Our very incoherent “organized” dog world.

A very contradictory statement, but fits to a T in our very organized incoherent Barbet world.Why call a re-incarnated breed, vulnerable? It was re-incarnated in the 1980’s to make it  into a Poodle type dog, called, according to Jean Claude Hermans, responsible for its transformation into a MODERN BARBET. Similar to the dog on the right, which has nothing to do with the historical documents available when one takes the time to research their information. It takes years and years to do  such proper research that is factual and unbiased. It says recent regeneration, so nothing to do with history or past facts*. This document shows an F1 cross and is of course, much easier than selecting to obtain the old type threatened with extiction>> VIEUX BARBET. Another contradictory statement is thinking one is producing VIEUX BARBET just because you have some non Poodle type names **in your pedigree ( Ulysse/Hercule et al). That is a great misconception, and one of many…The page here is very generic and not encouraging anyone to further the breed. It could be dated late 1990’s. It comes from the brochure below.

 “Les races canines françaises vulnérables published by the SCC, mentions the Barbet and several other breeds. Some are threatened with extinction ( under  50 births a year) and others are just  vulnerable until about 100 births ( faible effectif), meaning special measures need to be taken by someone competent and knowledgeable  to keep what little is left, meaning there are still some that correspond to the proper type. In OUR case, it would be closer to the Griffon Boulet since the Barbet IS classified in the Griffon category.Not many are aware that the type was there  in the 1970’s, but those dogs were eradicated by some swift wrist movements by an SCC judge who decided he wanted his name in lights. My question to him is and has been would be why the picture of the Barbet is of recent regeneration whilst the others are truer to type? Who to ask in France to get real answers? That is why some serious, not internet!  research needed to be accomplished.Many tried and failed. I tried for years until I got to the point where what I was doing was a rehash of Poodle history and I hit the wall…needing to go in another direction, which I found thanks to competent help.


The Barbet fits the picture nicely, but does not come from that area at all.

In the Barbet environment  there are so many aspects  that fail in any kind of logic, meaning it is hard to make heads or tails of what is going on at any time, in time for lack of factual information.Most people dwell on heresay and rumours to build an opinion. There is very little critical thinking…

I subscribe  to the Société Central Canine (SCC) Magazine and have for years,  to see if they will ever publish an article on the Barbet breed , like other French breeds they have dealt with.

To my great surprise, in the last issue, of September/October 2017,  Centrale Canine Magazine  no.189, a 4-page article about the chien d’Artois a “rare” “vulnerable” French breed…Its resurrection in the 1970’s…started  with a couple of dogs ATI (A titre Initial = no known ancestry), but well typed to correspond to “old type”but these dogs were not eradicated like the Barbets were……Key words such as “looked like” and exchanging dogs  to improve type, character, health but basic qualities were there  as the people USED them for their  proper function, the one they were made for>>>HUNTING, are one we all look for or should when working on an breed that has become rare!It also says,  EVEN IF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE NOT DOCUMENTED, OTHER BREEDS COULD HAVE BEEN USED in reconstructing the breed. It could not have been done without other breeds( or breeds degenerate). SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS…The reconstruction of the Chien d’Artois has been a great success…( it seems there are around 50 births per year).


Now, to me..that runs a parallel with many other breeds and how the were “constructed.. a bit like the Griffon Korthals/Boulet work they had accomplished with similar key words, without getting into too many details here, as  that was 150 years ago and not the point here. The Griffon à poil laineux>>Boulet has recently been removed from  the list of FCI standards, to my great surprise. Soooooooooo, I contacted the FCI who promptly and very courteously replied that I had to ask the SCC. Well, I did  and well, they did not answer (). Now why on earth would they remove a standard when it does not bother anyone for it to be there..or does it? Again, contradictory information. There was something strange about the whole issue. Sooooooooo I went back into my email database and found:

“Les standards restent toujours même si la race “n’existe plus” en France, pour que la race et non le standard disparaisse, il faut bien une cinquantaine d’années pour s’assurer qu’il n’en existe plus dans le monde. Le Griffon Boulet existe toujours”.Bonne journée


the sec to the SCC pdt..in 2010.


