Barbet Club of America

Member Updates - December 2015

BCA Breeders to Adhere to Voluntary Regulations

The Barbet Club of America website reaches a very large audience of prospective Barbet owners, and our Breeder list is one of the first places where people begin their search for the perfect breeder for them. It is our goal to encourage the Barbet to be bred at the highest level. As of January 1, 2016, each Breeder listed agrees to certain levels of commitment to both their breeding program and our club.

To be listed on the Barbet Club of America website as a Breeder, each breeder agrees:

  1. They are a member in good standing with the club for a minimum of one year.
  2. They breed sound and healthy dogs whose permanent health tests for eyes, elbows, and hips are listed publicly on the OFA website.
  3. All US born litters must be registered with AKC. International breeders shall encourage puppies to be registered with AKC.
  4. All litter information will be submitted to the Pawpeds pedigree database for inclusion.
  5. Permanently identify their puppies with microchip or tattoo so that they can always be linked to their breeding program, and agree to take back or help rehome any dog that they have bred that comes into our rescue or needs another placement.
  6. Provide guidance to their puppy families and encourage them to join our club.
  7. No puppies will be offered for sale to pet stores, mail order houses, catalog sales, live auction, contest sponsors or raffles, etc. Puppies should be personally sold to their permanent home.
  8. They must be regularly active in our club by participating in Meet the Breeds events, submitting articles for the newsletter, holding Board or Committee positions, volunteering to help with events, showing at AKC events, etc.

Show News

Solene Wins AKC CM Title

Hickory Tavern Intl Intrigue CM, known as Solene, became the third Barbet and first female to earn an AKC Certificate of Merit title November 28 at the Chesapeake Kennel Club of Maryland. Solene was Best of Breed and Group 2 at both shows. The CM is an FSS conformation title similar to an AKC championship and requires 15 points earned against other Barbet. Solene is owned and shown by Judy Descutner, Hickory, PA.
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American Barbet Successful at Canadian Specialty

The Barbet Fanciers Association of Ontario held their annual specialty show last weekend at the Caledon dog shows in Toronto, ON. Changing dates from their customary post-Christmas Elora Gorge event, the specialty drew an entry of 18 Barbet. Best of Winners was Ginkgo de Isis Fiona, owned and shown by Barb Gresham, Zionsville, IN. Best Puppy in Specialty Show was won by Hickory Tavern Fools Rush In, owned by Leslie Woodward, Lynn Vogt-Kinsey, Mary McEneany and Michele DeTour, and shown by Leslie of Guilford, VT. Best Male was Hickory Tavern Secret Liaison, owned by Leslie Woodward and Lynn Vogt-Kinsey.

Tips and Tricks to Improve your Barbet Photography

by Stacy Able

Black, brown, fawn, pied; our Barbet come in a variety of colors. Yet, when it comes to capturing them in photographs, it’s our black and brown coated friends that can be a difficult subject to photograph. However, as a wedding photographer, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that I'm happy to share so you can capture your pet in their best light.

For starters, let’s talk about the tool you’ll use to capture the best picture possible. While the technology for the camera on our phones have come a long way, capturing a dark colored shaggy dog is not their forte. A consumer grade digital SLR or a point and shoot camera would be a better option and would give you more control over the final outcome.

Another important ingredient in getting a great dog photo is to think about your backdrop. A black or brown dog sitting on a black couch will not give you a good result. Placing the pet against a lighter colored wall, couch, or even in wheat colored grass will help your pet be the focus and stand out from the background.

More often than not, cameras have a hard time focusing on darker colored objects, much less a lovely shaggy Barbet! When choosing a focusing point, I recommend selecting the dog’s eyes to be the focus point. If not, focus on the nose.

It is also important to balance the shadows and highlights. This may mean you may need to slightly over expose your image to get the darker colored pet brighter. Changing your camera to a manual setting will allow you to overexpose your image by either slowing your shutter speed, opening your aperture, or raising your ISO. When I'm photographing darker colored pets, I'm exposing for the dogs coat which often overexposes the rest of the image.

Photography is the art of capturing light, so taking photos of a black Barbet indoors is tricky. During daylight hours, I'd recommend you bring your pet near a window to get as much light on them as possible. In the evening, you will need a flash to get a decent exposure.

A well trained pet will also make getting a good picture easier. If you can have your Barbet sit and stay, you can practice your exposure and check the LCD to adjust your camera settings.

Lastly, take as many photos as possible. Storage for digital files is economical and so easy that there is nothing keeping you from photographing to your heart's content. Blurry practice photos can always be deleted later.

