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Barbet Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Barbet so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Gun Dog
Popularity Rank404
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Barbet dog profile picture
OriginFrance flagFrance
Other Names
What other names does the Barbet have?
French Water Dog
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?

Barbet Size and Weight

Is a Barbet small, medium or large dog?

How big do Barbet get?

What is the average size of a Barbet?

How much does the Barbet weigh? How much should a Barbet weight? What is the normal weight of a Barbet? How much does a full-grown Barbet weight?
37–62 pounds (17–28 kg )
Average Weight
What is the average weight of a Barbet?
37–62 pounds (17–28 kg )
How tall is the Barbet? Barbet height:
Male: 23–26 inches (58–65 cm), Female: 21–24 inches (53–61 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of a Barbet?
Male: 23–26 inches (58–65 cm), Female: 21–24 inches (53–61 cm)

Barbet Price and Availability

How much does the Barbet puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of a Barbet in the United States? How much money is a Barbet?

Where to buy a Barbet with a good pedigree?

If you choose to purchase the Barbet, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Barbet for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Barbet gets to a happy place.
How easy is it to get a Barbet? How many Barbet are there in the world?
Average: The Barbet is a commonly available dog breed. There is less risk of overbreeding compared to the very popular dogs.

Of course, they may be more popular in some countries, and inbreeding may occur, so be careful.

Barbet Trainability and Intelligence

Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Barbet? Is the Barbet breed dumb or smart?
Average: It takes patience to teach this breed any tricks or commands, but the effort is worth it. They understand and remember new commands after an average of 25-40 repetitions.

The Barbet ranks average in the intelligence ranking of dogs.

Are Barbet dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training? How hard is it to train a Barbet?
Barbet dogs are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
Watchdog Ability
Is Barbet good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Barbet dogs are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but observation isn't considered their main job.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Barbet dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Barbet dogs are average defenders. Some dogs are very protective of their territory, while others easily let a stranger to trespass. This breed is not sure to defend its territory in every situation.

Barbet Personality and Temperament

What kind of personality does the Barbet have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Barbet sensitivity:
Barbet dogs have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed. Sometimes it's okay to change the daily routine, have guests and listen to loud music.

Some dogs handle moderate punishment very well, while others crumble apart at a dirty look. This breed is not affected emotionally by moderate punishment.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is a Barbet a good family dog?
High: Barbet dogs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving, and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and are considered great therapy dogs for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the French Water Dog need? Barbet social needs:
Barbet dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn't tolerate being left alone.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Barbet to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Barbet roam?
Barbet dogs have average wanderlust potential. Sometimes they like to explore the world and they might escape once or twice, but usually, they prefer staying safely at home. Safer to teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Barbet have high prey drive?
Barbet dogs have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen. Training can help to achieve good behavior.

Barbet Activity and Playfulness

How playful is this breed?
The Barbet is a highly playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Do Barbet dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my French Water Dog bark?
Low to Average: The Barbet rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason.

Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.

Apartment Friendly
Is Barbet good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat? Can you have a Barbet in an apartment?
It is not the best choice if you want to keep them indoors, however, with careful exercise and several walks a day, they will tolerate the indoor environment, so it is possible to keep Barbet indoors.

Barbet Adaptability and Independence

Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Average: Barbet dogs adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can a Barbet be left alone? How long can you leave a Barbet alone?
Barbet dogs do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.

Barbet Bite Characteristics

Bite Force PSI
Does the Barbet has a hard bite? What is the bite force of a Barbet? How much bite force does a Barbet have? How strong is a Barbet bite?

Between 200 and 400 PSI

Barbet bite force: Ordinary. Bite force Barbet measurements typically fall within the range of 200 to 400 PSI. The bite force of a Barbet is considered ordinary when compared to other dog breeds, but it is still quite powerful. This Barbet bite force PSI can cause bite wounds. Barbet bite PSI is not something that should be feared if the dog is well-trained and managed. To avoid any issues, it's essential to learn how to train a Barbet puppy not to bite from an early age.

The Barbet, and many others, have a fearsome presence because they have significant jaw strength, so it is important not to anger the dog and have it around strangers until it is fully trained.

