Barbet Bibliography

pre 1800
post 1900

The Dog

By William Youatt

Published 1852



poodle, and will perform even more than his tricks. It is always in action; always fidgety; generally incapable of much affection, but inheriting much self-love and occasional ill temper; unmanageable by any one but its owner; eaten up with red mange; and frequently a nuisance to its master and a torment to every one else.
We must not, however, do it injustice; it is very intelligent, and truly attached to its owner. 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 outbuilding, 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.

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On the Domesticated Animals of the British Islands

By David Low

Published by Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, LONDON, 1853

The Barbet, or Water-dog, Canis avianus aqualicus of Linnaeus, has been spread from time immemorial over a great part of Europe. All the characters of this dog indicate that he is the creature of an aquatic situation, suited to find his prey in marshes, pools, and rivers, where water-fowls abound. His feet are webbed, and he swims and dives with rapidity and ease. His fur is shaggy and curling, his ears are pendent, and his tail is short or rudimental. He is not a fierce dog, and avoids the combats to which other dogs are prone. He delights to fetch and carry, and is well adapted to the hunting of wild ducks and other aquatic birds, whose nests he ferrets out among the reeds in which they are concealed. He is used in this country as a retriever, in districts of sedgy rivers and marshes, and on the coasts where the shooting of sea-fowls is practised. He is a favourite with sailors, on account of his readiness to leap into the sea, and recover what has fallen overboard.

The purest of this race are derived from the marshy countries of Northern Europe and Asia. But the Barbet assumes a great variety of aspect, according to situation, and the uses to which he is habituated. He is large or small, according to the degree in which his muscular powers are called forth by exercise, and more or less covered with hair, according to the climate. When reared up as a household dog in our dwellings, the race progressively diminishes in size, and loses the rude and shaggy aspect distinctive of it in a state of greater liberty. The little Barbet of the French, termed by us a Poodle, is one of the most curious varieties of the race. It is wonderfully fitted to receive instruction of any kind, and even imitates the actions of persons about it. It is likewise a faithful dog, and manifests great attachment to its immediate master.

A fine variety of the Barbet group is the English Water- Spaniel, popularly so called. The fur of this dog is short, curly, and usually of a deep brown colour, and his general aspect is mild and graceful. He is docile and sagacious, valued by the sportsman as a retriever, and capable of receiving any kind of instruction. The race has now become rare. It was probably produced by a mixture of the blood of the Barbet with that of the Old English Setter.

Feuille D`Avis De Neuchatel.(Newspaper)

Issue 82, 3rd November 1855

48. Lost barbet, small size, long white hair mingled with yellow, tail raised in a plume, brown and drooping ears, and he responds to the name Chéri and wears a collar with a plaque marked St-Blaise.

Ms. Zelie Brondre of Pelilpierre, St-Blaise, offers a reward to the person who will return him or could give specific information leading to his return.

Chasse a Tir en France.

By Joseph La Vallée


The barbet or poodle, has a round head, long curly hair that looks like wool, so that one is forced to cut it several times a year. There is no animal that is endowed with more intelligence, and learns everything easily you want to show him. It is good to report. I've seen hunters go out with a setter and a barbet, the first stopped the game, the other would pick it up. I have met only once a barbet working as a ponter itself. It was begging carefully, but the search was heavy, and, whether it was the fault of the individual or that of his breed, he seemed to have less nose than other dogs. In Spanish it is called water dog, perro de agua '. They say he works excellently in the swamp, but I can only speak from hearsay.

Feuille D`Avis De Neuchatel.(Newspaper, Lost & Found)

Issue 67, 21st August 1856

No.39 On 12 August a barbet puppy, dragging his chain, unmarked at the collar, was given to a person in the city. The claim against designation fees and the costs at the mound No. 3, Neuchâtel.

A new and improved standard French and English and English and
French dictionary: composed from the French dictionaries of the French Academy, Laveaux,
Boiste, &c.; from the English dictionaries of Webster, Johnson, Richardson By Alexander G. Collot

Edition: revised

Published by C.G. Henderson & Co., 1856

BARBET, TE, s. water-dog, shagged dog, spaniel, rug.
Ce —va bien it L`eau ; that spaniel takes water well.
Ere crotte comme an —; to be as dirty as can be.
BARBETTE, sf. a platform, barbe, barbet.


By George Frederick Pardon

Published by J. Blackwood & co., 1857

The Barbet is a small Poodle, obtained from a cross-breed with the Poodle and some other kind of Spaniel. It has all the sagacity of the Poodle, and will perform even more than his tricks. It is always in action; always fidgetty ; generally incapable of much affection, but inheriting much self- love and occasional ill temper; unmanageable by any one but its owner; eaten up with red mange; and frequently a nuisance to its master and a torment to every one else. I recollect a story of a dog of this kind, which I will tell you. In a convent in France it was the custom to give a dinner to twenty poor people daily. The portions were served to each individual on his ringing a bell in a " tour," or turning machine, which did not show the person who moved it. A dog who was in the habit of following the paupers to their dinner, but who only received scraps, and sometimes nothing at all, had observed the mode by which they obtained their food; and one day, after they had all retired, he took the rope in his mouth and rang the bell; a portion appeared as usual; and, as he found the scheme succeed, he repeated the manoeuvre the next day. The cook, finding one applicant more than the number allowed, lay in wait and discovered the trick of the dog. The matter was represented to the committee, who were so pleased with the sagacity of the animal, that he was allowed to receive his dinner every day on ringing the bell for it.

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The Physiological & Anecdotal History of Dogs of all breeds. p202

By Bénédict Henry Révoil, Alexandre Dumas

Published by E Dentu, 1857

"Le chien canne", otherwise called a barbet in French or a poodle in English, is clad in a soft wool coat, so that he is often called a "chien mouton". It's a stocky, stoutish animal more uncouth than the griffon, for his body is short, his limbs out of proportion, his head round, and sitting awkwardly on his shoulders, his ears pendulous and huge in size. On the other hand, his qualities recall the proverb, which declares that you shouldn't judge by appearances. An excellent sense of smell, a poodle's faithfulness, such intelligence that one of them has been playing dominoes and cards, a unique level of quickness, such are the remarkable instincts of the barbet. Water is the true element of this breed of dog who swims with such ease, that, before the Newfoundland became fashionable, ships' captains always took a barbet on board with them, either to retrieve something which had fallen overboard or to retrieve seabirds, which they would kill during the voyage.

Chien Barbet, 1857

Chien Barbet, 1857

Unfortunately, barbets require a great deal of grooming. If one doesn't want to see them infested with vermin, and taken ill as a result, it is essential to comb them very often, to clip the legs, the muzzle and around the base of the tail.The barbet probably had, as ancestors, the land spaniel and the water spaniel. In former times, in Denmark [picture] and in Piedmont (two countries which claim the honour of having been the first to breed these animals) they were used for hunting in marshes. In the 16th century barbets were used for hunting ducks - from where comes the nickname of "reed" or "poodle", but in the 19th century they were no longer used for this, but were trained to become wise dogs.

I will recount the story of the barbet "Munito", who gave us so much joy in our youth. In 1829, someone exhibited in London, two barbets, who, seated solemnly at a table played a game of écarté, [French card game] as rapidly as professional card players. The cards were spread out in front of them and each, in turn, would touch the card to play, with his right paw. I leave it to my readers to work out the method used by those who had given these dogs this pleasing society skill. However it was done, it gave great pleasure to the spectators.

During the Restoration, there lived at the door of a Paris townhouse, a little shoeblack, who owned a large black barbet, whose particular talent was to get work for him. This barbet would wet his great, hairy paws in the stream and then place them on the shoes of the first passerby. The shoeblack, urged to repair the damage, would present his footstool: "Monsieur, clean the boots!" While his owner was thus occupied, the dog would sit at his side. It would have been useless to go and make another passerby's shoes dirty then: but as soon as the footstool was free, this little game would restart. The spirit of the dog, and the niceness of his young master, who would make himself useful to the servants of the house, gave both of them entry into the courtyard, into the kitchen and a fame which spread, by word of mouth, right up to the Salon of the house. A famous Englishman came to stay. He asked to see the master and his dog. They were brought upstairs and Albion's son conceiving a passion for the animal, wished to buy it. He offered 10 louis, 15 louis for him. The fifteen louis tempted the child, dazzled by so many important people. The dog was sold, taken away, chained up and put in a stage coach, bound for Calais the following morning, from where he was taken to London.

His master wept for him, with a tenderness mixed with remorse. Unexpected Joy! Two weeks later, the dog reappeared at the door of the house, dirtier than ever and making passersby even more dirty. Forced to get down (from the coach) many times during the journey, he had doubtless noticed that he was getting a long way from Paris, in a carriage, following a certain direction, that he was embarked on a steamer and that a third carriage was taking him from Dover to London. Most of these vehicles were coaches which travelled back and forth, on the same route. The dog had returned from his purchaser's house to the departure office, and had followed a carriage, perhaps the identical one that he had been in, travelling in the opposite direction, along the route by which he had come. Having arrived at Dover, he had waited for the same steamer, on which he had already made the crossing and embarked for Calais. There, he began to follow the same carriage, which had brought him here. All his previous wanderings had made him able to work out that having walked well to get somewhere, he needed to retrace his steps to get back to his home, and home was beside his master.

The classic French reader

By Alain de Fivas, M. de Fivas

Published by D. Appleton & Company, 1857

The barbet, who wished to affirm his French name, pushed his courage to the point of recklessness. A bullet ended the matter. The mastiff was killed, "Moustache" had his right ear blown off right back to the skull. He was a bit stunned by this, but not in the least afraid; and seeing that the French army, victorious as usual, was resting, finally on the harvest of laurels which it had just gathered, he returned proudly to the camp, seeming to say to himself: "When posterity talks of "Moustache", people will say : Did this dog also fight at the battle of Marengo?"

Encyclopaedia of Practical Agriculture: 1859.

The barbet spaniel-poodle, or dog duck, is covered with long and curly wool-like hair, such that one is obliged to cut it several times per annum.

Hunting With The Pointer.

Adolphe de la Neuville: 1860.

The barbet spaniel is remarkable for its intelligence,…. It has long hair that is bulky, woolly and curly, analogous with that of sheep.

