Updated 08-07-2023

Barbet Characteristics, Facts & Traits

This intelligent and playful dog breed comes from a woolly coat. While the Barbet was originally intended to retrieve waterfowl for hunters, it is also a talented agility competitor in their native France, where they were originally produced.

Experienced pet parents are preferred for barbets. Dog agility events are a favourite pastime for these energetic pups. Having a dog that is well-behaved around children and other canines is possible if you meet the criteria of the breed.

Barbet characteristics and information are below.


  • An easy-going and affectionate pet, the barbet enjoys spending time with his owner.
  • His tremendous prey drive means that he needs to be closely monitored when he comes into contact with birds.
  • He has to be active every day to keep him from becoming agitated and causing harm.
  • An allergy-free dog that needs daily brushing to keep his coat clear of tangles and grime. 
  • Due to the barbet's obedient and clever temperament, training him is a piece of cake.


Social Appearance 


Contrary to common assumption, being a little dog does not automatically equate to being an apartment pet. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. And if you want to give your dog a bit more privacy in your apartment, this is the place to shop for a fantastic dog crate.

Sensitivity Level

Some dogs take a strong rebuke in stride, while others take even the tiniest hint of a sneer into account. "Easygoing," "resilient" and "thick-skinned" dogs may better endure a noisy, chaotic environment, an aggressive or boisterous owner, and an unpredictable or erratic schedule. Does your life revolve around entertaining, having a full-time job, having small children, or being in a band? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at the dog whether they're energetic or not, but whatever they do, it's with gusto. They pull hard on the leash (unless you teach them otherwise), charge headlong over obstacles, even down food and water. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. When it comes to their approach to life, a low-vigor dog is more laid back.

Potential for Playfulness

Some dogs never grow out of their puppyhood and are always looking for a game to play, while other dogs are more serious and sombre in their outlook on life. Think just how many games of fetch or tag your dog will need to play each day, as well as if you have children or other canines who can serve as playmates.

Personality Appearance


Sheepdogs, which were intended to herd animals and require a high level of intelligence and attention, need mental exercise just as much as dogs raised to gallop all day do. Digging and chewing are two examples of activities that a bored pet will engage in if they don't obtain the mental stimulation they need. Dog sports and occupations, like agility and search and rescue, are excellent ways to offer a dog a mental workout in addition to traditional methods of training and interactive dog toys.

Energy Level

Dogs with a high level of energy are always ready for action. A canine job, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals requires a lot of stamina; these dogs were originally designed for that purpose. They're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and exploring new sights and smells if they're getting the exercise and cerebral stimulation they require.

Dozing all day is the preferred mode of activity for dogs with low levels of energy. Think about your own level of activity and lifestyle when choosing a dog breed. Is a feisty, lively dog something you'll enjoy or find annoying?

Easy To Train

Dogs that are easy to train are better at quickly creating an association between a cue (such as "sit"), an action (such as sitting), and a reward (such as a treat). Other dogs require a greater investment of time, patience, and repetition to successfully complete their training.

You'll need to utilise incentives and games to get your dog excited about training because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" training mentality.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Even if they've been nurtured by the same person since puppyhood, some breeds are stubborn and aloof; others form strong bonds with a single person and are uninterested in anybody else; and still others exhibit unconditional love to everyone in the household. It's not just the breed that influences a dog's level of attachment; canines who were raised in a home with people around are more likely to form strong bonds with humans.


A kid-friendly dog must be kind with children, strong enough to withstand the hefty pets and embraces they can give out, and tolerant of running, scream-inducing toddlers. There are a few names on there that you would not expect: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). When it comes to family-friendly small dogs, Chihuahuas aren't always the best option.