However, they are usually quite calm and good companions, they work well in families and are easy to care for.

In conclusion, while the Barbet bite force is certainly an interesting aspect of the breed, it is important not to let it overshadow the many other reasons why these dogs are so loved and respected. With proper training and socialization, a Barbet can be a loyal and protective companion for your family.

Biting Potential
Do Barbet bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the French Water Dog? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Barbet? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Barbet has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Barbet do?
Barbet dogs have a lower than average tendency to nip, chew, playbite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Barbet dogs need to be taught a good attitude.

Barbet Health and Lifespan

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Barbet dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Barbets tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Barbet breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Barbet breed? Most common health risks of Barbet:
Cataracts Hip Dysplasia EpilepsyEntropionEar InfectionsElbow DysplasiaHerniaOverbiteUnderbite
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Barbet breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Barbet see the vet?
The Barbet should have a complete physical check-up at least once (but preferably twice) per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Barbet dogs live? How old can a Barbet be? What is the age limit of the Barbet? How many years can the oldest Barbet live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of a Barbet?

How long is the lifespan of a Barbet?

13-15 years
The average lifespan of Barbet: 14 years
Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Barbet can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.

Barbet Energy and Activity

Energy Level
How much energy does the Barbet have? What is the activity level of the Barbet?
Barbet dogs are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does a Barbet need? How much exercise do Barbet dogs require per day?

Do Barbet dogs need a lot of exercises?

Barbet dogs have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long ones on weekends.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Barbet breed need?
Barbet dogs don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.

Barbet Diet and Weight Management

Average daily food consumption
How much food does a Barbet need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does a Barbet breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Barbet? How much food should I feed my Barbet?
3 to 5 cups of a high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Barbet risk for obesity:
Average: The Barbet has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Barbet weight regularly.

Barbet Allergies and Grooming

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Barbet have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color are proper Barbet coats?
BlackGray White BrownFawn
How to groom the Barbet and how often? How often should I take my Barbet to the groomer?
Average: The Barbet requires average grooming effort. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't essential.

Brushing the dog's coat is useful to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections.

Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath can be helpful sometimes.

Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and give your dog a pleasant experience of a dog bath.

If you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of your Barbet, search for a dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.

Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.

Shedding Level
How much do Barbet dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the French Water Dog? Do Barbet dogs shed a lot?
Barbet dogs shed none to minimal. Having a puppy from this breed you don't have to be afraid of your couch or car being covered by dog hair. Barbet dogs could be the best choice if you don't tolerate dog hair.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Barbet need a bath? How often should you give a Barbet a bath? Can I bathe my Barbet every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing.

Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Is the Barbet breed hypoallergenic?
Barbet dogs do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction. However there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs in the world, there are a variety of breeds that are considered to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?


The Barbet has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Barbet drool?
The Barbet is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Barbet could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Barbet.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Barbet Good With

Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Barbet dogs get along with other pets? Are Barbet dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Barbet dogs are generally with other pets.
Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Barbet temperament with other people:
Barbet dogs are average friendly towards strangers.
Child Friendly
Are Barbet dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Barbet temperament with children:
Barbet dogs are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Barbet dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Barbet breed live with a cat?
Barbet dogs are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Barbet good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Barbet dogs get along with other dogs?
Barbet dogs are average friendly towards other dogs.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Barbet breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Barbet breed suitable for first-time owners?
Barbet dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Barbet dogs good office canines? Do Barbet dogs make good office-friendly pets? Can they be office dogs?
Barbet is one of the best dog breeds for office environment
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Barbet dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the French Water Dog temperament with senior people? Are Barbet dogs good for elderly owners?
Barbets are usually recommended for elderly people.

Barbet As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Barbet be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Barbet is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Barbet be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Barbet be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Barbet is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Barbet be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Barbet is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Barbet be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.

The Barbet is not the best breed for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Barbet be a boat dog?


