The Barbet is an extremely rare breed in its own country. It is threatened with extinction in its country of origin: France. No one really cares about the breed ( not even French authorities or its club), most generally people are using what few dogs we have to make a bit of extra money making and selling them( make hay while the sun shines), but not working to help it survive, nor respect the standard by making strong dogs that were made for a reason: hunting and retrieving. The Barbet is being run by a country outside of France and has been for nearly 20 years. It has been transformed to suit an interpretation of the standard which now has no longer anything to do with what it was: a gundog. It is now a thin-longlegged shaved couch potato.
The Barbet has a long history as it was used was used to make many hunting and herding breeds thanks to its long wooly coat (un chien à gros poil and not un gros chien à poils): the Griffon Korthals, the Briard, the Terreneuve and unfortunately our French Poodle.
A handful of people are cooperating to keep it alive, but with the so many problems it is encountering, like diddling with coat colors ( can you even imagine?), poor breeding practice, bad combinations due to overuse of not good studs, studs being forced onto people, bad charactered dogs, hidden health problems and whatever else you can think of, it’s destined to not make it.
In France, there are next to no breeders and breeding is not encouraged as it is in some countries where decisions are made for you. All you do is execute or stop breeding.
We will keep trying, but money sometimes is more important than anything else and that aspect will bring the breed to a screaching halt.
So, as the club says: a thought for the Barbet on World animal day.