Barbet Bibliography

Listed below are excerpts and passages taken from books where the barbet is mentioned. It should be noted that before the advent of dog shows `barbet` was a generic term used for a type of dog rather than a specific breed. In the UK the barbet was known commonly as the Great Water Dog or the Rough Haired Water Dog and some others. Although the different water dogs are now easily differentiated, this was not always the case and often the terms barbet, caniche (poodle in French), poodle and water dog are interchangeable. Where the reference from a book is in French, an English translation is given.

Where the book being quoted, is available online, then please click on the View original barbet text to view the original work.

This page is ongoing and is being added to as we receive further quotes which can be correctly referenced. With more recent examples, copyright still applies and so these will be listed without the actual "quote".

We are indebted to Liz Thompson and Richard McDougal for their efforts in translating the texts originally in French.

Recent Additions

04/02/23. Le chien :son histoire,ses exploits,.. 1938

04/02/23. Le chien :races,éducation,hygiène,dressage. 1910

22/12/19. The Field, Paris Dog Show report. 1863

12/01/17. Notre ami le chien. 1897

12/01/17. L'Eleveur N°2539, 1934

12/10/15. Dictionnaire raisonné universel, 1880

29/09/15. Histoire de la chasse en France , 1867

16/05/14. Le Chien; son histoire...,. 1883

21/03/14. The Sportsman. 1841

26/02/14. Les Trois règnes de la nature. 1865

17/02/14. Le Sport Universel Illustré.1904

30/12/13. Traité général des eaux et forêts...,.1834

18/11/13. Le Chien. Description des races. 1876

05/01/13. Les Chiens. Chiens de luxe et d'utilité. 1908

04/01/13. La vie des animaux illustrée 1903

01/01/13. Les races françaises de chiens d'arrêt. 1891


pre 1800
post 1900

Water Dog (woodcut)

Water Dog (woodcut)


Water Dog (Canis aquarius, aquaticus)

Historia Animalium. (woodcut)

Conrad Gesner, 1551




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Of Englishe dogges: the diversities, the names, the natures, and the properties.

By John Caius, Abraham Fleming

Translated by Abraham Fleming

Published by Reprinted from the original by Milo G. Denlinger, 1576

Of the Dogge called the water Spaniell, or finder,

in Latine Aquaticus seuinquisitor.

That kinde of dogge whose service is required in fowling upon the water, partly through a natural towardnesse, and partly by diligent teaching, is inbued with that property. This sort is somewhat bigge, and of a measurable greatnesse, having long, rough, and curled heare, not obtayned by extraordinary trades, but given by natures appointment, yet neverthelesse (friend Gesner) I have described and set him out in this maner, namely powlde and notted from the shoulders to the hindermost legges, and to the end of his tayle, which I did for use and customs cause, that beyng as it were made somewhat bare and naked, by shearing of such superflnitie of heare, they might atchive the more lightnesse, and swiftnesse, and be lesse hindered in swymming, so troublesome and needelesse a burthen being shaken of. This kinde of dogge is properly called Aqitaticvs, a water spaniel because he frequenteth and hath usual recourse to the water where all his game & exercise lyeth, namely, waterfowles, which are taken by the helpe & service of them, in their kind. And principally duckes and drakes, wherupon he is lykewise named a dogge for the ducke, because in that qualitie he is excellent. With these dogges also we fetche out of the water such fowle as be stonnge to death by any venomous worme, we use them also to bring us our boultes & arrowes out of the water (missing our mareke) whereat we directed our levell, which otherwise we should hardly recover, and oftentimes the restore to us our shaftes which we thought never to see, touche or handle againe, after they were lost, for which circumstaunces they are called Inquisitorea, searchers, and finders. Although the ducke otherwhiles notably deceaveth both the dogge and the master, by dyving under the water, and also by naturall subtilty, for if any man shall approche to the place where they builde, breede, and syt, the hens go out of their nestes, offering themselues voluntarily to the lads, as it were, of such as draw nie their nestes. And a certaine weaknesse of their winges pretended, and infirmitie of their feete dissembled, they go so slowely and so leasorely, that to a mans thinking it were no masteryes to take them. By which deceiptfull tricke they doe as it were entyse and allure men to follow them, till they be drawne a long distaunce from theyr neastes, which being compassed by their prooident con. ning, or conning providence they cut of all inconneniences which might growe of their returne, by using many carefull and curious caucates, least theyr often haunting bewray ye place where the young ducklings be hatched. Great therefore is theyr desire, & earnest is theyr study to take heede, not ouly to theyr broode but also to themselves. For when they have an ynkling that they are espied they hide themselves vnder turfes or sedges, wherewith they coner and shrowde themselues so closely and so craftely, that (notwithstanding the place where they lurke be found and perfectly perceaued) there they will harbour without harmo, except the water spaniel by quicke smelling discover theyr deceiptes.

'La Gravure Française à la Renaissance'

Published by Léonard Odet, Lyon.

c. 1600

Please click, Je suis loyal barbet veillant. to read the full text.

Extract of a Letter by Nicolas Fabri de Pereisc:


Because they all are white and have long frizzy hair like barbet dogs.

Journals of Sir John Lauder Lord Fountainhall with His Observations
on Public Affairs and Other Memoranda


Being on horseback, tomorrow being a Sundy, ere 3 hours of the morning we dined at Thoury, a little towne 10 leagues from Orleans; came at night in foul weather to Estampes, a ruinous towne, their no being so much as a whole house standing in al the fauxbourgs, and that since the late troubles raised by Mr le Prince,[353] who defended the towne against the King. Their is one long street in the towne. We lay at the trois Rois. We went to the Cordeliers Convent to see that Barbet[354] rought[355] water dog that takes the Escrevisses,[356] but we could not see it.

[353] In 1652 the Prince of Conde's troops held Etampes against Turenne, Louis XIV.'s general.
[354] A kind of dog with long curly hair.
[355] Rought, rough: as he spells laugh, laught.
[356] _Ecrevisses_, crayfish.

A tentative Universal Dictionary. Antoine Furetière:


Barbets. Are curly coated dogs which hunt….

Methodical Synopsis of Four-Legged Animals.

John Ray: 1693.

(from Latin)

Canis aviarius aquaticus = Water dog, bird retreiver. Thick curly hair over all its body.

Dictionary of the Académie Française. 1st edition:


BARBET. Dog with curly hair which goes to water.

The gentleman's recreation: in four parts, viz. hunting, hawking, fowling, fishing.

By Nicholas Cox, John Manwood

Edition: 6

Published by Printed for N.C. and sold by J. Wilcox, 1721

To train a WATER-DOG, and the use thereof.

I shall begin with the best proportion of the Water-dog and, first, of his colour. Although some do attribute much to the colour, yet experience lets us know they are uncertain observations. To proceed, then, your dog may be of any colour and yet excellent, but choose him of long hair and curled, not loose and shagged ; his head must be round, his ears broad and hanging, his eyes full, lively, and quick. His nose very short, his lip hound-like, his chaps with a full set of strong teeth. His neck thick and short, his breast sharp, his shoulders broad. His forelegs straight, his chine square, his buttocks round, his belly gaunt, and his thighs brawny. "For the training this dog you cannot begin too soon with him, and therefore, as soon as he can lap, you must teach him to couch and lie down, not daring to stir from that posture without leave. Observe in his first teaching to let him eat nothing till he deserves it, and let him have no more teachers, feeders, cherishers, or correctors but one ; and do not alter that word you first use in his information, for the dog takes notice of the sound, not the language. When you have acquainted him with the word suitable to his lesson, you must teach him to know the word of reprehension. You must also use words of cherishing, to give him encouragement when he does well. There is also a word of advice, instructing him when he does amiss.

Having made him understand these several words, you must next teach him to lead in a string or collar orderly, not running too forward nor hanging backward. After this you must teach him to come close to your heels without leading, for he must not range by any means unless it be to beat fowls from their covert, or to fetch the wounded.

Dictionary of the French Language.

By Pierre Aubert: 1728.

BARBET. Dog which goes to water & whose hair is curly.

Le Chien Barbet

Le Chien Barbet

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Le Chien Barbet.

1730, oil on canvas, 194.5 x 112 cm. (private collection)

By Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779)






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Der vollkommene teutsche Jäger

By Hans Friedrich von Fleming: 1749.

Concerning the Water Dog.

