Pronounced `bar bay`, with the `t` on the end silent as in ballet. The Barbet is a medium to large dog with a thick shaggy, curly coat over its whole body with a pronounced beard from which its name is derived (‘barbe’; French beard). The coat is commonly solid black, solid brown in differing shades or either colour mixed with varying quantities of white.
The Barbet is an active and versatile breed enjoying both work and play equally. Originally bred as a water dog flushing and retrieving water fowl means that they may happily take to water of any temperature including muddy bogs and ditches. Nowadays Barbet’s enjoy many more sports and activities including scent work, rally, working trials, Canicross and agility. There are also Barbets working in various capacities as therapy dogs. Being an intelligent dog, the Barbet enjoys being physically and mentally stimulated, so may be less suitable for inexperienced or first time dog owners.
The Barbet is an excellent companion who will want to be with you wherever you are in the house. They are loyal and form deep emotional bonds with their people. The Barbet is an even tempered dog and generally is not aggressive or shy with other people or dogs. They will bark to warn of the approach of strangers but do not expect any further action. They are very good with children and make excellent family pets, although as with any breed, adolescent dogs can be too boisterous for small children or toddlers.
The Barbet coat is non-moulting which may make them a consideration for allergy sufferers. It should be noted however, that dog hair is not the only cause of dog allergies in humans and time should be spent in the company of a Barbet to determine an individual’s degree of reaction. As with all non-moulting breeds the amount of coat maintenance is dependant on the length of coat which can be trimmed or shaved for the hotter months. If the coat is to be kept long, then regular brushing to keep it tangle free is required.