The Barbet (pronounced bar-bay) is a dog of French origin. The name Barbet comes from the French word barbe, meaning beard.  

The Barbet was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) in 2006. As of 2014, just over 600 individual Barbets have been registered with the CKC. The wait can be long for a Barbet puppy but as a passionate breed enthusiast, I can assure you, it is well worth it. 

The Barbet is a wonderful breed. They are medium sized sporting dogs that are athletic and as such they do need a good amount of exercise. They are sweet and loving and make an excellent family pet. They are willing to please but also very intelligent and one must provide suitable exercise (both mental and physical) and consistent leadership. As with all dogs they need to know who is in charge and that had better be you!  

They have a coat which is considered to be good for those with allergies but if you have sensitivities to dogs I would advise you to spend some time around some Barbets to see if they affect you in this way. Please understand that low-shedding does not mean low-maintenance and the Barbet should be groomed often. Their profuse coat grows continuously and will form wooly strands. If left unattended it will also form thick mats. This is a breed that requires regular brushing and combing if you want to maintain it’s long rustic coat. The breed may be kept in a shorter clip to suit your lifestyle but many of us Barbet lovers find their longer coats and beards to be part of their charm.

The Barbet is a breed that needs lots of interaction with it’s owners. If you are away from the house all day a Barbet may not be the best pet for you. It can be done but it will require a great deal of commitment on your part. Dogs are most active at dawn and dusk so get up a little early and go for a long walk. They won’t care if it’s raining or snowing or if you would rather hunker down beneath the covers. When you get home from work you will need to spend time with your dog. If your lifestyle is such that when you get home you often head out again to the gym or club or all the kid’s after school activities – think again whether a Barbet or any dog for that matter would be a good idea. It is not fair to the dog to leave it alone all the time.

Photo by Helle. Fisher

french water dogs