The shepherds have small or medium driving dogs which have shaggy hair, (they get them from the Northern Countries). Such Budels are now covered with a Hound, so the offspring fall with long ears and shaggy hair. In order that they swim better their thick hair is taken off, a good beard and eyebrows remain, and the tail is docked. Because of their beard, the French call them (barbe) Barbet. These Water dogs from the gray color of the Shepherd and the red hair of the Hound are mostly brown, though often white with brown spots, or even black. They are brisk and faithful, they hunt gladly, and they like by nature to swim. They retrieve well in reed field and fast rivers: They also hunt out foxes, otters, and wild cats from the reeds. Such Water Budel is of great service to the Fowler.

The Large Encyclopaedia.

By Diderot and D’Alembert: 1751.

BARBET: large dog with curly hair….

Dictionnaire raisonné et universel des animaux ou Le Règne animal..

By François-Alexandre Aubert de La Chesnaye Des Bois 1759.

The Barbet is kind of a big dog that is clipped symmetrically to make it more beautiful and cleaner. It takes a lot of mowing. They cut the tip of the tail. He goes to the water. It has a round head, With beautiful eyes and the muzzle short, the body stocky, fleshy ears and covered with hair less curly but longer than the rest of the body, which is long, curly to fleecy. The Barbet of the small species never goes to the water. It resembles the great Barbet. One With the other are very attached to their master.

Trévoux Dictionary.

By Pierre Charles Berthelin: 1762.

BARBET/BARBETTE. Dog with a large curly coat which goes to water.

View original barbet text

Dictionnaire Domestique Portatif.

Edited by Vincent (Paris)


Page 315: CANICHE: this is the name given to the female of the barbet dog.

Page 159: BARBET, hunting, large dog, curly hair that one instructs to retrieve, that goes to the water, and that is used for the hunting of foxes and ducks. The barbets are sheared, and their hair cut in the composition of hunting.

BARBICHON, we call a small Barbet. See Barbet.

Page 312: CANARD, dog, otherwise called barbet. He has curly hair and goes to the water. We make hats of his hair.

Universal Dictionary of Natural History.

By Jacques-Christophe Valmont de Bomare: 1764.

The barbets are recognizable by their curly hair.

Grand Barbet ou Caniche

Grand Barbet ou Caniche



Grand Barbet ou Caniche engraving.

By Claude FESSARD : 1767.






A Work On Hunting.

Goury de Champgrand: 1768.

Barbet: dog with long curly hair, which goes naturally to water…

Veterinary Dictionary Of Domestic Animals.

By Pierre Joseph Buc'Hoz: 1770.

BARBET. It is a dog whose coat is large, bulky and curly.

New French-Italian Dictionary.

By Abbot François Alberti: 1771.

BARBET/BARBETTE. Dog with long and curly hair which goes to water. Barbone, duck/water dog. Note that the Italians always call the Poodle, Barbone. It is obvious that Caniche and Barbet spaniel are indistinguishable.

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Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et ..., Volume 4

By Denis Diderot & Jean Le Rond d' Alembert; 1777

Barbet, f. m. (hunter.) large dog, with curly hair, that is instructed to retrieve, which goes to the water, and which stands to the hunting of a fox. One clips the barbet, and their hair is a component of hats.

Treaty Of Animal Education.

By Pierre Joseph Buc' Hoz: 1780.

The barbet spaniels are very recognizable by their curly hair.

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History of Quadrupeds

By Thomas Pennant.

Published by B.White, London : 17.81

Water-dog, great and small. Le Grand and le petit Barbet
Canis aviarius aquaticus.

The complete French master for ladies and gentlemen ...

By Abel Boyer

Printed for J. Bell, 1782

un Chien, a Dog

une Chienne, a Bitch

un petit Chien, a Whelp

un Matin, a Mastiff

un Barbet, a Water-dog

un Epagneuil, a Spaniel

un Chien Courant, a Hound

un Basset, a Terrier

un Chien Couchant, a Setting-dog

un Levrier, a Greyhound

une Levrette, a Greyhound-bitch

un Chien Metis, a mongrel

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Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, Volume 15

Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon: 1784.

The way in which we are obliged to have assistance to judge the differences in animals, of related species, is a strong one, that we should use in preference to all others, when we want to find points to determine the many varieties found in the same species: we are acquainted with thirty in the dog, and certainly we do not know them all. Of these thirty varieties, there are seventeen that must relate to the influence of climate; the sheep dog, the Wolf dog, Siberian Dog, Dog of Iceland, Dog of Lapland, the Mastiff, the Greyhound, the Great Dane & Dog of Ireland, Hound, and Braque, the Bassets, Spaniels & the Barbet, the small Dane, Turkish dog and the Bulldog; the thirteen others, which are the Turkish dog cross-breeds, the Greyhound with a wolfs coat, the Feast dog, the dog of Malta or Bichon, Pug, the strong Mastiff race, Doguin or Mopse, the Dog of Calabria, Burgos, the dog of Alicante, the Lion dog, the little Barbet and the dog which one calls Artois, the Issois or Eighty, these come from the mixture of the first group: and by relating each of these mixed dogs, both breeds from which they are derived can be found, as is their nature - when enough is known, but in respect of the first seventeen races, if we want to know the relationship they have between them, we must have regard to instinct, shape and many other circumstances.

Le Grand Barbet

Le Grand Barbet

I put together the the sheep dog, the Wolf dog, Siberian dog, dog of Iceland and the dog of Lapland, because they resemble each other by their figure and by their coat, all five have a snout almost like a fox, they are the only ones who have upright ears, and that their instinct is to follow and to herd. The Mastiff, the Greyhound, the Great Dane & dog of Ireland, in addition to the resemblance of the shape and the long snout, have the same nature, they love to run, follow horses, carriages, they have a poor sense of smell , and prefer to hunt on sight rather than scent.

The true hunting dogs are the hound, the Braque, the Bassets, Spaniels & the Barbets; where they differ somewhat in the shape of the body, however, they all have the big nose, and as their instinct is the same, one can hardly go wrong in grouping them as a whole. The spaniel, for example, has been called by some naturalists, aviarius terrestris canis, and the Barbet, canis aviarius aquaticus; and indeed, the only difference that there is in the nature of these two dogs is that the Barbet, with his bushy hair, long and curly, goes more willingly to the water than the spaniel, which is smooth coated and less covered, or the three others who are too short and too light to not worry about getting wet skin.

Finally the little Dane and the Turkish dog cannot fail to go together, since it is apparent that the Turkish dog is a small Dane, who lost his hair. There remains the Mastiff, which by its short snout, seems to resemble the small Dane more than any other dog, but differs in many other respects, it seems to from a different variety to all others, both in form and instict: it also seems to be affected by a particular climate, it comes from England, and one finds it hard to maintain the breed in France, the crosses from it, which are the strong Dogue and the Doguin, these are more successful: all these dogs have their noses so short that they have little sense of smell, and often great smell. It appears also that finesse of smell in dogs depends on size more than snout length, because the Greyhound, the Mastiff and the great Dane, who have a very elongated snout, are much less of a good nose than the Hound, the Basset & Braque, and even the Spaniel & the Barbet, who have all, in proportion to their size, a shorter but larger snout than the former.

Universal And Portable Zoology.

By Abbé Playcard-Augustin-Fidèle Ray: 1788.

Barbet spaniel. Dog with thick and curly hair like a fleece.

System Of Nature.

By Carl von Linné: 1793.

The large barbet spaniel. Canis aquaticus. Curly, long hair, similar to wool of sheep.

Famous Dogs.

By Anne-François-Joachim Fréville: 1796.

THE BARBET SPANIEL. This major species, the barbet spaniel, has cottony and curly hair.

Études de la Nature

By Bernardin de Saint-Pierre,

Published by Chez Tourneizen, 1797

His (i.e. man's) dog subdues all other animals for him. His numerous breeds seem designed for their different roles; the sheep dog, the wolfhound, the basset hound, the fox hound, the greyhound for the animals of the lowlands; the mastiff for those of the mountain; the setter for the birds, the barbet for amphibians; finally the Maltese spaniel made for pleasure.

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Dictionnaire de l'académie françoise: Volume 1

by J.J. Smits & Cie, 1798

BARBET, ETTE. s. Dog with a long and curly coat, which goes into the water. The barbet goes well in water, it retrieves well. Shear a barbet. A pretty barbette. The familiar saying of a very dirty man, he is as dirty as a barbet; and a man who follows another around, he follows like a barbet. And in colloquial speech, speaking of a man suspected to report everything we do, everything we say, we say that is a barbet.

