/Breed Introduction: Barbet Dog

Breed Introduction: Barbet Dog

The barbet  is a medium-sized French water dog. The breed name “barbet” comes from the French word barbe, which means beard. This woolly sporting dog breed is fun-loving and smart. It was originally bred for retrieving waterfowl for hunters — and has the webbed feet to prove it, but it is also a talented agility competitor in his native France. In addition to its retrieving skills, the Barbet is cherished for his versatility and his joyful, intelligent personality. In his homeland, he ranks among the top agility breeds and also loves to chase balls and flying discs.

Breed Origin


The barbet (pronounced bar-bay) is an ancient and rare water dog who has been used for hunting water game since the 14th century.

The breed has webbed paws to aid in swimming. The eyes are round and dark brown, and the tail is raised with a slight hook at the end. Long hair covers the flat, wide ears. The ears will extend beyond the jaw when brought in front of the face.

Breed Characteristics


Males stand 22.5 to 25 inches at the shoulder; females are 20.5 to 24 inches. They weigh from 37 to 62 pounds.

The breed is rare, with approximately 30 to 40 making their home in the United States and about 600 worldwide.

Intelligent and eager to please, barbets can also be stubborn and can get bored easily. They don’t respond well to harsh discipline or repetitive training. Fun and positive training that is not too repetitive works best for them.

The Barbet’s long, woolly coat is waterproof. It ranges from wavy to curly, and colours include solid black, gray, brown, fawn, pale fawn, red fawn, and white.

Daily brushing and combing is a must to prevent matted fur from forming. The coat readily picks up burrs, twigs, and leaves, so you may want to have those daily grooming sessions after walks.