Alvinia Deluna

Written by Alvinia Deluna

Modified & Updated: 06 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Barbet, also known as the French Water Dog, is a fascinating and versatile breed that has captured the hearts of dog lovers around the world. With their distinct appearance and charming personality, Barbets are highly sought after as both family pets and working dogs. In this article, we will explore 15 captivating facts about the Barbet that will give you a deeper understanding of this remarkable breed. From their history as skilled water retrievers to their gentle and affectionate nature, there’s much to discover about these unique canines. Whether you’re already a Barbet enthusiast or simply intrigued by these beautiful dogs, join us as we delve into the world of Barbets and uncover some intriguing facets of their existence.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Barbet is a rare and versatile dog breed with a rich history dating back to the 14th century. Known for its friendly nature, intelligence, and water-loving abilities, it makes an excellent family companion and working dog.
  • With its thick, curly, and waterproof coat, the Barbet is an excellent swimmer and excels in various activities such as hunting, tracking, water rescue, and therapy work. This adaptable breed is a national treasure in France and Portugal, and a beloved ancestor of the Poodle breeds.
Table of Contents

Barbet Breed Origins

The Barbet is an ancient dog breed with origins dating back to at least the 14th century. This water-loving breed was originally developed in France for water retrieval and hunting purposes.

Unique Coat Characteristics

The Barbet’s most distinguishing feature is its thick, curly, and waterproof coat. This luxurious coat not only helps protect the dog from harsh weather conditions but also allows it to excel in water activities.

Versatile Working Dog

The Barbet is a highly versatile working dog, known for its exceptional skills in various activities such as hunting, tracking, water rescue, and even therapy work.

Friendly and Affectionate Nature

The Barbet is known for its friendly and affectionate nature, making it an excellent family companion. This breed forms strong bonds with its owners and thrives on human companionship.

Intelligent and Trainable

The Barbet is an intelligent and trainable breed. With consistent positive reinforcement-based training methods, they can quickly learn and excel in various tasks and commands.

Excellent Swimmers

Thanks to their webbed feet and natural instincts, Barbets are excellent swimmers. They have a strong love for water and are often used in water rescue operations.

Minimal Shedding

Despite their thick coats, Barbets are considered to be a low-shedding breed. Regular grooming and occasional trimming are necessary to maintain the coat and prevent matting.

Rare Breed

The Barbet is still considered a rare breed, with a small population worldwide. However, their popularity is slowly growing as more people discover their unique qualities and versatile skills.

A French National Treasure

The Barbet is recognized as a national treasure in France, where it is highly regarded for its history and contributions to various water-related activities.

Social and Good with Children

Barbets are social dogs that generally get along well with other pets and enjoy the company of children. Their gentle and patient nature makes them an ideal choice for families.

Health and Longevity

The Barbet is generally a healthy breed with a lifespan of around 12 to 15 years. Responsible breeding practices and regular veterinary care are essential for maintaining their well-being.

National Dog of Portugal

The Barbet is considered the national dog of Portugal, where it is known as the Cão de Água. It has been a part of Portuguese culture for centuries and is often associated with fishing.


Barbets are adaptable dogs that can thrive in various environments, including apartments, as long as they receive sufficient exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis.

Ancestor of Poodle Breeds

The Barbet is believed to be one of the ancestors of the popular Poodle breeds. Their shared curly coat and water-retrieving abilities are clear indications of their close relations.

Barbet 2.0: Eager to Please and Perform

The modern Barbet is a versatile and eager-to-please breed that excels in various dog sports and activities, such as agility, obedience, and scent work. Their intelligence and athleticism make them a joy to train and work with.

In conclusion, the 15 captivating facts about Barbet demonstrate the unique qualities and rich history of this remarkable breed. From their exceptional water-retrieving abilities to their friendly and affectionate nature, Barbets have truly earned their place as a cherished breed among dog enthusiasts.


In conclusion, Barbet is a fascinating breed of dog with a rich history and unique characteristics. Whether it’s their distinctive coat, friendly and sociable nature, or their impressive hunting skills, Barbets have captured the hearts of dog lovers around the world. These 15 captivating facts about Barbet highlight the breed’s versatility and make them an excellent choice for families, hunters, and water sport enthusiasts alike. From their origins as water retrievers to their role as loyal and loving companions, Barbets continue to bring joy and companionship to those fortunate enough to have them as part of their lives.


1. What is the origin of the Barbet?

The Barbet is believed to have originated in France, where they were primarily used as water retrievers for hunting.

2. Are Barbets good family pets?

Yes, Barbets are known for their friendly and sociable nature, making them excellent family pets. They tend to get along well with children and other animals.

3. Do Barbets require a lot of grooming?

Yes, Barbets have a thick, curly coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep it looking its best. Regular brushing and occasional trims are necessary.

4. Are Barbets good swimmers?

Absolutely! Barbets are excellent swimmers and were originally bred for water retrieval. Their webbed feet and water-resistant coat make them natural-born swimmers.

5. Are Barbets easy to train?

Generally, yes. Barbets are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. Consistency, positive reinforcement, and patience are key when training a Barbet.

6. Are Barbets prone to any health issues?

Barbets are generally healthy dogs, but like any breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. Common problems include hip dysplasia, allergies, and ear infections.

7. How much exercise do Barbets need?

Barbets are an active breed and require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are essential for their overall well-being.

8. Can Barbets live in apartments?

While Barbets are adaptable and can live in apartments, they do require sufficient exercise and mental stimulation. Access to outdoor space where they can run and play is ideal.

9. Are Barbets good with strangers?

Barbets are generally friendly and sociable, but they can be wary of strangers. Early socialization can help them become more comfortable and accepting of new people.

10. Can Barbets be trained for hunting?

Yes, Barbets have a history as hunting dogs and can be trained for various hunting activities such as retrieving game from water or tracking scents. They have a keen sense of smell and excellent retrieving abilities.Remember to validate the HTML encoding!

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