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Dictionnaire de la conversation et de la lecture...p505

By William Duckett (Fils) : 1860.

BARBET. This is the name of a breed of dog. The barbet is covered with long, fine and curly hair, coloured black, spotted black on white, or all white. It has a large and round head, ears wide and pendulous, short legs, thick body, almost horizontal tail. Its length from the tip of the snout to the base of the of the tail, is of eighty centimetres. Of all the dogs it is the more intelligent and more likely to become attached. He loves the water, swims with ease, and strives for the hunting of waterfowl; which earned him the name of poodle, dog-duck.

The petit barbet is smaller, is distinguished by its smaller nose and his hair which is silky and curly atop the ears and the tip of the tail. It seems it was produced from a mix of the barbet with the spaniel.

The Griffon, on the contrary, appears to come from a cross between the barbet and the sheepdog. It is medium or small in size, has the shape of the barbet, with ears a little straightened, long hair, not curly, and arranged by small wicks that go in all directions; the snout is also covered in long hair as is the rest of the body. They hunt well when they are tall and a little bit strong.

House Dogs and Sporting Dogs

By John Meyrick

Published by John Van Voorst,London, 1861

The Barbet : Is a smaller breed of poodle. In colour he is generally white.

The new American cyclopaedia: a popular dictionary of general knowledge, Volume 13

George Ripley, Charles Anderson Dana : 1861

POODLE (canis aquatietis), the barbet or water dog. It has a high and round head, large cavity for the brain, expanded frontal sinuses, long ears, compact body, and rather short legs. The hair is long, curly, black, white, or the two mixed, sometimes with rufous marks. The large variety stands 18 to 20 inches high at the shoulders, and has coarse curled hair, often shaved to represent a miniature lion; the muzzle is short and prominent, and the tail is rather short and somewhat erect. It has long been known to fishermen and sportsmen as an excellent water dog; the sense of smell is exquisite, which gives it a remarkable power of tracing out the lost property of its master; it is strong, intelligent, and affectionate; it used to be a great favorite with soldiers on the continent of Europe, and many affecting anecdotes are on record of its fidelity to its living and attachment to its dead master. There is a diminutive breed, with longer, more silky, and curly hair, generally white, fit only for a lap dog; it is often the companion of unmarried and elderly ladies and childless wives.

The Field, The Country Gentleman`s Newspaper.

Saturday May 9th 1863

An extract from an article entitled "Paris Dog Show. Jardin D`Acclimatation (Bois de Boulonge). [from our own correspondant] PARIS, MAY 6

The next category to which I shall direct your attention is a very remarkable one, and well observation, because I apprehend that as yet it is comparatively little known to or appreciated by English sportsmen. I refer to the exhibition of French griffons and barbets, a dog seemingly of Russian origin, and hence 1 believe sometimes known in England under the name of Russian setter; but the form of which has become so much improved in France as to make the present breed be regarded as almost indigenous to that country. Indeed, one of the ablest of the French judges, M. Dufour, claimed the Grand Prix d`Honneur of 500 francs for a silver-grey specimen of this kind, as being the purest representation of a genuine French race of dogs in the exhibition. The griffon is a square-built dog, the size of a large pointer, or rather higher, and covered with thick curly hair. The barbet seems to be generally a larger though very similar dog, so much alike indeed that it is somewhat difficult for an inexperienced eye to distinguish between them. The marked feature of the pure French griffon seems to be the bouffe or large patch of buffinh-coloured hair, placed almost like a saddle on the shoulders, and parting naturally and smoothly on the back, while the rest of the coat is closely curled. This is absent in the large barbet, whose coat is equally curled all over, while his bead is rounder and less elongated than that of the pure griffon, and his general appearance more moppy. A patch of white under the tail is also regarded as a sign of purity of breed in these dogs. The griffon is called griffins d`arret, because he points game with great sureness and steadiness, lifting the fore foot. He is famous for snipes and water, but hunts equally well in wood, or plain, or marshes. I have seldom seen a more taking dog than the dark brown griffon, No. 456 is called brussaille, to which the second prize was awarded, and much preferred him, for my part, to the silver-grey, No. 454, which took the first. The latter was a much smoother dog, with a very different character of head; but French judges, who ought to know best, professed to see in him the highest signs of purity of race. I know no dog more likely to become fashionable in England than the pure griffon, were he introduced and better known there; and from his appearance, and all I have heard respecting him from the best French sportsmen, I strongly recommend him to the attention of their English brethren.

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Le livre de la ferme et des maisons de campagne.

By Pierre Joigneaux.

Pub: V. Masson et fils, 1865.

The Griffon dog.

The Griffon is much like the sheepdog of which he is said to be a derivative. He has long hair, slightly curly and slightly thick, half pendulous ears which are shorter than the hounds. His intelligent eyes shine in the middle of the long wicks of hair that hide them almost entirely. His head is more round than long. It is loyal, but difficult to recall; protected by its strong fleece, it enters the middle of the most formidable brambles and gorse, he excels in hunting marshland.. Griffons with an undercoat of fawn or fawn and white are the most sought after, and yet we have seen a black griffon named Saladin, who was a brilliant career dog. It could rival the most famous setters of Britain.

Fig.1597 - Barbet.

Fig.1597 - Barbet.

The Barbet dog.

The barbet is just the poodle dog. It has the round head, short muzzle, curly coat, large body, short and close to land, large ears and hanging. He is very intelligent and relates very well, but searches heavily, and although gifted with a delicious sense of smell, it hard to stop. It is particularly suitable for hunting in marshes.


Despite what some English writers say, we believe that the retriever is just another variety of the barbet. The retriever is a dog exactly like the barbet, and hunters across the Channel only use it bring the game. It is claimed that the retriever, translated as `the finder`, is the ancestor to the spaniel and the dog of Newfoundland, or the spaniel and poodle. It is better to say naively that the retriever is the barbet perfected in terms of shape and hunting.


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Les Trois règnes de la nature: lectures d'histoire naturelle

By Jean-Charles Chenu.

Published by L. Hachette et cie (Paris) 1865

Especially to hunt duck, the qualities of scent are only secondary, you must have, above all, a rustic dog, enterprising, adventurous and a strong retriever. You can find this in some Spaniels, such as the English black spaniel called a Retriver, or the French brown and speckled Spaniel, you will find the most in Barbets and Griffons: these have no equal in these expeditions, ten times in a day, they will put their lives at risk, they are stronger, more robust, less fearful of cold than other species. If necessary you can do with a Poodle.


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Exposition universelle des races canines de 1865... : catalogue des chiens exposés

P. Dupont (Paris)

Published by Jardin d'acclimatation (Paris). Éditeur scientifique

The Barbets have the coat completely woolly and are, in general, of very great size. Selincourt speaks of it with praise, they used to be used for hunting in the marsh, for which they have abilities, but nowadays they do not do more than act as guard dogs. It is the same with the Poodle, a type of barbet, smaller furry much longer, abundant and curled into long pulls, generally white. In Denmark, from where they are said to originate, there are black dogs, highly esteemed; other authors and Selincourt claim that the Poodle is on the contrary of Piedmontese (Italian) origin. They were still Sixteenth century, very frequently employed in the hunting of water-birds, whence their name comes from dog Cane (female duck) or Caniche (Poodle), but they have ceased to be so used, and their talents of pleasure have been cultivated in preference.


Spiers and Surenne's French and English pronouncing dictionary:
Newly composed from the French dictionaries of the French academy, Laveaux, Boiste, Bescherelle,
Landais, etc., and from the English dictionaries of Johnson, Webster, Worcester, Richardson, etc

By Alexander Spiers

Published by D. Appleton, 1866

BARBET (bar-bé ) n. m. TE, n, f barbet ; water-spaniel, dog.

BARBET, TE, adj. Chien —.barbet; water-spaniel dog.

Conseils aux chasseurs (eng:Advice To Hunters.)

By Charles Bémelmans: 1866.

The barbet spaniel is a poor pointer, but very keen to go to water. The barbet spaniel has curly and woolly hair, its head is so full, that often one is obliged to shorten the enormous tufts which fall down in front of the eyes. It is good to trim it during the summer.

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Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle : français, historique, géographique, mythologique, bibliographique.(Vol 2)

By Pierre Larousse

Pub: Administration du grand Dictionnaire universel (Paris) : 1866-1877

BARBET s. m. (Bar-bè rad. Beard, Because of his long hair, or from Barbary, like a beard, horse). Species of spaniel, the hair is long and curly,

The BARBET is very intelligent and very attached to his master: but the length of his hair means it gets horribly dirty walking through the streets. (Hun.) 'The BARBET's ears are quite outstanding.(Cuv.)

A barbet of mine this man displeased, began to suddenly bark.

If he had a little chicken, he would give the bones to a black barbet, his faithful companion.(Balz.)

Loc. familiar.

Crotté comme un barbet: to be very muddy.

Il suivre quelqu'un comme un barbet: he follows him everywhere:

Il chercheur de barbet: he searches for a barbet, a conman who breaks into houses under any pretext, for example, to search for their barbet

Ah! ce sont des CHERCHEURS DE BARBETS; they are thieves who want to steal my furniture.

Adj. Which is the race of barbets.A dog BARBET.

Circé changed the companions of Ulysses into BARBETS. (Volt.) The barbets have a historical reputation to be the best of friends, they do us equal.(Volt.)

Encycl. The barbet is, of all dogs, one whose intelligence seems most suscepitible to development and is extremely attached to his master, and we know it, by definition, a blind mans dog. Its sense of smell is quite fine, and we can train him to all services. He loves the water and swims with ease, also employed by those that chase waterfowl. Education of this animal is very easy, but it requires much care to be kept clean.

There are two varieties of barbet: (1) the large barbet, characterized by Cuvier; head big, round skull more extensive than in any other race; front sinus well developed, very large ears, pendant. Short legs, thick body, short cut; tail nearly horizontal, long hair, curly throughout the body, black (or black on white) sometimes all white, or yellowish or rust. This dog often has the complexion of the mastiff, but it is generally more stocky in the body, legs shorter and stronger than the (2) small barbet, diffèrent from the previous by its size, smaller and coat a little less wooly and more bristly.

