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Barbet Do you know this dog? We tell you everything about this breed

Barbet ¿Conoces este perro? Te contamos todo sobre esta raza

Lobo Azul |

In some cases, the search for a pet is not only intended for company, but also for carrying out some activities or sports, such as hiking, swimming and even hunting or herding. That is why the choice of a dog can be conditioned according to its abilities, looking for it to have different qualities, as is the case of the Barbet .
  • Medium size .
  • Weight : Between 17 and 28kg.
  • Hair type : Thick wavy hair
  • Character : Loyal, friendly, affectionate and very fun.
  • Health : Healthy
  • Life expectancy : Between 13 and 15 years.
A breed recognized throughout its existence for its multiple abilities for the aforementioned contexts, this medium-sized dog has gained the fascination of many since its origins. Characterized by a notable beard that covers his chin and gives meaning to the name of the breed, he is classified as one of the oldest dogs in canine history, despite being in recurring danger of extinction . A truly very complete and familiar dog, whose well-being will also depend on the care of its owners. That is why knowing everything about this breed is essential before deciding to adopt it. For this reason, we have prepared the following article where we will develop each aspect of the Barbet's life, learn what you need from these canines and discover if it is the ideal companion for you.

Origin of Barbet

The history of Barbet is not particularly clear, due to the existence of different theories. However, the one that gains the greatest strength is the beginning of the breed in France, where it was used as a hunting dog in rivers and swamps , in this way, it was adopted as a French water dog to identify it. A truly ancient breed, since the first publications about these dogs were established around the 16th century. Likewise, around the year 1837, there were some records that identified him, although not yet with his current name. The popularity that this breed was gaining due to its skills as a hunter in aquatic spaces never ceased to surprise, to the point that royalty made it part of their family when King Henry IV adopted a specimen.
Barbet breed
Although in the 1700s the dog continued with great popularity as an excellent companion on boats and also an ideal companion pet, it was not until 1880 when it was recognized with the name it currently has, which in French is the meaning of the word beard . After this event, paintings of these dogs began to appear, commonly next to swamps, in order to indicate the happiness that being submerged in water brought them, even when the temperatures were cold. Despite its popularity, after the Second World War, the Barbet was in clear danger of extinction, like many other breeds. However, those who know their abilities, in this case, three experts dedicated to the breeding of these dogs managed to keep the species alive. Although it was often confused with a poodle of French descent due to its appearance, these dogs received international recognition of their own . In 2005 he was recognized by the United Kennel Club . While the International Cynological Federation approved it in 1954, its official standard was published in 2006. Today, they are recognized in an extraordinary way, because although they have unmatched qualities, they are not as common as before the Second World War. It is worth highlighting the value given to them as excellent swimmers, hunters, herding dogs and even companion dogs.

Physical characteristics

The physical appearance of this French spaniel stands out for being athletic, medium-sized and well-built. Muscular, but also covered in hair that provides greater volume to its original build. It has strong and thick limbs that provide it with great skill and presence, in addition to a muscular and broad build. Let's know in detail the physical characteristics of the Barbet.

Size and weight

The height of this breed will depend on its gender. What they have in common is that they both have a slightly longer body than they are tall. In the case of males, their height averages between 55 and 65 centimeters, while females are smaller, standing between 53 and 61 cm . In relation to weight, these dogs can average between 17 and up to 28 kilograms, regardless of sex.

head and face

In accordance with their height and build, the head of these spaniels is proportionally large, round and noticeably wide . It is covered by abundant wavy hair, which with effort allows its black or brown nose to be identified, depending on the color of the coat. His eyes are rounded, medium-sized, also similar in color to his nose. It has quite thick lips, brown or black on the edges . A curious beard falls on his chin, giving meaning to the name of the breed and being a distinctive aspect of them. The ears of these dogs are long, thin, set low and flattened.


The tail of these dogs is set slightly high, has no curvature and is delicately raised.


The Barbet's coat is, without a doubt, one of its greatest attributes. They have a dense, thick, abundant and wavy canvas throughout their body. Also appearing, a type of longer locks . Its essential characteristic is that it is prepared to withstand very low temperatures without being cold, so you can enjoy being submerged in water or mud at all times without problems. However, the care it requires is notable, due to the presence of knots and abundant dirt on it . Later we will explain how to maintain the hygiene of these canines. As for colors, the Barbet has unicolor specimens in chestnut, black, gray and fawn. In other cases, white spots may appear in any of the aforementioned colors.


