Barbet - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts


The Barbet, pronounced “Bar-bay,” originated in France as a gun dog used for hunting waterfowl. Despite not being widely known, this breed’s popularity is increasing beyond France. In the aftermath of World War II, the Barbet faced the threat of extinction, making it a rare breed with a history dating back to the sixteenth century.

Known for their intelligence, joyful nature, and kindness, Barbets are devoted to their families. They are agile and excel in various dog sports like lure coursing, agility, and Frisbee. With their ability to brave any weather and withstand the cold, they are also excellent swimmers. However, it’s important to note that Barbet’s coats require regular maintenance and frequent brushing, making them a bit high maintenance.

Ahead, we look at Barbet dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Barbet, characteristics, and must-know facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Barbets!

Dog Breed Barbet
Size Large
Weight 31-51 lbs (average)
Height 20-24″ (average)
Location France
Ancestry Water dog
Date of Origin 1500s
Group Gun dog
Life Expectancy 13-15 years
Price $600 – $1000
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

The Barbet, also known as the French Water Dog, was originally bred as a water retrieving gun dog. The name “Barbet” comes from the French word for beard. This breed dates back to the 16th century and was primarily used for flushing out water fowl in wetlands and marshes, as well as retrieving them. Over time, the Barbet has been utilized for various tasks including cart pulling and guarding. The first official standard for the Barbet was established in 1894.

Throughout history, the Barbet has been a well-known and depicted dog in French literature and paintings, often shown working in the marshes hunting for water fowl. It is even rumored that Napoleon himself owned a Barbet. Some researchers believe that the Barbet played a role in the development of other breeds such as the Briard, Poodle, and Bichon, although there is no concrete evidence to support these claims.

After the World Wars in the 20th century, the Barbet faced the risk of extinction. However, a small group of breed enthusiasts fought to preserve the breed, leading to a revival in its popularity. Today, the Barbet is gaining recognition as a rare breed and is increasingly being seen as a wonderful family companion. The Barbet Club of America was formed to support and promote the breed in the United States. In 2007, the Barbet was officially recorded into the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service, further solidifying its presence in the country.

🐕 Barbet Appearance

The Barbet is a long-tailed, substantial-headed breed that dates back centuries. He has a striking beard and a long, thick, curly coat. He has a very distinctive appearance, with thick hair that must completely cover him. His coat features big, naturally occurring curls that may either be free or tight. He has a beard and hair that should reach the bridge of his nose. His lengthy hair also covers his ears. Never cut his coat; it should be left natural and free of matting. His hair should never lose its curl after a bath. All hues of fawn, brown, black, or gray are available in the Barbet. His chest or feet may be marked in white. He can also be pied, in which case his main color is white and he has fawn, brown, black, or gray shading on top of it.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black, Brown
🐕 Coat Color Black, Brown, Fawn, Gray, Pied

Fun Fact: Barbet dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn’t tolerate being left alone.

🐶 Traits & Temperament of Barbet

A versatile waterfowl gun dog is the Barbet. He adores the water and, given the chance, will dive into ponds, lakes, or swimming pools. He can play in water of any temperature thanks to his weather-resistant clothing. He is a wonderful family pet and adores both kids and other canines. Given that he still has a strong hunting drive for birds, it is advisable to keep an eye on him near any pet birds. As long as positive reward is used, he is simple to teach. The Barbet shouldn’t be left unattended in the backyard for an extended period of time since he can turn disruptive and noisy. He is often not apprehensive of strangers, but if he is not properly socialized from an early age, he may develop shyness and apprehension about unfamiliar circumstances. As soon as your Barbet puppy has gotten the last shot in his round of puppy vaccinations, you should start socializing him with other dogs and humans.

🤝 Are Barbets Friendly or Aggressive?

Barbet dogs are typically compatible with other pets and are generally friendly towards strangers. They also get along well with children, making them a suitable choice for families with kids. While they may not show exceptional friendliness towards cats or other dogs, Barbets generally have an average level of friendliness towards them. Due to their calm and gentle nature, Barbets are often recommended for elderly individuals who are looking for a canine companion.

