The Barbet is a rare breed. Most Barbet are entirely black, black and white, or brown. It is common to see white chest spots and white paws or legs on black or brown coated dogs. Parti, Creme, and Pied variations are being born but in very limited numbers. They are capable retrievers for waterfowl hunting. In France the Barbet can take the Test d`Aptitude Naturelle (T.A.N.) a basic water retrieving test and has recently been permitted to participate in the BCE. (Brevet de Chasse a l’Eau) which is a general hunting test involving field and water trials. In Germany the Barbet takes part in field trials.
The accepted colours of the breed are solid black, brown, fawn, grey, pale fawn, white, or more or less pied. All shades of red-fawn and pale fawn are permitted. The shade should, preferably, be the same as the colour of the body. Grey and white are extremely rare; mixed colours (except with white) are considered as a fault. The most common colors are black or brown with white markings. The birth figures worldwide for 2007 are 176. All born were black or brown some with white markings on the chest, chin, and legs.
The Barbet’s personality is described as companionable, joyful, goofy, obedient, and intelligent. They are quick to learn and need lifelong obedience training. They are a great with children, families, and the elderly. Barbet will bond with their family and prefer to be in the same room with the family at all times. They need exercise daily to keep the dog in a healthy state of mind and body.
Some issues that have exhibited themselves are ear infections, hip dysplasia, hernias, undescended testicles, undershot/overshot bites, and epilepsy.