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The famous French naturalist, Georges Buffon (1707-1788) published his Histoire naturelle (shortened title) in 15 Volumes from 1749 through 1767. It was later translated to English in 1781. Buffon concluded that all varieties of domestic species descended from the shepherds' dogs; other authorities rejected this notion. Buffon included an image of Le Grand Barbet. In 1553, Jacques of Fouilloux mentioned the barbet spaniel in his treaty. "Barbet" stems from the word "barbe" (French designation for beard).

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