Barbet Image


Barbet (French Water Dog) is often cited as one of the oldest of all French dog breeds known as a Waterdog. He may be considered the ancestor of all breeds with long, wooly, or curly hair and a direct cousin to the sheepdog like the Briard. He is excellent at waterfowl work, retrieving, and is undeterred and unaffected by icy conditions.

Barbet dog


Barbet FAQs Frequently Asked Questions:

Let us seek some answers related to the Barbet breed. Are they hypoallergenic, or do they shed a lot? Do they bark a lot? Are they good guard dogs? Are they good family dogs? Good with children? And many more questions that a potential Barbet owner may be concerned about.

Are Barbets a hypoallergenic breed? Do they shed?

Yes, Barbet is a hypoallergenic breed of dog. They have short curly hair, and they don’t shed. This makes them perfect for people with allergies. However, their coat will come off when you brush it. If you do not brush your Barbet, their coat will attract dirt and become matted. You should expect to have to brush fully and comb out your Barbet dog every week to keep it in a manageable and healthy state.

Do Barbets bark a lot?

No. In comparison to other pet dog breeds, the Barbet barks occasionally. They are not noisy dogs but will alert you to the presence of a stranger.

Is the Barbet breed a good family dog?

Yes, the Barbet is a good family dog. Though they are a rare breed, the sight of one of these dogs is certainly one to behold. They stand proud and strong, though they can also be seen playing in the mud. Generally a friendly and fun-loving breed, the Barbet is a wonderful choice if you are looking for a new family pet.

Are Barbets affectionate? Good with kids?

Barbets are calm, friendly, and affectionate dogs. They are attached to their families and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. Barbets enjoy outdoor activities and are gentle with children. They are great with kids as well as the elderly.

Are Barbets good guard dogs?

Barbets worked as a sailor’s companions and as hunting partners, guard dogs, and general companions. They are big, strong dogs that will alert their owners to questionable activity and make good guard dogs.

Are Barbets aggressive dogs? Do they bite?

Barbets have a lower than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It’s a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These bites don’t hurt, but Barbets need to be taught for a good attitude.

Can Barbets swim? Do they like it?

Yes, they love it. Barbet is one of France’s original water dogs since the 16th century for hunting in water. Barbets will go into water no matter the temperature, making them the ultimate outdoor sporting dog. The breed has webbed paws to aid in swimming. They enjoy accompanying their owners while hiking, swimming, and traveling.

How much do Barbets cost? How much is a Barbet puppy?

Barbet puppies cost about US$2500.

How long do Barbets live?

The average life expectancy is 13 to 15 years.

Ok, so let’s assume you have chosen the Barbet as the best breed suitable for yourself. You have decided to find yourself a puppy as your next family member. How will you choose the best pup? Let us look at some standard characteristics of the Barbet dog breed, which will help you select the right puppy. Keep reading.

Choosing a good Barbet puppy

The definition of the best Barbet puppy depends on your requirements. Your expectations from an adult Barbet can be broadly categorized as follows: Confirmation for show or breeding; obedience; smart guard dog; companion; homely pet.

Although it is tempting to look for all these qualities in one Barbet puppy you plan to buy; it is seldom possible to find all qualities in a single pup.

If you want your Barbet puppy to grow up to be a champion in the show ring, you should look for confirmation of the Barbet dog breed standards. We have put together a general guideline for selecting an all-around good puppy for you. Our guideline includes breed standards and gives importance to temperament, appearance, physical details, gait, health issues, grooming needs, and maintenance.

Look for the following characteristics while choosing a Barbet puppy.

Barbet breed’s general appearance

A dog of medium size and proportions with a characteristic thick woolly coat and waviness protects him from cold and dampness. The coat forms a beard on the chin to which the breed owes its name.

Barbet’s Temperament

Even temperament, neither aggressive nor nervous, tractable. Very devoted to his master. Good mixer. Loves water.

Barbet’s Size

Height: at the withers: Dogs: 22-25½ inches (58-65cm) Bitches: 20-24 inches (53-61 cm) With a tolerance of +/- 1cm.

