What Does the Barbet Look Like?
The first thing you’ll notice about a Barbet is their thick, woolly coat. It’s similar to a poodle’s coat, and it’s one of the things that makes them unique. It’s waterproof, since they’re water dogs. Their ears are long and floppy, and you could also say they have a beard. All in all, they look like big teddy bears!
Barbets come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, fawn, gray, and white. They’re usually between 20 and 25 inches tall, and they weigh between 37 and 62 pounds. Their build is similar to a Golden Retriever‘s, and they have webbed feet, which makes them great swimmers.
What Is the Barbet’s Temperament Like?
Barbets are high-energy dogs that love to play. They’re also very intelligent, which means they learn quickly. Besides, they love to please their owners, so you shouldn’t have trouble training them if they’ve been socialized properly by their breeder.
Barbets are also very social and affectionate creatures. They love being around people and other dogs. They do well with kids, too, as long as they’ve been properly introduced. In fact, kids make perfect playmates for them – these dogs will happily run in the yard chasing a ball or Frisbee over and over.
Keep in mind that Barbets are very energetic. If you’re not an active person and would rather have a calm companion, this may not be the right breed for you. They also need a lot of mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
The Health Concerns and Lifespan of Barbets
Barbets are a surprisingly healthy breed, given their small gene pool. Thanks to responsible breeding, they can live 13-15 years without any health issues. The parent dogs are normally screened for hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and seizure disorders. These don’t occur often, but if you’re unlucky, your pup may end up developing one of them.
Grooming and Caring for a Barbet
Because they have such thick, medium-to-long, curly or wavy coats, Barbets need to be brushed daily. You may also want to take them to a professional groomer occasionally to keep their coat neatly trimmed.
In addition, Barbets’ nails grow fast, so you may need to clip them twice a month. To prevent ear infections, check your dog’s ears daily and remove any debris or wax buildup. And get them used to tooth brushing to avoid tartar buildup and gum disease.
Breeders and Pricing of Barbet Puppies
If you’re interested in getting a Barbet, start by contacting breeders and asking about availability. These dogs are very rare, both in the USA and worldwide. Be prepared to pay between $2,500 and $4,000 for a puppy and wait up to a year before you can reserve one.
Ask the breeder about the parents’ health screening results, as well as whether the puppies have been socialized properly. And if they’re suspiciously cheap or immediately available, they’re unlikely to be real Barbets.
Can You Adopt a Barbet?
If you’re not interested in waiting or spending that much money, consider adopting an adult Barbet from a rescue program. You can find one through the American Kennel Club’s Rescue Network or the Barbet Club of America. While rehoming one of these dogs is rare, you (and the newly homeless dog) may just be in luck.
A Short History of the Barbet Dog Breed
The Barbet is a French breed that’s been around since the Middle Ages at least, as the first written reference to them dates back to 1387. They were originally bred by royalty and commoners for retrieving waterfowl, and their webbed feet are a testament to this. Their thick, waterproof coat helped them swim in bone-chilling water. Nowadays, they’re known in France as one of the top breeds to compete in agility and other dog sports.
Is the Barbet the Right Dog for You?
Barbets are wonderful dogs that make great family companions – but they’re not the right fit for everybody. If you’re active and looking for a furry friend to join you on your adventures, a Barbet may be perfect for you. But if you prefer a more low-key lifestyle, another breed would be better suited to your needs.
They’re also not recommended for first-time dog owners, as they require a lot of patience, time, and energy to train properly. But if you’re up for the challenge and have the right lifestyle, a Barbet could be the perfect dog for you.
Fun Facts about Barbets
What else is interesting about these French water dogs? Here are a couple of lesser known facts.
- King Henry IV was a fan of the breed, and there’s a rumor that his mistress once brought a Barbet to church and was reproached for it.
- It’s estimated that there are only 600 Barbets worldwide, and only 30-40 of them live in the United States. About 140 live in the UK, where they’re mostly kept as pets, but some serve as gun dogs or search-and-rescue dogs.
- In France, they can partake in a basic water-retrieving test, as well as a general hunting-dog test with both water and field trials. In Germany, they compete in field trials.
Interested in Owning a Barbet? Good Luck with Your Search!
Barbets are a unique and special breed, but they’re also quite rare. If you’re set on getting one, be prepared to pay a high price and wait patiently for the right pup. But if you end up with a Barbet, you’ll have a lifelong friend who’s always ready for an adventure – as long as you can keep up!
Do you have experience with Barbet dogs? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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