The Barbet: A Complete Guide

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So, you want to buy a puppy, but not quite sure about the breed?

What you know is that it has to be cheerful, an agile athlete, intelligent, calm and good with other people and animals. Well, Barbet fits that description perfectly!

This agile runner was once used for hunting, namely retrieving birds from swamps and flushing out fish (because he loves the water and is built for swimming).

But, his loyalty and overall cheerful nature, over time, made him a great family dog or a companion for people with an active lifestyle.

However, to be sure that this is the breed you are looking for, you need to get much more familiar with it.

Also, you need to learn the traits that these dogs come with so that you know what to pay attention to when buying a puppy.

And, speaking of buying a puppy, for you to have a healthy pet that does have the temperament the breed standards imply, you have to buy it from a reputable breeder.

This is the part where it can get tricky, but, don’t worry, we have your back.

Our Barbet guide will arm you with all the knowledge on the breed you need, and by the time you are finished reading, you will know if this is the dog you want to welcome into your home.

And, you will also know how to find a reputable breeder and buy that perfect puppy you are looking for.

Let’s start with some facts that are important before the actual purchase.

The Barbet Puppies – Before You Buy…

A small white Barbet eating soup
The Barbet needs early socialization.

Sure, you’ve found the breed you want to own, and it fits your lifestyle and personal preferences like a glow.

But, before you cash out a certain amount of cash, it’s best to get familiar with some rather important facts about these puppies.

What price are the Barbet puppies?

Before acting on an impulse and buying the first puppy you found online, you need to get informed about the average price range for a Barbet puppy.

In this breed’s case, the average per-puppy price ranges from some $600 to $1000.

Yes, you will find pups with a significantly lower price tag, but, those pups, in 99% of the times, don’t come from reputable breeders (we will explain in the following section why buying pups from shady breeders is a huge NO-NO).

And, that is a massive risk because even though these cheap pups might look great at first glance, they come with hidden genetic issues, and temperament problems you will discover after just a few weeks.

By that time, if you haven’t bought your pup from a reputable breeder, the person you dealt with will be gone without a trace, and you will be stuck with a dog that is nothing but trouble.

So, reputable breeders are the only ones that you should buy from, and the price range we mentioned is for pups from such breeders.

Of course, the lower end of the range is for pups who are meant to be just family dogs or pet companions.

On the other hand, the higher end of the range is reserved for pups who come with breeding rights and will most likely win trophies and medals at dog shows.

How to find reputable Barbet breeders?

This is possibly the most important thing you should know when it comes to buying a puppy.

The reason why finding a reputable breeder with plenty of experience in this area is that when a certain breed becomes popular, many owners that lack the breeding experience decide that they want to make some quick money by breeding their dogs and selling the litter.

And, they are unaware that there is a lot of science and preparation for the overall process if you want to have healthy, well-tempered, genetically “clean” puppies.

Plus, to spend as little as possible, those “breeders” are not using high-quality food for puppies, which is the most important time in their development, so further health issues can occur later in their lives.

Furthermore, you can forget about a pedigree because these “breeders” are usually not registered, neither are their dogs.

And, you won’t get useful advice on how to properly take care of your puppy, how to feed it, when to take it to vaccination, and many other things a reputable breeder will give you a full insight into.

So, if you want to buy your puppy from a reputable breeder, here are the things you should expect:

  • Interest in your lifestyle and help in choosing a puppy that is a perfect fit for you
  • A full insight into the pup’s medical records (vet check-ups, possible health issues, vaccinations…)
  • A full insight into the bloodline’s medical records, plus health tests clearances for both parents and even grandparents
  • Information on the intelligence, temperament and personality traits of the breed
  • Advice on how to properly feed your dog (feeding schedules, best diet plan, ingredients list, best dog food brands…)
  • Advice on how to train your dog and how much exercise it needs
  • Contacts of previous customers so that you can check with them how happy are they with their dogs
  • Further assistance and advice as your dog grows

If any of the listed conditions are not met, you are most likely not dealing with a reputable breeder and should avoid the purchase.

3 Little-known facts about the Barbet puppies

You are okay with the price and you now know how to find a reputable breeder. But, are you okay with some of the lesser-known facts about Barbet puppies? Let’s see.

  • Fuzzy bundles of love

Barbet puppies want nothing more than to be loved and played with and they will do anything for cuddle time. However…

  • They can be little dictators

Due to his high cuteness level, you can easily fall under pressure and make your pup’s every whim possible.

But don’t be fooled, he is fully aware that all he has to do is give you the “sad puppy” look and you are his to command with.

Avoid making every wish of your puppy true because it is he who needs the training, not the other way around. Therefore…

  • They need early training and socialization

You should begin the training process and socialization as soon as possible.

Your Barbet puppy needs to realize that not everything revolves around him and that he needs to know how to behave, whether we are talking about house rules or communicating with other people or animals.

Physical Traits of the Barbet

A Barbet going for a walk
The Barbet is a dog that is obedient.

In this section of our Barbet guide, you will get to know how big your puppy is going to be when it grows up.

And, you will also find out for how long can you expect him to be your companion or a loyal member of your family.

A little hint, Barbets are in for the long run…

How big is a full-grown Barbet?

When speaking about the size, the height part, in particular, Barbets are relatively big dogs.

Their height ranges from 20 to 25 inches. Of course, like with every other breed, males are taller than females and the higher end of that range is reserved for them.

The same goes when it comes to weight as well. On average, males have 60 pounds of weight, while females are lighter and come with around 35 pounds of weight.

What is the life expectancy of the Barbet?

As we hinted at the beginning of this section, this breed’s life expectancy is a lot more optimistic than one would think.

