A French breed rarely seen outside France, the breed is a water retrieving gun dog that is considered one of the oldest water dogs. It is mentioned as the progenitor of several breeds including, for instance, the Poodle.


In build, the Barbet should be more rectangular than square, standing about 18-20 inches/45-50 cm at its withers. The tail should be long and not carried over its back. Most significant for the breed, and for all so-called water dogs, is the water-resistant, woolly, wavy or curly coat that covers the whole dog.

Country of Origin: France

Height: Males 22-25.5 (56-65 cm) / females 20-24in (51-61 cm)

Weight: 33-55 lb (15-25 kg) [est.]

Coat: Long, profuse, woolly, curly, forming cords

Colors: Chestnut brown, gray, red fawn, pied, sandy, solid black, white

Other Names: French Water Dog; Griffon d'Arret a Poil Laineux

Registries (With Group): AKC (FSS); CKC (Sporting); FCI (Water Dogs); UKC (Gun Dog)

History and Personality

The breed is an ancient breed of water dog that through the centuries has served man as a retriever of waterfowl, a herding dog, and an exceptionally even-tempered companion. He is still an excellent water dog, able to withstand hours in water and chilly marshes. His webbed feet give him an advantage in swimming, and he can work for The Barbet is gentle, loyal, playful, and affectionate—truly devoted to his people. He enjoys a swim in all kinds of weather.


Like all sporting dogs, the Barbet needs a healthy dose of outdoor activity or exercise every day. He is happiest when that includes going somewhere to swim or work in the water.


Eager to please, the Barbet trains easily.


Left unbrushed, the Barbet s thick, woolly coat will start to form cords. Many opt to shave the Barbet to minimize the amount of coat care needed. A thick coat on an active dog like the Barbet needs regular attention.


Breed health concerns may include allergies; cataracts; and hip dysplasia. Average life span is 12 to 15 years.

Gallery of Barbet