Universal Dictionary Of The 19th Century:


BARBET SPANIEL. Species of spaniel whose hair is long and curly. POODLE. Qualification given to a special breed of dog, the barbet spaniel.

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Le chien: histoire naturelle, races d'utilité et d'agrément

By Eugene Gayot.

Pub : Firmin-Didot, 1867

Fig.108 Le barbet

Fig.108 Le barbet

P.302 In the sixteenth century, for example, were confused under the same name of barbet, all long-haired dogs, chasing griffons, pointing griffons and running dogs with a curly fleece, those we now call poodles. Most frequently used while hunting waterfowl, these latter were designated as duck dogs, but only the female was called a poodle.
Today between barbet spaniels and poodles, there is only one little slice of distinction; The differences are small and the points of resemblance are numerous.

P.303 Baron Noirmont adds: There were very large barbet, whose hair, curly though, was less woolly than poodles. We stopped using them for hunting, but their talents were cultivated for leisure, and various abilities. It is among them were recruited from the dogs. Their intelligence is well known and made their fortune, I do not say their happiness, for their strange fate is shared by the boards of jugglers and as a blind mans dog.
The barbet, with a woolly coat, are generally large. Removed from their former functions of hunters in the marsh, they serve as little more than guard dogs. Smaller and with a longer abundant corkscrew coat, the poodle is white or black. We argue its origin. Some say born native of Denmark, others believe native France. The English hold the latter opinion as reflected in the name they give to the `French Poodle` wittiest and most popular of dogs.

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Histoire de la chasse en France depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à la Révolution

By Dunoyer de Noirmont

Published: Vve Bouchard-Huzard (Paris) 1867-1868

(P.105) If they remain in covered ground, we need goshawks and other birds of prey to fly around for partridge or pheasant in the woods, hedges and bushes, and to flush them, barbets that retrieve well and heavy spaniels that boldly pierce the thick bushes.
(P.185)Often waterfowl, terrified by the appearance of the enemy [birds of prey] hovering above them, refused to fly, despite the cries of falconers and prosecution of barbets, a firearm is then discharged to induce them to fly.
(P.199) To go in the river, the best dogs were the barbets, more docile and less than looters griffons. English spaniels and Flemish water dogs were also quite good, and retrieved as well as their more or less direct descendants, the retrievers of modern England.

Chambers's encyclopaedia: a dictionary of universal knowledge for the people

Published by W. and R. Chambers, 1868

Water Spaniel 1868

Water Spaniel 1868

WATER-DOG, a kind of dog, of which the Poodle (q. v.) is regarded as a sub-variety. The head is rather large and round, the ears long, the legs rather short, the general form compact, the hair everywhere long and curly. The Water-dog of England, common before the poodle had been introduced from the continent, is still much esteemed by professional wild-fowl shooters, and by the fishermen of the north-eastern counties. It is about 18 or 20 inches high at the shoulder. The hair is coarser and crisper than that of the poodle. This dog was formerly sometimes used in London for the brutal sport of hunting and worrying domestic ducks, placed in a pond for the purpose. It is an intelligent and affectionate kind of dog, although not of much beauty.


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The Dog : Its origin, natural history, and varieties.

by H.D Richardson [1874]

Published by S. Orr & Co. London.




This is a dog of considerable size, being about the height of a stout setter, but much more powerfully built. His coat is long and curled ; the head is large and round ; the frontal sinuses ample ; ears long, and well furnished with hair ; legs rather short; color usually brown and white, or black and white ; he possesses great courage and sagacity ; he is an excellent water-dog, and well adapted to the duties of a retriever ; he, however, requires considerable training to introduce him to be tender of his game, as he is apt to drive in his teeth, and consequently mangle his bird.

This dog is not to be confounded with the poodle of either France or Germany ; he is a more original, and a very different dog.

I recollect a singularly large dog of this breed, about ten years ago, in possession of Mr. Grierson, of North Hanover street, Edinburgh, near the foot of the Mound, which was possessed of unusual intelligence. Among other eccentricities, this dog followed the profession of mendicancy, and regularly solicited the charity of the passers-by. On receiving a halfpenny, his habit was, if hungry, to proceed at once to the shop of Mr. Nelson, at the corner of Rose street, and purchase a biscuit ; but it sometimes happened that he put by his halfpence until the calls of appetite returned, when he would go to his repository, take the money to the baker's, and make his purchase. A servant of Mr. Grierson's accidentally came upon this sagacious and provident animal's hoarding-place on one occasion, where were found about five-pence halfpenny in halfpence. The dog chanced to enter at the moment of the discovery, and with a growl of displeasure he rushed to the spot, and snatching up his wealth, proceeded at full speed to the shop, and dashed the money on the counter, barking vehemently at the same time, probably deeming it safer to turn it into bread at once, than risk being robbed by keeping it. This dog was stuffed at his death, and is preserved in the Ed. Mus. of Nat. History.


The Poodle resembles the great water-dog in general appearance, but may be very easily disting fished from him by the circumstance of his being furnished with wool instead of hair. The Poodle is an excellent water-dog, but is not so hardy, and consequently not capable of remaining in the water so long as the preceding variety ; he is, however, more active, more easily trained, and far more tender mouthed. Mr. Jesse, in his " Gleanings," mentions a Poodle belonging to a friend of his, for whom correction was found necessary, he being sometimes rather unruly : 4he gentleman bought a whip, with which he corrected him once or twice when out walking ; on his return he left the whip on the hall-table, and in the morning it was missing. Having been found concealed in an out-building, and, as before, used when occasion required, in correcting the dog, it was once more missed ; but on the dog, who was suspected of having stolen it, being watched, he was seen to take it from the hall table, in order to hide it as before.

In a most amusing paper, entitled " Sketches of Burschen Life," published in that excellent periodical, THE DUBLIN UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE, for July, 1846, is the following laughable anecdote of a Poodle and a short-sighted Professor : " There was a story, when we were in Heidelberg, going about of a certain student who had a remarkably fine white Poodle ; the intelligence and sagacity of the animal were uncommon, and as he used daily to accompany his master to the lecture-room of a professor, who was not very remarkable for the distinctness of his vision, he would regularly take his seat upon the bench beside his master, and peer into his book, as if he understood every word of it. " One wet morning, the lecture-room, never, at any time, remarkable for its fulness, was deserted, save by the student who owned the Poodle. The dog, however, had somehow happened to remain at home." ' Gentlemen,' said the short-sighted professor, as he com- menced his lecture, * I am sorry to notice, that the very attentive student in the white coat, whose industry I have not failed to observe, is, contrary to his usual custom, absent to-day !' "


Is a diminutive poodle, the head being covered with straight and silky hair the rest of the body having a curly and woolly coat.

pre 1800
post 1900

Dictionary of the French and English Languages: With More Than Fifteen Thousand New Words,Meanings, Etc

By Ferdinand E. A. Gasc

Published by H. Holt and Company, 1876

Barbet, te, im/. water-spaniel, barbet;

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Le Chien.

Description des races. Croisements. Elevage. Dressage. Maladies et leur traitement, d'après les ouvrages les plus récents de Stonehenge, Youatt, Mayhew, Bouley, Hamilton Smith, etc.

Éditeur : J. Rothschild (Paris) 1876

Barbet ou Caniche, 1876

Barbet ou Caniche, 1876

The Barbet or Poodle. - This dog is known in France from the earliest times, as being most intelligent, most docile and most faithful. With patience , gentleness and a fair reward for one`s efforts, we get what we want, and we often see these dogs in circuses and fairground theaters doing wonderful tricks for which it appears a dose of reasoning is necessary.

The Barbet has a pretty good nose, he loves the water and swims with great ease, and he was employed in other times to hunt in the marsh, especially for duck, hence the name Caniche [As the poodle is known in France-Ed.]. But now he is generally adopted as a companion and friend of man.

The Barbet is characterized by its large head with high forehead, long droopy ears well furnished with thick, curly hair, its very sharp little eyes, his lined square muzzle, heavy moustache and air of quiet dignity which he abandons when excited to play. Her body has the proportions of the pointer, but it is covered with a thick coat of long and curly hair that hangs in corkscrews on the lower body. The tail is not very long, but covered with curly hair in small loops; legs are fine and completely covered with small curls of hair, small feet are round and moderately hairy. The normal colour of the Barbet is white, but we see black and white and all black, the latter colour is much rarer. Its size is 0m,40 to 0m,50.

We represent here the natural Barbet 's coat [see fig.], but generally it was a habit of it shaving the lower body, so it gives the appearance of a lion, often the coat is allowed to be prepared in a decoration with a large tuft at the end of the tail.


Barbet and the Barbet d'arrêt, 1877

Barbet and Barbet d'arrêt, 1877

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L'Art du vétérinaire mis en pratique
By F. de La Brugère
Éditeur : A. Fayard (Paris) 1877

P487: Barbet. The general features of the barbet are the large and round head, the beautiful eyes, the developed frontal sinuses, the short muzzle, the stocky body, the long hair, cottony and curly, of black or spotted color; sometimes reddish, or quite white. The barbet d'arrêt is a griffin, it is very easy to dress. It goes to water and is used in all kinds of hunting. It is, of all the dogs, the most likely of a complete education, and the most affectionate to his master.

P486: Griffon. - The griffon comes from the mixture of a spaniel with a braque, or a braque with a barbet. Griffonss are distinguished by their hard or silky coat.

Tete de chien Barbet

Painted by French artist Edouard Manet in 1877

Tete de chien Barbet

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Catalogue officiel. Vol.7 / Exposition universelle internationale de 1878 à Paris

Published by: Imprimerie nationale (Paris) - 1878

3rd Division

Hunting and pointing dogs

Group 1 : Pointing Dogs with rough hair, braques and pointers.

Group 2 : Pointing dogs with long hair, spaniels, setters, spanichs

Group 3 : Griffons, Barbets and retrievers.

1st Category - Wirehaired griffon, silky-haired, comic, etc..

2nd Category - Large barbet.

3rd Category - Poodles of all colours.

4th category - Retrievers black and brown.

