The Barbet has a truly extraordinary personality. A feature that for us personally was the essential and decisive argument in the decision for a dog of this breed.
He is an extremely friendly, sensitive and socially acceptable dog. Again and again he will seek physical closeness to his people. He is very intelligent, so he learns easily and loves to work with people. So the training of basic commands or later more advanced commands for this dog is not a chore that can only be endured with the expected treats, but he is doing it himself with great joy and motivation. He always tries to quickly understand what his person wants from him and tries to carry out the task correctly. However, this does not mean that he does not create new tasks himself, which do not necessarily correspond to the ideas of the owner. Loving consistency and constant reinforcement of correct behavior are absolutely essential, as is fundamental in the training of every dog.
The Barbet is very playful, which is particularly evident when dealing with children. Hide and seek games, fetch games or just running through the garden or the house together are all in the spirit of the woolly bundle of energy.
All of this means, of course, that the Barbet needs mental as well as physical exercise. He loves long walks where he can sniff to his heart's content. Um
To enable this passionate activity as often as possible without a leash, the above-mentioned, consistent training comes into play again. Only a dog that is easy to call away can later get the freedom it needs, so practicing a reliable “come” is far more important for the quality of life than the diligently practiced commands “sit” or “down”. Of course, these are also part of the repertoire of a well-trained dog, especially since the Barbet, as I said, learns these commands with passion.
This work with and for people is a
fundamental characteristic of the barbet. He is absolutely loyal to his family and considers himself a full "pack member", which means he always wants to be there. If you live in the country, your beard happily accompanies you on the train journey to the city. On the other hand, he happily jumps into the car when it comes to a trip into nature. In his opinion, family vacations never take place without him, and he gives the impression that it would have been better to have taken him along for shopping.
You will probably already guess the downside of the coin: the barbet is extremely reluctant to be left alone. A life as a dog that has to wait 8 hours a day alone at home for its owner will never do this dog justice. Keeping a barbet in a kennel is also unthinkable. He will simply suffer, he needs the closeness too much, even physical contact with his human! You can certainly teach him to be alone for a few hours, but this training should be done in good time and with a slow increase. Another option, which I'm sure your Barbet will like much better, is to go to a doggy daycare center or a trusted sitter. But remember, spending time with your dog is about building a relationship. If someone else spends more time with your dog than you do, your relationship with that person will be strengthened. Consider carefully.
There are very different ways of looking at the subject of "hunting instinct in dogs":
Some people break out in a sweat when they imagine a companion hot-bloodedly chasing game and then disappearing over the horizon. Uncontrollable and always energized outside, this is how many imagine a hunting dog.
The other enjoys the dog's fine nose, which is able to find injured game reliably and quickly even after a very long time.
In what form and how strong the hunting instinct is in the respective breeds is very different. There are tracking dogs, scavenger dogs, hounds, pointing dogs and retrievers.
With the classification, that’s one thing with barbet. Originally it was mainly intended for hunting in and around the water. He was primarily supposed to track down the game birds in the reeds and carry them to the hunter with his soft mouth after the shot.
He was also used for work in the field and worked on welding tracks or showed his skills at pointing.
Today the Barbet belongs to FCI Group 8, the retriever, scavenger and water dogs.
In Germany, the Barbet must pass the VBBFL's club facility test (VAP) in order to be approved for breeding. His hunting abilities are tested there, including search, pointing, welding and water passion. What is valuable even for the non-hunter is checking the dog's gun strength. This means that the dog must not flee in panic when shot on land or in the water. How important this, presumably hereditary, character trait is can be observed every year on New Year's Eve, when hunting dogs watch the noisy goings-on calmly.
Today, the hunting instinct in the Barbets is differently pronounced. We are not hunters ourselves, so we cannot report any hunting experiences with this breed. My husband and Ms. Sippel joined a young dog group for hunting dogs to prepare for the VAP. So he diligently practiced the cross-field search with her, or made wonderful sweat tracks in the thicket for her with cattle blood, which Mrs. Sippel had to read. It was great fun for both of them, and Ms. Sippel really showed great talent in welding, which was also shown in the test, which she completed with an excellent 11 points in this discipline.
The two were instructed by an experienced hunter and hunting dog handler. At first we had the feeling that we non-hunters were being smiled at a bit with this strange fluffy dog, but Mrs. Sippel proved her qualities (as well as her charm) with increasing training and was able to improve the image of the barbets significantly._cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_
Since we have no hunting experience, we would like to summarize the assessment of Heinz, the experienced hunting dog handler: He thinks this dog would be an ideal hunting dog for hobby hunters who need an all-rounder for their passion. Certainly there are real specialists in other breeds who are superior to a barbet in terms of tracking or retrieving behavior, for example, and are therefore a better tool for a professional hunter. The fur should also not go unmentioned here: With a long coat of hair - which in our opinion belongs to a barbet - working in the undergrowth is very strenuous for the dog, as small branches - especially from thorny plants - constantly get caught in the hair. A circumstance that does not occur with a smooth and short-haired hunting dog. Heinz particularly liked the social behavior and character of our barbet. Other dogs in the group have repeatedly attracted attention due to their impatience and the resulting restlessness, which of course is very annoying for a hunter on the hunt. Heinz was thrilled "how she just shuts up and lies still until she's called!".
Of course, this behavior is not possible without training. You should be aware of that. But the effort is a lot less, at least with our Barbet, than with other dog breeds. All the barbet owners we deal with describe us in a similar way.