Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Barbet AKC's Latest Addition to the Sporting Group

                                The Barbet
  AKC’s Latest Addition to the Sporting Group

        The Canine Chronicle November/December 2019
By Judy Descutner Hickory Tavern Farm
The American Kennel Club has added 27 fully recognized breeds since 2010, including the 2015 addition of both the Spanish Water Dog and Lagotto Romagnolo. The Sporting group expands again in January 2020 with the addition of their French cousin, the Barbet, an agile marsh retriever with an affable and sunny disposition. Devoted, intelligent, responsive, and joyful, the Barbet is a medium sized, curly coated dog with a distinctive beard (barbé), a whimsical appearance, and an influential history. Sharing some of the same relations as other European curly coated breeds (Portuguese Water Dog, Spanish Water Dog, Irish Water Spaniel, Lagotto Romagnolo, etc.), this French water dog’s standard was first written in 1894 for the French Société Centrale Canine. The Barbet has been recognized by the FCI for 65 years and history suggests that the Poodle, Bichon Frise, and several other breeds took their foundation from the Barbet.
Over 500 Barbet are currently registered with AKC. The majority of these dogs were born in America from a foundation of stock imported mostly from Canada, The Netherlands, France, and Poland. Barbet have spent the past three years in AKC’s Miscellaneous group where dogs have earned titles in conformation, obedience, rally, dock diving, agility, coursing ability, farm dog, scent work, trick dog, therapy, and Canine Good Citizen. The Barbet Club of America was formed in 2009 with the goal of gaining full AKC recognition, which will put the Barbet on par with its standing in Canada and FCI countries.
In 2012, The Wall Street Journal ran a front page article focusing on our efforts to grow the breed in the United States. Much attention was brought to the Barbet but the steady, conscientious work by breeders has produced relative consistency of type throughout North America, especially when one considers the very small population.
What is unique about the Barbet?
The head: The substantial, broad skull is fully coated with hair long enough to fall to the bridge of the nose. The square muzzle is covered in a full mustache and beard and is somewhat shorter than the backskull. Set level with the eye, the wide ears are low and lie flat against the head with ear leather reaching the corner of the mouth and the hair reaching to at least the tip of the wide nose. Teeth are large and capable of carrying a sizable bird. Expression is soft and friendly.
The outline: A profuse and tousled curly coat covers his entire body. Barbet are medium sized and slightly rectangular, with a proportionally large head atop a strong neck that flows into smooth shoulders. The front assembly is well angled with the front legs set directly underneath the withers. The topline has a slight rise over the loin yet the back appears level. A rounded croup allows for a low set tail that is happily carried above horizontal. Well bent stifles balanced with perpendicular, low set hocks provide the propulsion. Bone is moderate to substantial, contributing to the sturdy frame. Balance is key to maintaining the moderate proportions of this agile breed. Dogs stand 21-24½ inches at the wither with bitches two inches shorter at 19-22½ inches. Males generally weigh 55-60 pounds with females in the low to mid-40s. The AKC Barbet standard calls for a lower height range than the CKC or FCI standards in order to preserve the traditional medium size. Today’s population of North American Barbet nearly all fall within the AKC standard.
The coat: Similar to the coat of the Portuguese Water Dog, Barbet hair ranges from loose wavy curls to a tight frizzy spiral. Different coats will give the impression of varying substance. In all cases, the coat should be formed into tendrils and not brushed out in an open manner. Because the coat of the Barbet constantly grows in length, trimming and scissoring are frequently needed to keep the coat from obscuring the lines of the body. It is important that the dog is shown with an appropriate, natural presentation and is not unkempt nor overdone. The hair should be easily parted to the skin, clean, and able to hold its curly texture. It should not be blown out, sculpted, corded, felted, or matted.
