(aka: Romagna Water Dog, Truffle Dog)
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 scissor, level or reverse scissor bite. The eyes are round and relatively big they can be in any color between dark yellow and dark brown, it usually depends on the color of the coat. The coat can be off-white, solid white, white with brown or rust patches, different shades of brown, or rust solid color, a brown mask is acceptable. 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.
Lagotto Romagnolo Temperment
The Lagotto is a working dog. It has a natural gift for searching and its very good nose has made this breed very efficient in truffle searching. While on the search he is not usually distracted by the scent of wild animals or other dogs. The Lagotto is loyal, keen, affectionate, very attached to his owner and easy to train. It gets on well with other dogs and the other pets if sufficiently socialized. It is an excellent family companion and a very good warning dog. The lagotto is a good pet and loves people, but in addition to needing plenty of exercise, they need to use their brain. This intelligent dog needs a job to do, something to keep its mind occupied. Tracking, games of searching for people in the woods or searching for mushrooms are some ideas. Obedience is also something they like and are good at, and agility is a favorite! If youre not interested in competition, you can always play hide and seek at home. As long as you let the dog use its brain, it won't have to find things to do on its own (thats never anything good!) In Sweden the breed is very popular. For some this breed is perfect, because of its allergy friendly, non shedding coat, its medium size, its happy disposition, its intelligence and its willingness to work. Make sure you are this dog's firm, but calm, consistent pack leader. Proper human to canine communication is essential to ensure they get along with other dogs and listen to human commands.
Its dense, curly coat needs regular care. When you buy a Lagotto you hear different stories from different people about how to care for the coat. Some say that you should only clip it down with clippers twice a year and nothing else. Some say you have to brush it sometimes. One owner states "Well, I have learned the hard way, that it is more difficult that it seems. The coat easily get matted, and to prevent that, you have to comb through it on a regular basis." You should not show a brushed Lagotto (like a poodle) in show ring. Its not a fur ball, its a working dog, and should be showed that way. This breeds sheds little to no hair.
The Lagotto has been selected for the search for truffles on all kinds of ground: its the only breed recognized for this purpose. The Lagotto is an ancient breed for water retrieving known in Italy since the XVI century in the lowlands of Comacchio and the marshlands of Ravenna. Over the centuries, the great marshlands were drained and turned into arable land. Since the XIX century this intelligent breed has been utilized as an excellent dog for searching truffles in the flat open country and the hills of Romagna, thanks to his very developed sense of smell ad high ability to concentrate on the search.
Some are easy to train. Many get along with other animals quite easily if socialized from a young age.
Some health issues that are occassionally seen in the Lagotto Romagnolo are hip dysplasia, benign juvenile epilepsy, and cerebral anomaly.