The French Water Dog or Barbet is a rare breed, with only 176 live births recorded worldwide in 2007. That said, French Water Dogs are proving popular with allergy sufferers due to their hypoallergenic fur and minimal shedding. Living between 13 to 15 years on average, this breed of medium-sized, curly-haired dog is known for its obedient, intelligent, and sunny temperament. With adult males measuring 58-63cm tall, and weighing in at 17-28kg, the French Water Dog will prove to be a sizable presence in any home. The breed is slowly becoming more popular, due in no small part to the Obamas' adoption of the French Water Dog's cousin, the Portuguese Water Dog, in 2011 (Bo, the original Obama dog, was then joined by another Portuguese Water Dog named Sunny in 2013).

Colouring and Coat

French Water Dogs are usually solid brown or black, although some of the dogs can have patches of white in their thick, curly fur. Accepted colours also include fawn, pale fawn, red fawn, pale grey, white, and pied. Mixed colours, except with white, are considered to be a fault. The dogs' other name, Barbet, derives from the French word barbe, meaning "beard", and this facial hair is a feature of the breed. As with other non-moulting dogs, French Water Dogs are a popular choice for allergy sufferers, although time should be spent in the presence of the breed for a while first to test an individual's degree of reaction. The breed's thick, waterproof fur and water dog...

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