Facts and fallacies about the Barbet breed

1. The word barbet is a generic word meaning a species of dogs with a beard and a long  rough coat. They have hair on their limbs, as opposed to spaniels that do not. They can come in any size, shape and color.

2. They do have undercoat which protects them when they go to water. That is the reason why there is generic barbet in a lot of breeds: for the undercoat.

3. The water dog or rough coated water dog existed in many European countries. It is only called “barbet” in France. They date back to around the 15th century.( for the name barbet).

4. Until its standard was written for a Griffon, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landrace it was a landrace.

5. The main characteristic of the breed Barbet is NOT a frizzy/curly coat, but its ability to retrieve from water and hunt on land. It is an all-around working dog.

6. It is not any more hypoallergenic as other breeds. Beware of misleading information on that matter. There are several breeds in the Barbet and allergy can be caused by one and not another.

7. Back in the 19th century, probably around 1860, the (rough  coated) water dog was becoming more sophisticated and  known as the “chien cane”, duck retriever and a dog that loved puddles => POODLE.

8. There is only one Barbet? Ok, but which one? The Old Breed or Vieux Barbet, so called that way by authors of the canine domaine, ORBarbet_Ulysse_9mos

This one  below which was completely transformed in the 1980’s when Jean Claude Hermans said he had managed to stop the above “type” from reproducing?


The above type require a tremendous amount of grooming for there are tight frizzy curls.


The Barbet Moderne as it is called is rare, but is not threatened with extinction since it was created in the 1980’s.

The Old breed, or Vieux Barbet is threatened with extinction. Having a litter of Barbets will certainly increase the population, but by no stretch of the imagination, will it stop the Vieux Barbet from going extinct. Please keep that in mind, when you think you are contributing to the survival of the breed. You may or may not be.


Dans son livre CHIENS DE FRANCE http://www.amazon.fr/Chiens-France-daujourdhui-Jean-Claude-Hermans/dp/2951516711


* The problem being with the will to simplify things or by laziness, people often say barbet i/o Griffon-Barbet, and that was confusing in the mind of some people. Because Barbet and Griffon Barbet are 2 different breeds.

When I decided to remake the barbet (de Buffon), I sometimes saw some dogs who were typed Griffon-Barbet and I had to eliminate them from reproduction. At some point I thought it might have been interesting to kill 2 birds with one stone, and to work simultaneously and separately in reconstituting the barbet and the Griffon-Barbet, but I gave up because I knew I would get no support from official dog instances or kennel clubs, and that people were already so much trying to create problems for me with my barbet, that adding the Griffon-Barbet would have raised hackles.

I do have an idea to remake the Griffon-Barbet in a simple way, but I’m keeping it to myself.

J de Coninck wrote the standard for the Griffon-Barbet called Barbet d’arrêt. As when breeds are extinct, their names are never taken off official nomenclature, the barbet still officially existed along with the standard for a Griffon-Barbet. Thanks to that I was able to officially modify the standard and go from a Griffon-Barbet to a barbet without saying anything. ….At the time, the nomenclature was modified and the new barbet was ableto change groups and be with his brothers from other countries. We have therefore recreated the barbet thanks to the standard of another breed and thanks to the confusion of misleading information.

Who knows? Perhaps in 50 years, a fellow dog lover as crazy as I was will reincarnate the Griffon-Barbet of the 1850’s….let’s wish him GOOD LUCK.

He tells us himself in no uncertain terms that he emilinated what was left of the old breed… he is supported by people who have not a clue of the history of the breed and only support their breeder and breeding.

To me, the difference between that type of breeding and a Labradoodle is : 0. No one cares about pedigrees and doesn’t understand them… It’s all in the marketing! Most French breeders and some foreign ones only spend their time thrashing others and not promoting their dog. That will kill the Barbet…I do not recommend any breeders ( unless I know them well and understand their work), nor do I recommend any studs to be used. One who wishes to have a litter and contribute to the gene pool ( as opposed to “just” make puppies) must do his/her homework thoroughly. Previous affairs with not very scrupulous breeders have led me to take those decisions.

In the end, it’s much easier to get a Labradoodle, if you just want a curly dog:


Updated 11/2014