Barbet’s Coat & Colour

Skin: thick. Coat: long, woolly and curly, forming cords. The coat is profuse and, in its natural state, covers the entire body. That is a particular breed characteristic. Since time immemorial, the barbet has been clipped to ease his work and lifestyle. According to how he is used, the barbet can present different appearances.

French Water Dog

Colour: Solid black, grey, chestnut brown, fawn, pale fawn, white, or more or less pied. All shades of red-fawn and pale fawn are permitted preferably; the whole body should be the same shade.

Barbet - French Waterdog
Barbet (French Waterdog)

Barbet’s Head

The coat on the head must fall to the bridge of the nose. The beard is long and ample; the profuse mustache covers the whole muzzle—Skull: round and broad. Stop: pronounced. The muzzle should be square. The bridge of the nose is broad and short. Lips: thick, pigmented, completely covered by long hair. The pigmentation of the mucous membranes may be black or brown. Jaws/teeth: Jaws of equal length. Scissors bite. Strong teeth. Incisors are well developed and well-aligned. Eyes: round, preferably dark brown. Ears: set on low (in line with eyes or slightly lower), long, flat, broad, covered by long hair which forms cords. If the ears are held together across the nose leather, they reach (with the hair) at least 5cm beyond it. The ear cartilage reaches beyond the corner of the mouth.

Barbet’s Neck: Short and strong.


Barbet’s Forequarters

Shoulders: sloping. The scapulohumeral angle varies from 110 to 115°—the Upper arm: strong and muscular. Lower arm: straight, strong, perpendicular, completely covered by long hair. Strong bone structure.

Barbet’s Body

Back: very slightly convex. Loin: arched, short, and strong. Croup: rounded in profile. Chest: broad, developed, quite deep, rounded ribcage.

Barbet’s Hindquarters

Upper thigh: slight slope, well muscled. Hocks: set low. Well angulated. Metatarsus: well upright. Feet: Round, broad, covered with hair.

Barbet’s Tail

Slightly raised, carried above the horizontal when the dog is in action, low set, forming a slight hook at the tip.

Barbet’s Gait

Easy movement, the limbs moving in line with the body. Medium length foreleg stride with good thrust from the hindquarters.

Barbet puppy
Barbet puppy

Faults observed in the Barbet breed

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Head fine and narrow; the bridge of nose thin and long; lips thin. ; Light eyes. ; Ears high set (higher than eye level), thin, short, and narrow. ; Neck long and thin. ; Topline hollow. ; Loin long and weak. ; Croup straight. ; Chest narrow. ; Tail high set on, curled over the back. ; Lack of tail, stumpy tail. ; Shoulders upright. ; Upper arm thin. ; Lower arm fine-boned. Forelegs fringed. ; Upper thigh flat; hocks straight; hindlegs fringed. Dewclaws. ; Feet thin and narrow, lacking hair. ; Skin thin. ; Coat short, harsh, not woolly, not curly. ; Colours: Any color other than those mentioned in the standard. ; Overly shy dogs. Disqualifications; Overshot or undershot jaw. ; Aggressive dog; Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Barbet puppies
Barbet puppies

Barbet Videos

We hope you enjoyed reading about the Barbet dog breed. You may consider sharing your views in the comments section below. Inputs and priceless experiences from dog owners, Barbet breeders, and dog lovers, in general, help us better understand the Barbet breed. Thank you for your interest.

2 thoughts on “Barbet”

  1. I have compiled this list of top 10 points you must read before getting a Barbet…read it carefully and try to imagine living with one in your home:

    1. The mess – Part 1. Barbets don’t shed in the same way as a lab or husky sheds. You will never run the risk of hugging a Barbet and coming away covered in dog hair but be warned their fur will come out. It will come out when you brush them. It will also come off the dog in little tufts when the dog scratches itself or moves about. These little tufts will form tumbleweeds of hair that will gather in the corners of your room and under furniture. On beige or light carpets they (particularly the black tufts) are very apparent. If you elect not to brush your dog on a regular basis those hairs that fall out will quickly become tangled in the dog’s coat, forming thick mats.