This breed is known for being:

  • Intelligent
  • Obedient
  • Joyful
  • Companionable
  • Cheerful

🐩 Barbet Care & Maintenance

The Barbet is a decent option for allergy sufferers even if there isn’t a dog that is totally hypoallergenic because all dogs shed some dander. The Barbet has distinctive hair that doesn’t shed as other breeds’ hair does. He loses tufts of hair that will fall out and are typically brushed away once a week. To keep his skin healthy and avoid matting, his curls do need to be brushed frequently. He must be fully combed or brushed when being groomed. To avoid mats or tangles, this entails combing his coat right down to the skin. The Barbet breed is prone to playing in the water, so your dog will need to be groomed after each excursion. His constant hair growth need clipping in order to maintain him tidy and presentable. In order to make their Barbet’s coat simpler to keep, owners who do not display their Barbet could even opt to cut him down to approximately two inches. Never entirely shave your Barbet since his skin requires the cover of his coat. He has to get his ears waxed to prevent overgrowth and dirt buildup in the ear canal. Prevent infection by keeping his ears clean. He has to get his nails cut as often as every two to three weeks. If necessary, cut the hair between his footpads.

Barbet dogs are known for their minimal to no shedding. This means that if you own a Barbet puppy, you don’t have to worry about your furniture or car being covered in dog hair. If you have a low tolerance for dog hair, a Barbet dog could be the perfect choice for you. Additionally, these dogs typically only need to be bathed every 3-4 weeks.

🍖 Food: We recommend 3 cups daily, costing you about $1.20 – $1.40 daily, or around $34.00 – $45.00 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Barbet dogs have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long ones on weekends.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 10 miles per week, which equates to about 45 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Barbet dogs are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.

❤️‍🩹 Barbet Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Barbet Dog Breed can be:

  • Entropion
  • Hip Dysplasia

While minor concerns include:

  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy

🤧 Important: Is Barbet hypoallergenic? Yes.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Barbet.

⚡ Barbet Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Barbet a great choice for families with young children?
The Barbet’s loving and devoted nature makes them a great choice for families with young children. They are known to be patient and gentle, making them excellent companions and playmates for kids.

Is the Barbet breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Barbet is not considered a suitable breed for apartment living due to their active nature and need for regular exercise. They thrive in homes with a yard or access to outdoor space where they can run and play.

How much exercise does a Barbet require compared to other breeds?
Compared to some other breeds, the Barbet requires a moderate amount of exercise. They are an active breed and enjoy participating in activities such as agility, Frisbee, and lure coursing. Daily walks and playtime are essential to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

Is the Barbet breed known for being good with other pets?
The Barbet is generally good with other pets, but caution should be exercised around pet birds due to their high prey drive. With proper socialization and training, they can coexist harmoniously with other pets in the household.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Barbet?
Similar low-maintenance dog breeds to the Barbet include the Portuguese Water Dog and the Irish Water Spaniel. These breeds also have weather-resistant coats and a love for water activities.

What are the common health issues that Barbets are prone to?
Common health issues that Barbets are prone to include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and certain skin conditions. Regular vet check-ups and responsible breeding practices can help minimize the risk of these conditions.

Are Barbets known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Barbets are generally easy to train, especially when positive reinforcement methods are used. They are intelligent and eager to please, making them quick learners.

Are Barbets more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Barbets can be prone to separation anxiety if not properly socialized and trained from a young age. It is important to gradually introduce them to being alone and provide mental stimulation and toys to keep them occupied when left alone.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Barbet that are suitable for people with allergies?
The Portuguese Water Dog and the Irish Water Spaniel are two breeds similar to the Barbet that are known to be hypoallergenic and suitable for people with allergies.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Barbet are best for individuals or families with limited space?
Smaller-sized dogs similar to the Barbet, such as the Cockapoo or the Miniature Poodle, are best for individuals or families with limited space. These breeds still have the same water-loving nature and make great companions.

Is the Barbet breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Barbet’s gentle and patient nature makes them a good choice for children with special needs. However, as with any dog, supervision and proper introductions are essential to ensure safety and compatibility.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Barbet?
The grooming needs of the Barbet are high compared to some other breeds. Their curly, dense coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting and professional grooming every few months. They are considered a moderate shedder, but their curly hair helps to minimize the amount of loose hair around the house.

We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Barbet dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our team.


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