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The modern Barbet stretches back into antiquity. Although it is yet to be proven by modern genetic techniques, it is believed that the breed developed from North African corded herding dogs which came to Europe in the middle ages with returning armies and with the Moors as they moved into Southern Europe during the 7th and 8th Centuries. George Louise Buffons ‘Histoire Naturelle’ around 1798 lists some 30 breeds of dogs known at that time. The Grand Barbet with its heavy white coat with dark spots, long ears and strong head was used as a retriever and clearly resembles the Barbet of today.

Up until the 1800’s the European water dog went under a variety of names. In England in was ‘The Great Water Dog’, in Germany ‘The Pudlehund’ and in France ‘ The Barbet or Caniche’, but these all refer to the same dog.

The Barbet developed as a medium sized dog able to find game, flush and retrieve. Through the early 20th Century a number of factors caused a decline in the popularity of the Barbet, which was considered, a working mans dog. This factor did not affect the poodle’s development in more metropolitan areas. Even so the Barbet continued to exist in small rural areas around Europe where it was still held in high regard for its abilities in the field.

During the 1970’s devotees of the breed began to make individual efforts to resurrect the Barbet including Mme. Bisconte and Mme. Petre whose father Dr Vincenti had bred Barbet between the world wars. Mr Hermans (Paris) spotted an advert requesting Barbet from Mme. Petre in a local magazine and set about tracking down Barbets still in existence in France and went on to promote the breed bringing it back to prominence and over time leading to the current FCI Standard

Today the breed is slowly increasing in numbers and popularity despite still being close to extinction. Its future is now in the hands of a few dedicated breeders and enthusiasts across Europe and North America.



2009 - Babaloo von der Leibrucke
Compay, Dixie Chick & Booly Wooly
All owned and loved by Mme. Elaine Fitcher (France)

Once again, loved for its character and devotion to its owner, this most ancient of breeds will hopefully once again hold a place in the dog world.

Novaforesta Dudley aka Ooli – bred by Mrs Wendy Preston UK
Owned and loved by Annette Dinsdale UK


Ebene – bred by Lyne Trudel, Canada

Ebene will be joining us in UK in Summer 2010










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