Representatives of the Barbet breed are also called French Water Dogs. They are real hunters who can easily feed a bird, regardless of whether it is on the ground or in the water. The owners note the boundless devotion, friendliness and mischievous disposition of their pets. Currently, the breed attracts athletic people who prefer to lead an active lifestyle.
This breed dates back several centuries, however, there are no official versions of its origin. The first mention and images of dogs with this appearance began to be found in the 14th century. There is an assumption that barbets were once related to poodles.Portuguese water dogs and several other breeds, some of which did not survive to this day.
Experts believe that the name of the breed comes from the French word, which means “beard”. It is impossible to reliably identify all of her genetic ancestors, but it is believed that the dogs were the result of crossing different breeds. By the end of the 19th century, barbet clubs began to form.
At the same time, dogs were presented not only in their homeland, but also in the territories of other countries.
The first breed standard dates back to 1894. During the First and Second World Wars, it almost disappeared, but later it was revived. But even today, barbets are considered rare. Only about 600 individuals live worldwide.
This breed is characterized by medium size. The physique of barbets is quite strong. The growth of male representatives should be from 58 to 65 centimeters, female – from 53 to 61 centimeters. Weight can reach from 23 to 25 and from 17 to 23 kilograms, respectively.
Barbets have a small head, a brown or black nose, round eyes, over which thick bangs hang. The ears lie on the head, located approximately at eye level. The neck is small, the tail does not twist. The paws are muscular and straight.
The coat of these funny dogs attracts special attention. According to the standard, it should be rigid, small curls go all over the body. The barbet coat can be either long or medium in length. Most often, the length is influenced by the conditions in which the animal lives. Naturally short-haired representatives of this breed do not exist.
Such a dog is not suitable for every owner. Her activity knows no bounds. It will be difficult for a calm and measured person to cope with an active and mobile pet. The animal loves to play, is delighted with hunting, loves water very much. It should be started by owners who prefer to move a lot and will be happy with such a hyperactive companion.
Among the advantages of the breed, one can note the absence of aggressiveness, quick wits and the ability to succumb to training, as well as an exceptionally friendly disposition.
However, dogs also have disadvantages. They are very difficult to get used to new living conditions, quite noisy, have a clear voice and can bark for no reason. In addition, barbets are touchy.
This dog will be a great companion for children. She is patient, loves to play with small family members, but at the same time, during the game, she can start to indulge and accidentally push the child, so parents need to be careful.
Relations with rodents and birds are rather tense – a well-developed hunting instinct makes itself felt, so such a neighborhood should be abandoned in order to avoid unpleasant consequences. Usually he does not consider cats and his fellows as prey and easily gets along with them.
Guards and watchmen from representatives of this breed are useless. The good disposition and gullibility of the barbets are to blame. They are easy to deceive and win over. In addition, dogs do not know how to defend themselves and stand up for the owner.
They love guests very much, they can bark at the arrival of strangers, but they will immediately rush to them to make friends. Some stay for quite a short time. Dogs need communication, they try not to stray far from their beloved owner.
Tips for choosing puppies
The first thing experts recommend to pay attention to people who decide to have puppies of this breed is hyperactivity. Such a pet is definitely not suitable for a calm and lazy person. The owner must take into account that this dog requires frequent and long walks. She will follow on the heels of family members, not letting her be alone. In this case, you will have to forget about silence and measured life.
The original appearance and active behavior of the pet will attract the attention of strangers. The animal loves to show love and affection, loves to be stroked and communicated. If all this does not frighten the future owner, he should contact a specialized nursery and choose a puppy.
Since the breed is very rare, it would be a mistake to buy an animal from hand or dubious breeders. There is a great chance to run into unscrupulous sellers and get a non-purebred pet. It should be borne in mind that the dog looks very similar to the Spanish and Portuguese water dogs.as well as an American or Irish Spaniel.
The first contact is very important. The puppy should show interest in the future owner, communicate with him without fear, be trusting and friendly.
The appearance of the pet should also be evaluated. A healthy baby is active, curious, and moves a lot. His coat looks well-groomed, there is no discharge from the nose and eyes. In this case, the owner can be sure that he is getting a healthy dog.
As for the conditions of detention, there are usually no difficulties. The pet is quite unpretentious, he will feel comfortable both in a city apartment and in an aviary, where a warm booth is located. The main thing is to ensure regular physical activity.
It is not recommended to close barbets in an apartment or in an aviary for a long time. They need to move a lot, so you can not do without long walks, training and games. Dogs will be happy to spend time with the owner-athlete. They can not only help in hunting, but will also participate in sports such as canicross, flyball and the like.
It’s great if the owner’s daily routine has time for jogging. The Barbets will enjoy being a part of this process. But also we must not forget that it is no coincidence that they were called water dogs. If there is a body of water on the way, the dog gladly bathes in it. Dogs can take water procedures even in the cool season, as they have thick skin and thick wool, so they are not afraid of the cold.
How to care?
Barbet wool practically does not cause allergies. In addition, they hardly shed. However, care is still required.
The coat needs to be combed weekly, otherwise it will become tangled. Some dogs will need to carry out the procedure even more often, it all depends on the condition of the coat. And also keep in mind that an active dog during a walk will collect a lot of garbage, grass and leaves, which must be removed every time.
In dogs of this breed, hair grows all the time. They need to be trimmed regularly. This will not only improve the appearance of the dog, but also facilitate care.
The hair on the body should be about 8-10 centimeters long.
Weekly, it is required to monitor the condition of the ears and eyes of a pet and, if necessary, clean them. And also, dogs will need to cut their claws as they grow. If you follow these rules, the pet will always look good.
There are also usually no problems with feeding the barbet. They are completely disrespectful. The type of food can be anything, it all depends on the preferences of the owner. The dog will be happy to eat both dry food and natural products.
As for natural nutrition, it is better to consult a specialist here so that all the necessary nutrients and vitamins are present in the diet. If the dog is too active, it can be given slightly larger portions. And also more satisfying it needs to be fed in the winter and during the hunting season. If the food is organized correctly, the pet will feel great and look good.
Health and longevity
The genetics of these dogs is quite safe, so they are distinguished by good health. However, sometimes there are problems with the joints. Another weak point is the eyes. To exclude retinal atrophy, you will need to observe the dog from specialists and pass the necessary tests on time.
Very rarely, but it happens that barbets are worried about allergic reactions. If the ears are not properly cared for, there is a risk of otitis media. In addition, we must not forget about the prevention of possible diseases. The dog will need to be given the necessary vaccinations, treated for parasites.
A healthy dog lives on average about 10 years.
Features of training
These dogs are very smart and quick-witted, so it is not difficult for them to memorize commands. Barbets are exceptionally obedient, often becoming winners of exhibitions and marathons. However, the training itself is a rather difficult process that requires unlimited patience from the owner.
Difficulties arise not because barbets are stupid or stubborn. They are too active, so they cannot sit still. Dogs love praise, so if you complete a task, you can’t skimp on it. And you will also need treats to encourage.
However, the most important thing is a trusting relationship with the owner and mutual affection.
For information on how to train a barbet, see the video below.