Holiday Safety for Your Pet

There are a variety of decorations that can cause problems for your pet.
Lightcords, when chewed or frayed, can cause severe burns or electrocution. Ribbons and tinsel can also lead to trips to the emergency room, often resulting in complicated surgery or even death. Prevent these disasters by keeping decorations out of your pet's reach.

Mistletoe and poinsettia are poisonous, and ingested pine needles can cause digestive tract blockage. Keep your pet away from these plants and you just might save yourself a trip to the emergency room.

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Final Call on Calendar Orders

Our popular calendar will be printed shortly and will be mailed before the start of 2016. Calendars can be still be ordered online by following this link until 12/6/15.

Our First Foray Into the World of Dog Shows

by Angie Tena

‘We are not show people’.

On our first visit to meet our breeder and her dogs, we openly informed her that we were clueless about dog shows. Our original purpose for bringing a Barbet into our home was simply to add a loving and compatible pet to our family. Our previous dog had been well trained and we hoped to repeat that success with this new puppy.

But entering a dog show? The thought did not cross our minds. We had never attended any dog event as spectators, let alone thought about entering one. Nor did we have any idea of how to handle a dog in the ring, groom her presentably for the judges, or even how to complete an entry form.

We were complete novices. So how did we end up entering our young daughter and our seven month old puppy in an AKC affiliated dog show? The stars, as they say, were perfectly aligned. And in retrospect, I’m so glad we did it.

Soon after bringing home our puppy, I decided that I loved the look of the Barbet coat and wanted to keep her in a longer cut. After asking many questions of our very patient breeder and researching on my own, I purchased the correct tools to get the job done. Then I went about learning how to line brush down to the skin so that her coat is always mat-free, healthy and lush. Next, I learned how to give a basic scissor cut to keep her coat at the desired length. Happily, these were the same grooming techniques I would later use to prepare her to make a good impression for the judges in the ring.

In early November, we made plans to spend Thanksgiving weekend with friends in Maryland. I mentioned in a passing comment to our breeder that our puppy was going on an adventure to Baltimore. ‘To the dog show?’ she replied. My response was quick, ‘Umm, no. Now why would you think that?’ Apparently, there was an AKC FSS event scheduled at the fairgrounds located only a few minutes’ drive from where we were planning to stay. It would be one of the very few AKC dog shows around the country that allowed rare FSS breeds like the Barbet to enter. Judy, our breeder, would also be attending.

At dinner that evening, I mentioned the dog show to my family thinking that maybe we would go and watch our very first one. My daughter’s response took me by surprise: ‘Can we enter? It sounds like fun.’ I looked to my husband to be the voice of dissent, but he was nodding his head saying he’d like to give it a try. Why not? It would be an adventure.

We soon found some videos with tips for showing a dog, which led to several entertaining evenings of each family member giving their best attempt at dog handling. There is so much advice online that it is hard to know what to follow, so we went with famous handlers who have had great success. Will Alexander, who handled the Beagle to win Best in Show at Westminster 2015, has a particularly informative and easy to follow video series for the new handler. We also really enjoyed watching Kaz Hosaka in action since we had read about him and his early career with Anne Rogers Clarke when we were first researching quality purebred dogs.

Judy kindly met us at the park on several occasions to teach our puppy Fia and our daughter Kate beginner dog handling skills. She worked first with Fia and Kate together, then always let Kate experience handling her champion Barbet, Solene. A sweet and gentle-hearted soul, Solene happily illustrated for us how the show dog should look in the ring while letting Kate focus on her own form. These were invaluable lessons that gave us a firm foundation to build upon. Armed with suggestions for specific things to work on with our pup, we spent the following weeks practicing and training.

Soon after, we registered for the show. It came as a complete surprise to family and friends, none of whom have ever been active in the dog world. But the more we watched Kate work with her dog, the more natural the idea seemed. We decided to encourage our daughter to pursue this path for many reasons. We were delighted to see her confidence grow and her bond with her puppy deepen. She frequently said that she wanted to do this so that there would be more Barbet for the judges to see, and she wanted people to know about this beautiful, rare breed.

Registration information was online and, though intimidating, I managed to successfully navigate the Infodog website. We chose to register for two events, so that Kate would be able to get more experience in the ring. Certain information was needed to complete the process, such as the registered name of the dog, AKC number, sire’s name, dam’s name, breeder and owner information. The most difficult part was selecting the correct event and class for our puppy, since there are sometimes abbreviations and titles that are new to me. The payment was quickly processed and I was able to print a receipt with our registration information. Shortly before the event, we received the official registration slip along with a detailed schedule in the mail.

