Dog Breed


BraniacAdventure DrivenHypoallergenic
Primary image of Barbet dog breed
Full Name
Alternate Names
French Water Dog, Perro de Agua Frances
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Life Span
13 – 15 years
40 - 65 pounds

The ultimate water dog, the Barbet is commonly even referred to simply as "French Water Dog". It is of the "retriever" sub-group, and much like a labrador or golden retriever will have a natural tendency to love playing fetch. They were originally bred as a hunting dog, particularly for duck or other animals that required "fetching" from the water.

The Barbet is a medium to high-energy dog and needs daily walking and exercise to stay in its prime state. It enjoys being in the presence of its owner at all times and does not do so well when left alone for long periods.

Like the poodle, the Barbet is hypoallergenic and does not shed so much. The Barbet can be an excellent alternative to a Labradoodle, especially for an owner who is willing to give the Barbet the exercise (preferably involving the water) that they require.

Bred For
Hunting water game
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Barbet good with children?

    The Barbet is about average in how friendly they are with children. They can be friendly and loving with children, but we recommend that they get early socialization, and are not left alone with children for extended periods.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Barbet friendly with strangers?

    Yes, the Barbet is very friendly with strangers. We still recommend early socialization while the Barbet is a puppy to introduce them to various new people, but in general they are friendly with everyone.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Barbet friendly with other dogs?

    Yes, the Barbet is very friendly with other dogs. We still recommend early socialization while the Barbet is a puppy to introduce them to various new dogs, but in general they are friendly with dogs as soon as they meet them.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Barbet like to cuddle?

    The Barbet appreciates affection and that includes kisses and snuggles!

    Does the Barbet like to play?

    The Barbet is playful both as a puppy and as an adult dog. As they get older they may appreciate their alone time, and may not be in the mood for constant play, but certainly will have plenty of time for play as well.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Barbet make a good service dog?

    The Barbet would not be a great fit as a service dog for several reasons.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Barbet good for first-time owners?

    The Barbet is a good breed for first-time owners. A good fit for first-time owners are friendly breeds that are motivated to please their owner. This means they can be trained, and are rarely aggressive and overpowering.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Barbet be trained?

    The Barbet can be trained very well. With discipline and a routine training program the Barbet can be incredibly well-trained.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Barbet shed a lot?

    No! The Barbet does not shed very much, and can be an excellent fit for someone who suffers from dog allergies.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Barbet easy to groom?

    The Barbet requires a good amount of grooming work. It is possible to do it yourself, but you need to plan on dedicating weekly grooming sessions at the minimum.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Barbet need a lot of exercise?

    The Barbet requires an average amount of exercise. You should be ready to dedicate a couple of short walks or a larger dog park session each day for your Barbet to be happy and fulfilled.

    How smart is the Barbet?

    The Barbet has average intelligence. They are smart and witty, but do not need to be constantly challenged mentally, as some other breeds.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Barbet bark? Does the Barbet bark too much?

    The Barbet barks an average amount. It can vary widely between Barbets - some may be much more expressive than others.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Barbet a good guard dog?

    The Barbet would not make a good guard dog. They can be alert, but typically do not have the desire or instinct to take on "guarding" as their job.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Barbet good at staying alone? Is the Barbet independent?

    The Barbet is not very independent and does not do great when left behind for longer than a couple of hours. This is one of the most important things to consider when getting a new dog.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Barbet a good apartment dog?

    The Barbet is not the best dog apartment living, but it can work if the owner is dedicated to exercising and training their Barbet

    How big is the Barbet?

    The Barbet is a medium sized dog breed. They can range in size depending on genetics, and males are larger on average than females.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Barbet tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Barbet?

    The Barbet can tolerate hot weather well. They still prefer having some variation and a cool space to sleep, but overall they can do well in warm climates.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Barbet tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Barbet?

    The Barbet can tolerate cold weather well. Play time in the snow or on particularly cold evenings may need to be limited, but overall they can do well in cold climates.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Barbet try to run away?

    The Barbet does sometimes run away. This is especially true if they are distracted, or see other cats or dogs. They probably won't go out of their way to "escape", but a fenced yard is still recommended.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Barbet a healthy dog? The health of a Barbet should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Barbet is healthy, but has an average number of health risks that should be taken into consideration.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Barbet?

    The Barbet has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Barbet into your home. Can you give your Barbet enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Barbet drool?

    The Barbet drools very little, typically to where it's never a concern.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Barbet have a large prey drive? Does the Barbet like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Barbet has a high prey drive and has a natural tendency to chase after any small animal. Every case is unique, but the Barbet may not be the best dog for living with other cats or small animals.

    Is the Barbet atheltic?

    The Barbet is athletic and has average levels of endurance. They need a lot of exercise, and can be an exercise partner as long as it's nothing too extreme.
  1. Sporting
  2. Water Dog
  3. Barbet
The Barbet is a purebred dog that belongs to the Water Dog sub group, which falls under the larger Sporting dog breed group.
Sporting group: Sporting dogs are the natural athletes of the dog world. They have high energy, and always look to be stimulated with some activity or challenge. These dogs thrive in the outdoors- particularly the woods and the water. Sporting dogs include the best swimming dogs, retrieving dogs, and other field activities. They have traditionally been bred to assist hunters find and retrieve birds and other smaller hunting game. Sporting dogs are not known as guard dogs, but because of their alertness and loyalty to their family, with proper training they can be good home protectors as well. Over the years they have become extremely well-rounded, so with plenty of exercise can make excellent home companions. They are willing to please their owners, so if you put the time into training and exercise you will be rewarded with an amazing dog.
Water Dog sub-group: Water dogs are athletic dogs that have been bred to retrieve and serve their owners under conditions that require swimming. They have thick coats that keep them warm but dry easily, and their feet are thick with webbed toes. They are happy, and always ready to make their owners happy. They are intelligent, want to make their owners happy, and are healthy dogs, truly making them excellent pets. They require frequent exercise and stimulation, but in return you will get an excellent dog. They would make an excellent alternative to the Golden Retriever- with similar personalities and upsides, just not as well known.

Barbets for adoption

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