Judging the Barbet: The overall impression of a Barbet should indicate a dog who is confident, strong, fit, agile, and light-footed; beautifully presented in a natural manner. The hair on the head falls lightly over the eyes, somewhat masking the vision of the dog. For this reason, judges should approach from the front rather than the side. A thorough hands-on exam should allow the judge to discover a dog whose conformation is not complicated. The slightly rectangular shape, balanced front and rear angles, substantive head and bone, etc. are common to many breeds. The details of type are what make the Barbet different than the other curly water dogs. Maturity should bring breadth to the head and body.
On the move, the Barbet should convey forward motion with a bit of upright carriage; the AKC standard uses the word “smart” and this is achieved by a personable dog who is going somewhere, not a flat or hollow slouch being drug around the ring. Side gait is moderate with precise foot timing. Coming and going, the legs should converge on the centerline. The long tail should be elevated in motion without curling onto the back and the dog should be handled lightly on a loose lead. A hint of clownish behavior is common as the Barbet has a genuine joie de vivre.
What should judges reward? A few breeder perspectives:
Anne Plomp, Nuphars: A good Barbet’s silhouette is different from the other water dogs. The slightly longer than tall proportions in the body, with a normal 50/50 proportioned length of leg already sets it apart from the Lagotto, Spanish Water Dog, and Portuguese Water Dog. The shape of the head, the flow of neck into shoulder, strong compact loin, slightly rounded croup, long second thigh and low hock complete the picture. The shape of the hindquarters especially defines the outline. Judges should reward the short, strong muzzle, correct length of legs, well placed fronts, good bone, well shaped ribs of correct depth, strong loins, and proper rear. A correctly proportioned and constructed Barbet is a fairly ‘boring’ dog as it does not have flashy movement with overdone reach and drive, but it should impress with efficient, easy movement.
Stacy Able, Ginkgo: Judges should keep in mind the breed’s purpose as a marsh retriever and reward a strong head, square muzzle, good muscle tone and bone, a strong neck to carry a bird out of a marsh, and texture in the coat to protect the body.
Stephanie Dixon, Northrock: The well developed chest and rounded ribs are important in order to accommodate the lungs and heart needed to function as a working retriever. Barbet are presented in the ring with a long, thick coat that is neat in appearance. The coat should retain its natural curl. Their distinctive beard is a quintessential characteristic of the breed. Although the ability to assess the quality of the coat is imperative, more importance should be given to breed type, structure, balanced easy movement with moderate reach and drive, and the correct, joyful temperament of the breed. A Barbet is preferably shown on a loose lead with the opportunity to evaluate a free stack to see how the dog lands naturally.
Leslie Woodward, Anam Chara: Judges should reward an impeccably turned out, yet gently trimmed exhibit who is in excellent condition with a long coat in natural curls. Barbet must be going somewhere on the move – forward, effortlessly. The gait is, most importantly, precise in cadence.
For further education, AKC offers a course on the Barbet in their Canine College that was produced in conjunction with the parent club. The Barbet Club of America also offers Judges Education. Differences in type and presentation may be seen as the Barbet enters wider AKC competition. The standard allows for variance in coat, curl, and color yet the Barbet’s unique outline should be immediately recognizable. With a January debut in the Sporting group, the Barbet takes his well-deserved place among other working retrievers who are outstanding companions.

