A DISCUSSION OF BARBET PROPORTION AND PRESENTATION
BY LESLIE WOODWARD, BARBET CLUB OF AMERICA BREED MENTOR
T he body of a Barbet must be both substantial and athletic, exhibiting no exaggeration. The unique silhou- ette of this medium-sized breed is slightly rectangular with a strong, broad, proportionally large head, and a long, sweeping tail. Covered with dense, curly hair and a distinctive beard, the Barbet is unmistakably a Sporting dog constructed for power and agility as he flushes and retrieves waterfowl and upland game in any sort of weather. A strong neck, blending well into the shoulder; a broad, deep chest; long, rounded rib cage; and a short, flexible, slightly arched loin are all characteristics of the most robust of canine athletes. The underline is slightly inclined, without tuck-up. The tail is the natural extension of the topline, long and low-set. While exact proportion is not as important as balance, a longer dog is much preferred over a short-backed or square dog that must surely lack durability in undergrowth and marshy terrain. Images A, B, and C have been adjusted to represent variations in profile to help illustrate the language of our AKC Standard. Visualizing the intent of the words helps to train the eye to focus on the best exhibits—those which most closely represent the intent of the standard.
Image C. Incorrect Profile Square by Virtue of Short Rib Cage Unbalanced Angles Short Tail
Image B. Incorrect Profile Square by Virtue of Leg Length
Image A. Correct Profile Rectangular
Distinct Tuck-Up Lack of Forechest Long Hocks
Inclined Underline Balanced Angles Long, Low-Set Tail
The coat of the Barbet is his defining characteristic. The hair on the top of the head reaches the bridge of the nose. Ears are covered in long hair. Profuse hair covers the whole body evenly with thick, natural curls. A wide variation in curl is acceptable; from wavy, to large and loose curls, to tight, smaller curls. Regardless, the hair must retain enough loft to protect from weather and underbrush. A straight, flat or sparse coat is incorrect.
Image D. A Wide Variation of Curl is Acceptable.
284 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2021
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