A Barbet is a Barbet? NO!

Because of the fact that there are, regardless of what anyone says

( especially in foreign countries), 2 separate breeds/types in the Barbet ( Barbet Moderne and “Old line” Barbet or Vieux Barbet) and because selection for many has been done on ONLY curls and not at all character, morphology or working ability, we end up with permanent F1 crosses to refresh Barboodle blood.

Keep in mind everyone claims they breed for health. Breeding for unhealthy dogs would not make senses, would it?

Eugene Gayot in LE CHIEN 1869, speaks of the situation of mixing breeds.

We are talking about crossing metis type dogs ( or whatever)and not purebreds, that makes the situation even more dangerous.


Look below, these 2 dogs: Barbets, are brother and sister. One a typical Modern Barbet type and the other more “old line” typed. They do look like 2 different breeds.Everyone has an image in their mind when they think of a particular breed and what they think it looks like. Well, I would have never imagined this happening because I was new in the field. Live and learn? I do love my Guyguy, which is not the point here we are not talking about love or not love, but breed type.Over the last xx years, there has been less and less selection ( IF there ever had been any really, but for curls).

How to select in a litter? This is not to give you a course on how to, but to make you think a bit more.

A birth some have curls and some don’t. The ones who don’t are old type….in a nutshell.


This is what we call “old line” below:                                       Curly body, flat head, and most important, a manageable coat:


From left to right:

Sangria, in many pedigrees; Hercule di Barbochos Reiau de Prouvenco and Thelma ( Tchin Tchin de la perte aux Loups).

Below is typical of the Modern Barbet ( very Poodle typed). The coat is generally kept short, since it will not grown long properly, as it generally only remains bushy/frizzy. Legs are extremely long, dogs are rather square( again much taller than long) and very often black dogs as they grow older get front legs which are graying. Hair grows out on the head and not down and the shape of the head is also different.  Have a look at photo below: Father on the left ( 63 cms) and son on the right ( 59.5cms). the one on the right inherited from his father’s long line of tall Poodle types. Poodle types can reach up to 70 cms adult. …Then, some will sort of extend the truth into a standard size.


Below left, daughter and Mom.Same family. Both around 54 cms


These are the most striking photographs. Below are ALL siblings and related to female and male above left and right.

Grown dogs can look like mom or dad or even back further in the pedigree as this one here who looks more like Sangria, below. He is around 63 cms.

begood2Brothers…with a nice easy to manage coat, below. Both around 58 cms in size. An about average size in today’s breeding. Curiously, this seems to be a sought after type. Great coat, can be kept up in around 30 minutes. These have nothing to do with the poofed out showtypes, very often turned into hypertypes for the showring.

BillyDigital StillCamerabalto2yrs1This brown dog is nearly 63 cms, more of a Standard Poodle size and type.

It is not often  possible to see a complete grown litter of adults and siblings since there are often so many differences. If people were to show complte litters at an adult age with all of their ancestry, it certainly would help future potential customers understand what they are getting and not just a name. BARBET.

This was my first litter and was most amazing to me. I had no idea such differences could exist. It is quite common to this day to have an idea in mind of what one is looking for in a Barbet and end up with a totally different type.

These dogs live 10 to 12 years and you have no choice, but to accept it and love it! And of course, you will love it, but if you were looking for a nice open curled dog and end up with a standard Poodle you have to keep shaved…Then, it defeats the purpose and you’re better off getting a Poodle straightaway.

The Barbet is rare, only because there are not many births. The “old line” is slowly disappearing for lack of proper selection to keep it from becoming extinct. Not many worry about it, really. Some do. Only a few ( older?) breeders worried and interested in the “Old Line”‘s survival will post many photos of adult dogs. Not many others are willing.

Then, the next point is the fact that some are into F2 breeding ( for having selected on curls only) and some F3, but these still do not show what other pups they have not used who could have fit perfectly well the ‘Old line”. Below is a very nice litter from a few years ago. ONLY 1 dog here was allowed to reproduce, yes you got it. The one with curls. This was a litter of 13 pups. The others were sent away and most got spayed or neutered.The fact that many are shaved to the bone, is only because many people to this day are not at all aware of the fact that the Barbet has a long wooly coat. So, the new deal is: it’s in a “working coat”…working coats are for working gundogs, only. Those being few and far between!

Bonita, Baccus, Billabong, Bella, Baja,Bpora, Brousaille, Bacci,Balou, Bango,

This is the reason why, when I get a call, I ask “what type of dog do you have in mind?”

I don’t enjoy the dog breeding world, alas. I enjoy making dogs that look like my dogs for the pleasure of it. Problem is I can’t keep them all, so I now have 6 and am having a hard time convincing myself to make more in France where the breed is not welcome.

Next example I would like to share as a case study:

Cross Oodle x Boodle below. What will you get in this F1 litter?

A mix of everything in their respective ancestry. Dogs of different sizes( major differences) and appearance, a “pot pourri” of a bunch of breeds for lack of selection ( or selecting on Poodles). Conclusion? Back to square one.

And most of all? For the poor neophyte who thought he or she was getting this nice Griffon type ( ooops, I said it)

oodleboodleHerrendouscoatThis type of coat and dog. In brown.

Now of course, these dogs in the right place at the right time can be super champions and many know how that goes.  It’s the perfect poofed out show hypertype. You cannot do anything with this coat, which is matted ( because one only brushes the top, but never to the skin) probably smelly, and you want to pull your hair out with frustration. What happens? You get the dog shaved.

Return to square one….

Second conclusion:

The dog on the left the curls DO grow down at some point in time, only because of gravity… The one on the right grow down from the beginning.

029       headshot

In a crossbred litter, you can get anything under the sun. You can get some nice pups, but you can get some “pet only” types.

The rest of the body is important. The size of the head, the placement of the ears, the teeth, the shape of the eye, the nose…in fact..the standard. That is what makes a real Barbet different from an oodle.

I do not recommend anyone’s litters, unless I know exactly what their objectives in having that litter.My dogs’ progeny are used( not always a reason to rejoice), but mated wrongly, they will again produce oodles in all shapes and sizes.

I hope you have learnt something here. I have learnt most of this the hard way. It’s called pulling the wool over one’s eyes.








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