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Le Livre du chasseur

By Charle Diguet

Pub: A. Fayard (Paris), 1881

The Griffon

The griffon comes from a mixture of a spaniel and a hound or with a barbet. The griffon d'arrêt are distinguished by their coat which is shaggy and silky. The griffon is a great dog that nothing can dismay, he goes very well in water and fears neither thorns nor briers. His thick hair, sharpened in needles, is for him a powerful armour that protects against the prickles. His appearance is rugged and wild, but he is superb in this apparent ugliness. His sense of smell is very good. Educating the griffon is very difficult: very smart by nature it often rebels against training , and disobedience is sometimes disheartening. It does, however, accept the first lesson. A good Griffon, well-trained, docile and who retrieves, is invaluable. This perfect animal sums up all other dogs. We distinguish: the griffon Vendee, griffon de Bresse with harsh hair, sometimes bristly, tan or burgundy, the griffon of the dunes of Boulogne, long silky hair, black or tan, hair mingled with white or white patches.

The Barbet.

Despite his rare intelligence, his wonderful sagacity, the barbet is somewhat little used. The barbet d'arrêt is from the griffon and it is very easy to train. It goes to water beautifully and is used in all types of hunting. It retrieves with great consistancy, and of all the dogs is susceptible to a complete education. It could be used to advantage in conjunction with a pointer itself.

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The illustrated book of the dog

Author: Shaw, Vero Kemball;

Publisher: London, New York [etc.] Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.1881


IN spite of the remarks made by Dr. Caius about the Water Spaniel, there appears to be no mention made of him by subsequent writers for many years ; and this fact is the more inexplicable when it is considered that allusions are made by several of them to the Water-dog, which, however, is also alluded to by some authors in addition to the Water Spaniel, as will be seen later on. The idea that has been forced upon us by the perusal of several of the earlier writers on canine subjects is, that the Water-dog was a descendant of the Water Spaniel referred to by Dr. Caius in his " Englishe Dogges," and that he had become crossed with other breeds to such an extent that a great deal of his original identity was lost, and, generally speaking, dogs who were used for the pursuit of wild-fowl were designated Water-dogs.

The white Poodle also presents marked variations, ranging from the great muscular fellow who draws a milk-cart in Antwerp and Brussels to his more slender French brother familiarly called Mouton, who is so constantly met with on the Paris boulevards. The size of the two breeds differs considerably, the larger one averaging some 30 or 40 Ibs., while the smaller, generally known under the name of Barbet, only weighs about half that figure. Of the various breeds mentioned the Russian is the most valuable. As a rule he is highly intelligent, and is altogether a handsomer and more gracefully-formed dog, while his coat, being black, is free from that soiled appearance which is so great a drawback to the white breed. The hair of the various breeds is also somewhat different that of the Russian being more wiry and less woolly than the French, who, from the texture of his coat, frequently merits his pastoral nickname.

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From `Zoologie Morale`

by Eugene Mouton

G. Charpentier, Éditeur



Please click,The Philosophers Dog to read the full text.

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Le chiens D`Arret - Francais et Anglais

By A. De La Rue , M. De Cherville. Illustrated by Ernest Bellecroix

Pub : Paris, Librairie Firmin-Didot et Cie, 1881

The name barbet , which for three centuries was given to all the setting dogs with long hair, was replaced since by that of caniche, so the origin of the name is obviously duck. For a long time cane [male duck .fr] indicated the male barbet , and caniche the female. But the barbet is not a poodle, the blind dog. In certain aptitudes for hunting, the barbet has a little of the spaniel and the griffon, and much of the poodle by its aspect and its conformation. Like the spaniel, this dog originates from the sheepdog of the north. Over time, crossings and the climate, the barbet became what it is nowadays. I do not believe that the breed is well fixed; what causes me has to think this are the differences that one frequently finds in it. At the Dog Show of 1863, there was a prime barbet, Lowe owned by Mr. Favre. This dog had a head which slightly resembled a small Newfoundland, only the ears were longer and were covered with wool, but the muzzle, a little longer, was almost bare; long hair did not cover the eyes, as is found in almost all barbets.

The barbet, such as I know it, is of average size, strong enough to bring back a hare; its body, is entirely covered with long wool which falls down in front of the eyes. The ears are long, less long however than those of the poodle; though very squat, it is higher on legs than the poodle. The foot is large and broad. The eyes, set round in the head, when one sees them under the hair which hides them, have a strange expression which reveals much intelligence and kindness. I have never looked at the eyes, so full with devotion, of a poodle or of a barbet without feeling attracted towards him, without stroking him.

Le Barbet, 1881

Le Barbet, 1881

The tail of the barbet is long and bulky. I speak only about the large barbet, there are also barbets of small size. I saw a whole family, last summer at the Cologne Dog Show; there were six of them, they were very white, and really extremely pretty. But, in short, they are only companion dogs and without utility for hunting. However, the small barbet can serve by going to seek ducks in the morning killed in the night by the hunters at the hut.

Is the barbet, because it stops, a pointer, strictly speaking? I do not think it. All the dogs , or nearly all, do not mark the stop? Doesn't one obtain a good animal that one wants by education? I saw a young large black barbet hunting, which very suitably stopped rabbit and pheasant, but his search was slow, without animation; this good animal appeared to search much more by obligation than by love, than by taste for hunting, it acted without any passion. In plain, the weather is too hot to begin; the hares and young partridges interest it little. The true medium of the barbet, they are the marshes, the groves of reeds, the large wet grasses; it is the dog of the malarial areas, of the countries of fever, the estuary bird, hunting for the young duckling, of wildfowl in general, he is the `canis aviaries aquaticus` most excellent. I know that I will be told that the barbet is as good as any spaniel; it is possible, however those subjects are rare, and, when one looks at them closely, one discovers quickly that they are not true barbet, that there are in them, many things due to their hereditary and who come from another race. Lowe, from M.Favre, already named, was one of these dogs. In all the cases, one should see here only exceptions, the results of raising by an intelligent Master, secondly by happy chance.

In a few words, the barbet is by no means a specialist equipped to make a complete pointer; also one would not be astonished if one saw it preferring a game of dominoes or cards, sharing the platform of the travelling acrobat to covering the richest in young partridges and hares. This is the barbet resulting from a first crossing, to say a poodle. It goes without saying that the barbet will all the more move away from the poodle to approach the pointer which will have more foreign blood in its veins. This can appear naive, but it is no less the truth. To summarize, what can we reasonably conclude from this, apart from the fact that it is not a confirmed breed, and that, by reproducing barbets between them, we would revert invariably to dogs for the blind The coat of the barbet is of two colours only: it is sometimes white with black spots, sometimes with chestnut spots. Usually, in my barbet at least, the long and often thick coat, requires greater cleanliness, more still than in the spaniel.

It is not entirely true when one says; “Muddy like a barbet” Ultimately, the true merit of the barbet spaniel is of going to water of the most excessive cold, and paying well. The water-spaniel of the English is our perfect barbet.

I have just seen that this definition is not in agreement with science which, if I understood it well, gives the name of barbet to all the dogs which have a beard; it is rather logical, of the rest. Here is what has lead me to this discovery. A connoissor of the race, who has all my confidence, has just sent to the kennels of the Zoological gardens a dog which one has placed in the same box, next to two griffon's, who are placed in the same bracket, has a short tail. This newcomer, according to me, is a griffon; despite the respect that I profess for the scientist who has classed this dog among the barbet, I see another thing. This subject is very tall on its legs, its hindquarters are very defective, the head alone is well; the hard hair, on the kidney especially, is short; aren't these the principal features of the griffon? It seems to me that this dog would be better placed in the home of a simple amateur than the kennels of the Zoological gardens, so the doors must remain closed on these doubtful animals with bad characteristics.

It is true that here the difficulty is large, and that one will often be embarrassed with the question of coming to a conclusion about an animal of the race which will not be more characterised that of the barbet.

A. DE LA Rue

The Imperial dictionary, on the basis of Webster's English dictionary

By John Ogilvie

Published 1882

Fr. barbet, from L barba, a beard. ] 1. A variety of dog having long curly hair ; a poodle. —

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The Dogs of the British Islands - Being a Series of Articles on the Points of Their Various
Breeds, and the Treatment of the Diseases to Which They Are Subject

By John Henry Walsh; pseud.`Stonehenge`. (The chapter on the Poodle is believed to have been written by Mr. Lewis Clement. "who had considerable experience of the breed, especially as a sporting dog on the continent.")

Published: 1882

The Poodle (P253)
He is always larger than the largest sized spaniel, which, however, he resembles in form. He is robust in build, and has a peculiarly thick and full covering of hair. His occipitis is well pronounced, his head is round, his forehead is strongly arched, his muzzle is short, high, and stumpy, his neck short and thick; his body is compact and cobby, his legs are comparatively short and strong, and he is more web-footed than any other breed. The hair over his body is long, thick, soft, woolly, and entirely curled, even over the face, and especially the mouth, where it forms a decided moustache. On the ears and tail the hair is more knotty and matted. Specimens of this breed are white, light liver, liver, light grey, dark grey, dark liver, or black. Sometimes the markings are peculiar, in as much that, on a light ground, great irregular dark grey, or black patches occur. When the dogs are liver-coloured or black, there are white spots on their muzzles and throats, on the nape of their necks, on their breasts, bellies, feet, and tail. They are seldom cropped, but are almost invariably docked. The Italians call them can barbone; the French barbets, grand barbets, barbeitons caniches ; the English denominate them water dogs, water spaniels, finders, and poodles. Neither the Greeks nor the Romans appear to have known these dogs, and the old German authors of the middle ages do not mention them. In the sixteenth century they are, for the first time, mentioned by Conrad Gesner, who, in 1555, gives a description and illustration of these dogs. The great poodle is most easily trained, and his peculiar adaptation for marsh work is not found in any such high degree in any other kind of dog. His liveliness, attachment, and faithfulness, combined with his good temper, trust, and obedience, make of him a thoroughly good companion. He always looks for his master, likes to please him, and is never tired of doing all he can to further that end. He is a splendid swimmer, and the best of water retrievers. He grasps everything he is taught so readily that he is trained very quickly; hence he is a good performer in whatever pursuit his talents may be called into requisition.

