Barbet

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The Barbet breed has been an integral part in creating several other breeds of dogs — the Poodle, American Water Spaniel and Portuguese Water Dog among others. In fact, the Barbet name has become a generic name to describe any dog with a long, curly, woolly coat.

Originally, Barbets were a French water dog that worked alongside sailors. They retrieved waterfowl from marshes and wetlands. “Barbet” is descended from the French word “barbe” meaning “beard.”

Size: 18 to 25 inches; 35 to 60 pounds.

Color: Black, black and white, brown. Uncommon colors are any shade of fawn, gray or pure white.

Life span: 13 to 15 years.

Health problems: Ear infections, hip dysplasia, hernia, underbites or overbites, epilepsy.

Barbets are a rare breed. Their large, slightly rounded heads are covered in wavy hair that runs down to a shaggy beard. Strong legs support their sturdy backs. Barbets have webbed feet that make them adept at swimming. They are agile and can have a slightly curved tail.

Barbets are obedient, goofy, intelligent, loving dogs. They get along with everyone — of any age group! Once bonded, they prefer to be with their family at all times. Daily exercise keeps their minds and bodies healthy. If you live near water, you’ll love a Barbet, and he’ll love splashing around.

Barbets have long, waterproof coats, but the coat needs work to stay in tip top shape. Daily brushing and an occasional bath will work if your Barbet is a homebody. If your Barbet is more outdoorsy, regular clipping will help prevent matting with twigs, dirt or debris. Lifelong obedience training is necessary. A quick wit and an intelligent mind help Barbets engage in lifelong learning — tricks, obedience and even agility. They’ll learn and love to perform it all.

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