Barbet hunting dog.

I have finally managed to put the videos together of Froggies working/hunting at the BICP in Lanty, France last September. Sorry, it’s of course in French.

The judge’s comments were at the beginning with French: ” the way to cover ground of the Barbet…he works well.It’s has to always hunt that way. Perfect.”
Then M Raquin the pro trainer was yelling at ME a lot in the Froguette sequence because I was not doing this or that right. Caroline, a Barbet friend did the filming and I finally took the time to put it together.

The Barbet, a hunter? Not so sure. Many people use as their key words to attract attention, those words: hunter water dog, wasserchen et al. However as Fiona L Lucas says below, it’s real work. Claiming a Barbet is a hunter is ludicrous in my humble opinion. Watch my video and then look into the work Jacques Cyr and Fiona do and go from there. Selling a Barbet at high prices and pretending it’s going to hunt…is not close to any truth.

Some have acquired Barbets based on that false advertising and have quickly seen that they were not all hunters. Certain lines can, of course. It takes a heck of a lot of training and until people accept that fact and respect the Barbet and its working lines for that aspect of the breed, the Barbet is doomed to die.I feel very strongly about the breed and its capacity to work and I am saddened by those who do nothing to help that aspect of the breed.

This is what Fiona L Lukas ( in the UK) wrote:

A little clarification and information might be helpful here for those with a genuine interest in raising the status of the Barbet as a working gundog/retriever …. read on if you care!

1. Firstly, there is a difference between a working dog (classified in the KC Working Group) and a working gundog (classified in the KC Gundog Group) Any breed of dog may “work” whether or not it is in a defined KC group. Assistance dogs are highly trained and may be pedigree breeds, crossbreeds or mongrels who work in an extremely skilled way and in a rôle which can be, and is, being, undertaken by some barbets at present. I believe that the discussion here is about the rôle of the barbet as a working gundog. No dog (whether in the KC Gundog Group or not) can work usefully “in the field” without considerable training. The ability to fetch a long-dead duck from a pond does not make a barbet, or any other breed, into a retriever which is an asset to anyone “in the field”, that is to say, on a shoot; on a shooting day a dog will be working on live or freshly shot game around other dogs, farm livestock, possibly near roads, in a situation where live ammunition is being used. Due, in my opinion, to the difficulty of maintaining the coat,and consequent rise in popularity of other gundog breeds, the barbet has not, I believe, been generally utilised in this way for some considerable time (if ever) resulting in a loss of working drive compared with that of the modern working gundog. This is a vicious circle – the fewer barbets bred and trained for the shooting field, the less likely they are to be adopted by the shooting fraternity. It takes an enormous amount of effort, time and skill to produce a trained working gundog …. how many barbet breeders are taking this into account in their breeding programs and promotion? Surely this is essential if they want to recover what we can only suppose was a higher working drive in the past. Is it a vain hope to expect any breed registration organisation (kennel club) to classify a “new” breed as a gundog if there are no (or virtually no) examples of that breed that actually work in the field? As a dedicated working gundog owner with a barbet that I have trained myself (with professional assistance) and IF the breed is ever to be recognised by The Kennel Club, I would like to see it classified in the Gundog Group, but I have come to the conclusion that, for the reasons I have given already, and others, that it is increasingly unlikely.

2. Only KC (UK) recognised Gundog breeds may enter gundog Working Tests or Field Trials for competition (the exception being a very few charity Working Tests.) ANY breed or crossbreed registered on the Kennel Club Activity Register may enter Working Trials i.e. Barbets may enter Working Trials, but they have nothing to do with gundog work!

3. The SWD and Lagotto have been classed, within the KC (UK) Gundog Group, as “water retrievers”, but as there is no such “official” “sub-group” they appear to have had to invent their own competitive tests. This, in my opinion, will do nothing to help the status of these two breeds within the shooting fraternity of this country as they are, at present anyway, unable to enter gundog Working Tests or Field Trials for Retrievers and, in any event, a breed would not become acceptable to a “gundog person” or “shooting person” if it were classified as only a “water retriever” as opposed to an “all-round retriever”. In the UK shooting field, retrievers are expected to retrieve from land or water, and to hunt when necessary. In addition there is no such thing as a Hunting Group within the KC (UK) classification.