The coat and its care
Grooming isn't exactly Ms. Sippel's favorite pastime. She would have better things to do during that time, and she sometimes "suffers" a lot from the squeaking sound of brushing her fur (she's already suffering before the brush has even touched the fur). But since she's a real barbet, at some point she accepts her fate and takes it easy.
What necessitates this regularly recurring "ordeal" is the barbet's distinctive, curly to wavy, long coat that covers the entire body. With long hair, he looks like a robust nature boy who defies wind and cold. You can choose between black, brown, fawn (or cream), piebald black/white or brown/white and grey.
The coat type of the Barbet corresponds to the so-called "single-layer coat", which means that it has a constantly growing top coat and hardly any undercoat. Depending on the length of its fur, it loses little or no hair at all, but one cannot speak of an "easy-care" dog, unless the fur is always shaved short. The longer you keep the fur, the more difficult it is to care for it. If the dog does not see a brush regularly, the fur quickly becomes matted.
A bath, whether in the lake or in the shower at home, is also part of the care program. Our Landseer bitch laid sich, after extensive romping in the field, when she got home, simply lay on the floor and after one to two hours you could get the vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt that had fallen out. However, it was a good idea not to leave the vacuum cleaner far away, as the floor was constantly covered with hair.
It's completely different with Ms. Sippel. You don't vacuum that often because everything, both dirt and twigs or other undergrowth from the forest, is held in place by the curls in the fur. For this she needs a bath and a brush more often.
As I said, if you want to make grooming easier, you can have your Barbet clipped or clipped several times a year. We clip Mrs. Sippel at least once a year, in late spring. This allows the fur to grow sufficiently into the hot summer days to protect the dog's skin from the sun's rays and is still short enough to provide relief from the heat.
When you shave your head, you should take care of the whiskers, which are so
mentioned vibrissae think. They have the same function in dogs as in cats and serve as an orientation aid for the animals. For example, if there is not enough light, we humans spread our arms to feel with our hands whether we can fit through a narrow opening, for example. In dogs, this is done by the whiskers. They are extremely sensitive to touch, and if the opening is too narrow, the dog will not try to push through. For the sake of the animal, you should therefore refrain from shaving the snout short. In addition, it suits the barbet very well if the beard is always worn a little longer.
In terms of size, the Barbet is comparable to the Labrador or Golden Retriever, but is more delicate in build and movement. Standard size for the barbets is 52 to 61 cm at the shoulder for the bitches and 58 to 65 cm for the males. Bitches weigh between 19 and 25 kg, males are naturally heavier, around 24 to 30 kg.
Barbets are special in their movements. We didn't want to allow Ms. Sippel to climb stairs in the first few months, so we installed an old stair gate from our children after the first step. The barrier lost its usefulness when our young dog was about 5 or 6 months old. She just jumped from a standing position over the grate up onto the stairs.
Another example was the ladder thing. One of the children's rooms has a slightly wider ladder leading up to a gallery. Our cats go there when they want some peace and quiet. One day I found Frau Sippel up on this gallery. She had followed the cats by climbing the ladder. Now, with a custom-made ladder made by my husband, said ladder can only be walked on by cats and the dog is secured.
Because of their lightness and stamina, Barbets can show an amazing speed when running across the fields. Mrs. Sippel also showed us this characteristic, especially as a young dog, when she set about chasing after the ravens.