree (some PWD) + Canaille de Verbaux (kennel) which, when selected only on curls ( tight/ frizzy) and known for very long legs with “lots of air between the legs” give us the dogs we very often see today.

Below is the weight curve of a litter in 2002. Tiboubou is Booly Wooly’s father. His weight at 2 months was 7 kilos. Son Booly Wooly’s was the same. Tiboubou is 64 cms. Booly Wooly is 59.5 and weighs 23kilos, about the same as his father. It was important to be able to follow up on this information years later to crosscheck it.


It will be extremely interesting to follow the growth of these 2 little girls and see if they fit the pattern. I think they will, what do you think? The male was about 7kilos.

If you are wondering why the breed club in France does nothing about the Barbet any more, wonder no more: there is “only” one type, because there is too much animosity among breeders to admit to 2 and secondly, they have very little information on the breed’s evolution historically and in the last 30 years.

Here is a link to another weight chart: http://barbety.pl/en/2013/08/26/monitoring-weights/