When they're puppies, they "all" look alike. It's when they grow up that you see that morphologically hidden under all that hair, they are not the same. Nor is the character. And it shouldn't be.
The Portie' is a water dog and the Barbet historically has been a gun dog that also looooooooooooves water. The Portie has never been a gun dog. That's why genetically also the characheter is different.
Yes, I know he looks like Compay II, but when all is said and done they have the Irish pied
coat in common and that's it.
The Portuguese water dog is not a rare breed either.It's a popular breed in the USA.And good for them!
Food for thought:
As it says, these are Portuguese water dogs
Courtesy: bull. 71 Club des Chiens d'eau June 2002.
Richard Ramsey Reinagle in 1793. This paiting is claimed to be of a poodle. It could be a PWD ( Portuguese Water Dog), but did the PWD even exist then? Not sure...the standard dates to the 1950's?
Look at the tail set. The tail is set at 12:10 which is characteristic of a poodle and it curves over on the back which is when you hold it, what the PWD's is supposed to do, not the Barbet.
A Barbet's tail is not set the same way, it is set lower
and doesn't just "hang there", it forms a crochet at the end and it reaches to hocks.That's easy to see and distiguish.That's genetic diversity that we want to keep before they all become one: the Poodle, the PWD, the SWD and the Barbet.
Now we just need to see Bo Diddley from a profile....
And you'll see! Here's a shot of Compay Segundo, my Barbet.