AKC Barbet Standard
General Appearance: An archetypic water dog of France, the Barbet is a rustic breed of medium size and balanced proportions which appears in works as early as the 16th century. In profile, the Barbet is slightly rectangular with a substantial head and long, sweeping tail. He has a long, dense covering of curly hair and a distinctive beard (French barbé), which gives the breed its name. An agile athlete, the Barbet has been used primarily to locate, flush, and retrieve birds. He has a cheerful disposition; very social and loyal.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Height at the withers: Dogs 21–24.5 inches, Bitches 19–22.5 inches. Weight in proportion to height. Proportions: Measured from point of shoulder to buttocks and withers to ground, the Barbet is slightly longer than tall. Exact proportion is not as important as balance. Substance: Neither coarse nor refined, the Barbet is solidly built with adequate bone to perform his tasks as a true sporting dog.
Head: Of great importance, the head is strong, broad, and proportionally large. Expression is bright, engaging. Eyes of medium size, nearly round in shape, dark hazel to dark brown, harmonizing with the coat color. Eye rims are fully pigmented, corresponding to coat (black for black, black pied or gray dogs; brown for brown or brown pied dogs. Fawn dogs may have either black or brown pigmentation). Ears are wide and are set at eye level. Ear leather reaching at least to the corner of the mouth and fully covered with long hair. Skull is rounded and broad. Occiput is not prominent. Stop is defined, neither abrupt nor sloping. Head planes are nearly parallel. The muzzle is shorter than the skull and is quite square. Bridge of nose is broad. Lower jaw fairly square and strong. Jaws of equal length. The nose is large, with well opened nostrils, fully pigmented in harmony with coat color. Lips are thick, fully pigmented. Flews are tight. Scissors bite, teeth large and strong.
Neck, Topline and Body: Neck is strong, blending well into the body. Back is solid with well sustained level topline, loin is short and slightly arched, croup rounded. The tail is the natural extension of the topline, long and low set. When in motion the tail is carried above horizontal in a sweeping curve but does not curl onto the back. The tail is never docked. Body is athletic with substance, chest is broad, well-developed, deep, reaching the elbow; ribs rounded but not barrel-like, underline slightly inclined without tuck-up.
Forequarters: Emphasis is on balance. Shoulders are well laid back and approximately the same length as the upper arm, placing the front legs well under the chest with elbows close to the body. Legs are straight and strong; well boned. Pasterns are strong and flexible. Front dewclaws may be removed. Feet are round, and toes are tight, well-arched. Pads thick.
Hindquarters: Angulation balances with forequarters. Up-per thigh is well muscled, stifle well bent, second thigh is well developed, hocks well let-down, short and perpendicular to ground; without dewclaws. Feet same as front.
Coat: The coat of the Barbet is his defining characteristic. Profuse hair covers the whole body evenly with thick, natural curls that range from large and loose to tight, smaller curls. The hair on the top of the head reaches the bridge of the nose. He has a distinctive beard. Ears are covered in long hair. The coat is shown in as natural a state as possible; clean and free from mats. The hair is to retain curl. While scissoring is necessary to keep him neat, excessive sculpting and shaping is to be penalized.
Color: All shades of black, gray, brown, fawn; with or without white markings. Pied (primarily white with all shades of black, gray, brown, fawn markings).
Gait: Easy, ground-covering trot with good front reach and impulsion from hindquarters with precise cadence. Feet converge toward the centerline with increased speed. Topline remains level and carriage is smart.
Temperament: The Barbet is a responsive, loving member of the family. Joyful, bright, and kindly natured, he is a versatile sporting dog and willing participant in many activities. The sensitive Barbet responds to positive interaction and training, and displays an even temperament.
About the Author
As a breeder, exhibitor, and long time board member of the Barbet Club of America, Judy was instrumental in promoting the Barbet in the United States. Also involved with Whippets since 1985, Judy lives at Hickory Tavern Farm and is the new delegate for the Western Pennsylvania Kennel Association.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Polo x Gracie Puppies: Three Weeks Old

