Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Griffon Boulet, Pudelpointer and PWD

It doesn't take much for me to avoid housework and my list of jobs!, as looking in old books about dog history is far more interesting although you never get a concrete answer you do for a short space of time find yourself thinking about life back then.
Recently I met several pointer crosses, both move beautifully so that made me think about the pudel pointer, as some of these look like the Griffon Boulet, which has a connection to the Barbet and you can see from the video how similar.

Griffon Boulet 1934

The Griffon Boulet had  FCI Breed standard 174,and sadly the breed has died out one presumes  not because of ill health but because it was not a popular breed, the coat was probably its biggest problem as there are other similar breeds with easier coats, the pudelpointer being one of them.

So back to the Pudel pointer which was possibly one of the first poodle designer crosses for the shooting world, although I suspect the costs were less if you wanted one.
In 1860 in Germany a Mr Walther who wanted to make a versatile dog that had all the attributes ,hunting,pointing, and retrieving and being able to work the land and water  and his plan was a Barbet with a Pointer, English dogs for the field were highly sought after and then most breeds had very specific jobs. It must have been a mad time in the dog world and we should be forever grateful that all those involved picked simple names to identify the many breeds that were being formed. If you take a minute to think about it, it makes have the breeds by County or Country and you have the breeds developed by a person, or there is honesty when they cross two breeds, like the pudel x pointer.
What I cannot find out is how much success Mr Walther had with his project, because a new man on the scene in 1880 Baron Von Zedlitz crossed the poodle and pointer and the breed developed from there using 7 poodles and 100 pointers, on that ratio it must have been hard to lose the poodle features so the good old poodle was quite a fixed breed in 1880.
If I could go back in time I would like to ask Mr Walther what went wrong with using the Barbet, or maybe it was simply that he didn't have the resources to expand the breed at that time, or was it a question of coat colour?
It is also a great shame that going back in time that no one took over the Barbet as a breed, it was used to make Griffons, so why didn't these important and significant people in the dog world want to make something new rather than establish what was already there.
Even in 2014 the Barbet lacks recognition and as a breed it is continually compared to other breeds which is probably history repeating itself, as the other waterdogs become more popular will the Barbet be lost again?
Am I comparing? No ! it saddens me as it is just a trend, the curly PWD is getting rarer so it figures that breeders of the Barbet are selecting for wavy rather than curly in litters or just maybe PWD dog breeders are selecting puppies that are more Barbetlike :)
Leao and sons 1930s

Leao, (photos from 
 I have put the photos of the PWD as it shows very easily that when trimmed it is easy to identify.
There are differences between a Barbet and a PWD, the tail, hock, length of body, length of muzzle to name a few.