Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are some of the more commonly asked questions about the barbet and short answers. If there is a question not covered or you would like a more detailed response please e-mail a committee member with your query.
I have read both that I should “shave” my Barbet puppy in its first year and that it is not necessary – which is the true answer?
For details please see the Grooming page on this website.
Why does the barbet look like a labradoodle?
Firstly, it should be "why do some labradoodles look like a barbet?" The barbet and the poodle were for a long time in France, one and the same. Selective breeding over the last century has produced the modern standard poodle. The labrador retriever is believed to have originated from a mix of the water dogs carried aboard European ships visiting Newfoundland and the indiginous dogs of the area to make the St John`s dog, the forerunner to the modern Labrador retriever. Mix the two together and some will look like their common ancestor however under their coat they do not have the morphology of the barbet or its temperament.
I would like to show my Barbet – can I do this?
NO – not in the UK. The breed is not at present recognised by the Kennel Club. You can show your Barbet in any F.C.I member country.
Can I leave my Barbet at home while I go out to work?
YES although not a young puppy, an adult dog can be left for several hours but idealy after exercise and once they have gradually become accustomed to being left.
I live in a flat in town – would a Barbet suit my way of life?
NO, there are other breeds more suitable in that instance.
Is a Barbet easy to keep clean and tidy?
It depends where you take your dog but as a breed they like to be out in the countryside and their thick woolly coat collects vegetation and mud like a magnet!
I have read that the Barbet is hypoallergenic – is this really true as my son is asthmatic?
Generally speaking asthmatics and people with similar allergies can tolerate the coat of the Barbet, but it cannot be guaranteed and there may be other factors which cause the allergic reaction. Time should be spent in close proximity to the breed before any conclusion could be drawn.
The coat looks lovely, it must take hours and hours of grooming; is it really difficult to do?
For more detailed information please see the Grooming page on this website.
Can my Barbet do agility?
Yes, Barbet's make excellent agility dogs, but this can't be started until after they are a year old, once their bones/joints have matured, like with most larger breeds. For further details please see the Agility page on this website.
Will my Barbet be drawn to water?
No, not necessarily, some take naturally to water and swim quickly, whilst others need encouragement.
Are the Barbet a greedy breed and put on weight easily
They may vary, but on the whole they are enthusiastic eaters, but because of their high engery levels, don't seem to put on weight too easily, but it is not wise to over feed any dog.
We have a toddler and are expecting a baby – should we wait until later to get a Barbet?
YES. Any puppy needs a lot of time and attention to settle in and to train.
How much exercise does a Barbet need? Must it have free-running exercise?
The Barbet is an active dog of the Gundog group (FCI) and needs a lot of free-running exercise. An hour or so per day in total would be the optimum. It can cope with a day or two occasionally without this but certainly not often.
Is the Barbet easy to train?
Yes and no! The temperament is excellent, but they can display a determined or stubborn streak! They are intelligent and can become bored and inclined to “switch off”. Training should be kept varied and interesting – little and often!
What are the most common health problems associated with the breed?
For details please see the Health page on this website.
Is the Barbet happy as an only dog or does it prefer to have other canine company?
The Barbet can be happy as an only dog provided it gets plenty of company and attention. Equally, it is a very gregarious dog and likes the company of other dogs too.
Where can I find a list of breeders?
Contact the Club via the email link for this information.
I have read that the Barbet is not a KC recognised breed. Does this mean I will not get registration papers with my puppy?
Thus far, all UK barbets have been imported and so registered in their country of birth or born in the UK and registered by the S.C.C.(French Kennel Club) who issue an `export pedigree` where a French registered male has been used. The Club feels that UK owners will be best served by gaining recognition for the breed by the Kennel Club which it is working towards or by seeking a more permanent arrangement with the S.C.C.
Is it really true that the Barbet does not shed its coat?
Yes and no! The Barbet does not moult and sheds very little, but any dog will shed some dead hair occasionally. Naturally, the better groomed the dog is, the less it will shed.