It has been a great week for the Polo and Gracie puppies.  Everyone's eyes opened up and their hearing has come on-line.  Mind you they don't see very well yet but their vision will continue to develop over the coming weeks.  This week we introduced hanging objects and continue to rotate toys in the box for added sensory enrichment.

Gracie continues to be an excellent dam to her pups. She is very good at keeping the whelping box clean and the pups are content and gaining well.  She is feeding over 27 lbs of puppy!  Needless to say in order to keep up with the demand she needs to eat lots of food and has access to cool fresh water all the time.  
Every three days we trim the puppies nails so that they don't scratch Gracie.  It takes some time to get through all 162 of them but the puppies are good about it and it helps to tackle this task when they are dozing off with bellies full of milk. 

Playing with each other and with their mother along with the objects in their box has also begun.  I could sit and watch their interactions for hours.  The period of time that they are awake is getting longer and things are beginning to get really fun now!

Pee pads were added to the whelping box early in the week and the puppies are very good at going over to them to eliminate.  The above video was taken on December 26th.

If you would like to follow the progress of this litter please like our Facebook Page where more frequent updates, photos and videos will be posted.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Polo x Gracie Puppies: Two Weeks Old

The Polo and Gracie puppies have just finished their second week of life.  They are still neonates, very unsteady on their legs, but the good traction of the whelping fleece is helping them to get up under themselves and motor about with increasing speed and ability.  At two weeks of age they are still unable to hear and their eyes are just beginning to open.  They can however taste and smell and are good at moving across the box to get to Gracie for food and warmth. 

Right now there really isn't a whole lot going on in the whelping box other than eating and sleeping.  Gracie is very patient with her pups as they climb over and around her seeking nourishment.  

There is a great deal of brain development happening and this video of one of the puppies (Cocoa) sleeping on my lap is a good example of active sleep.  You can see her body twitching and jerking.

If you would like to follow the progress of this litter please like our Facebook Page where more frequent updates, photos and videos will be posted.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Mango x Marie Puppies Leave the Nest

Northrock's "K" Litter  
Born Oct. 8, 2019

GCH Courailee Roi de Thulé Mango x CKC / UKC CH Northrock's Forever Yours CGN

Time flies when you're having fun as the saying goes! How true. What started out as just a "dream"  the beginning of 2017, when a young Barbet, Sweet Marie entered our lives, came to fruition finishing off 2019 perfectly.

Marie and Mango have produced such a lovely, evenly matched litter that are happy and well adjusted youngsters. It has been a great pleasure handing them over to their owners and families to continue on their life's journey. Very delightful when we have updates and pictures of their progress and hear of how much they are loved. So very satisfying to see them becoming good, solid citizens.

It truly does take a village and so many names to mention and friends gained along the way, that I think it wise not to try in case I miss someone. The exception here will be to thank from the bottom of my heart Stephanie Dixon for her guidance and unfailing support along every step of this journey. Without it, we would still just have that "dream."

Erik, thank you so much for the many hours preparing in advance for and then helping me raise this litter. You have once again been a "jack of all trades" as you supported yet another adventure. 

Marie will continue on in 2020 with her Rally-Obedience work, Scent work and she is scheduled for Therapeutic Paws of Canada testing later in the summer. As I watch keeper pup, Pinkie grow, once again "it started as just a dream the end of 2019" comes to mind. Watch for Pinkie in the show ring spring/summer.

Over and out!

Susan Luyendyk and Sweet Marie

And now to present the Mango and Marie puppies, in order of departure;
Northrock's Kamloops Mister B (Butterball) went home to Prince George a couple weeks ago. Dave picked up this brown bundle of adorable puppy and flew him home with a stop over in Calgary where Mr. B charmed all in sight before he finished the long trek home to his waiting family. This gentle soul is in for the time of his life hiking and swimming during the summer and cross country skiing in winter with Annie and Dave and their family, lucky boy! Looking forward to seeing this little man grow over the years.

Northrock's Kindred Spirit (Pumpkin Pie aka MJ) was our second pup to leave the puppy pen. Our little "Kissy Face" girl with her sweet and gentle nature is now known as Stella. Mary and Dom are head over heels in love with little miss Bella Stella and we look forward to hearing of her life with grandkids, walks in the park and maybe even accompanying Dom on his photo shoots. 
Northrock's Khloe is Keeping it Real (Apple Crisp) was our third pup to leave for her family. This incredibly cheerful little sprite left with Michele and daughter Kate and Khloe hasn't looked back. Khloe's family are all thrilled to have her join their lives and spend time with each of them. Khloe's future involves barn visits to see the family horses, enjoying the great outdoors with all it has to offer and future performance competitions. Her mom, Sweet Marie is thrilled to know she may see her "kid" out there in the performance world at some point in the future. We can't wait to see Khloe progress!