Dog Friendly

Friendship with dogs and friendship with people are two very different things. It's not uncommon for dogs to attack or try to dominate each other, even if they're known as "lovebugs" by their owners. It's not just a matter of what kind of dog you have. At six to eight weeks of age, puppies should have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother, and they are more likely to have good social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

In order to have a dog in your home, you'll have to cope with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in your home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others "blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. Pick a breed that sheds less or lower your requirements if cleanliness is important to you. You can get excellent de-shedding equipment to assist keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

Wet spots may be left on your clothes and your arm by canines that are more prone to slobbering than others. In the event that you aren't concerned about your dog's drool, you can go ahead and get one that isn't as messy as you'd prefer.

Easy To Groom

To keep them clean and healthy, certain dog breeds only require a quick brushing after which they're ready to go. Grooming a dog that requires a lot of time and patience may not be in your best interest if you do not have the time or the money to do so.

Exercise Needs

Walking around the neighbourhood in the evening is quite acceptable for some breeds. Many other breeds, such as those developed for labor-intensive vocations like herding or hunting, require regular exercise.

These dogs can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't enjoy, including barking, chewing, and digging, if they are not given enough exercise. If you're an active person who likes to go outside and play with your dog, you should consider a breed that requires a lot of activity.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


37 to 62 pounds


13 to 15 years


20 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder


As a French bird and duck hunting dog, the barbet is closely related to the poodle and the briard. In order to catch birds in dirt and water, the barbet was given the moniker "mud dog." The French word "barbe," which means "beard," is the origin of the barbet's English name.

In Europe, the barbet has a long and varied history. Despite the fact that barbets were first documented in print in 1387, some believe the breed has been around for centuries. It's also been reported that King Henry IV's mistress once got into problems for carrying a barbet into church because he kept barbets as pets.

Barbets are now a somewhat rare breed, despite their long history as faithful hunting dogs and friends. The barbet is a top agility dog in French dog competitions, despite its limited global population.

It is a relatively young breed that has been accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The American Kennel Club (AKC) classed the breed in 2020 as a "Sporting Group" dog.

Personality and Temperament

The Barbet is a well-mannered and well-behaved canine breed that is also amiable and good-natured. Dogs like these are known for their funny side; they're just as likely to sit calmly next to their owners as they are to play in the mud with their friends. This breed is a great choice for families with children and the elderly because of its friendly temperament. A deep relationship with their families is common for these dogs, and they want to know what is going on in their lives at all times.

Barbets, which were bred specifically for hunting, have highly active brains that must be stimulated on a regular basis. Consistent training and plenty of fun games are the best ways to prevent your dog from establishing bad habits. Consider enlisting your dog in obedience or agility training, as the breed is known to excel in these fields.


Before introducing a barbet into your home, make sure you can handle its high-maintenance grooming, exercise, and training requirements. The barbet's curly, dense coat means that it sheds very little, yet it must be groomed on a daily basis. Barbets may not be the best choice for a first-time dog owner, a family with a hectic schedule, or an inactive family due to their high intellect and grooming needs (and probable intransigence).


Despite the fact that barbets are generally healthy dogs, it cannot be ruled out that they may have specific health concerns. If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms, it's critical that you are aware of the warning signals and seek immediate medical attention.

Hip or elbow dysplasia

The joints in the hips and elbows are affected by this illness, which can cause severe discomfort and paralysis. Because dysplasia is a hereditary issue, you should insist on a joint guarantee from your breeder. Although most occurrences of dysplasia are hereditary, traumas and excessive weight gain may also play a role in the development.


When your dog has epilepsy, the electrical currents in his brain are disrupted and he has frequent seizures. Convulsions and foaming at the mouth are among the most common symptoms of a seizure. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog exhibits any of these symptoms.


There are many signs that your dog has allergies, such as itching, licking, and rubbing their face. The good news is that allergies are usually manageable. Depending on the type and severity of the allergy, your veterinarian can help you find out what your dog is allergic to, and may recommend medication or a change in their diet.

When a dog has progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), its ability to see deteriorates. The rods, cones, and/or pigmented layer of the eye lens degenerate and finally wear away, resulting in blindness in people with the hereditary illness.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hips
  2. Elbows
  4. Dilution Factor


The amount of high-quality, high-protein dog food you should feed your barbet each day will vary depending on its size, weight, activity level, and metabolism. It's best to consult with your barbet's veterinarian if you're unsure of how much to feed him.

