The Barbet in his natural state became a farm dog in the second half of the 19th century whilst the poodle(oulala!) was "selected" to become a finer, more refined looking dog
to go sit with the ladies in their apartments. The poodle became a powdered/ perfumed, groomed dog with "pompoms" on his body. He had an extremely curly coat that had to be constantly groomed and kept short.( As opposed to the Griffon Barbet Français that you leave in a "natural" state, with a long coat and shave it off once a year, when you shave the sheep.)
At the beginning of the 80's, a Mr Hermans in Paris became interested in the "Barbet". He spent a lot of time in libraries looking for old documents and decided that he wanted to recreate the Buffon Barbet ( from circa 1750), so he worked around Paris looking for local types and found poodles and mutts that he crossed together and recreated what he thought was a Barbet from the 1750's.
He carefully avoided using any dogs with Barbet blood for fear of having any Griffon Barbet blood in his line.
His Grand Barbet
line is alive and he has several followers and breeders in France, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries.
Photos coming up.