Barbets en Bresse

F:Facts and fallacies about the Barbet (inconnue)

The link below is to the most important reference, the French Canine Society or Société Central Canine (SCC). They have a new website called chiens-Online which references all the dog breeds. The SCC publishes what information is given to the by breed clubs.


The information is mostly condensed from the usual sources about what the word Barbet was "throughout" history.
The important part that I refer to is below, translated into English.
It is a very vitriol-type, , résumé of what alledgedly happened to the Barbet in the 20th century.

Scroll down to the French where it mentions the 20th century:
[i]"Until the beginning of the 20th century, the Barbet accompanied the waterfowl hunters. (1)
After WWII(2), it was extinct(3) and after many years, it was was re-incarnated(4) by mixing Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog( PWD) blood with Spanish water dog( SWD), and Irish Water Spaniel (IWS)blood.[/i]

1. That statement would mean that from the beginning of the 20th century on, no Barbets hunted, meaning there were Barbets, but they didn’t hunt(2). That is FALSE. There are tales of Barbets hunting before WWII, documented in the Chasseur Français,( among others) the reference magazine for hunters. Jean Castaing, author of many books and famous for his competences in the canine domaine speaks about M Le Houelleur’s Floirac Barbets.
( for more info type Jean Castaing et le Griffon Korthals on any search engine)

2. After WWII, it was extinct(3). That is FALSE. No one has ever said (til recently) or proved the Barbet was extinct as there were still Barbets in Graveson with the Ayme family, near Tarascon where Dr Vincenti lived.( Mas de la Chapelle kennel name). The Ayme brothers hunted in the Camargue area of France and bred Barbets for that sole reason. There are photos and documents to prove the existence of the dogs throughout the 60’s.
Mrs Pêtre started breeding Barbet with her father’s strain that still existed, in the early 70’s.

3. Since the Barbet still existed, it was not “re-incarnated”(4) by mixing Poodles, PWD, SWD and IWS. That is a FALSE and MISLEADING statement.
A Barbet-type dog was created by crossing 2 ATI, A Titre Initial ( dogs with no registered ancestry) found in pounds around Paris.
After that, Poodles were used. There are documented facts and pedigrees that show the ancestry on Poodle pedigree databases.

4. There was never a crossbreeding of a poodle with a Barbet; Officially. In 1988. Poodles were crossed with the offsprings of the 2 ATI. Most of the Poodles have registered pedigrees on Poodle pedigree databases and one line goes back to 1880 and the “chien mouton”......sheep dog!

5. Only 1 time, was an Irish Water Spaniel crossed with a Barbet as mentionned in the Dutch link. Not all Barbets have IWS blood. This took place in 2000.

6. All Barbets have PWD in their blood. Over the years,3 PWD were used.Documented.
a. Quesop in the 50’s to bring new blood. This was done by the Ayme brothers.
b Luz do Condinho in 1992.

c. Elsa do Lusiadas in 1995.
You will notice that Hercule was used for the IWS and the PWD situations as he was a real "racer" Barbet.

7. All Barbet has SWD in them. That is FALSE. One mating took place in 2000.


The above letter sent out by [i]hierarchy[/i], is a FACT now, one year later.
Also a FALLACY: I have never asked for coat samples for DNA. Only to compare.....colors.I am now just looking at websites and comparing colors. That's speaking a lot. I now know what it feels like when I see the photo!
[color=#FF0000]There are still a few Barbets without any Poodle or IWS or SWD blood in them.
The Barbet being a natural breed with many characteristics, it was used in "constructing" several breeds which still exist today.

As far as the Barbet being used to create other breeds, it was used for the making of the Briard ( Beauceron x Barbet). Some Barbet look like Briards.
It was a member of the founding stock for the Griffon Korthals.
Many Barbets have that Griffon look.
A Bouvier de Flandres was used to make the Barbet in the late 1920’s. There are a few nowadays who have that “je-ne-sais-quoi” of the Bouvier head; There are other examples dating back to the 70’s.
(Accepting that fact would mean accepting the “old lines” let's say the Bouvier look fell out of the sky, for now)
The Barbet very likely went into making the Bouvier de Flandres at the turn of the 20th century.That is documented.

-The cliché about it being the father of the poodle is true. However the poodle is a breed and so is the Barbet. The Barbet standard was written for a Griffon with a long tail written for a not a poodle type with the tail up on the back.
-The Barbet coat according to Eugène Gayot in 1865, is silky and not dry and brittle nor is is extremely curly like a poodle.

-The purest Barbet blood still in existence is the U litter of Barbochos Reiau de Prouvenco.
-The Barbet is not and has never been throughout history, an elegant dog. It is heavy, not graceful and RUSTIC.
-The Barbet has never been a favorite dog breed of hunters. English breeds have.
-The Barbet has always been an all-around gundog dog who loves water.
-The Barbet is a water dog breed now and a companion, before it was a shepherd, a gardian and a hunter but being a water dog does not make it an old breed.

-There was never an explosion of Barbets in the world.

The painting of Gainsborough with a water dog is a water dog not a Barbet,
possibly a [b]water spaniel[/b].


The Barbet is a French name/word and it was not used in the UK for the water dog. The English water dog was very common. In 1650, Gervase Markham wrote in his book "Hungers prevention or the whole art of fowling by water and land" : "the Water Dog is such a common dog in England that there is no need to describe it... . It is a water dog and bred for that reason and hads the necessary traits and its morphology is superior to others. He described how perfect the dog was in its morphology.

However, the word Barbet was never used. The Barbet is only a French dog.

Have a look at the link and the woodcut of a dog which could be any breed. Most certainly a water dog. Looks a lot like the Portuguese water dog...

The Barbet, historically, was never just a black dog. The black came from the poodle in the re-incarnated Barbet and most likely from the Chien de Crau in the "old bloodline". The chien de Crau dating back to 1860 or so.
The only Barbet we have photographed dates back to approx 1880/90 and is called Pilote. He was black and white. He had no SWD in him.

[i]"Commoners who hunted with greyhounds in defiance of these laws favored dogs whose coloring made them harder to spot: black, red, fawn, and brindle. Nobles by contrast favored white and spotted dogs who could be spotted and recovered more easily if lost in the forest. It became common among the English aristocracy to say, "You could tell a gentleman by his horses and his greyhounds"[/i].

I will be adding on to this list regularly because there is a tremendous amount of wrong information circulating about our Barbet.