“Il y a eu un Griffon d’Arrêt à poil laineux (Griffon Boulet) inscrit en 2005 qui est né dans une portée de Griffon d’Arrêt poil Dur (Korthals) mais il est le seul inscrit depuis en France. Dans les autres pays ??? Il y a parfois des résurgences de races disparues dans certaines portées, mais est ce bien cela ? La référence c’est le standard.”


Signed by the Sec to the pdt of the SCC.2010

 Of course, I had heard of this dog at a show and for that reason, I contacted the SCC back then. They are not allowed to give names of owners ( even if the name is in the show catalogue which is at the SCC.I have researched the Boulet’s original location( meaning the north of France, just like the Barbet) and how the Barbet had been used in the Boulet/Korthals crossings and since then, we have found out that Mr Boulet also bred Barbets… and  their morphology is very similar to the Barbet! The SCC raves about how the Boulet was the first dog in their LOF ( Liste des Origines Françaises) system of registering dogs.There is also a bronze statue in the office of the president of the SCC..proudly displayed…

Boulet at Elbeuf

Boulet in the SCC pdt office

What not many know is that the naturalized  (stuffed) LOF number 1, named Marco, is sitting in a museum cellar a couple hundred kilometers away in  the town ofElbeuf. Quite amazing when you look at the modern library/ mediatèque SCC facilities, and how proud the SCC is of MARCO LOF1.


What worries me and has over the years, is:

I do not remember anyone at the SCC looking to save the French breed called Griffon Boulet, from extinction…but some concerned with creating a conservatory for the re-incarnated Barbet from the 1980’s . I also remember our  Barbet re-incarnator/SCC judge, Jean Claude Hermans in one of his club Barbet bulletins referring to the SCC as letting the Boulet rot. Well it did not just rot. It’s gone.

Next.  I get my copy of Centrale Canine Magazine no. 190 Nov/Dec 2017 yesterday morning.  Since they said they would be dealing with a vulnerable French breed each issue, The Chien d’Artois being the beginning of a series of articles about rare breeds of our French regions I rush to find  out which breed?.. Surprise, surprise: the Bankhar from Mongolia… is a French breed?

http: www.bankhar.org

 However, thinking further about this particular breed and all kidding put aside..Imagine a rare dog in Mongolia… having people working on its survival with a precise protocol…Unreal!  And our civilized dog world? We cannot get people to agree on what a Barbet is?!

The damage is done when judges think THEY know and thrash the old type for lack of curls?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! An old “French” breed ancestor to many…with not enough curls???Problem is, judges set the trends and yes they are trends and not facts since very few have any,( if any??) and that makes for breed degeneration..the ones who fought for 68 cms/*30 kilo dogs are now producing under standard pups with short ears, most bizarre heads  droopy eyes and  in the size of a miniature Poodle, which means after several generations of crossing the same type..their type is beginning to degenerate. Character DOES have something to do here too.A Barbet is a calm, steady affable dog. More and more we see over excited yappy bouncing off the wall hyper active dogs. The Barbet is not any of those, quite the contrary. I think I ought to know a little about it since I have 5 generations..of old type with certain characteristics that make they are NOT POODLE types, but VIEUX BARBET and I challenge anyone to a discussion…even the SCC “authorities” (which we know, there are none concerning the breed).


To guarantee the success of the B project the dogs are selected according to precise criteria. They must be as close to the Bouviers of the past, physically (athletic, tall, fast well proportioned), as well as their character ( affable with humans, protective with the herd and aggressive towards predators). The DNA is used to select  dogs with a genetic patrimony that is NOT polluted with modern breeds and to avoid inbreeding.

The objective is to get back to the very particular genetic diversity of the Bankhars.

Isn’t it nice that some people worked with what was left of the breed to rebuild it? When you draw a parallel with the Barbet and dogs registered in the 70’s and the ridiculous information circulating about how blablabla..and blablabla and letting someone dream up a breed that with a F1 cross corresponded to the perfect type of  something in the 18th century? Get real. . Not easy to think straight about the ins and outs of such a confused breed and confusing people with confused minds around it. Well, we have been able in recent years to start seeing again after 30 years, some proper types in different lines. This was done with only basic logic, communication and archives/pictures of the past to refer to. Research research research… trial and error and doing your best to reach results. We have had NO help from any authorities, whatsoever to achieve these results. Only our own power of conviction…as opposed to the diametrically opposed direction many have taken, always very sure of their doings.

