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French retriever whose name means the Bearded Dog


The Barbet (pronounced Bar-bay) is a French retriever and water dog whose origins can be traced back to at least the 1700’s. Traditionally, the Barbet was used to flush and retrieve waterfowl (birds) in the marshes and lakes of France, and it is thought that the breed was used in the development of other breeds like the Poodle (originally a duck retriever also) and the Curly Coated Retriever. It’s French title ‘Le Chien Barbet’ (the Bearded Dog) describes it’s thick and protective coat, and well-furnished muzzle. During the World Wars the Barbet population, never prolific, dwindled even further but from the late 20th Century there has been some resurgence of their popularity as a good worker in the field. They have also shown ability as a search and rescue dog, and in the show rings of Europe and America, the breed has gained some momentum.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE

OTHER NAMES – Le Chien Barbet, French Water Dog


The breed’s delightfully shaggy coat and amiable nature creates the impression of a Muppet come to life! Docile and sociable, the Barbet is even-tempered and non-aggressive. This cuddly, friendly dog is reputed to be a wonderful and devoted family pet that dotes on children and gets along well with other animals. The Barbet enjoys plenty of playtime with dogs and people, but is then content to lounge nearby indoors. Training should be a relatively easy task, as Barbets are responsive and agreeable. Positive interactions and an upbeat training environment are needed for a Barbet, as the breed has a sensitive, but even, temperament. The Barbet is not usually wary of strangers, however if they are not socialised properly from a young age, they can become shy and suspicious of new situations.


This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources

PURPOSE BRED FORHunting, Companion
TEMPERAMENTLoving, Loyal, Sociable
EXERCISE NEEDED1.5 hour per day
HEIGHT – MALE58-65 cm / 22¾-25½ in (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – FEMALE53-61 cm / 20¾-24 in (to shoulder)
COAT TYPEMedium Length, Curly
GROOMING NEEDSSeveral times a week


  • Its coat is unicoloured, black, grey, brown, fawn, sand, white and all these colours can be variegated with white.
  • The high-maintenance curly coat is part of the breed’s signature. Historically, their hair is to protect and warm them in marshes while retrieving waterfowl. They were not meant to be shaved to the skin, and their shaggy look is one of the breed’s charming characteristics.
  • Barbets loves the water and will jump into pools, ponds or lakes when given a chance. Their coat is weather-resistant and they can play in water of any temperature. They have webbed paws specifically for swimming.
  • They should be watched around pet birds since they do still have a high prey drive when it comes to fowl.
  • Barbets are a good choice for those with allergies. They have unique hair that does not shed the same as other breeds. They sheds tufts of hair that will come out and are generally removed with regular brushing.


Click the buttons below for more information about this breed


Click on any image to view these pictures larger and in a slideshow


Enjoy this video about Barbets, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to this breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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