Frequently Asked Questions About Barbets
I have found out that the same things interest almost anyone interested in the breed. So this page has compiled the questions that are frequently asked with their respective answers. The answers are based on my personal experience as the owner of several Barbets :)
Why a Barbet?
You've probably already looked at a lot of pictures of Barbets and maybe fallen in love with the teddy bear-like look of a Barbet. I can say that the appearance does not disappoint. Imagine that this teddy bear is still an extremely social dog, for whom the best thing in the world is bustling with a family.
Barbets usually have a good nerve structure, which makes them suitable for a wide range of hobbies. They are suitable both as a first dog and for a family with children. In addition, the Barbet is reasonably easy to train because it has an inherent tendency to keep in touch with its master and want to please. Communication is extremely important, e.g. in hunting.
Humor! Barbets have their own humor. My dogs like to take intermediate jumps in the yard and come up with something more nice. They seem to have a twinkle in their eye all the time, tail swings almost non-stop and there is no bad day.
Plus, you'll get a dog that doesn't drool or droop, but that's where we can jump in to the following frequently asked questions.
Obedience, of course, also requires training, but I speak for myself. It's wonderful to keep dogs roaming free outside too.
Why not a Barbet?
Dirt, sand, twigs and twigs. Mess and mess again. In the forest, especially the long-haired Barbet, is accompanied by a lot of firewood and twigs. Be prepared for dirt and sand to get inside. Of course, the coat can be kept short, so that less dirt gets inside.
This brings us to the next point, which is coat care. Are you lazy to take care of the coat? Then don't get a Barbet. As stated, the coat can also be maintained short, but remember that the coat is an important characteristic of the Barbet breed. If the coat is pulled down with an Oster with a 10 mm blade, the Barbet will not differ much from a retriever in appearance. So be prepared to take care of the coat and clear up the tangles.
What about hobbies? Barbet is not suitable as a sofa dog, despite the fact that it can calm down inside and lay on the couch. Barbet needs activities and especially, as a puppy comes up with a lot of her own fun if they don't get meaningful things to do.
Separation anxiety! Barbets really love their family. So separation anxiety might occur. It is important to gradually get your puppy to stay also alone and to establish the right routines. Read dog books before buying a puppy!
Another mess. The good thing, though, is that the Barbet's don't droole. In addition, Barbets don't shed hair that would stick to clothing and textiles. A few floating wool ball, on the other hand, may occasionally be found under the bed.
Mess again, namely water mess! Many Barbets start bathing as puppies in a drinking bowl. Imagine you are on a lovely cross-country walk with a Barbet and a lake or river or water pond is visible in front of you. In all likelihood, you'll soon find the Barbet happily bathing in the water. So be prepared for regular water parties and washing. When the Barbet drinks water, you may also have to mop the water off the floor as the water drains along the beard. My own Barbets have a really nice way to wipe their beards on a rug, couch, or my pants if I'm not immediately wiping their beard after eating or drinking. The towel is therefore often at hand.
Interest in game and prey drive! I can't mention this as a downside, but be prepared that the smells of the forest are interesting and Barbet may run out of the yard and chasing after game.
Guarding, guarding can also be found in some individuals. My own Barbets announce with a few barks that hey you, someone came. Barking is not endless roaring.
Is a Barbet suitable for an allergic home?
I certainly can't say. Some of our puppies are in homes that have been diagnosed with dog allergies in the past. So Barbet has not caused any allergies in these homes. Keep in mind, however, that hair itself does not cause allergies but proteins that are present in a dog's skin. Barbet's dandruff is unproblematic for some with dog allergy. Of course, there are differences between both human and dog individuals.
How is Barbet coat treated?
You will definitely get different answers to this question depending on the breeder. Here, however, is the most important thing: Coat must be clear which means that there is no tangles! They start to tighten the skin easily and can cause your dog a painful dermatitis! So clear the tangles and make sure that the skin can breathe from everywhere. Don't be afraid of coat care, you're sure to learn. In addition, it is a nice and relaxing time together with the dog.
