An archetypic water dog of France, the Barbet is a rustic breed of medium size and balanced proportions who appears in works as early as the 16th century. In profile, the Barbet is slightly rectangular with a substantial head and long, sweeping tail. He has a long, dense covering of curly hair and a distinctive beard. An agile athlete, the Barbet has been used primarily to locate, flush, and retrieve birds. He has a cheerful disposition and is very social and loyal.