Der kleine Pintsch, or the little griffon (Aquations gryphus). The peculiarities of this mixed race lead to the supposition that it is a product of a cross between the little poodle and the Pomeranian. It has a long head, an arched forehead, a stumpy mouth, and very long hair on its body. In all other respects, and in colour, it is like other poodles. They are called barbets griffons and chiens Anglais by the French.

......In fact, one may say, as a very general rule, that the poodle in England is almost universally either a performing dog or a mere pet, or lap or companion dog, according to his size ; but he is rarely employed as a sporting dog.
Not so in the vast marshes of the Continent, and especially in those marais of the French departments of the Pas-de-Calais, Nord, and Somme ; in Belgium, in Holland, in Denmark, in Northern Germany, and in Russia, where night-decoying of ducks to the hut is extensively practised. As late back as January, 1872, an article of mine appeared in Baily's Magazine, entitled " Duck-decoying in Abbeville Marshes," wherein I related the performance of a celebrated poodle who accompanied a French huttier and myself on our expeditions. Without him half our birds would have been lost ; and this will become apparent when I state that at least half the birds fired at are only winged or disabled, and thus, without a dog gifted with sense, nose, and pluck, it would be perfectly impossible for the shooters, in the dead of the night, to collect their game. This the poodle does, with a rapidity and intelligence which are simply unsurpassable. In short, he is so well adapted for that sort of work, that in French his generic name caniche is directly derived from duck (canard). He is also called chien canne, which is quite as much a derivation; and in some districts where the ooze abounds the name barbet is applied to him. This word barbet is evidently a diminutive for barbotteur, i.e., a "mud-lark" a dog fond of paddling about in the mud.

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Voyage au pays des caniches ou Histoire des chiens célèbres.

By Clarisse Juranville

Published by Librairie de J. Lefort (Lille): 1882


Barbet or poodle. - The barbet, said Buffon, is very intelligent and very attached to his master; but the length of coat exposes it to get awfully dirty walking through the streets. From there the saying comes; it is dirty as a barbet. This animal is excellent as a dog for the blind; its sense of smell is quite fine, and it can perform all services. It loves the water and swims with ease, also it is used for the hunting of water birds. There are two varieties of barbet dog: the great barbet, often reaching the size of the mastiff, and the small barbet, which differs from the previous by its smaller size and a little less woolly and more spiky fur.

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Le Chien; son histoire, ses exploits, ses aventures.

By Alfred Barbou

Published in Paris by Joubet et cie: 1883

Chien Barbet {Canis familiaris aquaticus).

This dog was once widely used for hunting in the marsh. His skull is well developed relative other breeds of dogs, so it is very easy develop their intelligence. It is large in size and has woolly hair. The barbet has several well-known sub-species, highly sought after and highly regarded as guard dogs, companions, as artists dogs and acrobats and especially as guide dogs. called:-

Poodle {Canis genuinus). This dog some say is from Denmark,others say of Piedmontese origin, he is known for his big body, his big round head and woolly hair in curly corkscrews. His color is pure white and solid black. Those with mixed bristles are little valued by amateurs. The poodle is an excellent swimmer, intelligent and with unfailing affection.
This breed has its miniature, cute creatures that are pets in the apartments; these miniatures are real toys with all the qualities of the dog.

Griffons. - The external appearance, qualities and manners of the griffons are closer to poodles, but their anatomical structure is a breed apart. They have a soft or hard coat.

The Large Encyclopaedia: 1885.

The barbet spaniels or poodles have a round head and woolly, long and curly hair.

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Le Chenil

Journal hebdomadaire illustré des chasseurs et des éleveurs.

[ Illustrated weekly newspaper for hunters and breeders]

Published 25th Feb 1886

Following the trip to Germany, by Dr. Boulet,of Elbeuf to visit the Kennel of Mr. Korlhals, these gentlemen agreed to introduce for fans of the griffons the points that they regard as the most accurate, and submit them to the judgment of all breeders.

Barbets d'arrêtPoints
Head - Large, developed forehead, nose a little short, trimmed with long drooping mustaches.15
Eyes - Round, bright, intelligent, completely covered by thick long drooping eyebrows to the muzzle.10
Ears - Flat garnished with long hair.5
Neck - Short and thick.5
Kidney - Short, strong and vigorous.10
Chest - Large, without much depth.10
Legs - Strong and thick, furnished with long hair from top to bottom.5
Feet - Round, covered with hair.5
Tail - Raised towards the end.10
Color - Grey, black, cafe au lait, dirty white, etc..5
Height - From 45 to 55 centimeters.5
Hair - Woolly and curly.15

It very much likes the water and is used primarily for hunting in the marshes.


Dog Breeds.

By A. Reul: 1891.

The Barbet spaniel, the Barbette, is the canis aquaticus of Linné, The broad rough water dog or the English barbet spaniel, it is the “perro de agua” of the Spaniards, it is what we still call “Caniche” ( the male); “cana”, (the female). The barbet spaniel is covered in long and curly hair similar to sheep’s wool.

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Scientific American Supplement Volumes 643, 647, 664, 711, 717, 787, 794, 795, 799 and 803

Author - Various Authors

Publisher - Munn & Co.

Year - 1888-1891

Barbets And Griffons



To this latter category belong the dogs, par excellence, for hunting in swamps. The barbets are entirely covered with long curly hair, like the poodles, which are directly derived from them. They are white or gray, with large black or brown blotches. The griffons differ from the poodles in their coarse and stiff hair, which never curls. They have large brown blotches upon a white ground, which is much spotted or mixed, as in the color of the hair called roan. There is an excellent white and orange-colored variety. The griffons, neglected for a long time on account of the infatuation that was and is still had for English hunting dogs, are being received again with that favor which they have never ceased to be the object of in Germany and in Italy (where they bear the name of spinone). Breeders of merit, such as Mr. Korthals, in Germany, and Mr. E. Boulet, in France, are endeavoring to bring them into prominence (Fig. 6). Finally, we reckon also among hunting dogs some very happy crosses between the spaniels and the barbets, which in England are called retrievers or water spaniels. - P. Megnin, in La Nature.

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Les races françaises de chiens d'arrêt.

James de Coninck, illustrated by P. Mahler

Publisher - aux bureaux de "l'Acclimatation" (Paris)

Year - 1891

The barbet is a kind of griffon with a coat which is wooly and curly, it is roughly built like him but is much more common as a form. His head is round, eyebrows cover the eyes, the muzzle is shorter, the legs are large and heavy, his feet round and wide. We find a little bit of all colours.

Barbet d'arrêt

Barbet d'arrêt

We used to give the name of barbet to all griffons, and it is to establish the difference between him and long haired griffons, I give this description as the barbet can not be considered absolutely as a pointer. They are certainly found hunting in the plains and pointing, but this is the exception and there are such cases in many other breeds. I saw bassets and beagles who pointed but they have never been considered as a pointer.

The real hunting ground for the barbet is the marsh, it resists admirably the hardest cold ; it hunts very well wounded birds and retrieves ducks from icy water. Its conformation and the thickness of the fleece which prevent it from hunting in the plains and woods, where his hair gets caught in the brambles. It is therefore rather to consider the barbet as a retriever for hunting in wetlands.

This race, if it exists at the state of a race, is quite rare and could not be found in Belgium or Holland. Mr. Megnin in his new book on dog breeds, talks about Pilote, a barbet belonging to M. Coste, and here is what the owner has said:
"As with his ancestors, Pilote`s element is water, nothing but water, and warm as it is in August or cold as December, bathing is always a pleasure for him. He would, I believe, be a sad figure on the plain, I`ve never led him there. The marsh only is his terrain and home. I have often returned from hunting with his coat prickly with ice, he never seemed inconvenienced for a second. Often in the coldest of winters, in 18 or 19 degrees below zero, while all his kennel mates were chilly and snuggled in straw, I found him lying in the yard, his snout and legs covered with snow and literally powdered with frost, the next day there was a mark in the place where the snow melted down to the ground under him. I wonder if many other breeds provide such resources of temperament and especially such a disdain of low temperatures. What a precious assistant for the waterfowl hunter in the service of this exceptionally hard hunt, as it brings pleasure and likes to wade more than his master, so young and so mad that it is."

Description of the Barbet pointer.
HEAD - Round, forehead developed, muzzle a little short, garnished with long drooping mustaches.
EARS - Long, flat, covered with long, curly hair or wicks.
EYE - Round, bright, intelligent, completely covered by thick and long eyebrows drooping to the muzzle.
NOSE - Brown or black.
Neck - Short and thick.
SHOULDER - Straight.
CHEST - Wide, without much depth.
RIB - Rounded.
REIN - Short, strong and vigorous
LEGS - Strong and large, covered with long hair downw to the bottom
FOOT - Round, broad, covered with hair.
TAIL - Raised and forming a hook towards the end.
COLOUR - Gray, black, coffee, dirty white, white and brown, etc..
HAIR - Long, woolly and curly, often gathers into large clumps.
Height - 45 to 55 cm

Compact and vigorous.


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Les mammifères de la France : enseignement populaire et pratique : étude générale de toutes nos espèces considérées au point de vue utilitaire .

By Aimé Bouvier

Published by G.Carré (Paris) 1891

Fig 42. Barbet

Fig 42. Barbet

The Barbets, which are also called Poodles, have long hair, thin and curly like water, swim with ease and relate well, but have little nose. They are endowed with a strong attachment to their masters and make excellent dogs for the blind. These are the most intelligent of our dogs, so it is mainly from them are recruited those used by entertainers or show dog trainers.

Fig 43. Griffon

Fig 43. Griffon



The Griffins are close enough to the Barbets that they still resemble their tastes and abilities. Their intelligence is smaller, but their noses much better, as used in hunting. Their hairs are more curly but long, hard, cut into needles and uneducated, they form a kind of armor that protects them enough against the brambles and thorns. Their ability to go to the water finds them hunting in marshes.


A New Pocket Dictionary of the English and French Languages.

By Ignaz Emanuel Wessely, J. E. Wessely

Edition: 19

Published by B. Tauchnitz, 1892

Barbet, bar'bit, «. barbet, caniche, m, Barbican

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Marouette - Barbet bitch used in hunting in marshes.

Marouette - Barbet bitch used in hunting in marshes.



Le Sport universel illustré.