In the meantime, Kate faithfully continued to work with Fia regularly for short training sessions to prepare her for the show. Through the process, we found that the two of them loved their special time together and were growing closer day by day. Fia was clearly enjoying the attention and we were glad to find that she is a smart puppy and a quick learner! Additional preparations included making sure that Kate was well dressed with an appropriate jacket (with pockets!) and shoes that would not fall off while moving the dog around the ring. Judy kindly lent us a show lead and collar, so that Kate’s training was more effective. Fia quickly began to recognize what was expected of her when the show lead came out.

We also took Kate and Fia to a drop-in conformation class at a local dog training center to give them a chance to practice around other people and dogs. This was a huge confidence boost for Kate, as the people were welcoming and offered her a lot of encouragement. She had the chance to see that her hard work was paying off.

In the week before the show, we bathed Fia and blew her dry so that her hair was lifted away from her skin. This allowed me to brush her out completely and neatly trim her coat to the shape and length that I wanted. Then I spritzed her down to bring the curl back and packed her grooming supplies to bring with us.

The day before the show, we stopped at the fairgrounds to see the set up and find a place to drop off our crate. We took our time walking around and familiarizing ourselves and the dog with the location without the normal bustle of show day. Kate was able to see the ring she would be showing in and where she would pick up her number. All of this was comforting to know in advance.

On the morning of the show, we got up early and arrived well before our scheduled event. The exhibition hall was crowded and intense, with activity going on in every square inch of the building. It was busy, loud and quite intimidating, which made us glad that we had taken the time on the previous day to get our bearings. Fortunately, neither our dog nor our daughter seemed bothered by the commotion. Our grooming preparation prior to the show meant that we had only to comb out Fia’s head and legs one last time.

A few minutes before the scheduled start, we headed to wait ringside and to pick up Kate’s entry number. She was pleased that she was dressed appropriately and that her dog looked show-ready, as it made her feel that she really belonged. Both she and the dog were excited and happy to be there and it showed the moment they stepped into the ring. That first performance was pure joy for both of them and we were proud of the poise and control they showed. The exhilaration of the moment was on my daughter’s face and in our puppy’s bounce as they exited the ring – an unforgettable experience.

The following day was much less intimidating since we had a better idea of what to expect. The event was far more crowded and we took the opportunity to watch other handlers showing their dogs, other breeds being groomed and winners’ photos being taken. We were especially surprised to notice Kaz Hosaka arriving to groom and handle his poodles throughout the day, which was exciting to see. Kate enjoyed watching him in person, especially since he won Best in Show that day. Several excellent junior handlers were also there, including the Rogers sisters who had just been featured on NBC during The National Dog Show coverage on Thanksgiving. Seeing their expertise at such young ages showed Kate that this is a sport that is enjoyable to kids like her.

We also noticed that our Barbet puppy attracted a lot of attention and questions from the other participants, as many had never seen one before. We were glad to have the opportunity to share this beautiful breed with so many knowledgeable dog owners and breeders. Heading out to take our puppy for a walk in the afternoon, Kate mentioned that she felt like she was doing her part for the breed because lots of people had learned about the Barbet that day. I knew what she meant. Visibility for this rare breed is important and can only happen when we bring our dogs out to be seen and appreciated in the community.

In the end, our daughter gained an incredible and unforgettable experience. She earned two ribbons, which she later explained were winner’s ribbons because both she and her puppy had done their very best. As she exited the ring for the last time, I asked her how she was feeling. ‘I loved it. This is something I want to do again.

And I’m sure she will.

AKC FSS Show Calendar

Kooikerhondje Club of the USA

Orlando, FL

December 11, 2015

Kooikerhondje Club of the USA

Daly City, CA

January 30, 2016

Golden Gate Kennel Club

Daly City, CA

January 31, 2016

Plum Creek Kennel Club of Colorado

Denver, CO

February 13, 2016

Arrowhead Kennel Club

Scottsdale, AZ

March 25, 2016

Mudi Club of America

Moses Lake, WA

April 15, 2016

Peruvian Inca Orchid Club of the Untied States

Moses Lake, WA

April 15, 2016

Greenwich Kennel Club

Norwalk, CT

June 11, 2016

Longshore-Southport Kennel Club, Inc.

Norwalk, CT

June 12, 2016

Thanks to all of the people who contributed this newsletter!

Judy Descutner, Editor

Submissions and story ideas are welcome!