Monday, January 6, 2014

Dog of the month: Barbet

Image from akc.org
The Barbet is a medium-sized French water dog. It's an active breed that enjoys work and play, and Barbets often excel at sports. They're known for being affectionate and devoted to their owners, and many Barbet are "velcro-dogs" glued to their human's side.

Researches agree on the breed stretching back into antiquity, but there are two main theories to its history.

Some believe the Barbet descends from herding dogs originating in North Africa. They were allegedly brought to Europe with the Moors as they occupied the Iberian Peninsula during the 7th and 8th centuries. From there, they would have followed crusaders over the Pyrenees to France and central Europe.

Another theory states the Barbet originated in Asia and found its way to Europe over land. It's difficult to prove either theory, and the truth might very well be a mix of the two.

The first written reference to the breed has been found in a book from 1387, and the first attempt at categorizing the Barbet was made in 1570 with "De Canibus Britannicus."

These dogs are often described as joyful and goofy. They are intelligent and quick to learn, and as all intelligent breeds they need stimulation. Barbet are generally great with other pets as well as children, and they love to accompany their humans while hiking, swimming, and traveling.

According to the Barbet club of America, Barbet have hair and not fur, and don't shed in the same way as most other breeds. They need to be combed and trimmed.

Average weight ranges from 35 to 60 lbs.

~ Maria Sadowski ~


For further information on the Barbet and its history, please visit: 

6 comments:

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    1. I want to touch one. I'm dying to know what their coat feels like. =D

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  2. This information is rather misleading as to the origins of the Barbet! The Barbet is a French breed which became one in 1886. Any references to prior dogs are referring to POODLES and any rogh coated water dogs or even spaniels.

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    1. Hi and thank you for visiting the page. There are actually several theories of the ancient origins of the Barbet. As I say in the article, "Researches agree on the breed stretching back into antiquity, but there are two main theories to its history."

      I did not make up the data. It comes from:

      * The United Kennel Club, on page http://www.ukcdogs.com/Web.nsf/Breeds/GunDog/Barbet03012012

      * The Barbet Club of Great Britain, more specifically page
      http://www.barbet.org.uk/history.htm

      * The Barbet Club of America, please read page http://barbetclubofamerica.com/the-barbet/barbet-frequently-asked-questions/

      * The American Kennel Club, page http://www.akc.org/breeds/barbet/history.cfm

      I consider these organizations and the breed clubs reliable sources.

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  3. Good day to you. I am writing from France and have been doing research on the breed and its history for almost 10 years now.What many originally thought of as being the ancestor to the Poodle was only a generic name given to a French dog with a beard and a long coat.Some of the links you mention source in my history.
    Mr Jean Claude Lermans himself states in his recent book that the Waterdogs do not go back to antiquity, but start at the renaissance era.
    The name of his book is ANTHOLOGIE DES CHIENS d'EAU et DES RETRIEVERS 2013. If you glance at the Poodle history site, what they refer to as a Poodle, many refer to as a Barbet.The word Barbet was first ever used to refer to a dog by Fouilloux in 1573.
    Not much research ad been done on the breed since it has been done on the Poodle and the theories many speak of is about a dog coming up with the Moors from Africa or from the east with herding dogs.No one again ever speaking of a Barbet.
    I am sure you did not make up the data, but I am happy you are interested in the breed.
    Have a good day Elaine

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    1. That is very interesting! I will check if the book is available in English. Thank you for telling me about this!

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