The Barbet is a rare French water dog, used for hunting and retrieving waterfowl. There is currently a small number of Barbets, limited so as to curb the recurrence of genetic diseases. It’s name is French for “beard,” and it is believed to be a breed instrumental in the formation of others, such as the Poodle and the Portuguese Water Retriever. in fact “barbet” has come to be a generic name for any dog with a tight, curly, woolly coat. It is valued as an all-around dog, as good in the field as it is as a companion or family pet.
The Barbet is a very sociable and outgoing dog. It prefers to be near its people, but it is also friendly towards other dogs and will generally live peacefully with them. It can get attached to its owner, and an improperly trained and unsocialized Barbet may not take well to being left alone occasionally. It is a water dog, and may possess natural ability for and skill in water, but there are some across the breed that do not instinctively like the water right away. It is an intelligent dog, and an accurate and reliable retriever and gun dog. At home, it is an excellent companion for children, gentle and sturdy enough to play with, and demonstrative with its affections.
Regular brushing is a must to prevent mats from forming, which would result into clumps falling out of or being removed from the coat. There are several clips to choose from, depending on whether the dog is for show, where it usually goes for a walk, the surroundings it is often found in. Ears should be checked weekly, and nails and the fur around the anus should be trimmed once a month.
Since grooming takes up a lot of time in a Barbet’s life, a puppy should be exposed and gotten used to grooming as early as possible. Extensive socialization is recommended, to as many situations and places possible, for a confident Barbet. Any training session for an intelligent dog needs to be quick and varied, in order not to lose their interest. If they do get bored, training can resume at other times, but often, to achieve the desired behaviors.
A Barbet is more suited to free, open space than urban dwelling. An active hunting dog, it will need frequent runs and activities to be happy and stimulated. Obedience courses can be started as early as puppyhood, but agility classes should be deferred until the Barbet is full grown and joints are done developing.