Today we will be looking at a very popular French breed of dog and asking the question, What Is A Barbet?
Some background on the Barbet
This is a very ancient dog breed from France. They were first described and mentioned in several books and works as early as the 16th century. Most likely, however, the breed is most likely much older than that.
They were originally bred in France as water dogs for hunting waterfowl and for the most part the Barbet’s ancestry is mostly unknown.
It’s safe to say they still love the water and hunting!
The Barbet shares quite a lot of similarities with Poodles, especially if the Barbet doesn’t have a haircut and it is very likely that the Poodle was developed from the Barbet and for almost 100 years the Barbet and Poodles were considered as the same dog breed but they are very different.
Most likely, Barbet’s have a link to other similar dogs that love the water as intensely and these include the Portuguese water dogs and the American Water spaniels.
The Barbet has sometimes been nicknamed the Mud dog, which is because it’s very common that their webbed feet get down and dirty in pursuit of water flow. And indeed, this breed was most often used to hunt in wetlands and marshes where they get dirty pretty easily.
They are also known as French Walter dogs.
And even today, this is a pretty goofy dog and they just love playing in water or mud!
The Barbet almost became extinct after the world wars in the 20th century. Luckily, a few devoted Barbet enthusiasts decided to save the breed and they succeeded. Today the Barbet is gaining popularity as a great companion dog, although it’s still considered to be a rare breed.
Character Of A Barbet
Even though some of the Barbet’s are still working as gun dogs or search and rescue dogs, the vast majority of them are companion dogs, and they are great family companions. The Barbet is an extremely social dog that is very attached to its owner and family and wants to do everything with them.
Life Expectancy Of A Barbet
Typically, this breed has a decent lifespan of 13 to 15 years.
Health Of A Barbet
There are not enough scientific studies about the health of the breed but it seems that they are not suffering much from any serious hereditary issues and the only major health concerns are hip dysplasia and cataracts and epilepsy and these are conditions that can be common in many dogs.
Diet-wise as we always recommend the best quality food you can afford, along with plenty of clean fresh water and not too many treats as these can be full of salts and sugars.
Weight Of A Barbet
This brings us quite neatly to the Barbet’s weight. This is a medium-sized athletic dog breed with an average height between 53 to 65 centimeters, which is 21 to 26 inches, and weight is typically between 31 to 62 pounds, which is 14 to 28 kilograms. Females are naturally a little bit smaller than males.
Again, it is a dog that likes to exercise and run so good quality food will keep your dog in tip-top shape.
Coat Care Of A Barbet
Good news for people suffering from allergies. The Barbet’s coat is very low shedding and it’s less likely to trigger allergies. Overall the Barbet’s coat is long, very dense, wooly, curly, and water-resistant. And you can find these dogs in black, gray, brown, various shades of fawn or white.
Obviously, if your dog is going to be doing plenty of exercises and running in woodland areas, you need to keep on top of brushing the coat and making sure that they don’t pick up ticks or other parasites which can be common with dogs with coats like this and especially ones that love to run around forests and take dips in wetland, marshes, and ponds!
Exercise Requirements Of A Barbet
The Barbet is a highly energetic dog and they do need daily long walks or hikes accompanied by some task-oriented playtime, to stay healthy and happy.
Considering their history and original purpose as water dogs. It’s only logical that most of them have swimming and fetching. And they do great in various dog sports like agility or flyball.
Because of this, they are probably suited to an owner that has an active lifestyle and these dogs will benefit from lots of daily exercises, running, and play.
Someone who lives semi-rural or has access to large areas of space for this would be an ideal match with this active and fun breed.
Price Of A Barbet-How Much Does A Barbet Cost?
Generally speaking the going rate for one of these dogs from a breeder would be around the $2000 mark ( £1500+) as they are still relatively rare.
This could obviously be a lot more if it was a show-bred dog.
As we always say, do your due diligence when going down the breeder purchase route and this great article will help you as far as what you need to know and what you need to ask.
Trainability Of A Barbet
The Barbet is highly intelligent with an ability to learn very quickly. That’s the reason why it is easily trainable.
As with most sporting and hunting dogs, because they have high intelligence they pick things up very quickly.
This can of course be great if it is something you want them to do but also, without a firm and positive, and consistent training regime in place, then this smart dog will make their own minds up and you really don’t want that.
Generally speaking, good quality positive training with this dog will get you results very fast indeed.
They are a breed that loves to make their owners happy and they have a superb character and temperament to match.
As I pointed out earlier, good quality daily exercise, great food, positive training, and lots of love and care, and this is a dog that will pay you back 100 fold.