    2. The mess – Part 2. What makes the Barbet coat so wonderful to hug and pet and snuggle against also make it a magnet for burrs and dirt and sand and leaves and twigs. Their woolly coat will attract all manner of outdoor debris and although much will fall off when the dog shakes you’ll be surprised how much also stays on the dog and comes inside.

    3. The mess – Part 3. The word Barbet is derived from the French word “barbe” meaning beard. When a dog with a beard drinks from the water bowl it will invariably leave a trail of water behind as it walks away from the bowl. This wet beard will also wet up your lap when the dog comes over to say “hi” after a drink and rest that wet beard with such loving tenderness in your lap.

    4. Their Intelligence. Barbets are smart dogs. They do very well in obedience and agility and learn new tricks with ease but a word of caution, living with a thinking dog means that if you don’t keep his or her mind engaged your Barbet will find a way to think up his or her own fun. What they come up with may not be your idea of fun. To have a well-mannered pet you need to invest the time training, socializing, and working with your dog on a regular basis and provide consistent leadership.

    5. Their exercise needs. Barbets are sporting dogs. In general, they are easy to live within the house as they are not a hyper dog nor do they run around constantly looking for something to do. A Barbet will happily lay around waiting for you to get off your duff and go for a walk, hike, swim, training, hunting etc…. The thing is they will behave in this easy happy manner as long as their exercise requirements are met. If you don’t meet their needs you are setting yourself up to live with a dog that barks a lot, chews things they aren’t supposed to, destroys your personal property, and is a general nuisance. If you don’t have time to exercise your Barbet, don’t get one, get a different breed, or a cat or better yet get a goldfish.

    6. Their natural hunting instinct. Being a sporting dog that was for many years selected for its ability to find and retrieve game many Barbets have still retained an innate desire to chase small, quick-moving animals such as squirrels and rabbits and yes if not socialized to them, even cats. Having a dog with a strong recall is always an asset but especially in a dog that may find taking off after squirrels during your walkway more rewarding than staying with you.

    7. The grooming. The Barbet is a coated dog. Most people are attracted to them because of their long woolly coats. They don’t shed as other breeds do and they are soft and cuddly and wonderful to pet. When they are kept clean. When they are mat free. If you are not prepared to invest the time maintaining their coat you will very quickly end up with a dirty, smelly, matted dog that in all likelihood will need to be completely shaved down or endure hours on the grooming table to restore its coat to a semblance of order. You should expect to have to fully brush and comb out your dog on a weekly basis in order to keep it in a manageable and healthy state.

    8. Their coat grows continuously. It doesn’t just reach a certain length and stop growing. You are going to have to keep cutting it down periodically. If you keep your dog in a shorter pet trim of approximately 1-2 inches you should expect to have to trim your Barbet every 8-10 weeks or so. If you aren’t doing this yourself expect to pay $75 and up at the groomers. If you keep your dog in a longer trim style then you can go several months in between hair-cuts. You will have to keep the hair on the underside of their feet trimmed too so that it is flush with the pads. Not only can snow, but ice and mud also get tangled in the hairs causing serious problems to the dog if the hair is long enough it is the same as you walking around the house in socks. When your dog comes running around the corner on linoleum, tile, or wood floor you are asking for an accident to happen as he or she will simply have no traction whatsoever.

    9. They’re big softies. Really, Barbets can be sensitive individuals. They are a happy dog and they want everyone around them to be happy too. They will get stressed out in a home with a lot of yelling and fighting and they will shut down on you if your training methods are harsh. A soft but firm hand is what is best suited to the Barbet. They will thrive with positive training techniques that reward rather than punish behaviors.

    10. They are not loners. The Barbet is a breed of dog that likes to be wherever you are. They will follow you around the house and be happy as long as they are in the same room as you. This shadowing is a quality that most owners find endearing. If you think it would drive you nuts having a Barbet following you around, look elsewhere. This same quality is what also makes the Barbet ill-suited as a kennel dog. Or a dog that is left alone for long periods of time for that matter.

    Take your time to research the breed and decide if a Barbet is a right fit for you. Although we love them dearly they are most definitely not the dog for everyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here