BARBICHON. s. mas. Diminutive of barbet. A pretty barbichon.

CANICHE, subst. fémin. barbet bitch.

The New Rustic House.

By Louis Liger: 1798.

The barbet spaniels are dogs with much curly hair, which go to water…

pre 1800
post 1900

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Dictionnaire raisonné universel d'histoire naturelle

Bruyset Aine et C. 1800

The large species of barbet are recognisable by their long hair, cotton-like and curly, they go very well in water and are exellent for hunting waterfowl, they are ordinarily very easy to train: the tip of the tail is cut, and are symmetrically round to make them more beautiful and cleaner. The small species of barbet will not go in water, and do not make a retrieve. He comes from the small spaniel and barbet. Generally they say, the barbet are the most attached of all dogs: we have found examples of their loyalty and their instinct.

General zoology, or, Systematic natural history, by G. Shaw [continued by J.F. Stephens].

By George Shaw, James Francis Stephens

Published 1800

Water Dog.—(Canis aquaticus. Lin. Gmel.) This is the Canis aquaticus aviarius of Gesner, and is distinguished by its curly hair, like wool. it is remarkable for its great attachment to the water, swims with great ease, and is used in hunting ducks, and other aquatic birds.Its feet are commonly said to approach more to a webbed form than those of most other dogs.

The Great Water Spaniel is also distinguished in a similar manner by its curled hair, and its propensity to the water. There is a smaller variety of the Water Dog, called the Little Barbet, which, in general appearance, extremely resembles the larger.

Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle appliquée aux arts: principalement à l' economie rurale et domestique

edited by Jacques de Sève

Published by L' Imprimerie de Crapelet, 1803

The long haired dogs, with a fine curly coat, which we call puffed out, and which are of the height of the large barbets, come from a cross between the large spaniel and the barbet.

The little barbet comes from a cross between the little spaniel and the barbet.

Bulletin Vaudois

By Peuple Vaudois

Switzerland. 1803

Lost June 19th, a white and black barbet, tail very short, who answers to the name of Castor. The promise of 4 Livres reward to anyone who will travel to 15, St.Francais, Lausanne.

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Nouveau cours complet d'agriculture théorique et pratique ... ou Dictionnaire raisonné et universel d'agriculture

By François Rozier, Institut de France, Antoine Augustin Parmentier, Institut de France. Section d'agriculture

Published by chez Deterville, 1809

7. The barbet is distinguished from all other dogs by its coat, which is long and curly, like sheeps' wool. His body is stout and short. His limbs moderately long. His head round, his muzzle short and thickset. His ears wide and pendulous. He varies a great deal, but black and white are often the dominant colours. Of all dogs, he is the most intelligent and the most capable of a lively and enduring attachment. One can train him to all kinds of tasks, he will naturally exert himself to do them. One quality, which is peculiar to him is his tendency to hurl himself into water. He is also in great demand for hunting waterfowl, which he retrieves really well, when they are killed. His sense of smell is very good.

Memoirs of British quadrupeds: illustrative principally of their habits of life,
instincts, sagacity, and uses to mankind. Arranged according to the system of Linnaeus

By William Bingley, Samuel Howitt

Published by Printed for Darton and Harvey, 1809

 Water Dog

Great Water Dog. Lesser Water Dog. Finder.

The Water Dog is distinguished from all others by his rough and curly hair. He is believed to have been originally introduced into this country from Spain. These Dogs are remarkably fond of swimming about in the water, which they do with singular activity and ease; and they are useful to sportsmen, in fetching from thence such birds as are shot and fall into it. There are two kinds, but they differ from each other only in size.

A pleasing instance of attachment, .in a small Water Dog belonging to the farrier of the C. troop of Horse Artillery, has been related to me by a friend, who had a personal knowledge of the fact. When this troop was at Canterbury, a few years ago, an officer of the fifty-second regiment, much pleased with the appearance of the animal, purchased her. In the course of a little while, she was sent, and every possible attention was paid to her in her new habitation. As soon as her master had left her, she began to whine, and appeared very unhappy. Some food was put before her; but she refused to eat. She was tried with every delicacy that it was thought might tempt her, but to no purpose; and for three days she persisted in rejecting every kind of nourishment. The officer, at last, sent for the farrier to relate the circumstance, and ask his advice. As soon as he opened the door of the place where she was confined, the little creature, almost frantic with joy, exerted her greatest effort to escape from her chain. He offered her some food, which she swallowed with the utmost voracity ; but he had no other alternative to save the life of the faithful animal, than by refunding the money which he had received, (which he did not hesitate a moment to do,) and again taking her into his own possession.

The hair of the above animal is so soft and fine in its texture, that her owner cuts it off twice in the year; and each fleece is found sufficient to be manufactured into two hats. These are generally considered to be worth about twelve shillings each.

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Le Parfait Chasseur.

Auguste Desgraviers: 1810.

The Barbets are very strong, intelligent, bold, have curly hair, enter the water like a duck, and will do what we want on the plain and in the woods where they also hunt well, when one takes the trouble instruct them.

A new universal and pronouncing dictionary of the French and

English languages: containing above fifty thousand terms and names ...

By Nicolas Gouin Dufief

Published by Printed by T. & G. Palmer, 1810

Barbet, te, (bar-bè, -te) s. a French water spaniel, a shagged dog; a French water spaniel bitch. Etré crotté comme un barbet (in familiar language), to be up to the ears in dirt. C`est un barbet (in familiar language), he is a tell tale.

Water Dog

Water Dog

Animated nature; or, elements of the natural history of animals: Intended to ...

By William Bingley 1814

Water Dog. Of this dog there are two varieties, the one of considerably larger size than the other. They are useful to sportsmen, in fetching game out of the water. They are distinguished by having their hair lang, and curled like the fleece of a sheep



The Edinburgh magazine, and literary miscellany, a new series of The Scots.


Aquaticus. Water-Dog. Ears pendant; body thickly covered with long curled hair; snout slightly recurved ; eyes almost concealed in the fur; scent acute, docile, sagacious; swims well, and learns readily to carry.

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The modern fisher: or, driffield angler; containing descriptions of the ...

By Alexander Mackintosh : 1821


I shall begin with his colour, and although some attribute much to that, yet experience lets us know they are uncertain observations. Your dog may be any colour and yet excellent, but choose him of hair long and curled, not loose and shaggy ; his head round and curled; his ears broad and hanging; eyes full, lively, and quick; bis nose very short, and lip like a hound; the chaps with a full set of strong teeth, and neck thick and short; his breast sharp, and shoulders broad; his fore legs straight, chine square, and buttocks round; his belly gaunt, and thighs brawny, etc.

For the training of this dog you cannot begin too soon, and therefore as soon as he can lap you must teach him to couch and lie down, not daring to stir from that posture without leave. In his first teaching let him eat nothing till he deserves it, and have no more teachers, feeders, or correctors but one, and do not alter that word you first use in his information, as the dog will take notice of the sound, not the language.

When you have made him acquainted with the word suitable to his lesson, you must then teach him to know the word of reprehension, which at first should be used without a jerk, and also use words of cherishing to give him encouragement when he does well; and in all these words you must be constant, and let them be attended with spitting in his mouth, or cherishing with the hand. There is also a word of advice, instructing him when he does amiss.

Having made him understand these several words, then teach him to lead in a string or collar orderly, not running too forward nor hanging backward; after this teach him to come close at your heels, without leading, as he must not range by any means, unless it be to beat the fowl from their coverts, or to fetch the wounded.

In the next place teach him to fetch and carry any thing you throw out of your hands, and first try him with a glove, shaking it over his head and making him snap at it; sometimes letting him hold it in his mouth, and strive to pull it from him; at last throw it a little way and let him worry it on the ground, and so by degrees make him bring it to you wherever you throw it; from the glove you may teach him to fetch cudgels, bags, nets, etc. If you use the dog to carry dead fowl it will not be amiss, for by that means he will not tear or bruise what fowl you shoot. Having perfected this lesson, drop something behind you which the dog does not see, and being gone a little way from it send him back to seek it, by saying bock, I have lost; if he seems amazed, point with your finger urging him to seek out, and leave him not till he has done it; then drop something at a greater distance and make him find that too, till you have brought him to go back a mile: you may now train up for your gun, making the dog stalk after you step by step, or else couch and lie close till you have shot.

