A Barbet should conform to the UK breed standard before breeding is considered.

The following tests are recommended by the Barbet Club of Great Britain for anyone considering breeding either their dog or bitch. With the breed gaining popularity and growing in numbers it is vital that it is preserved by careful and responsible breeding. Our aim by recommending these health tests is to protect the breed by keeping it as free from hereditary disease and health issues as possible.

UK Breed standard


  • Hip and Elbow scoring by the BVA (scores from authorities abroad can be submitted, but BVA results required for all UK breeding stock, bitches and stud dogs)
  • British Veterinary Association (BVA) current Eye certificate
  • DNA test for Prcd-PRA status
  • DNA test for D- Locus status
  • DNA test for Von Willebrand’s Disease Type 1 status
  • DNA test for Coat type and traits

Hip & Elbow Dysplasia

The Kennel Club and BVA recommends that breeders wishing to reduce the risk of Hip and Elbow dysplasia should Hip and Elbow Score their dog, and then carefully select a compatible and complementary match for a mating.

BVA Breed Specific Statistics and breeding advice :

Hip scoring should be considered along with other criteria as part of a responsible breeding program, and breeders should choose breeding stock with hip scores around and ideally below the breed median score. The median score is calculated from all the scores recorded for that breed over the previous five years and is the middle score of the population, i.e. 50% of dogs have a lower score and 50% have a higher score. It therefore represents the hip score of the ‘average dog’ in that breed and dogs with scores which are lower than the median have better than average hips for that breed. It is strongly recommended that hip scores of parents, grandparents, siblings and any previous progeny are considered as this gives the most accurate assessment of an individual dog’s hip status. 

Ref https://www.bva.co.uk/canine-health-schemes/

Hip Score

The breed median for hips (total combined) is currently 9, mean is 13 (total combined). This is a figure for a total of 39 Barbets tested in UK until March 2022 (Ref. BVA 2022). However, the Barbet Club of GB recommend single figures on each hip could be considered (if other results are excellent) as part of a responsible breeding program, providing that the breeding partner is a median score or below.

Elbow Score

Grade 0 is recommended as the preferred grade for breeding as advised by KC and BVA.

24 Barbets have been scored via the BVA up to March 2022. Results – 20 x grade 0, 3 x grade 1 and 1 x grade 2. (Ref. BVA 2022)

However, elbow grades should be considered along with other criteria as part of a responsible breeding program (ref. KC 2020). The Barbet Club of GB recommend a Grade 1 elbow could be considered (if other results are excellent), providing that the breeding partner is a 0 score.

Scores from authorities abroad can be submitted, but BVA results are required for all UK breeding stock (bitches and stud dogs) listed on the Barbet Club GB website.

BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme

The Scheme is based on a clinical eye examination and is a means of identifying inherited and non-inherited eye conditions in dogs. Eye examinations are carried out by expert veterinary surgeons who are members of the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Panel.

Conditions can be identified such as cataracts, entropion and distichiasis. These conditions and any other need to be carefully considered before breeding.

A current eye certificate, clear of any eye disease/condition is required for breeding. The KC recommend annual eye testing.

Certificate issued by a panelist appointed by British Veterinary Association

DNA Tests



Prcd-PRA stands for Progressive rod cone degeneration- Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

The cells of the retina receive light from the external environment and transmit the information to the brain where it is interpreted to become vision. PRA causes cells in the retina at the back of the eye to degenerate and die, even though the cells may have developed normally early in life. The disease is described as an autosomal recessive condition.

Combinations of results of chances of any one puppy being clear or a carrier or affected: (Ref KC Website)

Recommendations to breed: Clear + clear = 100% clear.

Carrier + clear = 50% clear, 50% carrier

Proceed with caution: Clear + affected= 100% carrier

Should not be bred: Carrier to carrier = 50% carrier, 25% affected, 25% clear.

Affected + affected = 100% affected

Barbet Club of GB do not recommend breeding with an affected dog


Dilution coat colour caused by ‘d’ genes may be accompanied by hair loss, the so called colour dilution alopecia (CDA) or black hair follicular dysplasia (BHFD)

Combinations of Results (Ref Dog Genetics Website)

D/D = Non-Dilute. D/d = Carrier of Dilute. d/d = Dilute

Breeding Combinations recommended: D/D to D/D, D/D to D/d

Should not be bred: D/d to D/d, d/d to d/d

Von Willebrand Type 1


This is the most common inherited bleeding disorder of both humans and dogs. It is caused by a deficiency in the amount of a specific protein needed to help platelets (the blood cells used in clotting) stick together and form clots to seal broken blood vessels. The deficient protein is called Von Willebrand factor (vWF). There are 3 rating factors of Von Willebrand’s disease, the mildest being 1, the more severe being 3.

We are currently only testing for type 1 in the breed.

The disease is an autosomal recessive condition.

Combinations of Results with chances of any one puppy being clear or a carrier or affected. (Ref KC Website)

Recommendations to breed: Clear + clear = 100% clear, Carrier + clear= 50% clear, 50% carrier

Should not be bred: Carrier + carrier = 50% carrier, 25% affected, 25% clear

Affected + affected = 100% affected

DNA test for Coat type and traits

“Hair is profuse, water resistant and covers the whole body evenly with thick, natural curls ranging from large and loose to small and tight.” Ref UK Breed Standard. https://barbetclubgb.com/the-barbet/breed-standard-3/

To be certain of the dogs true coat type, we recommend a DNA test.

Results will be any of these three:-

Fully curly, Loose curls, and Straight (non breed standard). Please note that a dog may present differently to what it’s DNA result shows.

Breeding combinations possibilities:

Fully curly to Fully curly will give 100% Fully curly puppies.

Loose curls to Fully curly each puppy will have a 50% chance of either Fully curly or Loose curls.

Loose curls to Loose curls each puppy has a 50% chance of being Loose curls, 25% chance of being Fully curly and 25% chance of being Straight.

Straight dogs should not be bred from as it is not the breed standard.

For further information on breeding for health


For further information on the genetic diversity within the breed


The companies listed below have provided breeders with results for the above tests, although not all do a combination of all tests. Breeders need to decide which companies to use themselves.

For breeders wishing to use an overseas sire it is recommended that they obtain the dogs health results first. These need to be compared with the tests we do in UK, as some countries do not test the same as we recommend. For the puppies to be registered in the UK the stud has to be recorded with the UK Kennel Club, this can be done when registering the puppies with copies of pedigrees. Litters from an overseas sire can only be registered by post.

A hips comparison chart is available on OFA website


For hips, the BVA state that it is impossible to give precise numerical equivalents to the descriptive grades of other schemes which will apply to every case. Should a dog be considered for importation into the UK for breeding, the BVA’s advice is for it’s hip radiograph to be submitted for scoring, to permit meaningful comparison with other dogs of the same breed.

Making balanced breeding decisions

As well as considering the implications of a dog’s elbow or hip score, there are other equally important factors to consider when deciding whether two dogs should be mated together, such as temperament, genetic diversity, conformation, other available health test results, the general health of the dogs, etc. Your breeding decisions should always be well balanced and take into consideration the qualities and compatibility of both the sire and dam that you are considering. (Ref. KC 2020).

The Barbet Club of GB recommends using the Pawpeds website https://www.pawpeds.com/db/?p=bar when choosing a breeding pair of barbets, as well as the above Kennel Club advice. We recommend no common or related ancestors (litter mates) in three generations to keep the genetic diversity.