About The Barbet

Canadian Kennel ClubGROUP 1 SPORTING DOGS – Barbet

CKC Official Breed Standards – January 2009

Origin & Purpose

The Barbet is often cited as being one of the oldest of all French breeds when he was simply known as a Waterdog. He may be considered the ancestor of all breeds with long, woolly or curly hair and a direct cousin to the sheepdog like the Briard. He is excellent at waterfowl work, retrieving and is undeterred and unaffected by icy conditions.

General Appearance

A dog of medium size and proportions with characteristic thick woolly, coat and given to waviness which protects him from cold and damp. The coat forms a beard on the chin to which the breed owes its name.


Even temperament, neither aggressive nor nervous, tractable. Very devoted to his master. Good mixer. Loves water.


Height at the withers:  *Dogs: 22-25.5 ” (58-65 cm) *Bitches: 20-24″ (53-61cm)

Coat & Colour

Skin: thick. 

Coat: long, woolly and curly, forming cords. The coat is profuse and, in its natural state, covers the entire body. That is a particular breed characteristic. Since time immemorial, the Barbet has been clipped in order to ease his work and lifestyle. According to how he is used, the Barbet can present different appearances. 

Colour: Solid black, grey, chestnut brown, fawn, pale fawn, white or more or less pied. All shades of red-fawn and pale fawn are permitted preferably the whole body should be the same shade.


The coat on the head must fall to the bridge of the nose. The beard is long and ample; the profuse mustache covers the whole muzzle. Skull: round and broad. Stop: pronounced. Muzzle: quite square. The bridge of nose is broad. Lips: thick, pigmented, completely covered by long hair. The pigmentation of the mucous membranes may be black or brown. Jaws/Teeth: Jaws of equal length. Scissors bite. Strong teeth. Incisors well developed and well aligned. Eyes: round, preferably dark brown. Ears: set on low (in line with eyes or slightly lower), long, flat, broad, covered by long hair which forms cords. If the ears are held together across the nose leather, they reach (with the hair) at least 5cm beyond it. The ear cartilage reaches beyond the corner of the mouth.

Neck: short and strong

Forequarters: Shoulders: sloping. The scapulo-humeral angle varies from 110 to 115°. Upper Arm: strong and muscular.  Lower Arm: straight, strong, perpendicular, completely covered by long hair. Strong bone structure. 

Body : Back- very slightly convex. Loin – arched, short and strong. Croup – rounded in profile. Chest – broad, developed, quite deep, rounded ribcage. Upper Thigh: slight slope, well-muscled.  Hocks – set low, well angulated. Metatarsus – well upright. Feet – round, broad, covered with hair.

Hindquarters:  Upper Thigh: slight slope, well-muscled.  Hocks – set low, well angulated. Metatarsus – well upright. Feet – round, broad, covered with hair.

Upper Thigh: slight slope, well-muscled.  Hocks – set low, well angulated. Metatarsus – well upright. Feet – round, broad, covered with hair.

Tail: Slightly raised, carried above the horizontal when the dog is in action, low set, forming a slight hook at the tip. 

Gait: Easy movement, the limbs moving in line with the body. Medium length foreleg stride with good thrust from the hindquarters. 

Faults : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog. 

Disqualifications  Aggressive or overly shy.  Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.  

Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Reference: CKC data

Breed Description – Club Barbet Canada

The Barbet is a French water dog. It belongs in group 1 in Canada (Sporting dogs, Working certificate). In FCI countries it is in group 8 (Waterdog-Retrievers-Flushing dogs). It is believed to be the ancestor of the poodle and many other modern breeds. The breed’s name “Barbet” comes from the French word “barbe”, which means beard.

The Barbet is a mid size dog with a long, woolly and curly coat. Their coats grow long and must be groomed regularly. The Barbet does not shed, its coat grows continuously. Most Barbet, are entirely black, black and white or chestnut brown. It is common to see white chest spots and white paws or legs on black or brown coated dogs. Grey, fawn and white are extremely rare. The breed stands 58 to 65 cms (20.5-25.5 inches) for the males in height, 53 to 61 for the females with a tolerance of 1 cm (FCI 2006, CKC 2009).

A female Barbet is called a “Barbette”, a puppy is a “Barbichon” and a Barbet breeder is a “Barbetier”. Expressions such as “Muddy as a Barbet” and “Following like a Barbet” can be found in various proverbs dictionaries.


The Barbet’s personality is described as companionable, joyful, obedient and intelligent. They are quick to learn and excel in conformation, obedience and agility. They are great with children, families, and the elderly. They enjoy being with their human companion. They need exercise daily to keep the dog in a healthy state of mind and body.


The Barbet requires regular blow drying (once a week). The coat grows continuously and can be scissor clipped a few times a year to keep it at a manageable length (5 to 7 cm). Regular ear canal cleaning is also a must with the Barbet.