The last use of the water-dog is in moulting time, when wild fowl cast their feathers and are unable to fly, which is between summer and autumn ; at this time bring your dog to their coverts and hunt them out into the stream, and there, with your gun and nets, surprise them, driving them into them, for at this time sheep will not drive more easy. Though some may object that this sickly time is unseasonable, yet if they consider what excellent food these fowls will prove, the taking of them may be excusable. I have eaten of them after they have been fed awhile with livers of beasts, barley paste, scalded bran, and such like food, they have proved exceedingly fat, and have tasted not so fishy as they do by their natural feeding, but very sweet, and deserve preference to any fowl whatever.

As the language of sportsmen possesses a great number of specific names peculiar to themselves, when speaking of the various objects of their pursuit, it may not be improper to notice them in this place, and give such terms as are proper. Covey of partridges. Nide of pheasants, commonly called a Ni, Pack of grouse, or brood. Pack of tarmigan. Brood of black game, or heath fowl.Wisp, or whisp, of snipes.Wing of plover.Flock of geese.Bevy of quails. Flight of woodcocks.Trip of dotterel.Team of ducks.Flock of bustards.'


Three species of dogs are capable of receiving proper instruction, and of being trained to the game: these are, the smooth pointer, the spaniel, and the rough pointer; the last is a dog with long curled hair, and seems to be a mixed breed of the water dog and spaniel.

Useful Knowledge: Or A Familiar Account of the Various Productions of Nature

Published : 1821

The .WATER DOG is principally distinguished ly having its hair long and curled, like the fleece of a sheep, its muzzle somewhat short, and the feet more webbed than those of most other dogs. There are two kinds of water-dogs, which differ only in size, the one being nearly as large again as the other. It is to sportsmen principally that these dogs are of use. Being fond of swimming, they are chiefly employed for fetching out of the water game that has been shot and fallen into it. Their fleece has so near a resemblance to wool, that it is capable of being manufactured into a coarse kind of cloth, or of being made into hats.

The fleece of a water dog, belonging to the farrier in the horse artillery, was manufactured into hats, and answered this purpose sufficiently well. Each fleece was sufficient for two hats, and was considered to be worth about twelve shillings.

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Mammalogie ou description des espèces de mammifères

By Anselme-Gaëtan Desmarest

Pub. Veuve Agasse, 1822

The water-dog must not be confounded with the water-spaniel, compared with which it will be found to be much more robust. Its coat is curly and shaggy, and generally variegated with black and white; but some individuals are brown and white, or nearly all white. The muzzle is short and abrupt, the ears moderately long and the tail rather short and erect.
The aquatic habits of this dog, the acuteness of its sense of smell, its great sagacity and strength, render it a highly useful servant to the numerous gunners of the north of England and Scotland, who live chiefly by shooting water-fowl, in the retrieving of which it exhibits the highest degree of docility and hardihood.
"The unerring accuracy with which this dog can be taught to search for and bring back to his master, articles which have either been lost or purposely left for the exercise of his powers, forms one of the most surprising instances of sagacity and intelligence to be found in the history of the species. If a coin or other small article be shown to the dog, and then put in a place of concealment, and the dog be sent even long afterwards, and from a distance, he searches the spot where it has been placed, until he finds it, and then returns it to his master. This power has often been carried to a great degree of perfection, and emplyed in perpetrating a destructive robbery of ducks, and other water-fowl."

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Nature displayed in the heavens, and on the earth, according to ...,

Volume 5, 1823

By Simeon Shaw


This animal (canis familiaris aquaticus) swims with singular activity and ease, and being fond of the water, is very useful to the sportsman, in fetching any bird which has been shot, and may have fallen into it. The water-dog has a long and shaggy coat, which often grows over his eyes. The form of the large waterspaniel, or finder, is elegant: the hair is beautifully curled, and his whole aspect is mild and sagacious; it is chiefly used in discovering the haunts of wild-ducks, and other water-fowl. The small water-spaniel resembles it in form, habits, and disposition.

Dictionary of the Academy: 1823.

BARBET/ETTE SPANIEL: dog with long and curly hair which goes to water.

pre 1800
post 1900

The Modern Farrier

or, The art of preserving the health and curing the ...

By Lawson A.

Published 1825

49. The Water-spaniel.

This animal is held in high estimation, ' Some think,' says a late writer, ' that the black are the best and hardiest; the spotted, or pied, the quickest of scent; and the liver-coloured the most rapid in swimming and the most eager in pursuit: these, however, may be fantastic suppositions. Good and had of all colours are to be found; therefore colour is a mere matter of taste. The body should not be too large, nor the frame too heavy; the head should he round, the ears long, broad, soft, and pendulous, the eyes prominent and lively, the neck short and thick, the shoulders broad, legs straight, chine square, buttocks round and firm, thighs muscular, pastern-joints strong and dew-clawed, fore-feet long and round, and the hair long and naturally curled.'

50. The Water-dog.

This breed of dogs are of different colours, but of the same shape and formation. The jet-black, with white feet, stand the highest in estimation. The head is rather round, the nose short, the ears long, broad, and pendulous; the eyes full and lively ; the neck thick and short; the shoulders broad ; the legs straight, the hind-quarters round and firm; the pasterns strong and dew-clawed; and the fore-feet long, but round; with the hair in natural short curls. This breed, crossed with the Newfoundland dog, has produced a handsome, strong, and valuable kind.

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The Linguist: Or, Weekly Instructions in the French & German Languages, ...,

Volume 1 1825

un chien Caniche, a female water-spaniel. The male is called, un barbet

A manual of the elements of natural history, tr. by R.T. Gore

By Johann Friedrich Blumenbach

Translated by R T Gore

Published 1825

Aquaticus. The Water Dog. Ger. der Budel. Fr. le Barbet; with a short head and woolly hair.

Chiens de Chasse

Par un des Collaboratuers du Traité Général des Chassese

Published Paris 1827

Source: The Kennel Club Library, London.

Grand Barbet (Plate XVI)

Grand Barbet (Plate XVI)

Barbet , the barbet represented (PL. XVI) is distinguished from the others by the nature of its hair which is long and curly like the wool of a sheep. It covers all parts of the body in equal thickness, and so it adorns the head and muzzle that would block the light, if we had not taken the precaution to cut it just above the eyes. Its body is large and short, its limbs moderately long, its head round, its muzzle short, its ears wide and pendulous. Its colour varies much, but the black and white are those which one sees more often. Of all the dogs it is the most intelligent and most suitable for instruction. One can conclude it has all the services possible. A quality which is to him proper, is its disposition to throw its self into water; hunting for water birds. Its sense of smell is exquisite.

It is found in two varieties; the small barbet, usually living in cities and relegated to apartments, and the large barbet, commonly known under the name of caniche, chien canne [names for the poodle], it is this about which we speak more highly. This animal requires great care to be maintained in a state cleanliness, and consequently health. It is especially necessary to comb it often, to destroy the lice to which it is very susceptible, and particularly to clip the feet, between the digits and on the muzzle. The tail is clipped as directed.

This dog is much employed in England for the hunting of water birds. It is the same on board where it has to go to seek what falls to the sea, as well as the sea birds which one kills. He can also be used to point.

Some amateur hunters try. at present to use the dog of Newfoundland [Labrador retrievers originally came from Newfoundland], so the race spread themselves little by little in our region. We are persuaded that all the dogs are able to learn to hunt, we do not doubt that it will achieve some success; but it is probable that one will not obtain a service from it more agreeable than that of the race which we describe. We will say same that its character is not shown to be flexible enough to hope to obtain a passive obedience from it.

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The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organization (vol. 5)

By Georges Cuvier, Edward Griffith, Charles Hamilton Smith, Edward Pidgeon,

John Edward Gray, Pierre André Latreille, George Robert Gray

Published by Printed for G. B. Whittaker, 1827

Var. b. C. F. Aquaticus (the Barbet, or Poodle.) Head large, and round ; cerebral cavity larger than in any other variety; frontal sinuses very much developed; ears large and pendent; body thick ; tail nearly horizontal; fur long and curly all over the body; generally white, with black patches, or black ;with white patches.

Sub-var. a. The Little Barbet is bred, according to Buffon, from the great barbet and the little spaniel.

Sub-var. b. The Griffon is like the preceding,but the hair is not curled; generally black, with yellow spots over the eyes and on the paws. It appears to have sprung from the barbet and the shepherd's dog.