As if their athletic abilities were not enough, the Barbet's character makes these dogs more charming. They are loyal, friendly, affectionate and very fun animals, aspects that make them an excellent companion animal . He really enjoys spending time with his family, he is very playful and happy. Although they tend to be a little clumsy, these dogs have an obedient and very docile temperament. Worthy animals bred for hunting , they also have a very energetic spirit, they are always attentive and very active , which is why they require a considerable amount of exercise to stay balanced and not overflow energy in destructive behavior.
Regarding coexistence with other animals, these dogs adapt very easily to the presence of other dogs or any other pet, so it will not be a problem to share the space with other species. Living with other people is just as simple, they are very spontaneous and trusting animals that will have fun playing with all members of the family, especially with children . However, in the case of the latter, you must be careful because they are medium and strong dogs, it is advisable to supervise to avoid incidents. In general, these dogs do not present behavioral problems , unless they are alone for a long time and without physical activity, which could suffer anxiety or become destructive, everything will depend on the attention provided. Activities such as Agility or swimming are widely recommended for this breed, they will enjoy them to the fullest and will also practice obedience and spend time with their owner . Generally, they are dogs accustomed to life outdoors, that is, staying in the countryside is ideal for them. However, with proper training and a correct physical activity routine you can easily adapt to urban life.

Education and training

The Barbet is characterized by being an intelligent, attentive and, above all, obedient dog. That is to say, their training will be not only simple, but also fun, although this does not mean that it should not be constant and disciplined. This is a breed that will not cause problems in learning commands or tricks. However, maintaining adequate order in your education will lay the foundations for your behavior as an adult.
For this reason, it is important to start at least 4 weeks after birth with topics such as socialization and then, according to their development, progress in learning commands and tricks. If there is something that should not be forgotten, it is the imperative need for adequate and regular training to prevent destructive behaviors from developing. Well, he needs, with great care, an abundant amount of exercises to help him maintain adequate balance. It is a cooperative and docile pet, which does not require an authoritarian or experienced owner . However, it does not respond to shouting or abuse; on the contrary, it can react unfavorably. Considering positive reinforcement as a fundamental technique in all training will foster a relationship of trust between the canine and its owner, in this way the training will be more comfortable and bearable.


The Barbet, in general, enjoys very good health. Their life expectancy can average between 13 and 15 years, depending on their quality of life. Although the rarity of its existence has prevented more data from being acquired about diseases specific to the breed.
However, we will present some of the most common pathologies that these dogs have come to present and that, due to their size, are constantly associated with them:


Because they are aquatic hunting dogs, they are widely exposed to ear infections. This is very common, and although it is difficult to avoid it, in some cases, constant checking of the ears will help in this matter. In addition to a deep cleaning every time the canine gets wet.


The appearance of umbilical, inguinal, perianal and diaphragmatic hernias can appear in this breed and cause discomfort and even pain in some cases.


In some cases, these dogs can suffer epileptic seizures. Being a hereditary condition that affects your central nervous system. They are unexpected episodes in which the animal shows signs of a seizure.

Hip dysplasia

This degenerative disease can progressively limit the mobility of these dogs. It is a multicausal pathology. It can be hereditary or generated by poor movement that causes wear and tear of the hip joints. The prevention of these pathologies, in most cases, will depend on the care and attention given to the dog.


Although it is a healthy dog ​​that is accustomed to rustic canine life, that is, it does not demand excessive care; It is important to know some important information that will ensure the quality of life of our French spaniel.
Let's see what are the most necessary care that this breed needs :


Without a doubt, regular exercise is what will keep this canine healthy, balanced and completely happy. At least a daily walk of one hour, combined with games and exercise time, is ideal for this canine to maintain good health and good spirits . Including sports, whether swimming or Agility for example, will be very beneficial for these dogs.


He is a medium-sized dog, so he tends to eat abundantly. It is important to have adequate nutritional control with a veterinarian who can guide you about food proportions in order to avoid obesity or provide unsuitable food . A quality feed, distributed in small portions throughout the day, could be very beneficial.


Bathing a Barbet is very important, especially if it is exposed to aquatic hunting activities or a life in the countryside, as this will prevent knots and dirt from adhering to its curly coat. It is important to apply at least a monthly bath . Cutting the coat is also necessary, at least every six months, to reduce between 8 and 12 centimeters of hair, to shape its body and also to avoid knots and shedding.
Brushing is recommended to be done constantly, at least twice a week. However, after bathing, it is imperative to accompany it with a hair dryer so that you can cut correctly. Finally, hygiene should include constant and delicate nail cutting so as not to hurt the baby.

Veterinary checks

Regular veterinary consultations, deworming and vaccination cannot be missed if you want to keep the Barbet in good health.


Although they are a rare dog due to their notable risk of extinction at one time, spaniels are unique and special animals . A combination of energy, obedience and fun is what characterizes this athletic and very active canine. Excellent daily companion, accustomed to fascinating sports such as swimming or work activities such as herding or hunting, this is a very complete dog, ideal as a pet. Full of intelligence, their training and maintenance do not require much effort, just adequate attention from their owners to enjoy this companion in good health permanently . More curiosities about dogs:
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