Breed Description +

Intelligent and obedient, these dogs love to learn, but may become bored without stimulation. Nicknamed "Mud Dog", they enjoy playing in muddy, swampy areas. Very attached to its owners, and good with children, the Barbet makes an excellent companion and family pet. With proper socialization, they tend to get along well with other dogs and even cats. However, as a Sporting breed, they may be predisposed to chase small animals.
  • Common Name(s):

    French Water Dog

  • Genetic Group:


  • Observed Weight:

    37-62 lb


Identifying Features:

Average Height: 20-25 inches


Also known as the French Water Dog, the Barbet’s name comes from "barbe", the French word for "beard". The Barbet was originally bred as a sporting dog or gundog, and was used in the French wetlands to flush out and retrieve waterfowl. The breed was mentioned in history as early as the 16th century, and the first breed standard was created in 1894. The Barbet is said to be the progenitor of several other breeds, including the Bichon, Briard, Newfoundland, and Poodle. Despite the popularity of the breed in its early years, the Barbet nearly became extinct during the World Wars, and some say that the modern day Barbet is merely a re-creation of the breed. Interest in the breed picked up in the late 1900s, and a Barbet breed club was formed in France in 1980. Added to the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service in 2007, the Barbet was approved to compete in the Miscellaneous class effective January 2017. The breed is still relatively rare, with only about 300 Barbet currently registered by the AKC. Britain’s Kennel Club does not recognize the breed at this time.

Think your dog might have some Barbet in it? Find out with a Wisdom Panel test!