General information about the breed
The French water dog is also called Barbet. La barbe – the beard of which the Barbet (owner) is particularly proud of. The breed is very friendly, fond of children and suitable for families. The dog is good as a “normal” family dog, but is also an ideal companion for people who are ambitious in sport. Any kind of dog sport, whether obedience, assistance dog, tracking, rally obedience, search dog for bark beetles or other exciting things such as dummy training and agility – there is almost nothing that you cannot train together with the Barbets, of course always depending on the individual suitability of the individual dog. Since it is a breed of hunting dogs, many dogs are also successfully used as hunting dogs. And of course, water dogs love the water. Most Barbets enjoy splashing around, swimming or working in the water. Barbets are also used very successfully as assistance dogs, as they are eager to learn, friendly and of course impress with their lovely nature. In the apartment, the Barbet is a calm, pleasant and balanced dog, outside on a walk or in training it shows how spirited, eager to run and loveing to learn he is.
The Barbet’s coat
The Barbet doesn’t shed. Regarding the coat of the Barbet, it can be said that there are curly and wavy types, slightly matting and less easily matting dogs. If you want a Barbet with a long coat, it has to be brushed and combed very regularly. In addition, a regular haircut is necessary as the hair is constantly growing. However, you can also decide to shave the Barbet all over the body. Or (which I like to do) shave the body and legs relatively short and I leave the fur long on the head and tail. There are many possibilities here and every owner will decide for himself the best individual care of the coat of his dog, depending on the phase of life and time factor of the people, dog show season or not, summer or winter or the type of training with the dog. What I especially love about the Barbet’s coat (aside from the fact that they don’t shed) is that they are always cozy and soft.
Is the Barbet suitable for dog allergic humans?
One often hears or reads that the Barbet is suitable for people who are allergic to dogs. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Which is right, the breed does not shed. So, no annoying hair anywhere in the apartment. To advertise the barbet as a hypoallergenic dog is simply wrong, because he does not shed but he still carries the allergens. Because the dog allergen is found on the skin, in the fur and in the saliva. Since the dog’s epithelia cells are very light, they can easily be spread with the wind and stay in the air for hours.
The main allergen is Can f1, to which 50-75% of people allergic to dogs react. The concentration of Can f1 varies between breed and individual animals. Can f2 is the responsible allergen in 25-40% of people, this allergen is often found in saliva and in the scales of the skin. It is therefore absolutely irrelevant for people with allergies to this allergen whether the dog has hair or does not have hair. There are other allergens that can be found on the skin, in the saliva or epithelial cells. For example, Can f5 is increasingly produced in the prostate, thus, neutering the male leads to a reduction of this allergen. However, it can also be detected in dog’s urine and also in dog dander. It is important to note that there are no breed-specific allergens.
However, the allergen concentration varies between the different breeds and between the individual dogs, which can lead to the phenomenon that a person allergic to dogs cannot tolerate one dog and can tolerate the other dog (regardless of the breed). Trying just one curl of hair to test would make absolutely no sense because it represents only a fraction of a dog’s allergenic potential. It always depends on which of the dog allergens the respective person reacts to and whether this individual dog carries more or less of these allergens.