History of British animals.

By John Fleming 1828

Aquaticus. Water-Dog. —Ears pendent; body thickly covered with long curled hair; snout slightly recurved ; eyes almost concealed in the fur; scent acute ; docile, sagacious, learns readily to carry any thing in its mouth; swims well.

The London encyclopaedia: or, Universal dictionary of science, art ..., Volume 7

edited by Thomas Curtis 1829

Water dog, a variety, distinguished by its curly hair, which much resembles wool. The webs between the toes are larger than in most other dogs, which sufficiently accounts for the ease with which it swims, and renders it useful in hunting ducks and other water-fowl. Dogs of this breed are also frequently kept on board ships, for the purpose of sending into the water after any small article that may chance to fall overboard.

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Biographical Sketches and Authentic Anecdotes of Dogs:

Exhibiting Remarkable Instances of the Instinct, Sagacity, and Social Disposition of this Faithful Animal :

Illustrated by Representations of the Most Striking Varieties, and by Correct Portraits of Celebrated

Or Remarkable Dogs, from ...

By Thomas Brown

Published by published by Oliver & Boyd, Tweeddale-Court; and Simpkin & Marshall, London, 1829

(Canif Aguaticus, Linnaeus.)
The Great Rough Water-Dog has long curly hair, is web-footed, swims with great ease, and is extremely useful in the sport of shooting aquatic birds. He has many of the qualities of the land-spaniel. This dog has a great liking to fetching and carrying, and such is his exquisite sense of smell, that he will find a particular stone thrown by his master to the bottom of a river: he dives with astonishing dexterity. He is particularly valuable on board of ships, as he leaps from the side of a vessel after any article which has fallen overboard, and is very useful for recovering birds that have been shot from the deck of the ship. Above all, he is lively, playful, good-tempered, and much attached to his master.




A few days before the overthrow of Robespierre, a revolutionary tribunal had condemned Monsieur R., an ancient magistrate and a most estimable man, on a pretence of finding him guilty of a conspiracy. Monsieur R. had a water-dog, at that time about twelve years old, which had been brought up by him,- and had scarce ever quitted his side. Monsieur E. was cast into prison, and in the silence of a living tomb he was left to " pine in thought," under the iron scourge of the tyrant, who, if he extended life to those whom his wantonness had proscribed, even until death became a prayer, it was only to tantalize them with the blessing of murder, when he imagined he could more effectually torture them with the curse of existence. This faithful dog, however, was with him when he was first seized, but was not suffered to enter the prison; he took refuge with a neighbour of his late master. But, that posterity may judge clearly of the terror in which Frenchmen existed at that period, it must be added, that this man received the poor animal tremblingly and in secret, lest his humanity for his friend's dog should bring himself to the scaffold. Every day at the same hour the dog returned to the prison, but was still refused admittance. He, however, uniformly passed some time there. Such unremitting fidelity at last won even on the porter of a prison, and the dog was at length allowed to enter. The joy of both master and dog was mutual; it was difficult to separate them ; but the honest jailer, fearing for himself, carried the latter out of the prison. The next morning, however, he again came back, and once on each day afterwards was regularly admitted by the humane keeper. When the day of receiving sentence arrived, notwithstanding the guards, which jealous power, conscious of its deserts, stationed around, the dog penetrated into the hall, and couched himself between the legs of the unhappy man, whom he was about to lose for ever. The fatal hour of execution arrived, the doors were opened, his dog received him at the threshold ! —his faithful dog alone, even under the eye of the tyrant, dared to own a dying friend ! He clung to his hand undaunted. " Alas! that hand will never more be spread upon thy head, poor dog!" exclaimed the condemned. The axe fell, but the tender adherent would not leave the body ; the earth received it, and the mourner spread himself on the grave, where he passed the first night, the next day, and the second night. The neighbour, meantime, unhappy at not seeing the dog, and guessing the asylum he had chosen, stole forth by night, and finding him, caressed and brought him back. The good man tried every art that kindness could devise to make him eat; but in a short time the dog escaping, regained his favourite place. Every morning for three months the mourner visited his protector merely to receive his food, and then returned to the ashes of his dead master, and each day he was more sad, more meagre, and more languishing. His protector at length endeavoured to wean him ; be tied him, but what manacle is there that can ultimately triumph over nature ? He broke or bit through his bonds, again returned to the grave, and never quitted it more. It was in vain that all kind means were used to bring him back. Even the humane jailer assisted to take him food, but he would eat no longer: for four-and-twenty hours he was absolutely observed to employ (oh force of genuine love!) his weakened limbs in digging up the earth that separated him from the being he had served. Affection gave him strength, but his efforts were too vehement for his powers; his whole frame became convulsed,—he shrieked in his struggles, —his attached and generous heart gave way, and he ceased to breathe, with his last look turned upon the grave, as if he knew he had found, and again should be permitted to associate with his master, and that his faithful dog should bear him company.

Ref: The field book; or, Sports and pastimes of the British islands, by the author of 'Wild sports of the west'.

By William Hamilton Maxwell

Published 1833

Var. F The water spaniel, Canis aquaticus, LINN. ; chien barbet. Buff.
Sub-varieties—a, small water spaniel, petit barbet, BUFF. ; chien griffon, a dog between the water spaniel and the shepherd's dog — D. Laine.

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Traité général des eaux et forêts, chasses et pêches: Dictionnaire des Chasses,

By M. Baudrillart

Published in Paris, 1834

IV Le Barbet
The barbet, which is also known as the poodle and dog-cane, has long hair, very curly and thick, fat body and short legs medium long, round head, short muzzle and large, pendulous ears. Its color varies greatly , but black and white are the ones we see most often. This dog has a delicious sense of smell, extraordinary intelligence , and it can draw all services. It is particularly suitable for hunting waterfowl in ' because of his willingness to plunge in water.
This dog requires care to be kept clean, and therefore in a state of health, by often combing and destroying vermin to which it is subject and especially clipping the feet, between the toes and on the muzzle. On him we dock the tail the same as the braque.
The barbet is widely used in England to hunt waterfowl. We even take him on board boats where it is used to pick that which falls into the water and seabirds that are killed. It stands at a stop. There is a variety of barbet: the little barbet, which lives in apartments.

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The Book of Nature: : Embracing a Condensed Survey of the Animal
Kingdom as Well as Sketches of Vegetable Anatomy, Geology, Botany, Minerology, ...

By Association of Scientific Gentlemen of Philadelphia

Published by Sam'l C. Atkins, 1834

7. Great Barbet. Canis Aquaticus, Linn.

The great rough water-dog has long curly hair, is web-footed, swims with great ease, and is extremely useful in the sport of shooting aquatic birds. He has many of the qualities of the land spaniel. He has a great liking to fetching and carrying, and such is his exquisite sense of smell, that he will find a particular stone thrown by his master to the bottom of a river. He dives with astonishing dexterity, and is particularly serviceable on board of ships, as he leaps from the side of the vessel after any article that has fallen overboard, and is very useful for recovering birds shot from the deck. Above all, he is lively, playful, good-tempered, and much attached to his master.

Monsieur R., in the days of Robespierre, at the time of his imprisonment, owned one of the most faithful water-dogs on record. He accompanied him to prison, to the guillotine, and followed the body to the grave, where he passed the first night, the next day, and the second night. He refused all food, and actually died in the act of removing the earth to come at the body of his friend.

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La Mosaïque; ou,le livre de tout le monde et de tous les pays.

Le Bureaux sont a Bruxelles: 1834

40, Rue Leyeque.

Of all the breeds that make up the large race of dogs, that nature, by her talents and instict, seems so obviously to have created to live in society, in intimate relationships with men, there is no more true a friend, in every sense of the word, absolutely more than companion barbet. All the other families of dogs were used by us and reduced to the status of instruments of utility or pleasure. The dog guarding the house, the shepherd dog leads the herd, the hunting dog to hunt game and retrieve it under the gun of the hunter, the Great Dane is like furniture in a big house, useless, selfish as a lackey; among small dogs, some like Chinese dogs, have no merit in their ugliness, others are objects of a whim, or a weakness for women of a certain age, they are surly, demanding, like spoiled children. Between these species and man, there are always reports of oppressed to oppressor, of patron to protégé the bond of affection is pure understatement. The barbet is on a different footing with us. There is between him and his owner friendship on equal terms. The barbet is not a slave, not a tyrant, no special function is assigned, man did have him closer to derive some benefit, some pleasure, but to love and be loved, asset moment in any fortune. Between them there, we repeat, equality in friendship, with independence, with delicacy, without calculation or infatuation. So the barbet is the hero of all the facets highlighted in the canine race. It is a barbet Horace Vernet[¹] shows us, gratefully receiving care from two young soldiers, it's again a barbet he shows us licking the blood flowing from the wounds of a dying trumpeter. In the `Dog of the Louvre`, which Casimir Delavigne told his touching story, it was a barbet, and when the convoy of the poor moved toward the cemetery, one friend accompanies .... one .... a barbet. Finally what is the dog that when his hapless master is to be shot, stands on its feet from behind, as if to receive the fatal bullet at the same time? It is still a heroic and generous barbet.