17th April, 1897

Dogs used for hunting in marshes are naturally long coated enough to withstand a prolonged stay in water; it is necessary to prohibit the use of braques and pointers. Among the long-haired dogs should be preferred Griffon for extreme endurance, the barbet is an excellent swimmer, which points poorly but retrieves surely, an essential quality in the hunt at hand. Of the English dogs, the Irish-Water Spaniel is the one with the most skills for hunting waterfowl.

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Notre ami le chien

by Baron de Vaux


After the Griffon came the Barbet, and for several years there has been confusion between the griffon and the barbet. The difference between the two types is however of several characteristics. The griffon is larger than the barbet, who is short, haut monte: the head is longer, the forehead less large and more elevated, finally the bristled (wiry?) fur of the griffon and the fleece of the barbet are not related.
And here are the points:

Barbet D`Arret

Barbet D`Arret

Head - Round, developed forehead, muzzle a bit short, furnished with long hanging moustaches.
Ears - Long, flat, garnished with long curly hair or ringlets.
Eye - round, lively, intelligent, completely covered by thick and long eyebrows falling until the snout.
Nose - brown or black.
Neck - wide and short.
Shoulders - straight.
Chest - large without lots of depth.
Sides - rounded.
Paws - strong and big garnished with long fur from top to bottom .
Feet- round, wide, covered in fur.
Tail - raised and forming a crochet at the end.
Colours - grey, black, milky coffee, salty black, white and brown.
Coat - Long, woolly and curly, often forming as large cords.
Height - 0,45cm to 0,55cm
General Appearance : stocky and vigorous dog, the pace of the Barbet is very lively and his keenness a bit heavy. The movements of the head are full of animation and intelligence The barbet hunts with eagerness and a high nose, he has a solid stop and a perfect retrieve, the mouth is very soft. The qualities of being a good swimmer and good retriever make him precious for the master and the hunt of gamefowl. However a singular thing, he seems to prefer the hunting dog in open and in woods and is less ardent in the reeds which cover the coppice of in cover.
The barbet is quite frankly a French dog

The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and General Literature:

New Maps and Many Original American Articles by Eminent Authors. With New American Supplement

By Thomas Spencer Baynes, Day Otis Kellogg, William Robertson Smith

Published by The Werner Co., 1897

BARBET, a variety of poodle - dog. It is very active, intelligent, faithful to its master, cross with strangers, and quite liable to disease.


By Jean Robert and Louis Fort: 1898.

The barbet greatly resembles the poodle, it has the same appearance and conformation

pre 1800
post 1900

View original barbet text

La vie des animaux illustrée / sous la direction de Edmond Perrier. T. I-II, Les mammifères

By Auguste Ménégaux

Pub: J.-B. Baillière et fils (Paris) 1903

THE HUNTING BARBET. - This breed is very old and was already recorded, by this name in the sixteenth century (Mégnin).

Character. - The Barbet is a well muscled dog. His head is rounded, the cranial capacity is large, so the frontal lobes form an acute angle with the nasal bones, his face is short, provided with an army of whiskers, very often messy, from where it gets its name Dirty-beard, the eyes are hidden in part by long eyebrows, the ears are flat and very hairy.
The body is covered with long hair, curly, which forms into wicks, cords and plaits, which gives it a shaggy appearance. His color is dirty white, gray, brown or black. In size it reaches 0m 53cm. It is rare in France, but more common in Belgium.

Capabilities. - The Barbet is a docile dog, very intelligent, easy to train. Its sense of smell is very good, his memory excellent. He loves the water all year round, it `s an excellent hunting dog in the marshes. It has been diverted from its original function and made into a watchdog or house dog. As a result, three varieties come from the primitive root:



3 ° The POODLE, diminished by idleness, House dog.

View original barbet text
Stop - Barbet

Stop - Barbet

Le Sport Universel Illustré.

January to June 1904


P.354 "Le Concours de Rapport 'a l'Exposition Canine des Tuileries"


Continental Dogs

1st Prize: Stop, barbet owned by M.Poreaux

2nd Prize: Pompon, Braqe D`auvergne, owned by M.Rohard.

3rd Prize: Tilda, Braqe D`auvergne, owned by M.Jullemier.



The winner, Stop,a white and black barbet such as are found in marshy countries, belongs to this breed of dogs for which retrieving is an ancient ability developed through daily use and a selection that was based on a considerable number of generations. He enjoyed , moreover, a very thorough training. Entirely in the hands of his master, very docile, absolutely calm , he showed an eagerness to work without equal.

Our Dogs.

Paul Mégnin: 1904.

Barbet: Their hair is woolly, curly or in loops.

View original barbet text
Water-dog or Barbet

Water-dog or Barbet


The Twentieth Century Dog Volume 2 (Sporting)
by Herbert Compton
Pub: Grant Richards, London, 1904


About this time, or rather earlier, fresh importations of dogs probably took place from France, and we begin to hear for the first time of the rough water-dog, which was the same as the barbet of France, and was the progenitor of the modern poodle. The English water spaniel of the nineteenth century was almost certainly produced by a cross between the water-dog and the English springer spaniel, with, very likely, some of the old English breed in it as well.

The New Werner Twentieth Century Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature, Science, History, Geography,

Commerce, Biography, Discovery and Invention.

Published by The Werner Company, 1905

BARBET, a spaniel having long and frizzled hair.

Dogs of All Nations

By Count Henry De Bylandt

Volume 1 - Sporting Dogs

Published by Kegan Paul, Trench Trubner & Co, London, 1905

Barbet - Bylandt

"Pilote" owned by Mr P.Coste, Lacanche
(reproduced from L`Eleveur)

General Appearance - A strong dog, of a compact build.

Head - Round and short; skull broad and round; forehead well developed; muzzle broad, rather short, well furnished with long moustaches.

Eyes - Round, lively and intelligent; colour dark brown, they are entirely hidden by the long and thick eyebrows, faling up the muzzle.

Nose - Brown or black, according to the coat; nostrils well open.

Ears - Set on low, long and flat, well covered with long curly hair, forming often cords or ringlets.

Neck Thick, short and muscular.

Body - Strong; shoulders straight; chest broad and well developed, but not too deep; back slightly convex; thighs rounded; loins rounded, short and muscular; hind-quarters round.

Fore-legs - Straight, well boned and covered with long hair.

Hind-legs - Muscular, well covered with long hair; thighs straight and full; stifles low and well bent.

Feet - Round, broad and well furnished with hair.

Tail - Set on low, carried slightly upwards and curving at the tip.

Coat - Long, wooly and curly, forming cords or ringlets and often felting.

Colour Grizzle-black, creamy-brown, dirty white, white and chestnut and white and black.

Height at shoulder - From 18 to 22 inches

Weight - About 56lbs

Standardisation: 1907.

The normal poodle is only one variety of the big family of the barbet spaniels, i.e. dogs with woolly fleece.

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Manuel pratique de l'amateur de chiens.

By Albert Larbalétrier

Pub. Garnier frères 1907

Barbet or Poodle.

This dog has a round head, hair long and curly, her body is stocky, the legs short and strong. The hair is wooly, so should be cut during the summer. His coat is white or black. It's the most intelligent of all dogs.

Fig.11 Caniche

Fig.11 Caniche

As noted by Mr. Gayot, it is not only races which are changing, the names are also changing. In the sixteenth century, for example, were confounded in the same designation of barbets, all dogs with long hair: griffin hounds, griffin pointers, hunting dogs with curly fleece, those we call today poodles. Very frequently used to hunt waterfowl, they were designated as the dog duck, the female alone was called a caniche.

Today, between barbets and poodles, there is but little distinction. One determining the other and mutually. This is harmless, as far as they are concerned, both points of resemblance are numerous. It is not so for others, it was necessary to separate and study separately.

"The curly barbet and half coated, said Sélincourt, after all by foot, hunts nose down when the game is escaping, and when it remains still, hunts nose up and points. They hunt on land and in water, their primary nature is to retrieve. They are hard mouthed ,the curly more than others, but all are the most loyal dogs in the world and who want to know a master and never to lose sight of him.

Barbet, or Caniche Vulgaire

Barbet, or Caniche Vulgaire



Le Chien de luxe: Comment élever, dresser, et soigner nos chiens

By Mme Charles Boeswillwald

pub: Paris.1907

Illustration of a barbet, or caniche vulgaire.






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Les Chiens. Chiens de luxe et d'utilité. Chiens de chasse.

By Jean Robert et L. Fortin

Published by G. Delarue, 1908


Le Barbet

Le Barbet

The Barbet

The barbet resembles enourmously the poodle in its appearance and conformation.
It is a breed that is difficult to define, the exact type does not exist. Of the barbets that we do meet, the head is oval with a long snout; and others that are square with short hair. However, more generally, the barbet head is round with long ears lined with silky hair and is curly which covers the eyes as well as the whole body; short muzzle,large body and close to the ground, solid rump and stocky legs. The coat is `off white` or brown and white and the tail is long and bushy. Very intelligent, it is easy to train. and retrieves especially well.

It is true to say that the barbet is not quite a pointer dog, of which some of their kind were the exceptions, he is very mediocre on the plain and his real usefulness is in the hunting of waterfowl. As he loves the water, so he finds his trade. His true medium is therefore the marsh with reeds and water grasses. A night in the hut it is employed with success in the retrieving of ducks that fall into the water.

The barbet is a friendly and gentle companion whose memory is remarkable.
With the barbet we finnish our classification of the French pointing breeds, today so rare and so deteriorated and whose past is making such a big deal.

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Le chien : races, éducation, hygiène, dressage

By H.M. Audran

Published by Collection A.L.Guyot, Paris 1910

P.12, Dogs with long hair, curly or corded.
Barbet. - Very old breed, with variable coat and long, curly hair, gathered in locks.

P.14 The Poodle is a descendant of the Barbet.

Cassells New Book of the Dog

By Robert Leighton

Published by The Waverley Book Company, London, 1910

The Barbet is yet another ancient breed of French Spaniel, the dog `par excellence` for waterfowl. Beyond all others he is at home on the marshes and even in the most severe weather he wil swim amid the broken ice after a winged mallard or a wounded heron. For the wildfowler he is a most valuable companion, and probably no other Spaniel can bear the same hardships with equal indifference. A perfect swimmer, he retrieves dead or cripled game to perfection, and in intelligence he is hardly inferior to the Poodle. With his compact build, his round, short head, and long wooly and much corded coat, the Barbet appears to be identical with the old English water dog depicted in Reinagles drawing on P274 of this book.

