Lagotto Romagnolo

Type: Gun Dog

Height: Males: 17 - 19 inches; Females: 14 - 18 inches.

Weight: Males: 29 - 25 lbs.; Females: 24 - 32 lbs.

Life Span: 11 - 16 + years.

Litter Size: 4 - 6 puppies.

Country of Origin: Italy

Activity: Medium

Watch-dog: High. Lagotto Romagnolos are very alert and will let their owners know what is going on.

Guard-dog: Low. The Water Dog of Romagnolo is a friend to most, animals and people alike.


Description: The Lagotto Romagnolo (pronounced lag-oh-toe roman-yolo) is a small to medium sized dog with thick curly fur and a bright, happy demeanor. They come in colors of brown, white, off white, and orange. Like a poodle, their fur is hypoallergenic, and they hardly shed a hair. Their drop ears are triangular but round on the ends, and their faces are full of curly fur. Loyal and obedient, the Water Dog of Romagnolo was previously used as a hunting dog, and currently used as a truffle-searching dog. Truffles are a form of edible fungi in Italy. This is the only breed used for this purpose, but he does a good job at it! Romagna Water Dogs are bred for searching things out, and their keen senses prove their worthiness in the field. They are agile, affectionate and loving. The Lagotto Romagnolo is trained easily, enjoys the company of his master and will gladly accompany you on a long walk around the block. Adaptable and intelligent, the Lagotto Romagnolo is a friend to all.

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Other Names: Water Dog of Romagnolo, Romagna Water Dog

Colors: They come in solid colors of off white, white, and brown. They also come in colors of white with patches of brown, orange or roan. There is a ring around the eyes,

Coat: The Lagotto Romagnolo's coat consists of woolly, curly and thick fur. Their coats are hypoallergenic and said not to shed. It mats easily.

Temperament: Lagotto Romagnolos are friendly, very affectionate, and enjoy being with their owners. They are energetic, very good at tracking scents, and keen. They are good warning dogs, due to their alert nature. Lagotto Romagnolos are hard workers with good senses. They are very loyal and loving. They train easily, and are eager to please. They enjoy the company of other animals and dogs, and are good with children. They are intelligent animals that become very attached to their owners.

With Children: Yes, they are affectionate and sincere if socialized.

With Pets: Yes, they are raised in packs in Italy, and therefore get along very well with other dogs and pets if socialized.

Special Skills: Truffle hunting and family pet.

Care and Training: The Lagotto Romagnolo should not be brushed in the show ring. Their fur should retain its curl, but not be too long to overshadow the body line. Lagotto Romagnolos' coat should be trimmed once a year, and should be separated without tearing, as it will mat easily. Some say the coat should be brushed regularly, while others disagree and believe it should grow as it is as a working dog. The coat is preferably 1.5 inches long all around. Lagotto Romagnolos are eager to learn and are easy to train. They should be trained with positive reinforcement, and they shouldn't be too difficult to work with. They also need regular daily exercise, as they can become obese. They would greatly benefit from long daily walks and play sessions with their owners, and would greatly enjoy them as well.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - High. Problem Solving - High. Lagotto Romagnolos are intelligent and obedient dogs.

Special Needs: Grooming, moderate socialization, and a fenced yard with instructions not to dig.

Living Environment: The Lagotto Romagnolo is adaptable to most living situations. They are small enough to live in an apartment if given enough exercise. Otherwise, the breed is well adapted to live in the country or suburbia. Owners beware, however, this breed likes to dig. The best owner for this breed would be an active family or individual living in a rural or suburban environment.

Health Issues: Although a healthy breed, some health concerns include cerebral anomaly and hip dysplasia.

History: The Lagotto Romagnolo is a an ancient breed from the marshlands of Ravenna and the lowlands of Comacchio, which is in the sub-region of Romagna, Italy. The breed's roots are thought to go back at least to 1474 A.D. A likeness undoubtedly of the same breed is portrayed in a painting titled "The Meeting", by Andrea Mantegna. In the lower left corner of the painting indicates the breed to be the a spitting image of the Lagotto Romagnolo. In the beginning of its known history, it was used as a hunting dog and water retriever. The breed's own name comes from the Italian word "lago", which means "lake". Some time ago, however, the lake lands of this sub-region of Italy dried up to become marshlands and hills. After which, the breed's use of hunting diminished to the degree that it was no longer bred for it. Soon the Lagotto Romagnolo was bred for the use of tracking scents. Because of this, they have very keen senses and often are not distracted by hunting games in order to follow a scent. The Lagotto Romagnolo began the job of searching out truffles--not the ordinary chocolate kind! Truffles, what these dogs searched for in Italy, are edible fungi. Not much is known about the rest of the breed's history.

First Registered by the AKC: 2016

AKC Group: Sporting Group

Class: Gun Dog

Registries: FCI (Group 8), ANKC (Group 3), KC(UK) (Gundogs), NZKC (Gundogs), UKC (Gun Dog)