*The* French Water Dog

Under certain circumstances, the word “patrimony” can strike terror in the hearts of some, but not in the world of dogs. Because of the sheer number of breeds that have this breed’s blood in their ancestry, the Barbet is regarded as a major contributor to French canine patrimony. It was the French Water Dog, and part of the larger family of water dogs in a long history that reaches back to at least the 16th century. While many countries had their own water dogs, they were not called Barbets, a name that in France,  was the generic word used to designate any long haired dog with a beard (barbe) before it became the official name of a breed of French dogs.

Image: “Barbet – Les Chiens de Chasse,” a lithograph by P. Mahler from 1931. It is available for $150 here.

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