The Lagotto Romagnolo is an Italian dog breed whose name can be literally translated to “lake dog from Romagna”. This lovely dog breed was originally created to assist hunters and hunt waterfowl in the historical Italian region of Romagna. This Italian region has a lot of wet marshlands where this double-coated breed excelled in its hunting jobs.
This breed has a distinct, curly coat that is very human-like. Its coat comes in many colors and they are “light” shedders which is a huge advantage for people with allergies. However, their coat can be a bit harder to keep healthy and mat-free and that means that you will have to take proper care of it and give them regular grooming and brushing sessions.
16-19 in (41-48 cm)
24-35 lb (11-16 kg)
This is a fairly old breed and we can trace the Lagotto Romagnolo back to Renaissance Italy and some canine historians believe that their history goes even further. That part of their history still remains unexplained but what we can be sure about is that the modern-day Lagotto was “rebranded” from being mostly a hunting dog to the world’s best truffle “hunting” dog. This breed has an incredibly good sense of smell and their owners taught them to smell and discover one of the world’s most expensive delicacies.
Dog Breed Characteristics
The Lagotto Romagnolo is a very well known, popular, and old dog breed that comes from Italy who is a full member of the biggest cynology union in the world - the Federation Cynologique Internationale or the FCI. The FCI has a standard in place for this breed and that standard has been accepted by all 98 members of this cynology union. The FCI standard describes these dogs as being small to medium-sized dogs that are powerfully built and have a rustic appearance. They have been placed in Group 8 (Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs), Section 3 (Water Dogs). It is interesting to know that owners can choose whether their dogs undergo a working trial.
This standard also mentioned the required size for this breed and it is 17 – 19 in (43 – 48 cm) for male Lagottos and 16 – 18 in (41 – 46 cm) for the females. Their weight should always be in proportion to their height but should be between 28 – 35 lbs (13 – 16 kg) for the male dogs and 24 – 31 lbs (11 – 14 kg) for the females.
This breed was accepted by the FCI on the 6th of July 2005.
The governing cynology association in the United States of America is called the American Kennel Club and they too have a complete Lagotto Romagnolo standard in place. The AKC standard describes these dogs as well proportioned, curly-coated dogs that give the impression of strength and endurance.
This standard also mentioned the required sizes for these dogs and it is 17 – 19 in (43-48 cm) for the male dogs and 16 – 18 in (41-46 cm) for the females. Their required weight is the same as in the FCI standard 28 – 35 lbs (13 – 16 kg) for males and 24 – 31 lbs (11 – 14 kg) for females.
This breed was accepted by the AKC in 2015.
Lagotto Romagnolo has a double coat that is water-resistant. These dogs don’t shed much and they are mostly referred to as hypoallergenic dogs. These dogs need regular brushing to avoid forming mats and tangles.
Lagotto Romagnolo coat colors:
- Solid white
- White with brown or orange patches
- Brown roan
- Orange roan
The rest is basic care; trim their nails when needed (if they don't wear them down naturally), brush their teeth weekly to prevent tartar buildup and bacteria development. Regularly check their ears for any sign of redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. You can wipe their ears with the cotton ball dipped into an ear cleaner. The key for your dog to get used to all things mentioned above is to start early with them. Make a positive experience for the dog, full of praises and rewards, and you can be sure that your dog will enjoy all these things when they grow up.
Lagotto Romagnolo is a highly energetic and active breed. They were bred to work all day, so these dogs need a lot of daily exercise. These dogs need an active lifestyle to be happy. They love to be outside and be part of the action, whether running and chasing balls, playing, jumping or jogging. If you are thinking about getting a Lagotto Romagnolo, make sure you have enough free time and energy to spend it outside playing and training your Lagotto Romagnolo. If your schedule can’t allow you that, consider getting some less active breed.
Like any other dog breed, the Lagotto Romagnolo requires early socialization. It is essential to ensure that your dog doesn’t become shy or aggressive. Expose your dog to many different people, dogs, sights, and situations to secure a well-rounded dog. Because they are herding dogs and have a high prey drive, even with the right training and socialization, these dogs will not be able to resist going after a rabbit or squirrel. They can adapt to any environment as long as you secure them with plenty of physical and mental activity.
Socialization can even be done at home. Dress differently; wear glasses, hats, and baggy clothes so your puppy can’t recognize you right away. Teach your puppy to stay alone for a while and not make a fuss about it. It is the best way to make sure your puppy will grow up to be a stable, confident, and well-behaved dog.
Lagotto Romagnolo and kids
Lagotto Romagnolo are excellent family dogs that will get along with every family member including children. Take note that kids need to be taught how to properly play and interact with a dog so Lagotto Romagnolo can enjoy their company. If they are raised together from an early age they will be their playing parting and they will enjoy spending time together.
Children should never be left alone with any dog, no matter what breed it might be. You should make sure that your children understand how to approach dogs of this breed and understand how to interact and play with them properly.
Lagotto Romagnolo and other animals
These dogs can get along well with other dogs and can enjoy their company. They can in some cases start chasing smaller animals but with the right socialization from an early age, they can learn to live with other pets in the same household.
Lagotto Romagnolo are dogs with a life expectancy of 15-17 years. Like any other dog breed, they are prone to some health problems that every (future) owner should be aware of. To be sure that you'll get the healthiest possible dog, never buy a dog from a puppy mill breeder or a pet store. Lagotto Romagnolo can suffer from
- Epilepsy - Brain problem causing mild to severe seizures.
- Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
- Elbow Dysplasia - Usually, it affects large breeds and is caused by uneven growth of three bones making a dog’s elbow.
If you are interested in getting one of these dogs, make sure that you buy from a registered and reputable Lagotto Romagnolo breeder. A good breeder needs to be knowledgeable about the breed they are breeding and can certainly answer most of your questions about these dogs. They can certainly give you great advice and tell you if this breed will fit your and your family’s lifestyle.
Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. When you bring your new puppy home start with the training and socialization immediately. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust. If you devote your time and energy to this dog, you can be sure that you will end up with a companion for life.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
World Dog Finder team