The Breed

The barbet is French in origin and is pronounced bar-bay (as in buffet), its name derives from `barbe` the French for beard.

Barbet at a show.

Barbet at a show.

There are approximaely 200 barbet resident in the UK and thought to be around 3,500 worldwide (as a best guess). The barbet is a medium to large sized dog with profuse curly and wooly hair which grows all over its body. In common with other related water dogs, the barbet does not have a seasonal moult and so requires regular grooming if the coat is to be kept long. The coat can be shaved or cut short several times a year which can minimise the amount of grooming required.


Barbets` come in a variety of colours with black, brown, black and white and brown and white being the most common

Its non-moulting coat often makes the barbet a consideration for those with allergies but it should be noted that there are many factors which trigger allergies and it is essential to spend some time in a home with barbets before any decision can be made as to their suitability.

The barbet has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

The barbet is an active breed with a working past and benefit from regular exercise and stimulation.

Barbet with a pheasant.

Barbet with a pheasant.

Barbets can be vocal, from the full-on big dog bark to the quiet whine or groan. They will bark at the approach of strangers but quickly settle down when they realise nothing is amiss.

The barbet loves water, in fact any muddy stream, ditch, river, lake or the sea will do. If you are particularly house-proud, this is not the breed for you.

An intelligent breed, the barbet is biddable and responds well to training but is equally quick to learn bad habits and can at times display a stubborn streak. The barbet enjoys mental stimulation.

The barbet is a versatile breed. In the UK they retrieve, do agility, hunt for truffles and do `Pets As Therapy` work. They also make excellent family pets.

Barbets are companionable, they like to be where you are and will often follow you around.

For further information please see the Kennel Club Breed Standard for the Barbet