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Dog Breed

Barbet or French water dog



The barbet or French water dog stands out for its large head of curly and long hair, strong appearance, and for its great fascination for water. Their most accepted origin is French and they are excellent hunting, swimming, shepherd, and companion dogs. They are very faithful, intelligent, and noble that will maintain a strong bond with their caregivers while adapting to changes, cold climates, and new relatives or animals.

Do you want to know more about the barbet or French water dog breed? Keep reading this AnimalWised file to learn everything about this great breed of dog: from its origin, its characteristics, education, and care, to its health problems and where to adopt it.

Origin of the barbet dog or water shepherd dog:

The origin of the barbet dog is not well established, as there are various theories. The most accepted says that this breed is of French origin, where it was used as a hunting dog in swamps and rivers. Due to this, it was called a French water dog and it was gaining popularity until it became part of royalty when King Henry IV adopted a specimen. In France, there are records of this breed from the 16th century, which makes it a very old breed. Other theories say that it comes from Poland and even North Africa and that it was imported to Europe in the Middle Ages.

The barbet dog was on the verge of extinction during World War II, but three expert lovers of this breed made sure that it did not happen by reactivating their offspring.

Characteristics of the barbet dog

The Barbet breed is medium-large and is characterized mainly by having a very abundant curly coat that covers its entire body, including legs and face. The rest of the physical characteristics that define a barbet breed dog are:

Height of 58-65 cm at the withers in males and 53-61 cm in females.
Weight between 17 and 30 kg.
Good musculature and bone structure.
Round and wide head with eyes of similar characteristics.
Edge of the eyelids brown or black.
Short and slightly square muzzle.
Black truffle.
A long beard forms under the chin.
Flat, low, and wide ears.
Thick lips.
Strong and short neck.
Well-developed chest.
Strong and thick limbs.
Low binding, inward curved tail, hooked.
In addition to this, the skin of this dog is very thick, which together with its dense and padded coat allows it to resist the cold, as well as spend a lot of time in the water or wet areas, hence its name of water dog.

Colors of the barbet dog or French water dog

The accepted colors in this breed of dog are:

  • Negro
  • Grey
  • Brown
  • Light fawn
  • Arena
  • White

Education of the barbet dog or French water dog

The education of a barbet dog is usually simple, as they are very intelligent, attentive, and obedient. Do not forget that all dog education must be constant, patient, and disciplined. You will learn tricks and commands quickly and you will be able to get a good education in a short time that will turn you into a truly docile, loyal, educated, and obedient adult dog.

Caring for a barbet dog or French water dog

These dogs demand a lot of physical activity outdoors since they are so active that they need space to develop their full potential and, thus, stay healthy, happy, and balanced. Agility or swimming sports practices will be very beneficial for this breed.

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