Barbet Club of America » Established 2009

The Barbet


The Barbet is more than a versatile gun dog – a water fowl retriever, flusher, and pointer. It is a joyful, smart, loving, devoted, and fun loving breed.

The Barbet is one of the original water dogs and they were primarily used in France since the 14th century for hunting water game. References to the breed are throughout history, doing various jobs with historical lineage, always referenced with respect and admiration. Yet after so many centuries of serving man, the Barbet is not a common nor well known breed as they are a victim of the changes of the history they helped shape. After the World Wars, the Barbet was nearly extinct and through the efforts of a very devoted few, this old breed is slowly being reborn as a dog for the future.

Barbet are mentioned in 16th century scripts as water dogs used for hunting game birds. This breed is not just a retriever as the Barbet will search for game hidden in water vegetation, locate it, and flush it out. He then retrieves the fallen game to the master.

The Barbet, although rare and in small numbers, continues to delight and amaze people around with world. Keen intellect, propensity to water and versatile abilities make it an “all round” dog. With such an extensive historical lineage, the Barbet is a timeless and classic breed of canine.

Future Member of the Sporting Group

Temperament: sociable, needs a steady training regime, companionable, joyful, obedient, intelligent, and faithful.
Agility: known for their quick agility, Barbet are great in various forms of frisbee, fly ball, ball catching, and many more tasks. They are able to jump extremely high.

AKC Miscellaneous Group

Coat: Thick, long, woolly, “hair” not fur. If not groomed, tufts may come out. Needs considerable grooming through its life. Barbet can withstand cold temperatures and go into water in any weather. Needs lifelong grooming.
Color: All shades of black, gray, brown, fawn; with or without white markings. Pied (primarily white with all shades of black, gray, brown, fawn markings)
Height: Males: 21-24.5 inches; Females: 19-22.5 inches
Play: They play well with most other dogs, and love to “box” with fellow Barbet

Ancestor of:

  • French Poodle
  • Briard
  • Bichon Frise
  • Newfoundland

“Barbet” comes from the French word barbe, which means beard.