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Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo
Photos with thanks to Katarina Rawlins, Denmark

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Group Gun Dogs (KC)

Origin / History The Lagotto Romagnolo hails from Italy and is considered to be an ancient breed of water dog. Also known as the Romagna Water Dog, this canine breed got its name from the Venetian term lagotto which roughly translates to a duck dog.

The roots of the Lagotto can be traced back to the Etruscan times when a small duck retriever existed in Romangna, which is located in the northeastern side of Italy. This dog is unique in the sense it is the only breed whose sole purpose is to search for truffles. From the ancient times up to now, this dog variety is the only breed which can perform this sole function.

Appearance This dog has a medium but sturdy built. It has rounded eyes and similar shaped ears which are set close to the head. The front legs of the Lagotto should form a straight line when viewed from any angle. Finally, the coat has a wool-textured coat which is thick and curly.

These dogs are similar in appearance and function to the poodle, the Irish Water Spaniel, Portugese Water Dog, American Water Spaniel, German Water Spaniel and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Colours Orange, brown, roan, off-white and white are the most common colors of this dog. The white markings interspersed with its coat are also common, although they can be outgrown into adulthood.

Temperament This breed of dog serves as a good family dog and companion. They are an affectionate, loyal and loving and breed. As long as they are properly trained, they can easily socialize with other dogs. They also have a happy disposition, and are highly active and energetic.

Being the natural hunters that they are, the Lagottos are keen and intelligent. They usually have sharp senses, a strong sense of smell and good vision which is capable to detect the smallest movement in the water. This trait is applicable to their job as a truffle searcher. When kept inside the house, this dog breed should be treated to regular baths since they have a natural aptitude towards the water.

Height and Weight They are 36 - 48 cm in height and weigh between 11 - 16 Kg.

Common Health Problems This is a generally health dog, but they are vulnerable to health problems like hip dysplasia and cerebella anomaly.

Living Conditions Being a fairly small dog, the Lagotto Romagnolo requires little living space so they can be housed in an apartment setting. Owners need to be careful, though, if they have a lawn or a yard since these dogs can easily dig up holes which may ruin a flowerbed or a perfectly landscaped area. Animal lovers who have problems with allergies can take the Lagotto as a house pet.

Exercise Requirements Water retrievers like the Lagotto Romagnolo have a lot of energy to burn. If they are housed as a companion dog, they need to be taken on long walks daily. Swimming, playing fetch and running in the outdoors are some of their favorite physical activities.

Training Requirements This dog breed is highly trainable, since obedience is one of its strong suits. In their country of origin, the Lagotto is trained to hunt for truffles. It responds well to obedience training, as long as they are approached with gentleness and they are able to use their agility during the exercise.

Life Expectancy These dogs have an amazing lifespan of about 16 years.


There are several approaches when it comes to grooming this dog breed which has a generous coat. Some believe that the way to groom the Lagotto Romagnolo is through regular brushing, while other pet owners allow the fur to grow naturally. This dog breed is not a shredder, although it is recommended that their coat gets cut at least once a year.

Owners should also take not that the coat gets easily matted, so brushing is recommended. However, the natural working and hunting dog appearance should still be retained. When featured in the show ring, the coat should not be fluffed to retain its natural curls.

Famous Examples

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More Lagotto Romagnolo Information: Check out our Lagotto Romagnolo Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.

Submit your Lagotto Romagnolo pictures Send us any pics of your Lagotto Romagnolo, let us know there name and age and any other details. We'll add to this page. Contact us

Lagotto Romagnolo Pics
Lagotto Romagnolo Puppy playing with a ball
A playful Lagotto Romagnolo Pup
Lagotto Romagnolo
Photo with thanks to Katarina Rawlins, Denmark



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