Barbet Breed Information


Below is a general description of the French water dog or barbet breed, more detailed information can be found by clicking on the link buttons above.


Pronounced `bar bay`, with the `et` on the end as in ballet. The barbet is a medium/large dog with a thick shaggy, curly coat over its whole body. Its hair grows over its eyes and it has a pronounced beard from which its name is derived (`barbe' is the French word for beard). The coat is commonly solid black, solid brown in differing shades or either colour mixed with varying quantities of white.

Bepop & Booly Wooly

Bepop & Booly Wooly

The Barbet is an active breed which enjoys work and play equally and can be used for a variety of activities where it uses its agility, stamina, sense of smell and intelligence. The Barbet becomes very attached/devoted to its owners and makes an excellent companion, and will want to be wherever you are in the house. Being an intelligent dog, the Barbet enjoys being stimulated although this also means it becomes bored if left for long periods on its own. As with any intelligent breed a certain amount of training and discipline is essential but the effort is well rewarded. If strong leadership is not provided, the barbet will subtly and quietly take over before you know it, and so is less suitable for inexperienced or first time dog owners. The Barbet is an even tempered dog and is not aggressive or shy with other people or dogs. It will bark to warn of the approach of strangers but do not expect any further action. It is very good with children and makes an excellent family pet although adolescent dogs can be too boisterous for very small children or toddlers.

Its non-moulting coat makes it a worthwhile consideration for allergy sufferers. It should be noted however, that dog hair is not the only cause of dog allergies in humans and time should be spent in the company of a barbet to determine an individual’s degree of reaction.

An after walk, hose down

An after walk, hose down

Its history as a water dog mean that it will take to water of any temperature readily including muddy bogs and ditches. This means the barbets` coat can carry a fair amount of mud and debris back into your house. Luckily they are tolerant of being hosed down, if a little reluctant.

As with all non-moulting breeds the amount of coat maintenance is dependant on the length of coat which can be trimmed or shaved for the hotter months. If the coat is to be kept long, then regular brushing to keep it tangle free is required.

This is covered in more detail in the grooming section. Although non-moulting, a small amount of coat, similar to the amount lost by a standard poodle, is still lost as a result of scratching or cleaning but this is easily vacuumed up and does not cling to clothes and furniture as some dog hairs do.


Barbet Terms

Here are a few terms to practise your French with...

And for the more ambitious, you can try slipping these in to your French conversations:-
Crotté comme un Barbet..................: As muddy as a barbet.
Suivre quelqu’un comme un Barbet .....: To be followed everywhere.