View original barbet text

Dogs of all nations

By Walter Mason

Published 1915




Color : Grizzle black, creamy brown, dirty white, white and chestnut, and white and black.
Height: 22 in.
Weight: 56 Ibs.

The Barbet is a strongly made dog, very compactly built. Is round and broad in skull with forehead well developed. Muzzle broad and short, well furnished with long moustaches. The eyes are round, lively and intelligent and dark brown in color, and are entirely hidden "by the long and thick hair on the eyebrows. The ears are set on low, are long and flat and well covered with long, curly hair, which often forms cords or ringlets. The body is strongly built, ribs and loins well _ rounded and muscular. The forelegs are straight with plenty of bone and covered with long hair. The tail is set on low, carried slightly upwards. The Barbet's coat is long, woolly and curly, forming cords or ringlets.

Appleton's new practical cyclopedia: a new work of reference
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edited by Marcus Benjamin, Arthur Elmore Bostwick, Gerald Van Casteel, George Jotham Hagar

Published by D. Appleton and company, 1920

Item notes: v. 1

Barbet, small variety of the poodle dog, remarkable for its activity, intelligence, and fidelity to its master; but equally distinguished or its ill temper ...

View original barbet text

`Le Chien` by Paul Dechambre

Pub: Librairie Agricole De La Maison Rustique , Paris, 1921

11th Group - Lines with long hair, wavy or curly

The Barbet, Poodle, Bichon's, Griffon Boulet, long coated Sheepdogs.

A. - The Barbet.

 barbet from `Le Chien` by Paul Dechambre

Fig.10 Barbet

Very old breed, once widespread in many countries of Europe, represented in many drawings from the 15th and 16th centuries, described in the 16th century in the`Maison Rustique`(Mégnin), used for hunting in a very general manner, the barbet has lost many in number and reputation. It has become a guard dog or a fancy dog, and not remained a hunting dog that poachers or peasants still use willingly for its natural ability. The barbet can be considered as the ancestor of long-haired dogs, more or less woolly or curly (poodles, bichons) and clearly apparent, long haired sheep dogs, such as the Briard, who have many characteristics in common with him. Thus, this is a homogeneous group of dogs of common stock which differ from each other only in the secondary characteristics of size or coat type.

The barbet is sometimes called the barbillot; it is the canis aquaticus of Linné, the great rough water dog of the English, the perro de agua {Spanish Water Dog} of the Spanish. It has the appearance of a vigorous and robust dog; its head is round, his forehead broad, his nose a little short; his eyes are covered with long and abundant eyebrows, ears are long and flat furnished with spikes or flakes of hair and the hair on the body is long (average 7cm), woolly or curly, formed in large strands or long, thin cords. Members of the breed are covered from top to bottom, in a long thick coat; the feet are round, large and covered with hair. The tail is raised and forms a crochet hook at the end. The colour, very variable, is poor black, white, grey, brown, cafe au lait, dirty white, or a mixture of white with one of the other colours. Its average size is 50 to 55 centimeters. The barbet is an intelligent dog who is easy to train; has a good nose and will easily find a trail; a passion for hunting; he loves the water and is a natural swimmer. But he resents the heat and has difficulty to acclimatise in hot regions.

It is particularly common in France, England and Spain.

View original barbet text

Larousse universel en 2 volumes (Vol 1)

Pub: Larousse (Paris) 1922

barbet, ette.

(bé, é-te) n. and adj.

Larousse universel - Barbet


Species of Spaniel with a long and curly coat.

`As muddy as a barbet`,`very dirty`

ENCYCL.- There are two varieties of barbet dogs - 1.the large barbet with large pendulous ears, short legs and a thick body (this dog reaches the size of the mastiff). 2. the small barbet, which differs from the previous by its smaller size and its coat which is less wooly and more bristly. The barbet loves water, and swims well, so is used in the hunting of waterfowl.


adj and n. f. female of the barbet `une barbette noir`{sic) a black barbet.

View original barbet text

Rustica : revue universelle de la campagne.

Vol. 18

Text and sketches by L de Lajarrige

4th May 1930

Le Barbet et le Griffon a Poils Laineaux

Le Barbet

This is a race of which we should almost speak of only in the past; yet one of the oldest, one of those of which we find the most examples in pictures and hunting engravings of yesteryear, and that is why it must not be ignored.
Are there, at present, specimens of barbets preserved in an almost pure state? I do not know, and I come to ask myself the cause of the almost total disappearance of a dog, which was formerly classed among the most useful. I believe that we must seek the explanation in the evolution of the type and especially in the evolution of its use.
There seems to be no doubt (this is the opinion of all the zootechnicians) that the Barbet is the strain from which our griffons and dogs with long hair and short snouts come. It is asserted that the Poodle is only a selected Barbet; I believe it to be true.
The moral qualities of the Barbet have been exalted by many writers, his attachment and proverbial fidelity were celebrated, in prose as well as in verse, but are these titles sufficient to class him among the precious assistants of the hunter? I do not believe that. Good marsh dog? true, he is dressed for that, field dog? Certainly not. With its construction and its fleece, it would not resist the torrid days of September.

Rustica - Le Barbet

Le Barbet

I knew in my childhood several barbets belonging to hunters who spoke very highly of them, but these memories are so distant and so imprecise! Before the war, I saw a guard in Sologne with a dog whose type appeared closely approaching that of a barbet. The owner claimed that it was indeed a Barbet "pure nature" (sic). In any case, the dog did a useful work of retriever in the marsh, and he swam wonderfully. Since then, I have written on all sides to find a Barbet for one of my friends who wanted one. I interviewed breeders at canine exhibitions, I am still waiting for the answer. If some amiable reader of Rustica could give me a precise indication, I should be grateful to him.
Not being able to speak of the Barbet according to my personal memories, I am obliged to seek among the hunting writers the opinion of those who have seen these dogs at work.
This is what the Count de la Neuville said in a work published in 1873 (La Chasse au chien d'arrêt. publisher:Dentu):"This dog, usually dark blond, is not, strictly speaking, of the canine species of setter, or at least its reputation seems to be unjustified, it is particularly suited to the retrieval of birds fallen in large ponds, or to raise waterfowl after which it rushes with the rapidity of the seal. Apart from his nautical qualities, his work is languid and demands constantly to be reminded. He is a bad pedestrian. There are dogs that lose their breath at the least exercise. It is to be expected that they ought to be of very poor service as searchers and finders; if in their limited excursions they by chance encounter a bird in their path, it is without revealing any sign."
Let us listen to the sound of a bell. M. de La Rue, of whom I am always pleased to quote the reference because he was one of the greatest connoisseurs of the last century, considers the barbet as the best of the best marsh dogs, and he baptizes it canis aviarius aquaticus.
In his interesting book, "Races of Dogs", Dr. Megnin cites its exceptional features of its suitability for marsh hunting, the energy it deploys and above all his health which allows him to wade for hours at a time in the icy mud without appearing to be inconvenienced. And he concludes by citing the letter of a user 'de Barbets: 'What a valuable assistant for the hunter of waterfowl in the exceptionally hard service of this hunter! For he returns for pleasure and he loves to wade even more than "his master, so young and eager as he is."
In short, the barbet was a marsh dog exclusively used for the hunting of waterfowl.

View original barbet text

Les Chiens de Chasse.

By Jean-Baptiste Samat

Manufacture française d'armes et cycles (Saint-Etienne) 1931

Hunting barbet is rare in France; his breeding is there so to speak zero, and individuals with all the signs of race are hard to find. This dog family is however very old. Most Hunting writers are the strain of the griffins that would have produces the crossing of this dog with the pointer; he would also be the father of Brie's dog, to whom he would have transmitted his hardiness and his intelligence. Finally, the current poodle, dog, dog blind, learned dog, is only a selected barbet.

Chiens de Chasse - Barbet

Chiens de Chasse - Barbet

From there to say that the barbet is the most intelligent, the most faithful, the more human of all these dogs, there is not far. So it's not the absence of his moral qualities that we must abandon in which is today this race. It certainly does not come than the excessive specialization of these qualities. This barbet is a marsh dog, an incomparable marsh dog.

But everything is there. It is more than ordinary for all the others hunts. We could however make a fair dog for rabbits or the woodcock, in the not very thick woods. But, in short, he it is better to leave it in its element; it's our water spaniel to us, and, besides, we can not say that it is a dog of big nose. When in the water, no other dog can be compared, for ardor, hardiness, endurance; he takes an extra pleasure ordinary bubbling in the water, would it be icy. He resists with the harshest colds, it is superior for game runner, and incomparable for the report. "The true medium of the barbet," says M. de la Rue, "are the marsh, the high forests of reeds, the tall wet grasses; it is the dog of the malarial regions, the countries of fever, the huttiers, halibut hunting, waterfowl in general: it's the canis aviarius aquaticus par excellence. "

Mr. P. Mégnin, speaking, in his book: The breeds of dogs, of "Pilote", barbet to Mr. F. Coste, quotes the words of the latter: "As for his ancestors, the element of" Pilot "is water, nothing but water, be it lukewarm, like August, or frosty in December, the bath is always a pleasure for him. He would do, I believe it, sad figure in a plain; I do not have it, for the rest, ever leads. In the marsh alone, he is on his land and at home. I got it often brought back from the hunt, the hair bristling with ice, never did not seem to bother one second. Often, by the greatest cold of winter, at 18 or 19 degrees below zero, while all his kennel companions curled up cautiously under straw, I found him lying in the yard, muzzle lying on his paws, covered with snow and literally powdered with frost. The next day his place was marked in the melted snow, under him, to the ground. I wonder if many other breeds offer such resources of temperament and especially such disdain low temperatures. "What a valuable auxiliary for the waterfowl hunter in the exceptionally hard service of this hunt! Because he reports for pleasure and he loves to wade even more than his master, if young and enraged though he is.

