Pronounced “Bar-bay”, the name Barbet comes from the French word “barbe”, meaning beard.

About the breed

The Barbet is more than a versatile gun dog. It is a joyful, smart, loving, and devoted breed. The Barbet was an original water dog and was primarily used in France for hunting water game. References to the breed are throughout history, doing various jobs with historical lineage, always referenced with respect and admiration. Yet after so many centuries of serving man, the Barbet is not a common nor well known breed as they are a victim of the changes of the history they helped shape. 

After the World Wars, the Barbet was nearly extinct and through the efforts of a very devoted few, this old breed is slowly being reborn as a dog for the future. Barbet are mentioned in 16th century scripts as water dogs used for hunting game birds. The Barbet, although rare and in small numbers, continues to delight and amaze people around with world. Keen intellect, propensity to water and versatile abilities make it an “all round” dog. With such an extensive historical lineage, the Barbet is a timeless and classic breed of canine.

Currently listed in the Miscellaneous group, the Barbet will be a member of the AKC Sporting Group beginning January 1, 2020. 

Praised for its intelligence, versatility, and zest for life, the Barbet is perhaps a gem of a purebred dog that is as yet undiscovered by many.
— Christi McDonald, Best In Show Daily

Breed Characteristics


Known for quick agility, Barbet are great in various forms of lure coursing, agility, frisbee, ball catching, and many more tasks.


All shades of black, gray, brown, fawn; may present with our without white markings. Pied (primarily white with all shades of black, grey, brown, fawn markings).


Males: 21-24.5 inches; Females: 19-22.5 inches


Sociable, needs a steady training regime, companionable, joyful, obedient, intelligent, and faithful


Thick, long, wooly “hair” not fur. Needs considerable grooming through its life. Because of its hair, Barbet can withstand cold temperatures and go into water in any weather.


Briard, Bichon Frise, Newfoundland