The Barbet – also called French Waterdog – is supposed to be one of the oldest French breeds. The origin of the breed is still unclear, but drawings and records about such a dog can be traced back to the 16th century.
Originally the Barbet has been used as a retriever to hunt fowl. A couple of years age there were only a few Barbets that were used as hunting dogs, but now the Barbet can be found again in the field, doing what he was initially bred for. Because of his hunting traits, the Barbet is very well qualified for dog sport like FCI obedience, nose work, rally obedience and agility. Furthermore - as it should be for a waterdog - the Barbet loves swimming and retrieving from the water.
Because of its unusual curly coat the Barbet has become very popular. Often people stop and want to know more about the breed. The coat is non-moulting and thus the amount of coat maintenance is dependant on the length of coat which can be trimmed for the hotter months. If the coat is kept long, then regular brushing to keep it tangle free is required. With some practice and the proper equipment it gets a lot easier.
The Barbet is an active breed which enjoys work and play equally and can be used for a variety of activities where it uses its agility, stamina, sense of smell and intelligence. It loves playing with family members and often even invites them to play. The Barbet becomes very attached to its owners and makes an excellent companion. It wants to please its owner. Often it will follow you around in the house or wants to be in the same room. The Barbet is active when outside but inside it is quite relaxed and likes to sleep in the most funny positions.