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The coat of the Barbet is thick and woolly, protecting the dog even from freezing water conditions. It is shiny and may be curly or wavy, with a rather becoming tasselled appearance. The Barbet has played a central role in the development of many of today’s water dogs.

History of Barbet

Although the precise ancestry of the Barbet is unknown, it is an ancient breed, and is thought to be the forerunner of such breeds as poodles, Irish Water Spaniels, and Otterhounds. It is also thought to resemble the now-extinct English Water Dog.


As well as retrieving water-fowl, the Barbet would also return the fallen arrows of hunters who had missed their target.

Other Names of Barbet: Griffon d’Arret & Poil Laineux.

Identification keys of Barbet

  • long, pendent ears lying close to the head
  • large, prominent nostrils
  • good covering of long, water-resistant hair
  • solid, muscular body
  • undocked tail with slight upwards curve
  • powerful, well-boned legs
  • large, rounded feet with webbing between toes

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