Griffon Boulet vs. Vieux Barbet?? Difficult to tell the difference..

The ones below are  a sampling of homogenous Barbet  coming from different lines. It’s all in the head ( and the tail). You will easily recognize the type. The dog is a GRIFFON type which is what the breed is, and not a Poodle type shaved or not. These are examples of the VIEUX BARBET TYPE:

Long nose, short ears and a very fine dense extremely curly coat of a Poodle, very different from the dogs below.

Different color, but similar type. Corte dei Berberi. Italy.

Inky Arcade Uit d’n Rey’s Hof, Netherlands

Lizzy and Layla Von der Leibrücke, Netherlands

Naïade ( Liriope de la serve de la chapelle d’Alexandre x Baxter) France

Barbet Bay’s d’Amour Royal Fernand, Sweden

Isabeau von der Leibrücke ( Iabada) Mom to NatK and Nancy Sinatra.

Key points to remember:The hair falls down o n the nose, and it is not curly ever, on the head, you can SEE the eyes and they can see you, the coat is easy to manage, a morphology with a proper chest, similar to the old type from historical documents and drawings, calm in  character, steady, attentive willingness to please and work. AND the tail does not curl over the back! Quite obviously health is always a concern. The Barbet has never benefitted from any real cooperation worldwide which explains the tremendous diversity in types and health concers here and there.

What I think I will never understand is how the French involved in the breed (and others…), so proud of their history and their past as most nationals are, categorically refuse to look at facts in the eyes, by preferring alternative facts and fantasy stories that have only to do with the evolution of the Poodle barbet( a generic dog with a long coat) and not the GRIFFON BARBET d’ARRET. Even for cooking, they look into the past for recipes, why not here?

So, in a nutshell: 2 standards were taken and merged into one, modified several times to fit growing production of taller and taller straight chested extremely tight curled ungroomable dogs…who would not last in water work, with very little stamina. Of course, they can fetch balls..as any dog. They can also swim..but can’t all dogs swim?? Is that the point here?

Also, how can a breed re-incarnated in the 1980’s by crossing a Poodle and a Griffon ATI type for which no one ever saw the results, be threatened with extinction?? There are just too many unanswered questions and it again makes everything difficult to deal with. Other similar issues threaten all countries involved.

Now why are the people interested in the survival of the OLD BREED >>> VIEUX Barbet not allowed to work on saving the breed?  Why are/were questions to the SCC/ deceased breed club, ignored? That is the question, at least one of them!

Why do many  refuse to listen or face facts?

It’s just more and more confusing, and it does not seem it will end soon, since the latest is about new elections . Nothing about the breed, be it OLD BARBET or MODERN BARBET.

In its home country, just counting French born dogs there are not more than 50 births a year.Most of the are Poodle types ( Modern Barbet). The Vieux Barbet is severely threatened with extinction everywhere.There are 2 distinct types and a MODERN BARBET can produce a VIEUX BARBET, in fact just like the Griffon Boulet which was born in a Griffon Korthals litter.That does not mean you are working for the old breed…

*For more information about the breed’s history ( which is being worked on as we speak):


** Not to forget: all the different types ( breeds) you have in your pedigree will show up in your litters and it is important to be aware of that issue. F1F2F3 will still carry all those types and that also shows in the wide variety of coat types and dog sizes ( as adults), unless there is a particular selection. That is the reason why many “disappear” as they grow..because it shows too much and some do not want to show their production. In the Barbet, there has been very very little selection which explains why the breed is so diverse. You can be a great breeder according to yourself, but in the Barbet unless you know precisely what you are dealing with, you will get a lot of surprises. Some you can cover under the hair, others not….Much easier to cross Poodle types since they are consistent in the litters, even at 0% inbreeding…