Lagotto Romagnolo

At first glance, the Lagotto Romagnolo could be mistaken for a successful poodle mix. Find out everything about the origin and temperament of the Lagotto Romagnolo dog breed in the profile.

Size: male: 43-48 cm; Female: 41-46 cm
Weight: 11-16 kilos
Country of origin: Italy
Coat Length: Long, woolly, tightly curled annular curls
Coat Colors: Brown/Chocolate/Liver, White, Gold/Yellow
Classification: FCI Group 8: Retrievers, Search Dogs, Water Dogs Section 3 Water Dogs. Without work test

With his curly coat, you could mistake him for a successful poodle mix. In truth, the Lagotto Romagnolo is probably the oldest known water dog, having made a name for itself as an excellent truffle hunter and great companion dog.

Origin of the Lagotto Romagnolo

Although the Lagotto Romagnolo is still rather rare in Germany, its fan base is constantly growing. His ancestors were Italian water dogs, which from the 16th century helped out in the lagoons of Comacchio and the swampy areas of the lowlands of Emilia Romagna, especially in the hunt for coots. Their curly fur with a lot of undercoat protected them from the freezing cold in the water.

In addition, these dogs also guarded the boats and houses of the “Vallaroli”, who at that time populated the game-rich lagoons and accompanied hunters with their dogs and went in search of truffles. The hunt for truffles moved further and further into the mountains, and the Lagottos’ curly fur proved its worth there too: the thorny plants could not harm them.

Since initially only the functional properties counted, other dog breeds with a fine nose were crossed in again and again, such as pointers, poodles, spinones, setters or bracken. In the mid-1970s, a few enthusiasts finally began to reconstruct the old, original Lagotto type and created the basis for pure breeding.

The breed was officially recognized by the FCI in July 2005. Today the Lagotto is still used as a truffle hunting dog in its home country. In Germany he is slowly but surely making a name for himself as an intelligent family and companion dog.

The appearance of the Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo has a thick, curly coat. Males reach a shoulder height of a maximum of 48 centimeters, bitches up to 46 centimeters. Lagottos are small to medium-sized dogs. They are powerfully built and almost as tall as they are long.

Fur and colors

The Lagotto Romagnolo is available in white or brown. However, the dogs can also have white, brown or orange spots. Some of them have a brown to dark brown mask.

Temperament and upbringing

The Lagotto Romagnolo is extremely adaptable. If he lives with quieter people, he quickly becomes a somewhat more relaxed dog. However, if he is very challenged right from the start, for example with ball games, nose work, retrieval or agility, he will also insist on this. These dogs are very robust and persistent. They love the water and are very fond of swimming.

Since he is very related to his people and wants to please him, the Lagotto Romagnolo is considered easy to handle. It is suitable for beginners. Nevertheless, this breed has a great willingness to work. The intelligent dog can only fully develop its positive traits if it is allowed to live it out.

The Lagotto Romagnolo tends to beg patiently. Consistency is therefore important in education. On the other hand, this breed is not to be had for hardness and drill. A respectful, fair treatment paired with empathy, creativity and a lot of praise bring much more.

At home he is vigilant and certainly reports abnormalities in his territory. However, a species-appropriate and optimally socialized Lagotto Romagnolo never reacts aggressively or sharply. His joy in hunting is awakened when the Lagotto encounters enticing wild tracks while out for a walk. Despite this, his interest in hunting is well manageable.

Keeping and caring for the Lagotto Romagnolo

As far as grooming is concerned, the Lagotto is one of the easy-care breeds. Since he doesn’t shed, he should be clipped twice a year. Otherwise, weekly brushing is sufficient. Hair that grows into the inner ear needs to be removed about once a month to prevent irritation and inflammation in the ear. In winter, the fur between the pads should be trimmed so that no clumps of snow form, which would hinder the dog from walking.

If you want to keep a Lagotto Romagnolo, you have to let it walk twice a day for at least an hour. In addition, he needs sufficient intellectual activity. A house with a large plot of land is ideal for this dog; if possible, it should not be kept in a flat.

The Lagotto Romagnolo accompanies sporty people when jogging, walking, hiking or cycling. It is well suited for families with children. When socialized well, the Lagotto Romagnolo is fun to be with and will make a loving family pet.

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