Barbet (dog)

The Barbet is a breed of dog, it is a medium-sized French water dog. It was taken out of the gun dogs in the mid- 80's. The Barbet breed is an integral part of dog history, and many familiar breeds have Barbet in their ancestry. Depending on geography and necessity, the Barbet connected through the centuries in various capacities, and as a companion dog, but more as an all-around working dog. The name Barbet became throughout centuries a "generic" name for a dog with a long woolly coat.

The Barbet Appearance

Barbet appearance

Weight: 17-28 kg 35-60 pounds
Height: 52-65 cms 20.5-25.5 inches
Coat: Curly and woolly
Litter size: 6-9 puppies
Life span: 13-15 years

The dog breed stands 58 to 65 cms (20.5-25.5 inches) for the males in height, 52 to 61 for the females with a tolerance of 1 cm +/- and weighs 17 to 28 kg (35-60 pounds). Many breeders are trying to keep its original morphology by keeping the height at the lower end of the scale. The Barbet is a prototypic water dog, with a long, woolly and curly coat. Their coats grow long and must be groomed regularly, otherwise the barbet may lose small tufts of hair like tumbleweeds.

The accepted colors of the breed are solid black, brown, fawn, grey, pale fawn, white or more or less pied. All shades of red-fawn and pale fawn are permitted. The shade should, preferably, be the same as the color of the body. Grey and white are extremely rare; mixed colors (except with white) are considered as a fault. The most common colors being black or brown with white markings. All born were black or brown some with white markings on chest, chin, and legs.

The Barbet Temperament

The Barbet’s personality is described as companionable, joyful, goofy, obedient, and intelligent. They are quick to learn and need obedience training. They are a great with children, families, and the elderly.

They are capable retrievers for waterfowl hunting. The do field trials in Germany and only water trials in France. As of recently in France, the Barbet can participate in the B.C.E. (Brevet de Chasse a l'Eau) which is a general hunting test involving field and water trials.

The Barbet Health

Due to the extremely low number of Barbet in the world, little is known about long term health issues. Some issues that have exhibited themselves are ear infections, hip dysplasia, hernias, undescended testicles, undershot/overshot bites, and epilepsy. However, a study has just begun in France about health issues in the Barbet as several breeds have recently "contributed" to the Barbet and notably the poodle. Most breeders do hipscore before any matings and A, B, and C hipscores can be used.

Of the few health issues that have exhibited themselves, most problems can be traced back 4-6 generations. Often this is due to limited breeding stock. Also to the fact that several crossbreeds were done and many poodles were used.

The most common of these issues are ear infections, a problem in most water dog varieties. Ear problems can be minimized by proper ear care. A veterinarian should be consulted if the dog shows signs of an ear infection.The ear should always be clear of any hair, and inspected very regularly.

Lifespan of the Barbet averages 13-15 years with one recently passing away at age 19.

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