The Barbet, also called theFrench Water Dog , is one of the medium-sized dogs. His coat is of medium length, woolly and curly. Thus, the Barbet outwardly resembles a poodle that has not been shorn for a long time. The coat is the trademark of the dog breed.

Important to know

Due to its friendly nature and yet very simple upbringing, which forgives even beginner’s mistakes as long as they are corrected in time, the Barbet is the right dog breed for you even if you have little experience with dogs.

Friendly & Intelligent


Body & Appearance


Coat care
Suitable for children
This is the Barbet


The physique of the Barbet is well proportioned and elongated. In addition, he is also very strong, agile and athletic. For coat color, solid black, gray, brown, tan (fawn), sand, white or more or less checked are permitted in breeding.

The height at withers in males is between 58cm and 66cm. Bitches are slightly smaller, the height at the withers is between 53cm and 61cm. The weight is between 15 and 30kg.

The Barbet has an elongated head from which low-set ears hang down. A small fur beard stands out under the chin. The “mustache” above the nose is also characteristic of the Barbet. This is where the name ” Barbet” comes from, which means “bearded” in German.

The barbet has a life expectancy of 10 – 15 years.


The Barbet is a friendly, alert and intelligent dog that is very focused on his master or mistress.

He also loves the water, even if it is very cold.

The hunting instinct varies among dogs. However, the Barbet is very easy to train and obedient as well as frugal. If the hunting disposition is taken into account, the Barbet is also a very good guard and companion dog. He is also very fond of children and is comfortable with and loyal to families. To his other four-legged conspecifics, the Barbet is also always friendly. Towards strangers, however, the dogs are usually reserved and distant at the beginning. But also aversion to strangers show the dogs with the friendly nature not by aggressive behavior, but by withdrawal.

But the Barbet is not only friendly and intelligent, he is also very fast, athletic and persistent. For this reason, the dog breed is also very adaptable.


The education of the Barbet is very uncomplicated, as the breed is curious and loves to learn. However, the Barbet is also very sensitive and smart. He therefore recognizes quickly when you are not consistent. For this reason, it is important that you stand firm and when you say “no”, you stick to “no”. In training you will get the farthest with positive reinforcement but also with varied training. If your dog is still small, a puppy play session is a good way to get started with dog training. Also the further attendance of a dog school is recommendable for you and your quadruped.

For joint sports hiking or jogging are very suitable.

You are welcome to keep the Barbet with other conspecifics, he is very compatible.

Even though the Barbet is an active dog breed that likes to move and be challenged, this dog breed also has no problem spending a day on the couch with his mistress or master.

Since the Barbet loves water, you must expect that he is not averse to a swim in a lake or pond. Therefore, it’s best to have a professional aluminum box in your car to transport your four-legged friend.

Nutrition and care

The barbet has no special requirements for its food. Nevertheless, the food you feed should be high quality and meat should be at the top of the declaration. Whether you feed dry or wet food, the Barbet does not care. In the beginning, it is best to feed a puppy the food that it already knows from its breeder. In the further course you can accustom him step by step to new food. A slow approach is important so that no incompatibilities develop. For treats, dental care treats or dried meat snacks work well. You should avoid grain or sugar additives in the feed. In addition, you should make sure that your four-legged friend rests after feeding, so that it does not come to a gastritis. This can be life threatening to your pet.

The curly and tousled coat of your four-legged friend is usually easy to maintain. However, you should still brush it thoroughly at least once a week. This is especially important if your four-legged friend wears his hair a little longer, as it can easily become matted. Also, after walks, scan your Barbet’s coat for small twigs or leaves that can easily get caught in the fur.

Part of caring for your four-legged friend is also checking his ears daily, as the Barbet is prone to ear infections. You can prevent this by keeping your ears hair-free and using a mild ear cleaner to clean them. Shortening the claws is also part of the care.

In the summer, you’ll also be doing your Barbet a favor by shearing his thick warm coat.

Known hereditary diseases in Barbet are hip and elbow dysplasia as well as epilepsy and entropion (a fur position of the eyes). Therefore, it is important that you get your Barbet from a reputable breeder or breeder.


The roots of the barbet reach as far as Africa. It is believed that the barbet was then brought from Africa to France by the Arabs. There, since the Middle Ages, dogs similar to the barbet were companions of the peasants. The dogs guarded the yard and the house and were also reliable companions for hunting . The Barbet was the companion of the “common people”, while the nobility used other breeds of dogs for hunting. The barbet was used mainly for hunting ducks and swans. The term ,,Barbet” was at times a generic term for ,,water dogs” with wavy hair. The French ancestors of today’s Barbet were considered nearly extinct until the end of the 19th century, but since the 1970s it has been reappearing in increasing numbers. Today, the Barbet is kept both as a hunting aid for waterfowl and as a family dog.


Due to its friendly nature and yet very simple upbringing, which forgives even beginner’s mistakes as long as they are corrected in time, the Barbet is the right dog breed for you even if you have little experience with dogs. However, you should be willing to read up on dog training and have the time required to have a dog.