Barbet breed usually likes being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, as a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Barbet be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Barbet is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Barbet dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Barbet Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is a Barbet pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Barbet breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Barbet: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Barbet have in a litter? How many puppies can the Barbet breed have for the first time? How many puppies does a Barbet have? How many puppies can a Barbet give birth to?
4-6 puppies

Barbet Recognition

AKC Group
Is Barbet recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club as a Miscellaneous breed.
FCI Group
Is Barbet recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs group, in the Water Dogs section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Barbet breed?
American Kennel ClubCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Kennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Continental Kennel ClubUnited Kennel Club

Barbet Pros and Cons

  • Hypoallergenic: Barbet dogs do well with allergy sufferers by causing fewer allergic reaction.
  • Shedding Level: Barbet dogs shed none to minimal.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Barbet is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Mouthiness: Barbet dogs have a lower than average tendency to nip, chew, playbite, or herd people.
  • Child Friendly: Barbet dogs are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Office Friendly: Barbet is one of the best dog breeds for office environment
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Barbets are usually recommended for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Barbet dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Boat and Sailor Dog: Barbet breed usually likes being on a boat.

    Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

    Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages.

  • Health Issues: Barbets tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Barbet dogs do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.

Barbet History

The Barbet can trace its ancestry back to France, as early as the 7th century. It is widely accepted by experts that the early Barbet was a descendant of the African Shepherd dogs that were naturally mixed with European dogs. The earliest written description of the breed dates back to 1387, even though this particular depiction only presented a water dog during a hunt with its owner.

Records, scripts, paintings, and other artworks originating from the 16th century, from the reign of Henry IV. King of France also mentions a gun dog breed, which is especially good in retrieving waterfowl. Thanks to their thick and waterproof coats, the dogs were able to swim and work in the chilliest waters, retrieving waterfowl. Henry IV. was known for his love of the Barbet, thus, it was believed that he regularly hunted with them. Moreover, there was a local rumor that the king’s mistress was so fond of the breed herself, that she even brought her dog to church, after which she was reproached by the priests. It is also thought that an Italian scientist named Lazzaro Spallanzani conducted remarkable and successful research on the breed. He was the first-ever, in 1779, to manage artificial insemination on an animal, interestingly, on a Barbet. The breed is also believed to have been contributed both to the Napoleonic and to the French Revolutionary Wars. A black-coated specimen of the breed, named Moustache, is presumably the most popular Barbet in history. It is stated that his loud barking woke a group of sleeping soldiers in the middle of the night, warning them about the incoming attack in France. Naturally, he was greatly praised and hailed as a true war hero for his life-saving deeds, and even was named the regiment’s mascot. The Barbet contributed significantly to the French language too. The famous idiom “être crotté comme un Barbet” means to be very, very muddy like a Barbet, indicating that the dogs were mostly working in swampy waters. Moreover, the breed’s nickname was Mud Dog for a while. It is also said that the Barbet derives its name after the French word “barbé”, which points to the breed’s unique and distinctive beard.

During the First and Second World Wars, the Barbet’s population numbers dwindled, and the breed got to the brink of extinction. Fortunately, because the breed had many devoted enthusiasts, through a careful breeding process, the Barbet was re-established and kind of reborn in respect of the dogs’ modern roles too. It is also known that the Barbet has made a staggering contribution to the modern canine community, moreover, the breed was even described as “The Father of All Poodles”, for the reason that the Barbet was used in developing several other breeds including the Poodle, the Otterhound, the Bichon Frise, the Briard, the Griffons, the Newfoundland, and many others.

Recognition came relatively late for the breed, the AKC (American Kennel Club) registered them into their Sporting Group in January 2020. Nowadays, the Barbet is a loving, intelligent, loyal, and devoted breed. Throughout history, the breed had many roles, which are still transforming today. The breed is considered to be successful agility and obedience champions and hunting companions too. Thanks to their joyous and even temperament, and friendliness, the Barbet is a great family companion too.

Rate The Barbet Breed

Barbet Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Mika

    Apr 11, 2021, 7:32:44 PM:

    Our Barbet is playful, friendly and social. She has high grooming needs with a thick double coat. She needs a couple of good exercise sessions and then is happy to rest at home. She is like two dogs in one-calm inside and active outside.