Barbet (Imp)

Last updated April 2019

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable, it must not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Rustic, medium size, athletic, with balanced proportions. A dense covering of curly hair and a distinctive beard which gives the breed its name. Substantial head and bone.


Hardy gundog with well-developed senses. Intelligent and energetic.


Responsive, loving, loyal and sociable, with even disposition.

Head and skull

Strong, wide and large. Skull rounded and broad, occiput not prominent. Well-defined stop. Head planes parallel. Muzzle square, slightly shorter than skull and fully covered with hair. Beard well furnished, length in keeping with overall coat. Nose large, with well-opened nostrils, fully pigmented, in harmony with coat colour.


Medium size, round, expressive, dark hazel to dark brown in colour. Fully pigmented eye rims harmonising with overall coat colour, fawn dogs having brown or black pigment.


Long, flat and wide, covered entirely by long hair. Set at, or slightly below, eye level. Ear leather extends beyond corner of mouth, with hair extending past the nose.


Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Lips thick and fully pigmented, with tight flews.


Short and strong.


Shoulders oblique, upper arm sloping, strong and muscular. Forearm straight and well boned.


Firm, level topline. Length of body, from point of shoulder to point of buttock, slightly greater than height at withers. Well-developed, broad, deep chest reaching the elbows. Ribs rounded but not barrel shaped. Loin slightly arched, short and strong.


Moderately angulated with low hocks. Rear pasterns upright.


Round, broad and covered with hair. Well padded.


Low set, reaching the hock and forming a slight hook at the tip. The end of the tail is carried slightly above the horizontal in motion. Never curved or curled over the back.


Easy, powerful, balanced movement with strides of medium length. Topline remains level.


A defining characteristic. Hair is profuse, water resistant and covers the whole body evenly with thick, natural curls ranging from large and loose to small and tight. Skin is thick. The coat can be presented in different lengths. Working clip acceptable provided there is enough length that the texture and curl can be seen. Stylised trimming unacceptable as rustic appearance must be maintained.


All shades of black, grey, brown, and fawn, with or without white. Solid white or white with markings in one of these colours.


Ideal height: dogs 58-65 cms (22¾-25½ ins); bitches 53-61 cms (20¾-24 ins). With a tolerance of +/- 1cm.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – The Kennel Club breed standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the size measurements stated in the breed standard.