Les Chiens Barbets.

Les Chiens Barbets.

From the above, one can agree with us that the barbet, more than any other dog has the title to represent the currency of the emblem of fidelity. Unfortunately his physique is not matched to his morals, and for what he has received in natural goodness, the form elegance was denied. Any of them, much hairier even than Le Paysan du Danube by La Fontaine[²], is like a bear but a bear unkempt. Its members, shortened and massive are driven under a thick fleece and their tails dragging, and could hardly rise above the horizontal line, not the elegance that is seen in the other dogs: its big head, framed with pendant ears and covered to the end of the muzzle with thick hair, seems be incomplete; one seeks for a long time the eyes that are hidden under the drooping eyebrows.

This is the barbet from the hands of nature, but art is exhaustive in its ingenious efforts to correct deformities, and man neglects nothing to create his favourite artificial beauty. No animal undergoes a metamorphosis more complete. The scissors walked in his long and ugly fleece, and the whole back part of his body is laid bare, the front part, on the contrary, keeps its mane, and the barbet became a lion, the hair on the face are cut and the features are drawn and a thick moustache adorns the upper lip, the sweet bright eyes emerge and shine, as well arched an eyebrow, and the tufts of silky ears add to the strongly marked originality of his spiritual appearance. The artist also trying to make, so to speak, the term, lion at the other end of the body: the tail shortened significantly, relieved of its burden, and decorated only a clump of hair, covers the ability to express feelings and sensations. We do not need to add that the groomer, lead by the taste and the whim of anyone, may vary infinitely these accidents, these combinations of hairy part and shaved parts , we just wanted to paint the model most commonly adopted.

We said that man, finding a barbet as a friend, in its intimacy, did not require any special service of it. Not that he neglects the intellectual education of a student whose coat costs so much to care for. The barbet, however, possesses and exercises, to the exclusion of almost all other dogs, feats of strength and skill. It is true that, more than any other, he displays a great ability to understand, and marvellous dexterity to perform. Especially in the army barracks, which nearly always contain some barbets among their number where the art of instruction was brought to perfection, and that the most surprising results were obtained. Give a paw on demand, sit and beg, turn the head to the right, left, carry a stick, and stand fixed and as motionless as a soldier bearing arms; find a hidden thing, retrieve what is thrown, rush into rivers in search of a floating stick, these are among thousands of other niceties that will not suffice to enumerate the deeds which the barbet knows to earn the favor of a regiment. And not only for his intelligence he is made dear to the soldier, he still has a franchise of all the military for the goodness of his character, his courage to brave hard fasting and, by his devotion, sincerity and disinteress in affection is, in short, a good comrade, on which you can rely on in serious and painful circumstances, it is a buffoon that distracts during the hours of rest and joy.

The ease with which the barbet, covered with fleece, resistant to cold, the ardor with which he launches into water, and its disposition for retrievinging, following the time spent, some hunters have started to hunt in the marsh. But although these trials have not completely failed, the reputation of the barbet, as a hunter, has remained very poor.

[¹] Émile Jean-Horace Vernet (1789 - 1863) was a French painter of battles, portraits, and Orientalist Arab subjects.

[²] “Peasant of the Danube by Jean de la Fontaine” - French fable of the 17th century about a bearded, unkempt peasant.

Illustrated Natural History Dictionary.

Guerin: 1835.

WATER SPANIEL. Canis aquaticus. The water spaniel, also called poodle and duck dog. All of the body of the barbet spaniel is covered with long and curly hair.

An analytical dictionary of the English language

By David Booth 1835

The Newfoundland Dogs, so called from the country whence they were originally brought, are of superior strength and sagacity, and therefore well fitted for guarding houses. Their feet being more palmated than those of other dogs, they are excellent swimmers, and readily dive in the waters. There are other* Water-dogs which, on account of the webs between their toes being large, are much accustomed to swimming and diving. Of these the Large Rough Water-dog is distinguished by its curly and woolly hair; and is that which is used for hunting water-fowl, as well as kept in ships, for catching any article that may fall overboard. The Great and the Small Water-spaniels have also curled hair, but are more elegantly formed than the Great Water-dog ; and are likewise used for discovering the haunts of Water-fowls. These dogs, on account of their searching out articles that are hid, or fowls that have been shot, are, sometimes, called Finders. Of this kind is the Poodle, Poodle-dog, or Barbet, with long curly fur, either wholly white or with black patches.


combining a scientific ..., Volume 2

By Charles Frederick Partington

1836 - Q\QA\ASA

There are two very favourite varieties of dogs, which though not exactly spaniels, are yet very nearly bred to them in their attachment, their playful disposition, and their aquatic habits. These are the great rough water dog and the poodle. The first is a variety of which the origin cannot be very clearly identified; the second is understood to be a cross between the first and the cocker. These two resemble each other in their covering, and also in their fondness for swimming and their dexterity in diving. The hair of both is very long, and if left uncut, twists into pendant ringlets, while the curl on the water spaniel is short and crisp like the curls of a wig. By this means it is easy to discriminate the spaniel from the other two ; and the different texture of the hair takes it as easy to distinguish the water-dog from the poodle. The 'hair on the water-dog is strong and rough, and that on the poodle very silky, about the same in texture as that of the cocker. They are all sometimes called poodles; they are deservedly favourites as pet dogs; and they are often trimmed fan-wise, with only a mane, a tuft on the tail, and two each of the heels.

The waterdog is a highly useful animal in all aquatic situations or on board ship. He is never so much in his element as when he is fetching and carrying. He brings game to land, recovers light "" as that are let overboard at sea, and will plunge into pretty deep water, and fetch a stone from the bottom; they carry gloves, sticks, and other matters, and they will return for any thing if they have been previously shown it. This dog is of various colours, but not infrequently black, with the hair fading into brown at the points.

The poodle is, generally, smaller than the water spaniel; and its soft silky fur gives it a more delicate appearance. It is very playful, and swims and dives well though he is, perhaps, inferior in these respects to the other. It is often of very small size and beautifully white in the colour, with eyes as black as jet, and very intelligent in their expression. In this form it is an especial pet.

Natural History for Women and Society.

By Aglaë de Boucauville Mme. Achille Count: 1837.

It is always a dog, one has to say that gives true service, it is this old barbet spaniel with long curly black hair,….

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Journal des haras, chasses, et courses de chevaux, des progrès des sciences zooïatriques et de médecine comparée,

Parent, 1837

The griffon, is beautiful in form than the setter and spaniel, but has the same qualities for hunting, and shows great intelligence. It goes perfectly in the water, and is better suited for hunting in the marshes, and sheltered areas and thickets, as for hunting in the plains. The griffons of the largest size can make excellent bloodhounds.

The barbet has an exquisite sense of smell, extraordinary intelligence, and can be trained in all exercises and is particularly suitable for hunting waterfowl, due to his willingness to jump into the water, but requires care to be kept clean and in good health, it should be combed often to destroy the vermin with which it is subject, we cut particularly the legs between the toes and the muzzle, the tail is cut as a setter.

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A history of British quadrupeds, including the Cetacea

By Thomas Bell, 1837




The peculiar qualities and propensities of this Dog, its exquisite sense of smell, its sagacity, strength, and aquatic habits, have rendered it a most useful and important servant to a particular class of persons, though but little regarded by any others. These are the numerous gunners of the North of England and Scotland, who live principally by shooting water-fowl, in the retrieving of which these Dogs exhibit the highest degree of docility and hardihood. The WaterDog must not be confounded with the Water-Spaniel, from which indeed it differs considerably in size and in proportions. It is of a much more robust make ; the muzzle is short, and stands out abruptly from the face : the ears are of moderate length ; the hair is everywhere curled and shaggy, by which the water is prevented from penetrating ; the tail is rather short, and somewhat erect; the colour generally black, with more or less white; sometimes brown and white, or nearly all white.

