AKC Dog Breeds: Lagotto Romagnolo

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Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: 16-20 inches   Weight: 24-35 pounds  Color: orange and white, brown and white, off-white, orange, brown, brown roan

The Lagotto is an ancient breed of water retriever from the lowlands of Comacchio and marshlands of Ravenna, Italy. The breed is also known as the Romagna Water Dog. The Lagotto Romagnolo is believed to be the founding breed from which all the water dogs descend. Written evidence places the breed in the marshes of Romagna as early as 1600, with numerous references appearing in writings throughout the 19th century, which is also the time when mention begins to be made of the dogs' truffle finding abilities. Between 1840 and 1890, as the marshes were drained and reclaimed for farming, the Lagotto progressively lost its function as a water dog. At the same time it became more specialized as a truffle dog. In fact, during the period between the two World Wars, the Lagotto was the breed used by almost all truffle hunters. The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only purebred dog in the world recognized as a specialized truffle searcher. The Lagotto Romagnolo has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 2001.

General Appearance
The Lagotto is a small/medium sized dog, well proportioned, square built, hardy muscled. The head is quite big and supported by powerful neck. Its teeth should form a scissors bite. The Lagotto Romagnolo possesses extraordinary scenting abilities. They exhibit an attentive, intelligent, and gentle expression. Lagotto have large round eyes in any shade color ranging from dark yellow to dark brown. Lagotto's wooly coat is dense and curly. This dense hair protect him from thorns it can find in the bushes while searching truffles. Its dropping ears are triangular with rounded tips, they are well proportioned to the head. The front legs must appear straight from any angle. The topline should be straight. Solid colors include off-white, white, or brown. They can also be found white with brown or orange patches or Roan (color). . Lagotto often display white markings that grow out in adulthood.


A loyal and affectionate breed, the Lagotto Romagnolo is an excellent family companion. The Lagotto is made to work. They generally have sharp senses, though their eyesight is more sensitive to motion than detail. They are very loyal and loving making them the perfect family companion. They are extremely easy to train. They get along with other animals very easily if socialized from a young age. Lagotto need a lot of exercise and they should always be given a job to keep their intelligent brains occupied. Lagotto have a natural instinct for fetching and typically do not get distracted by game or other wildlife. Lagotto are excellent swimmers and will retrieve from lakes, streams and other bodies of water without hesitation. Lagotto get along well with children and make excellent domestic companions provided they have sufficient exercise. This breed is highly adept at alerting and warning their family to visitors and danger. Obedience is also something they like and are good at, and agility is a favorite! If you’re not interested in competition, you can always play hide and seek at home. As long as you let the dog use it’s brain, it won't have to find things to do on it’s own (that’s never anything good!) In Sweden the breed is very popular. For some this breed is perfect, because of it’s allergy friendly, non shedding coat, it’s medium size, it’s happy disposition, it’s intelligence and it’s willingness to work.


Lagotto Romagnolo are a medium sized dog that is hypoallergenic. There are conflicting ideas on how to groom this breed. Some say they should be brushed regularly and others believe their coat should be allowed to grow naturally into a big fluff. The coat will get matted easily and the mats should carefully be pulled apart without tearing the coat. They must be cut down at least once every year. Bathing should be done when necessary.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

Lagotto live roughly 16 years. Some health issues are hip dysplasia and cerebral anomaly.

Activity Level
The Lagotto Romagnolo is not recommended for apartment living or sedentary owners. They require an inordinate amount of exercise and mental stimulation. This breed does best with a job to do in a rural setting. If they become lonely or bored they will become destructive. They love to dig, so landscaping must be protected. They excel in tracking, agility, and obedience.


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