Barbet – Breed profile and facts of this bearded beauty

Featured image by © / Fosterss

What is a Barbet?

The Friendly, sweet natured Barbet is a medium sized French water dog. Its name “Barbet” is derived from the French word barbe, which means a beard. The Barbet has been used primarily to locate and retrieve birds since the 16th century. It has been said that French Royals hunted with Barbets. The breed is a relative of the Poodle and Briard, and his tenacity for waterfowl has earned him the nickname of ‘Mud Dog’. The Barbet is an all around smart and versatile pooch.

Pros and Cons

Appearance and Size

Group:  Sporting (AKC)
Height:  20.5 – 25.5 inches
Weight:  35 – 60 pounds

The Barbet is a medium size and balanced water dog, with a long, dense, woolly, and curly coat.  He has a large head, and a long, sweeping tail. The Barbet’s coat is usually black or brown in color with white markings Sometimes, they can appear solid black, fawn, grey or white.

adult barbet © / Willee Cole
adult barbet © / Willee Cole


The Barbet is a very cheerful, social and loyal breed. His personality has been described as companionable, joyful, goofy, obedient. They are highly intelligent and quick to excel at obedience training. Use positive training methods as the Barbet can be a bit sensitive.


The Barbet’s long, whoolly coat grows must be groomed regularly. They require a thorough brushing all the way to the skin, to keep them tangle-free. When clipping the Barbet, experts prefer an all-around trim to around 3 – 5 inches. The Barbet has strong and fast-growing nails, which should be trimmed regularly with a good quality nail clipper or grinder. Like all floppy-eared, wholly dogs, check their ears frequently for wax and debris.


The barbet is a solid and healthy dog overall. Like all dogs though, they have their ailments. They are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, progressive renal atrophy, skin allergies, epilepsy, hernias, seizures, and ear infections.

barbet puppy profile adult barbet © / Willee Cole
barbet puppy profile © / Willee Cole

Life Expectancy

A Barbet’s lifespan is around 13-15 years

5 Fun Facts About Barbets


The Barbet is an even-tempered, smart and loyal friend that is at his best around water. They have webbed feet, perfect for swimming and would love a large, enclosed yard with a pool. They are great with children, families, and the elderly. A fantastic companion dog overall. This breed’s non-shedding coat makes it a worthwhile consideration for allergy sufferers. The Barbet also knows how to relax, perfectly content lounging around at home. They play well with other dogs, but especially love their people and don’t like being alone for too long.