They are relatively big dogs, and big dogs don’t usually live that long.

However, when it comes to this breed, if taken care of properly, with high-quality food and enough exercise, you can expect your faithful companion to stick around for up to 15 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Barbet

This is a breed that is known for its affection towards the family, friendliness to other people and animals, and for its calmness.

You should also know that your Barbet will get attached to you and your family, and if you leave him alone for longer periods of time, he will suffer from separation anxiety and display destructive behavior.

Barbet isn’t particularly noisy as some other dogs can get, but he will warn you if he senses that someone that shouldn’t be there, is present and that you and your family might be in danger.

Also, living with a Barbet is not difficult and he will love spending time with the kids and always be gentle while playing with them.

However, even though this dog has an easy-going personality and is generally friendly if you already have another pet, especially a small one, or a cat, the socialization needs to start from the moment he enters your home.

You won’t have a problem when he is a bit older, but in the beginning, he needs to realize that your cat is not to be chased around and that she needs her personal space.

Furthermore, this is one highly intelligent dog who loves to please his owner. But, thanks to that intelligence, he can also be bored easily and refuse to listen to you during the training.

This is especially true if the training is repetitive and if you have a harsh approach.

So, for a well mannered, obedient dog, consider having a consistent training that is fun and not that repetitive.

The type of training that your dog will enjoy is agility and swimming.

And, speaking of swimming, if you are a hunter, you will soon find out how this dog simply loves getting wet and how great he is for retrieving birds.

Even if you are not a hunter, you will notice how he uses every chance he gets to swim “a few laps”, regardless of the season, or if it’s a pond, lake, a river, or the ocean.

But, don’t worry about his health even if he swims during the winter because he has a thick coat that makes him pretty much waterproof and prevents the cold water from reaching his skin.

Now, don’t think that letting your dog swim is just a whim because it’s not.

These dogs are natural swimmers and such sessions are great for both their physical and mental health and when combined with proper training, you will avoid this breed’s annoying habits such as barking and chewing when they are bored and full of energy.

And, when it comes to excessive barking, this can also be avoided with proper and early socialization.

By exposing your dog from his early days to different sounds, people, animals, experiences, you are teaching him that not everything that he hears is a sign of danger.

And, not everything that moves is coming to get him or your family.

When everything is in its place (training, socialization, enough exercise) Barbets are truly wonderful dogs to be around and they can be great family pets, regardless of the type of home you live in.

Whether we are talking about an apartment or a house with a yard, your Barbet can adapt and live to please you and your family every day.

Barbet Diet

A black Barbet wearing sunglasses
The Barbet is an agile runner.

When it comes to a proper diet plan for your Barbet, a high-quality, commercial dog food is our recommendation.

But, you can also opt for homemade meals, though you should first consult the breeder and your dog’s vet and see if they agree and have recommendations for ingredients.

Regardless of your final choice, commercial or homemade, your dog’s diet needs to be, first of all, appropriate for his age.

For example, you cannot feed a puppy with senior dog food, or the other way around.

This is one of the reasons why we recommend commercial dog food.

It’s specially made for each life stage of your dog and has an ideal nutritional balance that allows him to develop just the way he should.

How much Exercise does a Barbet need?

This is a dog whose ancestors used to be swamp/marsh game retrievers.

Even though they are not such active hunters these days, but more family dogs, Barbets still have that enthusiasm when it comes to running in the great outdoors, especially if they sense a lake or a river nearby.

Hiking can be a great way to exercise your dog.

But, if you don’t have time to spend hours in the wilderness each day, don’t worry, a few half an hour to an hour walks around the block, to a nearby dog park, each day, will do just fine.

He will have a chance to run around with his doggie buddies, and learn a new trick or two from you.

And, don’t worry about your dog losing track of time when he plays because once his energy levels are nearly depleted, there isn’t a single game in the world that will change his mind about home/sofa lounging and TV time.

The Barbet Health and Conditions

When it comes to health, this breed is known for being well built and with a great bone structure.
Such “design” allows them to be excellent sporting dogs.

Even though this breed has a small genetic pool, their overall health is surprisingly strong.

This has much to do with proper breeding selections the experienced breeders are very serious about.

Breeders that are experienced and overall, responsible, never skip health condition screenings.

And, if you are buying your pup from a reputable breeder, you should have an insight into the following test clearances:

A reputable breeder will show you these clearances for the pup’s parents even before you ask him.

So, if the breeder you are talking to doesn’t have the listed clearances, he is most likely a backyard breeder or a puppy mill distributor, and you should avoid buying the puppy from him.

My final thoughts on the BarbetTwo Barbet dogs

The health section marks the end of our Barbet guide.

What are your thoughts on this breed now? Still interested in becoming an owner?

If your answer is Yes, then we are glad that our guide helped you in making the right choice.

But, if you are still having second thoughts, or you want to make sure that the final decision you make is the right one, we recommend taking a look at the most important Barbet facts before you go.

This is a dog that is obedient, smart and has a fun-loving and friendly spirit.

You can see him both sitting peacefully beside his family, and rolling around in the mud the next moment.

Furthermore, Barbet needs to be a companion, therefore, he can be a great pet for families with kids, or even for seniors.

He will form a strong bond with the whole family, and will always want to be included in all the activities.

All in all, if you plan on owning this dog, keep in mind that he has a hunter’s spirit and that he requires regular exercise.

If you cannot provide enough outlets for his energy buildups, he will chew on your furniture, shoes, or TV remotes.

But, with proper training, regular exercise, and early socialization, your Barbet will become an example of how a family dog should behave.

Thank you for reading our guide and feel free to share it on social media so that more people see how amazing this breed is.

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