The unerring accuracy with which this Dog can be taught to search for and bring back to his master, articles which have either been lost or purposely left for the exercise of his powers, forms one of the most surprising instances of sagacity and intelligence to be found in the history of the species. If a coin or other small article be shown to the Dog, and then put in a place of concealment, and the Dog be sent even long afterwards, and from a distance, he searches the spot where it had been placed, until he finds it, and then returns it to his master. This power has often been carried to a great degree of perfection, and employed in perpetrating a destructive robbery of ducks, and other water-fowl.

An essay on the archaiology of popular English phrases and nursery rhymes.

By John Bellenden Ker

Published 1837


As the species of dog known by that name, in French barbet, in German pudel; probably no other than the Dutch pool, poll, q. e. hair; in French poll, in Latin jnlus; and thus as the dog which appears to be a mass of hair. Barbet is evidently connected with barbe, as hair.

Descriptive Zoology.

By Victor Rendu: 1838.

The barbet spaniel or poodle (canis aquaticus). Crisp, woolly, hair.

The Comprehensive Encyclopaedia: 1839.

BARBET SPANIEL: large dog with curly hair…. POODLE: name sometimes used for barbet spaniels.

Boyer's French dictionary: comprising all the additions and improvements of the latest Paris and

London editions...with the pronunciation of each word according to the dictionary of the

Abbé Tardy, to which are prefixed rules for the pronunciation of French vowels, diphthongs, and final...

By Abel Boyer

Published by Hilliard, Gray, 1839

BARBET, bar-be, s. m. shagged dog.

BARBETTE, bar-bet. ». f. shagged bitch;

Dictionary Of The French Language.

Napoleon Landais: 1839.

BARBET/ETTE SPANIEL. Dog with curly hair. POODLE. Breed of dog of the species barbet spaniel.

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`The Naturalist's Library`

By William Jardine

Published by Lizards, 1840


Canis aquaticus

Barbet of the Continent.

This race of dogs has the head rather large and round, the cerebral space more developed than in any other canine, the frontal sinus expanded, the ears long, the legs rather short, and the body compact ; the hair over every part of the animal long, curly, black, or white and black, sometimes rufous ; height at the shoulder from eighteen to twenty inches. The water-dog, or poodle of the Germans, is in its most perfect state not a British race, but rose into favour first in Germany, and during the revolutionary wars was carried by the troops into France, and only in the latter campaigns became familiar to the British in Spain and the Netherlands. The coarser crisped-haired water-dog was indeed long known to the middle classes of England, and to fishermen on the north-eastern coast and profes- eional water-fowl shooters; he was occasionally also brought to the environs of London, in order to afford the brutal sport of hunting and worrying to death domestic ducka placed in ponds for that purpose. No dog is more intelligent or attached to his master; none like the poodle can trace out and find lost property with more certainty and perseverance. Several instances are on record of their remaining on the field of battle by the dead bodies of their masters, and Mr. Bell relates an anecdote of one who perceived his owner had dropped a gold coin, and watched it so carefully that he even refused food until the money was recovered.

The Little Barbet is a diminutive breed, with smooth and long silky hair on the head, ears, and tail, while the rest is more curly; and

The Griffon Dog is said to be a cross of the water-dog and sheep-dog. It resembles the former, but the ears are slightly raised; the hair is long, not curled, but gathers in pencils; the colour is usually black, with tan spots on the eyes and feet; the lips are clad with long hair.

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`The Sportsman`

Vol IV, January to June

Published in London, 1841


Not so the Great Water Dog the " Barbet" of Buffon, which will fight with great vigour, and bear pain like a hero. The Water Dog has long curly hair over his whole body his ears are very long, and furnished with shaggy hair, which falls far below their tips. His frame is coarser and stronger than that of the Spaniel, and his head much larger and rounder. He almost looks as if he had been produced by a cross between that dog and a large Russian, with perhaps a dash of Poodle.

The Water Dog is seldom used, except as a Retriever, in waterfowl shooting, and he requires little or no training, possessing a natural propensity for fetching and carrying, just as the Spanish Pointer does for field sports.

The Poodle is likewise frequently employed as a Retriever, but is less effective than the Water Dog, becoming more speedily chilled with constant swimming. His usual colour is white, and I am of opinion, a Poodle of no other colour can be genuine. The Poodle is a native of France, where its breed is more carefully attended to than with us. It is very easily trained, and may be taught a great number of amusing tricks.

The Penny encyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

By George Long, Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (Great Britain)

Published by C. Knight, 1842

The author of the Sportsman's Cabinet states that the race of dogs passing under the denomination of spaniels are of two kinds, one of which is considerably larger than the other, and known by the appellation of the Springing Spaniel,as applicable to every kind of game in any country, whilst the smaller is called the Cocker or Corking Spaniel, as being more adapted to covert and woodcock shooting. This appears to be a correct definition, and roost authors notice the two kinds, but some confusion has been introduced by the application of a name equivalent to that of Springing Spaniel to the Cocking Spaniel. Thus Bewick, who gives wood cuts both of the Large Water Spaniel and the Small Water Spaniel (both apparently modifications of the old Old Springing Spaniel), as well as one of the Large Rough Water dog (Canis uviarius aquaticus, ' a Water-spagnelle,'of Gesner, probably the Counts sitga.r ad aquas of Aldrovaudus, and Grand Barbet of Buffon, Water-Dog of Pennant), represents the small breed under the name of The Springer or Cocker. Bell also calls this last the Springer. Lieut.-Col. Hamilton .Smith enumerates 'The Spaniel (Canis rrtrariusf). commonly called Water Spaniel;' 'The Springer:' 'King Charles's Spaniel;' and the'Cocker,' as well as the 'Water- dog, Canis aquaticus.'

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Le jardin des plantes: description et moeurs des mammiféres de la mènagerie.

By Pierre Boitard : 1842

14: "The Barbet or Poodle (Canis aquaticus, Lin.) has large and pendulous ears, short legs, stocky body, thick nose, rather long, very long coat, curly and a bit woolly, black or white, or mixed with these two colors. It is the most loyal and the most intelligent of dogs. It has two sub-Varieties, which are:

The; Petit Barbet:

The Barbet Griffon or English Dog:

15: The dog of Newfoundland (Canis aquatilis) is probably an ancient cross with the morning dog and barbet. It is less than the first size, but thicker and has the bare muzzle, large and rather elongated ears not large, but pendulous and silky like the spaniel, the coat silky, very long, wavy , white and black tail curved, raised in a beautiful plume. He enjoys to go in the water to remove objects that float on its surface, but this quality has been greatly exaggerated. He is friendly, loyal, and capable of a certain education.

16. Griffon (Canis arectus), the size of the largest barbet, but less severe form. His coat is rough, bristling, thin, usually of a tawny red or cherry, sometimes grayish, rarely white. It is a cross of the foxhound and barbet. It is good to hunt the hare. It is very attached to his master and his manners are rough and coarse.

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Natural History of British and Foreign Quadrupeds

By James H. Fennell

Pub. London. 1843

Water Dog.

Water Dog.

The water-dog must not be confounded with the water-spaniel, compared with which it will be found to be much more robust. Its coat is curly and shaggy, and generally variegated with black and white; but some individuals are brown and white, or nearly all white. The muzzle is short and abrupt, the ears moderately long and the tail rather short and erect.
The aquatic habits of this dog, the acuteness of its sense of smell, its great sagacity and strength, render it a highly useful servant to the numerous gunners of the north of England and Scotland, who live chiefly by shooting water-fowl, in the retrieving of which it exhibits the highest degree of docility and hardihood.
"The unerring accuracy with which this dog can be taught to search for and bring back to his master, articles which have either been lost or purposely left for the exercise of his powers, forms one of the most surprising instances of sagacity and intelligence to be found in the history of the species. If a coin or other small article be shown to the dog, and then put in a place of concealment, and the dog be sent even long afterwards, and from a distance, he searches the spot where it has been placed, until he finds it, and then returns it to his master. This power has often been carried to a great degree of perfection, and emplyed in perpetrating a destructive robbery of ducks, and other water-fowl."

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The Sportsman's Repository:
comprising a series of highly finished engravings, representing the horse and the dog, in all their varieties

By John Scott & John Lawrence

Pub. by Henry G. Bohn, London. 1845

Water Dog.

