This gives a brilliant explanation to the gundog breeds known as HPR (hunt,point and retrieve)
HPR what does it mean
Where does the barbet fit in, there is no doubt as owners in this Country will tell you it can hunt (without training), I have witnessed a son of Bepop pointing and several owners again have told me that their barbets do point so its not beyond the breeds capabilities to strengthed this feature. As for retrieving, well, 11 barbets in the Uk have passed their basic aptitude test for the breed called the TAN which included retrieving in water, so that one is easy to include.
I have just read a book all about training a young pointer to point, so much work goes into training even with dogs that have natural ability, although it seems that alot is about your relationship with the dog and how you work as a team.