The barbet has a strong, round and short head, covered with long fur ; the long ears, also furnished with long curly hairs or by wicks; the round eye, very soft and very intelligent, hidden by thick eyebrows, falling to the muzzle; the brown nose or black; the neck fat and short, the right shoulder; the chest wide but a little deep ; the rounded ribs: the kidney short, strong and vigorous; legs strong and large, with long hairs up and down; the round, broad foot, covered with hair; the whip raised and forming hook at the end. Color: gray, black, coffee with milk, dirty white, white and brown, white and gray, white and black. The long hair, woolly and curly, massing by large plates or wicks. Size of 45 at 55 centimeters. The barbet is a dog of vigorous appearance, picked up and stocky. Although he does not fear much, he needs care, but only for its fleece, which is very prone to felting, and difficult to to keep clean. It is not for nothing that we say: Crumbled like a barbet.

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Nos compagnons... les chiens.

By A. Fauchère

Éditions Nilsson (Paris) 1932

It would be unjust not to say a word about the Barbet, who seems to be the ancestor of a large number of breeds of long-haired, more or less woolly dogs. This dog who was much used for hunting in the 15th and 16th centuries is very rare today. Regretable, because it has a very developed apptitude for hunting. He likes the marsh, he likes water, because he is a very good swimmer. In a more or less pure state, the barbet is still sometimes the companion of poachers, for whom he is an accomplished accomplice.

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L'Eleveur N°2539

Article by Le Houelleur

7th October 1934

The Barbet

The barbet breed is very old. It is a strain of the griffons; Some authors rightly claim that the poodle would be a barbet of a special type; Finally, Pierre Mégnin assures us that the briard is the result of the barbet-beauceron crossing. It is obvious, for those who know how to look attentively at a dog, that the same characteristics are found in these three animals: physical and moral, than points of resemblance! The hair is woolly in the poodle and the barbet, and sometimes also in the briard; The hocks are low in these dogs, the expression of the eyes is similar; As for the awakening attitude, it is the same.
Moral qualities: intelligence, gentleness, fidelity; vivacity, are all common to these good dogs. They are all excellent guardians, pleasant companion dogs, relate with joy, according to the pleasure of their master, and have a marked predilection for water. Some poodles hunt very well, some briards too!
The barbet comprises two varieties: the great barbet and the small barbet (see the photos already published in the Review Cynégétique and Canine: L'Eleveur) very distinct by size first, then conformation. The little barbet with the silhouette of a Tenerife dog [bichon type]. Buffon has given a detailed description of the Grand Barbet, of which we are especially interested. These dogs, he says, have large, round heads, broad and hanging ears, short legs, thick and shortened bodies, almost horizontal tails, long, curly hair all over the body, We can hardly imagine the true form of this animal ... ". The engraving represents, in fact, a stocky and very vigorous dog. According to other more recent engravings dating from 1860, and finally, according to the type reproduced by Malher, the silhouette of the Barbet has somewhat modified: the body is more elongated, the neck more open. In the present standard of the Barbet, reproduced at the bottom of this article, we find the same description; It is specified that the nose should be brown and black, the tail slightly raised, and terminated by a hook. The dress can be black gray, coffee latte, white, dirty white, brown white, white and black. The qualities to be sought are: a vigorous body, a very thick skin, a woolly hair, abundant on all parts of the body, round eyes, intelligent, strong limbs. What is the barbets character? A very intelligent dog. This primordial quality has struck all the authors who described this animal, the Barbet is the most intelligent, the most faithful, "the most human" says Pierre Mégnin.

Le grand barbet et le petit barbet.

Le grand barbet et le petit barbet.

In the book of the hunter published about 1850, Charles Diguet boasts of his rare intelligence, his marvelous sagacity: "it is the dog most likely to complete training". "His intelligence is remarkable, his eyes have an extraordinary expression," writes Dhers in the French Hunter. When I read the Literary History of Henri Bremond, I found, under the pen of a writer of the sixteenth century, the praise of a barbet, Gaillard, whose intelligence "amazed all the Dauphine". Thanks to this wonderful intelligence, the barbet was used for various purposes. But in all his jobs, according to those who saw him at work, the barbet has proved himself an incomparable servant. Whether he was in charge of keeping the court of a large farm on the Somme or the North, whether he was used as a smuggler's dog, or as a draft dog or a blind man's dog. But it is especially as hunter, and hunter of waterfowl, that the Barbet was very appreciated. From La Rue, we talk about his love of icy water, his passion for relationships, his incomparable passion. Pierre Mégnin shows us, and I saw myself, the young puppies abandoning their warm litter of straw to go to lie down in the snow. Hunters who are passionate about marsh hunting know how attractive this hunter is, but they also know what energy and endurance their four-legged helper needs.
The grounds of the Barbet are the marshes, its feet, often webbed, its very woolly hair, which protects it from the bite of the cold, its undercoat very dense as soaked of a kind of greasy liquid, an extraordinary understanding make this the marsh dog par excellence. He has no reason to dread the terrible illnesses which lie in wait for his short-haired fellows, who have scarcely emerged from the water, going straight to the depressed room and the tall, tireless reeds. He is always ready to dive, summer and winter, in search of game. But if he surpasses himself in hunting waterfowl, he hunts well in the woods, he fears neither the thickest pines nor the sharpest prickles. He loves hunting for hare and woodcock. In the plain, it behaves very well. We do not pretend that he can compete with the pointers and the setters, but he knows how to use his skills and also, he flushes intelligently. He shows a lot of caution, beats his ground, stops firm. I have used barbets to hunt in the great plains of the North, in the lakes of the Loiret, on the causses of the Center, in September, when the sun hit hard. I have been able to appreciate their rapid adaptation to these various terrains and their resistance.
Known in France since the 15th century, very widespread in the 16th and 17th centuries, the apogee of this breed was, it seems, in the XVIIth century. He was then a house dog and hunting dog. A domestic dog, he had custody of them and amused the children. At that time he had the honors of the Court of France. The Countess de Boigne, who was still a young woman at Versailles, had been taken in friendship by Mme. Adelaide, the King's aunt. She had a great affection for her: "but I had," she said, "for a rival and a friend, a great white barbet, Vizier, extremely intelligent, who was also on our walks. When there was a little mud in the road, he was put in a large canvas bag and two men attached to his service wore it ... ". The Barbet was then very popular. The great philosopher Voltaire said of them: "that they had the reputation of being the best friends in the world." The barbet was a symbol of fidelity, of docility, of gentleness. They were vulgarly referred to as sheep dogs. In the 19th century, the Barbet was widespread in Belgium, Switzerland, France, especially in the North and in the Camargue. In the north, crossed with strong mastiffs, it is used by the smugglers with success. His qualities make him sought after for this perilous trade. Of a suspicious nature with foreigners, he refuses the best bait. Vigorous, he carried heavy loads on his back. Very brave, he does not fear the battle and will fight with advantage against the dogs of the customs officers.
Before the war, this fine race was still well preserved in France; but the invasion, the privations endured by the inhabitants, contributed in the North to its nearly complete annihilation. There are almost none in Switzerland. On the other hand, the race has been well preserved in Scotland, but the barbets are jealously guarded and can not cross the borders. In France, some amateurs are working to reconstitute this race, which, by all its qualities, deserves the attention of the hunters. It is to be hoped that all those who are interested in the beautiful and good dog, group themselves numerously so that the barbet takes back a place that it should never have lost and that it regains its vogue of past times!

Mr. Le Houelleur

Dogs and All about Them.

by Robert Leighton.

Published 1934

THE ENGLISH WATER SPANIEL.--In the Kennel Club's Register of Breeds no place is allotted to this variety, all Water Spaniels other than Irish being classed together. Despite this absence of official recognition there is abundant evidence that a breed of Spaniels legitimately entitled to the designation of English Water Spaniels has been in existence for many years, in all probability a descendant of the old "Water-Dogge," an animal closely resembling the French "Barbet," the ancestor of the modern Poodle. They were even trimmed at times much in the same way as a Poodle is nowadays, as Markham gives precise directions for "the cutting or shearing him from the nauill downeward or backeward." The opinion expressed by the writer of _The Sportsman's Cabinet_, 1803, is that the breed originated from a cross between the large water dog and the Springing Spaniel, and this is probably correct, though Youatt, a notable authority, thinks that the cross was with an English Setter. Possibly some strains may have been established in this way, and not differ very much in make and shape from those obtained from the cross with the Spaniel, as it is well known that Setters and Spaniels have a common origin.

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Le chien : son histoire, ses exploits, ses aventures.

By Alfred Barbou, illustrated by Paul Lemagny.

Published by Société française de librairie et d'éditions (Paris) 1938

Barbet P.131.

Barbet P.131.

The lying dog or pointing dog, which is used for shooting, is one of the best known and most widespread types. Their name comes because the trainers of the Middle Ages forced them to lie on their belly and to remain motionless near game. Among the varieties most esteemed, we distinguish the braque, the spaniel, the griffin, the dog barbet, the pointer, and the setters.

The barbet, whose hair is curly and bushy, has a short, stout body, slightly disproportionate legs, a round head that is rather badly attached to the shoulders; but if he does not possess elegance, he redeems this secondary defect by the highest qualities; endowed with a sense of smell equal to the best, faithful to any test, he is at the same time the most intelligent of hunting dogs and clean to all services. He swims naturally, throws into the water as willingly as he throws himself into the wood and does that with so much ease that ship captains often take them on board and send them without fear to the sea to look for what falls from the ship or to retrieve seabirds wounded with a shotgun blast. He has a bit of a delicate health and it is necessary to take more precautions for him.

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The Beast in the Boudoir: Petkeeping in Nineteenth-Century Paris.

By Kathleen Kete

Berkeley: University of California Press, c1994

P.75. The Third Republic`s favorite breed was the poodle (caniche), a sophisticated version of the barbet.

P.87. The historical trajectory of the poodle takes it from disrespect for the lowly but intelligent barbet, a hunting dog and blind person's companion, to high status for this same "elegant, fine, and fashionable dog." Many writers described the transformation. Boeswillwald contrasted the dirty, disheveled, badly groomed, and, as she believed, white barbet with the brown or black poodle, svelte and silky, whose coat "expert scissors had shaped and trimmed"

P.146. The barbet is a type of poodle from which the French poodle developed in the nineteenth century.

pre 1800
post 1900