Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bowled Over by the Barbet

 ♥ Sophie ♥
UCD CH Neigenuveaux Fleur d'Northock WC CGN
I am often asked why we chose the Barbet as the breed of choice for our family.  It truly was a love at first sight deal for me.  Their dishevelled curly coats give the appearance of being anything but glamorous but their sweet nature is bright and sunny.  The breed has completely bowled us over.  I admit I am head over heels in love with these dogs.  The Barbet epitomizes everything that I am looking for in a canine companion.  Now that I have come to know and love them I cannot imagine ever living without one.

Camping with Sophie
At Bruce's Mill Conservation Area with ♥Mona♥
Bayport's Gem of Northrock
The Barbet is smart and sensitive and faithfully loyal.  Their devotion to their families and affectionate disposition are trademarks of the breed.  Barbets are good natured and fun loving and with proper training can become enthusiastic partners for sport and pleasure. 

I want to share my home with dogs that I can do competitive sports with but who will also be up for whatever activity our active family wants to engage in.  Swimming, canoeing, hiking or just hanging out with us at the kid’s soccer games.  If it’s competition you desire, be it agility, obedience, rally-o or tracking Barbets are up to the challenge.  If given the opportunity they also have the potential to serve as capable bird dogs for hunting or field tests.  

Sophie Retrieving
The qualities that enabled the Barbet to function as an all-around retriever of waterfowl and small game are one of the many attributes that attracted us to the breed in the first place.  I get enormous satisfaction from watching the dogs do what they were originally bred to do and I enjoy spending a day out in the field with them.   It is for this reason that at Northrock Barbets we are committed to preserving the breed’s natural instincts, especially their desire to retrieve and their love of water.
Swimming at the cottage with Mona and Sophie
 Two in the canoe - no problem!

Hiking in the Rouge Valley with Sophie

The Barbet is an active and outgoing water dog.  They are willing to work as a team player but they can be wickedly smart and one does at times really need to be one step ahead of them or they will try to run circles around you!  They can also be sensitive and in order for training to be most successful you need to be patient and happy and remember to keep it fun for them.  I enjoy training my dogs.  Sophie has her Companion Dog obedience title  and her Working Certificate and I am looking forward to putting more titles on her in the future.  We have even tried tracking and I don’t know if we will ever bring home a ribbon but it’s a great way for us to spend time together. 

Right now Kelly is working on learning foundation skills that will serve her well in obedience and I’m considering trying agility with both girls.  Although I have heard it’s highly addictive!  Kelly has already been introduced to birds and I was excited about her reaction to them.  I’m looking forward to being able to play in the field with her too.
Lovin' the Chukar
The breed’s enthusiasm for sport combined with their gentle temperament makes for a friendly companion that is ever ready for a long hike or a swim at the beach.  Yet they are easy to live with because when it’s time to relax they are content to lay down by our feet and just “be” with us.  The Barbet is a breed that for the most part is healthy and hardy with few problems.  With a lifespan of 12 – 15 years we look forward to making many more good memories with our girls.

Sophie, Kelly, Quincy
After a day field training....
It’s not all a bed of roses however….their grooming needs are high.  If neglected their curly plush coat that is so therapeutic to pet and cuddle up against can quickly become a matted mess. 

Because my dogs regularly spend time in the great outdoors it means they often bring it home in their coats.  However, with proper care and management the benefit to the Barbet having a coat of hair and not fur means far less shedding so with all that cuddling you will never come away covered in dog hair!

Now with the winter weather on our doorsteps we get to deal with the snow...

♥ Kelly ♥
Northrock's Anchors Aweigh
The Barbet truly is a perfect match for our family.  We have been bitten big time by the Barbet bug!  They are wonderful dogs and we are committed to sharing our hearts and home with their unsophisticated charm for many years to come.

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