The barbet is a rare French water dog originally bred to flush and retrieve waterfowl in the marshes and estuaries of France. The breed dates back to the 1700s and is considered a progenitor of dogs like the poodle and curly coated retriever.
Barbet means ‘bearded dog’ and refers to the shaggy hair covering its muzzle and its dense curly coat. A rustic and hardy dog, the barbet is sturdily built with a square outline, broad chest and webbed feet for swimming. Active and friendly, it is a good choice for families with children and the elderly. With adequate exercise it is calm in the home and sociable with other dogs and pets.
Traditionally used to retrieve wildfowl, today the barbet is used to retrieve dead and wounded game on land and in water. Most living in the UK are kept as pets, but others work in the field and excel in activities like agility, obedience and search and rescue.