Northrock's Knock Knock Who's There (Nutmeg) was puppy number four to exit to his forever home. Kash is one lucky boy as he gets to live with another Barbet, Chloe. Now, Chloe is still warming up to having to share her people with this rambunctious boy but, by the looks of it "King" Kash has definitely moved in! His new family are delighted with him. Hanging out with his sister and swimming in the family pool when the weather is suitable are the future for Kash. I expect we will see Kash often!

Northrock's Keep Calm Carry On (Maple Syrup) is one lucky little girl! Maple gets to live with this young family and be the dog they will all remember growing up. This affectionate youngster has won her entire family over with her gentle and soft ways. Maple's future sure looks busy as her  family include her in extracurricular activities that are likely to include walking, hiking and beach visiting in summer with snowshoeing in the winter. Young Isabella has agility in mind for Maple as a future activity and again mom, Sweet Marie looks forward to perhaps meeting up with another one of her "kids" in the performance ring....can't wait!

So, this brings us to puppy number 6. Erik and I are the lucky new owners of Northrock's Key to my Heart (Sweet Potato). Pinkie is staying here on the farm with her mom, Marie and her people. Confident, joyful, saucy and precocious all rolled into one, this bundle of energy has turned out to be a great fit for her mom. Already Marie is teaching Pinkie the tricks of the trade and we are now the proud owners of not one but, two Frisbee freaks. We start puppy classes in the new year and Pinkie along with her mom will be out in the show/performance world this coming spring and summer. Some fun times lie ahead for us in 2020. We are betting we may just run into Khloe and Maple somewhere on our travels, won't that be fun?

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Polo & Gracie Puppies: One Week Old

Well the pups' first week is in the books.  Everyone has gained and Gracie has settled into to the routine of feeding, cleaning and caring for her little ones. She's being a very good mother and I'm so pleased. 

We have started Early Neurological Stimulation exercises with the puppies as well as Early Scent Introduction which is always fun to do.  Things are kept quiet in the whelping room during the first week. The other dogs in the household remain downstairs and I focus on giving care to Gracie and supporting her in her new role.  In the first few days she was very reluctant to leave her babies so I would feed all her meals to her in the whelping box.  She is a sweet and caring mother and I look forward to watching her relationship with her puppies develop as the weeks unfold.

The theme for this litter is "WINTER" and these will be the names of the puppies while they are with us before they leave for their new homes. 
There are six male puppies and three females.

The males are:                                              The females are:
Dark Blue Collar - Winter                              Pink Collar - Cocoa
Black Collar - Blizzard                                   Red Collar - Mittens
Purple Collar - Chilly                                     Yellow Collar - Crystal
Green Collar - Aspen
Orange Collar - Cider
Light Blue Collar - Frosty

If you would like to follow the progress of this litter please like our Facebook Page where more frequent updates, photos and videos will be posted.

More information about this exciting breeding is available on our website. If you are interested in a puppy for show, performance or as a loving companion, please send us an email providing information about yourself, where you live, they type of puppy you are looking for and the home that you can provide to one of our puppies. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Polo and Gracie Puppies Have Arrived

We are pleased to welcome the much anticipated litter out of

 CH Northrock's Goodness Gracious CGN by BISS GCH Polnareff vom Zulimo 

Born December 8, 2019 

The Polo and Gracie puppies have arrived and mama and her little ones are doing very well.  Labour began on the night of December 8th and continued into the early hours of the next day.  Gracie whelped her puppies with ease and is a calm and relaxed first time mother.  There are six males (five black and one brown) and three females (two black and one brown).  

Many thanks to Polo's owner Carole Bouthillette for her contribution to this exciting litter. We look forward to watching these nine beautiful puppies grow and develop.  

If you would like to follow the progress of this litter please like our Facebook Page where more frequent updates, photos and videos will be posted.

More information about this exciting breeding is available on our website. If you are interested in a puppy for show, performance or as a loving companion, please send us an email providing information about yourself, where you live, they type of puppy you are looking for and the home that you can provide to one of our puppies. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Waiting for Puppies...

