Dog Training



Curious, Smart, Friendly
Size: Large
Height: 53-65 cm
Weight: 15-30 kg
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Coat: Longhair
Colors: Black, Gray, Brown, Auburn, Fawn, Cream, White
FCI Group: Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs

The Barbet combines some positive character traits. First of all, he is good-natured and smart. Also, he is always ready for an adventure together. These characteristics make him the ideal companion dog. However, it should not be underestimated that he wants to be kept busy. The French Water Dog needs activities to be balanced.

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With a height at the withers of up to 65 cm in males, Barbets are large dogs with a compact build according to the standard. The ears set low and hang down. The long coat is curly throughout. The coat partly forms cords. Therefore, it is usually shorn in the summer.

The dog wears a typical fur beard under his chin and a "mustache" above his nose. This is where his name "Barbet" comes from. This means "bearded" in German. His coat can be gray, black, fawn, sand, brown and white. There are more unicolored Barbets than pied ones.
If you utilize this intelligent fuzzy head properly, you'll find him to be a versatile companion. Barbets are all-around friendly, well-balanced dogs. They are sociable and integrate well into the family.

The breed is always ready for new things and can hardly be ruffled. The dog is always loyal to its owners. Towards strangers he is usually somewhat distant. The Barbet indicates unusual things without tending to alarming yapping.

The Barbet is curious and loves to learn. This is the best prerequisite for uncomplicated education. In addition, the four-legged friend is very sensitive and smart. He quickly recognizes any form of inconsistency. So stay firm. Even if your Barbet lets his charm work on you.

Barbet head

Positive reinforcement as well as varied training will show the best success with this sensitive dog. Take your Barbet to puppy playtime. Here you can introduce him to other dogs with different characteristics. It is also often a good way to make friends for life.

A visit to the dog school not only helps to learn the rules of basic obedience in a playful way. Even long-time dog owners benefit from socialization of the beloved four-legged friend.

In general, the barbet is suitable for hunting. He shows himself helpful as a loss bringer in water hunts. But he is also suitable as a pointing dog. The Barbet can also be kept as a pure companion dog without any problems. However, he should then be otherwise occupied.

The versatile furry nose is suitable for all forms of nose work. This includes search games and mantrailing. Dog sports, such as agility is also recommended. Of course, it is also indispensable as a companion for hiking and jogging.

However, make sure that the sporting activities are adapted to the training condition of your Barbet. Especially with young dogs you should train only limited. However, this smart four-legged friend is not only enthusiastic about sports and hunting. The Barbet also proves his talents as a therapy or guide dog.

Coat care:




Energy level:




Children suitable:

With supervision

The right food

Give your Barbet a species-appropriate diet. This dog needs plenty of meat in his bowl. Regardless of whether you choose wet or dry food, meat should come first. It is best to give your puppy the familiar food from the breeder first.

This also applies if you want to change the food later. When the dog has settled in, you can gradually mix more and more of the unfamiliar food into the familiar food. This way you avoid hypersensitivity reactions. Even with adult dogs this method is proven.

When it comes to treats, go for meaningful rewards instead. These include dried meat snacks or dental care treats. As with the main food, the same applies to additional snacks: Avoid grains and sugar. Both have no place in high-quality dog food.

Treat your furry nose to dog chews or even dry chews from time to time. Rumen is a real chewing treat for your dog. With large quadrupeds like a Barbet, it is important to let the dog rest after eating. This way you prevent a life-threatening gastric torsion.

Food is ideally given after excursions and before the cozy snooze. Keep an eye on the dog's waistline despite the lush coat. If you are unsure, weigh the dog every few weeks. This way you can counteract overweight at an early stage.

Most of the time this works without diet food. Instead, use well-adapted rations for your four-legged friend. Exercise also plays an important role. Also remember that your Barbet must have drinking water available at all times.

Barbet care

The Barbet wears the fuzzy coat in a natural look. It is quite easy to maintain. However, if your Barbet wears his coat longer, you should brush it thoroughly once a week. This will help prevent matting.

Search your long-haired Barbet daily for souvenirs in the form of small twigs or leaves. These easily get stuck in the fuzzy fur. Also take the opportunity to look in his ears. Barbets are prone to ear infections. You can prevent this by keeping his ears as hair-free as possible.

In case of dirt, you can use a special ear cleaner for dogs. At the first signs of inflammation, it is best to consult your veterinarian. If the coat is excessively dirty, you can clean it with a special dog shampoo. Although Barbets are considered Water Dogs appreciate the fresh wet very much, you should practice this ritual from puppyhood.

In the summer you can have your darling sheared. This is a great relief on hot days, which you should treat your Barbet. Many owners also do the clipping themselves at home. Also, trim claws that are too long, as your furry friend could painfully get them caught somewhere.

Suitable accessories

Utensils for ideal barbet hair care are very important. This includes a comb with coarse rotating tines. This is used for regular combing of the whole body. A small comb with thin tines helps to loosen tangles. Also, this is well suited to comb beard and ears daily. So these regions remain clean and felt-free.

A wooden handle comb with long tines is suitable for getting the knots out of the coat when styling. A so-called "MatSplitter" is a "special tool" to cut very strong matting. With it you can accidentally hurt the dog, should he fidget or spontaneously twitch.

A dog hair dryer is also a sensible purchase. With it, the dog is completely dry in 20 to 30 minutes. This has the advantage that the undercoat is properly dried. Thus, the Barbet does not start to smell even after water sports units. A wet Barbet does not smell as much as a normal wet dog, but the Barbet can also smell. Through the blow-drying this is only very minimally the case.

Care cloths are suitable for ear care. Always be very careful to avoid injuries. If you want to trim your pelt, you will need a clipper with attachment heads. If you don't feel up to clipping yet, a dog salon will be happy to help you.


Origin & History

The origin of the so-called "water dog" reaches to Africa. Presumably, he was brought from here by the Arabs to France.

In France, Barbet-like dogs have been known since the Middle Ages among farmers on the French coast. Here they guarded the house and the yard. They were also reliable companions of the "common people" during the hunt. Other hunting dogs were reserved for the nobility.

First of all, the "water dog" hunted swans and ducks. Gradually, the name "Barbet" was used for these dogs throughout Europe. "Barbet" was at times even a generic term for dogs with wavy hair that served as water hunting assistants.

At the end of the 19th century, these French ancestors of the barbet were considered almost extinct. Because only very few poachers and farmers kept this curly quadruped.

However, mainly due to its friendly nature, the Barbet gradually had a revival from the 70s. Thus, today there exists a stable population of the breed. Even today, the "French water dog" is used as a helper in hunting waterfowl. Increasingly, however, it is also kept today as a pure family dog.

Despite the fact that the Barbet is a rarely encountered dog, it has a great influence on the dog world. Because the breed was involved in the creation of many hunting dogs, such as the Poodle Pointer or the Irish Water Spaniel. Probably, the Briard also comes from the crossing of the Barbet and the Picard. However, whether the Poodle also descends from the fuzzy Barbets, is unfortunately not clearly documented.