Dogs of any breed can become obese if they are overfed and under-exercised. To avoid significant health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems in your dog, make sure he or she is eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet.


A daily grooming routine is essential for barbets because of their lengthy and dense coats of curls. A buildup of dirt and debris in their hair can cause tangles, mats, and even a bald spot. After each walk, you may even find debris in your barbet's coat. It's easy for the barbet's coat to become matted or felted if it's not regularly brushed. Using your fingers, carefully brush and comb your pet's coat and remove any tangles or mats that may have formed. Using a comb to remove a mat can injure your dog's coat or skin.

Keeping a barbet's coat short can make grooming easier for some owners. Trim your barbet's coat to a length of about 4 inches around the body, with a slightly longer tail, head, and chin for the best results. You can trim the hairs between your dog's eyes and around the ear canal on a regular basis to help him see better. Groomers are available in your area if you don't feel comfortable grooming your dog's coat yourself.

Using a soft cotton cloth, gently remove any waxy buildup or debris from your barbet's ears. Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your dog's ears are red and inflamed, overly unclean, or smell strange. You should get medical attention if you see any of these symptoms.

If they don't get regular dental treatment, dogs of all breeds are at risk of developing periodontal disease. Ideally, you should wash your dog's teeth every day, but even once a week can help keep dental illnesses at bay. In addition to brushing, dental chew treats can be given, but keep in mind that they are empty calories and should only be given in moderation. You should never rely solely on dental treats to keep your dog's teeth clean.


Barbets are sports dogs, which means they have higher levels of energy and a greater demand for physical activity. At least two hours of daily exercise is necessary for these pets. Because they're such sharp canines, it's critical to keep them occupied and amused at all times. In order to keep your pet active and involved, you should play agility games, puzzles or other hard games.


It's possible for barbets to be stubborn because they are so intelligent. Regular exercise and amusement can also be helpful in reinforcing good behaviour in a dog. Even if the barbet is devoted to its family, strangers should be aware that it may not be particularly warm and pleasant towards them. Regular obedience training and socialisation are two things that may be helpful.

Children and other Pets

Friendly, peaceful, and affectionate, barbets make wonderful companions for children and adults alike. Small children may find them challenging because of how easily they can become over-excited and rowdy when playing, which might result in them falling over. Strangers can scare them but they're not likely to attack. They are extremely sociable dogs who enjoy spending time with their owners and are content as long as they are close to them. There is a good chance that a Barbet will rapidly turn into your personal shadow if you aren't used to having a dog at your side all the time.

Barbets normally get along well with other animals including canines if socialising begins early enough. If you have a smaller pet like a cat or rabbit, keep in mind that these dogs have a long history of hunting and a tremendous prey drive. As a dog with a strong prey drive, a strong recall is necessary to keep them from chasing any tiny animals that come their way. This is where proper training comes into play.


Puppy Barbets can't wait to play and cuddle with their human parents. As tempting as it may be, it is critical that you begin obedience training your puppy as soon as possible. Puppies must also be socialised to ensure that they will get along with other dogs as adults.

Finding a Barbet puppy is tough because the breed is so rare. Puppies can sell for as much as $3,000 due to the scarcity of registered breeders and the great demand for them, but on average, they cost around $1,000. Puppies born from trustworthy breeders with papers and traceable pedigree tend to sell for more money than those from unreliable breeders.

Dog breeds related to Barbet

The standard poodle, Briard, and Bichon Frise all resemble the Barbet in some way.

Standard Poodle

The Barbet is a dog with a high level of energy and a friendly demeanour. The standard poodle, on the other hand, comes in a wide range of colours.


Both dogs have French ancestry and are energetic and affectionate. Despite its shorter stature, the Barbet is heavier and taller than the briard.

Bichon Frise

Compared to a Barbet, this dog is much smaller. However, both of them possess a sharp intellect and a lighthearted demeanour.