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, but the breed is most likely much older than that. They were originally bred in France as water dog for hunting waterflow. Barbets ancestry is unknown.
2) Not a Poodle
The Barbet shares quite a lot of similarities with Poodles, especially if the Poodle does not have a haircut. And it is very likely that the Poodle was developed from the Barbet and for almost a hundread years the Barbets and Poodles were considered as the same dog breed. But the Barbet is a relative to many other breeds, very likely to to Briards, Griffons, Otterhounds or Bichons.
3) Mud dogs
The Barbet is sometimes nicknamed as a Mud Dog, which is because it is very common that their webbed paws gets down and dirty in pursuit of waterfowl. And indeed, this breed was most often used to hunt in wetlands and marshes, where they got dirty pretty easily. And even today, this is pretty goofy dog and they just love playing in water or mud.
Even though some of the Barbets 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 extremely social dog that is very attached to its owner and family and want to do everything with them. This is a smart, playful, goofy and obedient dogs and they do get along with children. But of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
Good news for people suffering from allergies. The Barbets coat is very low shedding and it is less likely to trigger the allergy. Overall, the Barbets coat is long, very dense, wooly, curly and water resistant and you can find this breed in black, gray, brown, various shades of fawn, white.
The Barbet has a lot of energy and that is why they definitely need daily longer walks or hikes accompanied with some interactive playtime to stay healthy and happy. Considering their history as water dogs, it is only logical that most of them love swimming and fetching. And they do great in various dog sports, like agility or flyball.
7) Almost extinct
The Barbet almost became extinct after the World Wars in the 20th century. Luckily 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 still considered to be a rare breed. The birth figures worldwide for 2007 are 176.
The name Barbet comes from the French word „barbe“, which can be translated to english „beard“ and The word barbet became over the centuries a generic name for a dog with a long, curly, woolly coat. They are also known as French Water Dogs.
This is a medium sized athletic dog breed with average height beween 53-65 cm, which is 21-26 inches and weight is typically between 31-62 pounds, which is 14-28 kg. Females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
The Barbet lifespan is typically between 13-15 years. There is not enough scientific studies about the breeds health, but it seems they are not suffering much from serious hereditary issues and the major health concerns are hip dysplasia, entropion, cataracts and epilepsy.