Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Your Pet, Our Passion.


This medium-large sized dog is sturdily built with a square outline and a thick protective coat. The coat is a defining characteristic of the breed, being profuse, water resistant and covering the whole body evenly with thick, natural curls. The skin should be tight, and the curls range from large and loose to small and tight. They have an attractive, rustic appearance due to the shaggy head and soft, dropped ears.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Basic training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Barbet dog breed can be prone to: 
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindness.
Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

Key Facts

Lifespan: 13 - 15 years
Weight: 14 - 28kg
Height: 53 - 65cm
Colours: All shades of black, grey, brown and fawn, with or without white, solid white, and white with markings in one of these colours
Size: Medium
Kennel Club group: Gundog


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 1/5
Shedding: 2/5
An owner take her Barbet on a walk


Fun loving, eager to work and to please, joyous and occasionally comical, the Barbet is a delight to spend time with and train with, if you enjoy training and gundog type activities. They are something of a mud magnet, and really enjoy active walks, swimming, retrieving from water and so will suit an owner who enjoys training and grooming their dog. Good with children and other animals if socialised and raised correctly, they are friendly and gregarious, so will need regularly training to remind them of polite manners.

Barbet looking at the camera

History and Origins

Country of Origin: France

The Barbet is a medium to large sized gundog, originating in France and also known as the French Water Dog. If you are thinking the Barbet looks like a heavier, more rustic Poodle, you are not wrong. The Barbet is related to the Poodle, in fact for almost a hundred years, the Barbet and the Pudel (the German name for Poodle) were regarded as the same breed!

Their original role was in water retrieval, fetching shot waterfowl from the marshes, wetlands and estuaries of France. Today although the Barbet is rare, they make an engaging and fun companion dog, show dog or working dog.

First brought to the UK in 2001, but not bred here until 2007, they were added to the Kennel Clubs Import Register in 2018 and can be shown in Import Register classes.

Did you know?

Did You Know?

  • The Barbet (pronounced ‘Bar-bay’) almost became extinct after the Second World War, but has been brought back to popularity by dedicated breeders across Europe.
  • As water retrieval dogs, they have long curly fur that keeps them warm and buoyant in the water, and webbed feet to help them swim!

Found your perfect breed? Take these next steps:

Labrador lying next to the sofa
Finding a pet
Is this the right breed for you?
All dogs have their own unique personality! Try our Dog Breed Selector Quiz and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle.
Dog with red collar sitting next to the owner
Finding a pet
Top 21 questions to ask a breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Find out what to look for in a puppy breeder with this guide.
Puppy walking next to owner on a lead
Finding a pet
Thinking about getting a puppy?
Join Growing Pup for help from our Purina experts on how to find the right puppy and prepare for your new arrival, as well as a discount off one of our puppy ranges.
Dog with red collar
Finding a pet
Welcoming your dog home
While you're waiting for the big day you may need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort our before you welcome your new arrival.
Dog with red collar lying
It's incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organisation. It often means offering them a second chance at life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family and their forever home, but what can you expect from the process?
Dog with red collar looking out the window
Puppy advice
Everything you need to know
Getting a new puppy is incredibly exciting for all the family, but it can be quite scary for your new pup. Find out how to deal with everything from behaviour to health questions with our expert puppy advice.
Owner checking dogs collar
Finding a pet
Benefits of having a dog
It's known far and wide that dogs are man's best friend, but did you know that there's actually numerous benefits of having a dog? From helping you to get fit to meeting new people, your puppy can actually help to improve your health and social life. Keep reading to discover the benefits of dogs!