The second rule: get the right equipment! So the right brush. The brush should be soft and pliable, not tearing the coat but clearing the tangles. I have noticed myself that the best brush is a pin brush with flexible metal pins. In addition, you will need a comb and possibly a treatment spray. You should invest in a good shampoo and maybe a trimming table to save your back. Of course, you can get it easier if you bring your dog every now and then to a professional groomer. Honestly, a puppy fur is considerably more laborious than an adult dogs fur. That is why the puppy coat should be cut shorter a couple of times.
Barbets also grow hair in the ear canal, which should be removed. The breeder or your veterinarian will show you how to do it. A good help is to use ear powder. Of my dogs, only Halla's ear canal really grows a lot of hair, others don't have that much hair and I rarely tuck hair from others. You can also use a cleanser available from a pharmacy or pet store. The ears should be kept clean, so always remember to check into the ear.
You will also need scissors and a trimmer machine if you want to take care of the fur yourself. The scissors make it easy to clean the coat and the trimmer to cut all over short. You will need scissors with rounded tips to shorten the hair between the pads. The Breeder will show you how to trim the coat in a breed-like manner. However, keep in mind that the coat should be clean before cutting and trimming. Otherwise the scissors, blades and tools will get dull quickly. In fact, dry your dog after washing with a hair dryer because it blows the coat effectively dry and airy, making it easier to shape.
Does the Barbet have a tendency for being a gun dog?
It must have! Barbet was originally bred for waterfowl hunting. It involves finding the waterfowl hidden in the reeds, flushing and retrieving, regardless of the weather. Barbet is able to work even in icy waters. Swimming is really quick and easy thanks to the long limbs and webbed feet. So if you don't want your Barbet to have prey drive, you might want to consider another breed. Still, prey drive doesn't occur in all individuals. By training, there is an opportunity to strengthen it. Interview the breeders, they knows their dogs and can tell you about the game. Barbet is therefore perfect for a hunting home. In addition to being used in the woods, it is also suitable for so many other hobbies, such as tracking, obedience, agility, therapy dog etc., etc.
Where can I get a Barbet??
Did I convince you that you still want to have a Barbet? So the next step is to choose a breeder. Interview and ask, but most of all, visit the breeder and their dogs. Would you be willing to take the litter's mother to live in your home? If not, then consider why you would still take a puppy. Ask what kind of dogs the parents are. The breeder will tell you openly everything about their dogs and any diseases they may have in their lineages. The breeder will not promise you the moon from the sky, only the puppy with whom he or she has done their best to give the best possible starting point for the puppy's life in the new home. The breeder will provide you with support and advice on how to care for your puppy. I am often asked if I can choose my own puppy? My answer is no. You can't reserve a puppy for yourself based on a certain color, for example. I interview each family carefully so I can choose the most suitable puppy for them. The breeder monitors their puppies 24/7. The future puppy owner visits only couple of times and may fall in love with a puppy who is currently awake and just wants to climb in his arms. This is completely natural. It may sound boring, but trust your breeder, they will choose the best puppy for you. Of course, wishes are listened to, but color, for example, is a completely irrelevant factor in choosing a puppy. The most important thing is temperament.
If, despite the above, you end up wanting a Barbet, then congratulations on your choice. You will surely appreciate this wonderful breed.
A few thoughts on breeding...
The first thing that comes to mind when breeding dogs is responsibility. Why is breeding done, what is the basis of this? The basis for breeding is to produce healthy, versatile, breed-like dogs. Breeding choices are of great importance. What makes my dog so good that it can be used for breeding? Often breeding is a kind of compromise, there may not be two representatives of their breed that are perfect in their characteristics and type. Therefore, a compromise is made in which the shortcomings of one are compensated by the characteristics of the other. I think health and temperament are crucial. In addition, a show result or breed review must be found as proof of the body type. Nor is breeding a blind stare at any single health index, letter, or number. It is important to look what kind of life the dogs, parents and siblings of the dogs have spent until then. The wholeness is decisive. Have the dogs had any ailments, allergies, etc., what about their close relatives or siblings? The future offspring will explain why the breeding was worthwhile. The goal of breeding should be to improve the breed, and not increase the number of dogs.
The breeding work doesn't end when the breeder hands over the dog. From the point of view of breeding, it is important to see what kind of offspring will be born and to get information about their health. Contact with the breeder does not have to end when the puppy moves to a new home. It is important to support the owners in all matters of concern.