Water Dog.

The annexed Plate presents the truest possible representation of the original Water Dog of the opposite Continent, long since adopted in this Country; in some of the maritime districts still preserved in a state of purity, but the breed more generally intermixed with the Water Spaniel and Newfoundland Dog. The size of this Variety is between the Spaniel and Pointer. The original and prevalent colour upon the Continent, is black, with crispid and curly hair, black nose, white face, long black ears, the head and ears covered with black curly hair, the feet and lower parts of the legs, white. It is a dog of considerable strength and courage, indicating some cross in his composition alien to the Spaniel. Without the softness of the Spaniel, this breed however retains a great share of his native and peculiar properties, having equal sagacity of nose, superior activity and power, and aptitude to learn those manoeuvres and tricks, which render the dog either useful or amusing to man. Many of the learned dogs are of this race, and the mode in which they receive their knowledge seems inscrutible, unless on the supposition that they have a very general understanding of the language in which they are taught, and even such understanding granted, the feats they perform are almost miraculous. Doubtless the olfactory nerves are powerful allies to the brain of these animals, which the following example seems to evince.

A French Gentleman, proprietor of one of these dogs, took from his pocket a small coin, spat upon it, and warned the dog to take notice. In about twenty minutes, the coin was given to another Gentleman in the same room, but not within view of the dog. The Gentleman departed with the coin in his pocket, and walked about three miles, to the house of a friend, where much company, both ladies and gentlemen, were assembled. In about an hour thereafter, the owner of the dog ordered him to go seek the money. The dog, although a total stranger to both the road, and the house, whither the Gentleman, having the money about him, was gone, dragged him thither, and being admitted, went instantly up to and jumped upon him, in spite of all exertions to prevent him, still without offering any injury, and having by dint of perseverance obtained the coin, he returned and met his Master on the way, to whom he rendered it up, with as much apparent joy and exultation, as though he had thereby secured the greatest benefit to himself.

This breed is chiefly to be found in those parts of the Country, where a strong and hardy Water Dog is necessary; namely on the Northern Coasts and in the vicinity of great Rivers: in the inland and Southern parts, the Water Spaniel being most in use.

The Water Dog, exposed as he is to labour and severities, for the support of which, the hardiest constitution can be scarcely adequate, is seldom treated with that degree of care and kindness, to which he seems undoubtedly entitled. Besides being substantially fed, the utmost care should be used, to enable him thoroughly to dry his coat in a warm soft bed, on returning home from his chilling toils.

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Dictionnaire universel d'histoire naturelle.

Edited by Charles d' Orbigny: 1845.

45 ° The BARBET or poodle, canis aquaticus of Linneaus, the Large Rough Waterdog of the English, the Grand Barbet of Buffon., sometimes reaches the size of a mastiff, but with shorter and stronger legs and a stockier body; his snout is thick, low lying; coat very long, curly and a little bit wooly, black or white, or these two colours mixed. It is the most loyal and intelligent of dogs. Sometimes on the lists for hunting, especially in the north of Europe, and it is useful because it goes very well to water. However in France, it is never worth the Spaniel and Braque, that smell much finer than him.

46 ° Small Barbet, Canis minor Linn., differs from the `Grand` by its smaller size, very variable, a little less woolly and more spiky coat. The rest, same loyalty and the same intelligence.

47 ° The Barbet-Griffon or English dog, is still smaller than the previous, shorter, more spiked, less woolly hair, ears less pendant, shape generally lighter. It is white, sometimes stained reddish blond. Also attached to his master like the previous, it is less intelligent and its education is much more difficult. He is sometimes angry and loud.

48 ° The Griffon, canis arrectus, the hound dog of Buffon., is the size of the barbet, but lighter in form. Its coat is rough, spiky, shallow, usually a tawny red or blackish, sometimes gray, rarely white. I think it is an ancient mix of the hound and the barbet. It is good for hunting hare, but best for hunting fox. It rarely becomes much attached to his master and his manners are harsh and coarse.

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Encyclopédie du dix neuvième siècle

Edited by A. de Saint-Priest : 1845

The Barbets. No shorter than the preceding; robust body, legs long proportionate, fairly strong, long coat, silky, woolly, curly or ruffled.

The Poodle, Canis aquaticus, Lin. The Grand Barbet, Buff. ; Large Rough Water-dog of the English. It has large and drooping ears, deep muzzle, slightly elongated; coat very long, curly and a bit woolly, black or white, or mixed of these two colors. This is the most faithful, most intelligent of dogs. - he has three sub-varieties, namely: the little spaniel, Buff., Canis minor, Lin., Differing from the previous by size. - The griffin, Canis arrectus, Lin., The chasing hound , Buff., Beyond the largest size poodle, but less heavy, with rough and bristling fur. He focuses little on his master, and it is excellent for hunting fox. - The little griffon or English dog, is much smaller than the poodle, with bristling fur, usually white. It is loud and aggressive, but very attached to his master.

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The Dog

By William Youatt, Elisha Joseph Lewis, Elisha Jarrett Lewis

Published by Lea and Blanchard, 1845

The barbet possesses more sagacity than most other dogs, but it is sagacity of a particular kind, and frequently connected with various amusing tricks. Mr. Jesse, in his Gleanings in Natural History, gives a singular illustration of this. A friend of his had a barbet that was not always under proper command. In order to keep him in better order, he purchased a small whip, with which he corrected him once or twice during a walk. On his return the whip was put on a table in the hall, but on the next morning it was missing. It was soon afterwards found concealed in an out-building, and again made use of in correcting the dog. Once more it would have been lost, but, on watching the dog, who was suspected of having stolen it, he was seen to take it from the hall table in order to hide it once more.

Dictionnaire des forets et des chasses publie.

By Leon Betrand : 1846

The barbet. The barbet, which is also known as the poodle and duck dog, has long hair, very curly and thick, body fat and short, moderately long legs, round head, short nose and ears large and pendulous. Color varies much, but black and white are those that are found most commonly. This dog has an excellent nose, a wonderful intelligence, and we can draw on all services. It is particularly suitable for hunting waterfowl, due to its willingness to put themselves in the water. This dog requires great care to be kept clean, and therefore in health. It must be combed frequently to destroy the vermin to which it is subject, and especially clipping the feet, between toes and on the muzzle. The tail is clipped as the setter is. The barbet is well employed in England for hunting in the marsh. We even take them on board boats where they learn to find to what falls into the water and seabirds that are killed. It can be taught to point.

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The natural history of man

By James Cowles Prichard : 1848

Skull of the Chien Barbet, or Water-Spaniel

Skull of the Chien Barbet,
or Water-Spaniel


In the shepherd's dog, the bones rise perpendicularly to one-half of their vertical extent, and then become arched over the space occupied by the brain. The wolf- dog resembles the shepherd's dog. Again, in the spaniel and water-dog, the capacity of the cranium is much greater than in the shepherd's dog; and these races, in all their varieties, are remarkable for a great developement of the frontal sinus, which is so considerable as to give the outline of the forehead a direction almost perpendicular to that of the nasal bones : the lower jaw is very much bent. The wolf-dog, and the spaniel and water-dog, display wonderful intelligence, and seem to understand the voice of men.


Natural history. Mammalia

By Philip Henry Gosse

Published by The Society for promoting Christian knowledge, 1848

The varieties of the domestic Dog are very numerous, and, as crosses of breeds comparatively pure are continually taking place, the production of mongrel-races becomes endless. Many attempts to classify the various known breeds have been made, of which we give one of the most recent, by the zoologist, W. C. L. Martin.

Type 4.
Ears moderately large :
some times very large;
pendent; hair long and fine ;
muzzle moderate ;
forehead developed ; scent acute ;
intelligence at a high ratio.

Spaniel and fancy varieties.
Water-spaniel and varieties.
Rough water-dog, or Barbet.
Little Barbet.








`Memoires` By Academie de Nimes

Published 1849

The first time that I visited the Cave of the Dog, the peasant who had the key to it came with a hound and a huge barbet, both of them very handsome, but seeming sickly or unhappy about the work for which they were destined. They were not on a leash and could have run off; but submissive to their master, they remained at his sides, resigned to their sad fate. I wasn't curious, as I have already said, about the distress and death of these animals, and the custodian, who was holding on to one, did not persist when I asked him
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pre 1800
post 1900