A native of France, this agile, wooly sporting dog is fun-loving and smart. They were bred for retrieving waterfowl and even have webbed feet to help with their swimming.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
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Henry IV of France enjoyed water fowling with his Barbets.
About this Breed
A sporting dog of French origin, the Barbet was developed as a waterfowl retriever. Pronounced Bar-bay, the word Barbet comes from the French word barbe, which means beard. A versatile gun dog with an affinity for water, this medium sized, low shedding, woolly coated breed makes an endearing addition to active homes.
Despite its long history, the Barbet is not a common nor well-known breed. Reference to the breed dates back to the 16th century where it is documented as a water retriever whose thick, water resistant coat helped earn them a reputation for braving the chilliest water.
In addition to their retrieving skills, Barbets are cherished for their adaptability and joyful, intelligent personality. The Barbet makes a willing and capable partner in many performance events such as agility, rally-obedience, lure coursing, scent detection, tracking, and dock diving to name a few. Several Barbets are certified therapy and service dogs and still others hunt with their owners. Approximately 1350 Barbets make their home in North America and their numbers continue to grow as others come to share their love for this companionable and good-natured dog.
Barbets on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Barbet ancestry.