The Barbet is a relatively rare, rustic, and medium-sized dog, known for his dense, curly coat and the ability to retrieve from water and hunt on land. The Barbet is a versatile gun dog who is believed to originate from France, in the 16th century, to hunt water games. The dog was an all-around working dog. After World War II, the Barbet breed almost became extinct, but few devoted breeders helped save the breed. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club on January 1, 2020.

FUN FACT: The word “Barbet” is pronounced as “Bar-Bay” and it comes from the French word “Barbe” which means beard, due to the dog's bearded face.



22,5–25 in (57–63 cm)



35–65 lb (16–29 kg)





Life Expectancy:

12–14 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

Male Barbet stands between 22,5–25 in (57–63 cm) at the shoulder, and females are slightly smaller. Both sexes weigh between 35–65 lb (16–29 kg).


The Barbet has a beautiful, curly coat that comes in black, grey, chestnut, brown, fawn, white, or pied color. White markings are accepted on the chest, legs, and feet. The Barbet’s coat is thick and wooly. The coat is waterproof so the Barbet is an ideal dog to work in any conditions. Even after spending a lot of time in the water, the fur just above the dog’s skin should still be dry. Except for waterproofed coat, the Barbet also has webbed feet and these traits make these dogs perfect water dogs.

barbet dog

Barbet grooming

The great thing about these dogs is that they don’t shed a lot so they are a good choice for people with allergies. They are not hypoallergenic but they are still a better choice for sensitive people than most of the other breeds. The Barbet’s coat grows all the time so it is important to trim the coat up to 5 inches every few weeks. Daily brushing is required to keep the coat clean, healthy, and free of mats. As with all the breeds, trim your Barbet’s nails regularly, brush his teeth a few times a week, check his ears, and remove all debris and built-up wax.

FUN FACT: A beautiful and wooly Barbet’s coat is a magnet for dirt, twigs, and leaves and a lot of daily effort is required to keep the coat beautiful and clean. 


The Barbet is a strong, sturdy dog with muscular limbs. The dog is athletic and enjoys playing games, such as Frisbee, fly ball, ball catching, etc. Still, activities that include water are Barbet’s favorite ones. The Barbet is a highly energetic sporting dog that requires daily exercise. They are not recommended for apartment living as they are generally too energetic for a small space. Their ideal living situation is a house with a large, fenced backyard. If the Barbet’s exercise needs are not fulfilled, this dog can become a real nuisance. He will probably start chewing on furniture and clothes, barking, etc.

barbet dog looking


Barbets are friendly, sociable, calm, lovable dogs, and they make perfect family dogs. They go along great with children of all ages. They have no problem living with other pets. These dogs love to be around people and desire to be a part of family fun. If left alone for too long, this dog may develop separation anxiety.


As for any other breed, this dog should also be socialized properly. Socialization and training should start at an early age. Barbets are highly trainable because of their willingness to please their human. Unlike other dogs, Barbets don’t tend to be dominant or stubborn so training them is simple. Barbets are very intelligent and it is easy for them to learn new tricks and commands.

Health problems

The Barbet has a life expectancy of 12-14 years. Because these dogs are very rare, there is very little known about the diseases they are prone to. However, some conditions do occur more often in these dogs. These conditions are hip and elbow dysplasia, entropion (a condition where there is rolling in of the upper or lower eyelid), epilepsy, and ear infections. Ear infections are the most common problem with these dogs, which is not something to be surprised about considering their natural tendency to spend as much time as possible in the water and their thick, floppy ears. This combination makes the ears warm, moist, and perfect for bacteria and yeast growth. 

Barbet breeders

The Barbet is an endangered breed and there are not many Barbet dog breeders. Considering their rarity, these dogs are difficult to find and are quite pricy. A well-bred Barbet puppy cost over $2,500.

FUN FACT: A Barbet dog named Moustache had an important role in both Napoleonic and the french revolutionary wars. It is said that Moustache barked loudly and woke up a group of soldiers warning them that an attack was coming. The dog became the regiment’s mascot.


World Dog Finder team


Updated at25.12.2020.