Photos about a week and a half from her due date.
Gracie has done really well throughout her pregnancy. She's less than a week away from her expected whelping window and is resting and sleeping a lot. (Her BFF Summer is always happy to keep her company.) 

She's always been a good eater and thankfully that didn't change during this pregnancy.  Through most of her pregnancy right into her third trimester it felt as though I was feeding a hobbit with all of the meals I was preparing and serving up. 

However, this past Tuesday it is as though a switch flipped and she decided that now she is going to be picky.  So the last few days I've been hand feeding her and temping her with all sorts of different foods.  We're getting through it one meal at a time.  Sweet mama Gracie, you don't have much longer to go.

Gracie on December 3rd
Lately carrying her puppies has made Gracie feel quite warm. Although we spend time in the whelping room every day, the kitchen wall is still one of her favourite places to stretch out and rest. The wall and floor are quite cool in this spot which for her is absolutely perfect! Last weekend I was able to hear heartbeats and felt the pups move for the first time on Friday    Now you can really feel them rocking and rolling in there and if you watch closely you can even see them moving! I'm so looking forward to the arrival of these special puppies 
Gracie snuggling up with me for belly rubs on Dec. 2nd.
For more information about this upcoming litter please visit the 
Northrock Barbets website and follow our Facebook Page for more frequent updates and photos.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Mango x Marie Puppies: Eight Weeks Old

Dear Puppy Diary,

Such a busy week the pups have had as they finish up their eighth week. For the first time in their young lives they are acting like real "dogs" albeit little ones but, dogs none the less. Personalities are shining through in the puppy pen and it's getting easier to recognize the barks and play sounds of the individual puppies from another room.

The beginning of the week definitely had great weather allowing for plenty of puppy play out in their outdoor puppy pen.  Some cold early morning romps put a glow on those little cheeks. Four to six times daily for thirty minute stretches at a time.  Their conformation has been studied twice and their temperament test was completed on Saturday. What an amazing litter, they are all so close in every aspect.

The potty box is a favourite place to nap LOL

We stepped up the potty training yet again.  After their late night meal, we put the pups out with their mom for their last evening potty break.  This is working very well.  No playtime allowed at this potty break.  The only good thing about it being so cold at 10:00 pm is the ease of getting pups back inside quickly.  Brrrrr, too cold to be out.
🎶Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow 🎶 
The Mango and Marie puppies think this white stuff is terrific! December 1st.

The pups finished this week with the best play time ever after we received a snowfall that started midday Sunday and stopped Monday afternoon.  The pups were so delighted to be chasing each other and chasing these funny things falling from the sky.  They came in from that morning's romp, wet, weary and completely satisfied.  They were smiling as they settled for their morning nap.

The pups are busy putting the finishing touches on themselves in preparation for their departure to their forever homes in the next week.  Just a few more appointments and they will be ready....where has the time gone????

                             Until the next update,

                                                          Susan Luyendyk and Sweet Marie

Frequent updates and photos are posted on our Northrock Barbets Facebook Page if you would like to follow the litter's progress.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Mango x Marie Puppies: Seven Weeks Old

In this video the puppies are 42 days old. They are enjoying some playtime in their puppy pen. They are a quiet and content bunch, for the moment anyway.

The weather has been very good this week and the pups are outside several times a day now and enjoying every minute of their new play spaces. Here they are exploring their exercise area in the front yard.

It was so much fun to be able to get together with other Barbet breeders and go over the Mango and Marie puppies on Sunday the 24th. The sun was out and we enjoyed observing the pups at play, running about the yard and we were able to get them up on the table and evaluate their conformation. Thank you Carole Bouthillette and Janet Black Evans for sharing your opinions of the litter. Susan Luyendyk and I are so pleased with the overall quality and consistency of the pups. They are a nice bunch of Barbet babies and they have wonderful personalities.

Frequent updates and photos are posted on our Northrock Barbets Facebook Page if you would like to follow the litter's progress.