The Lagotto Romagnolo has remained unchanged since Etruscan times (5th Century BC) to hunt and retrieve waterfowl in the once Venetian/Romanian marshlands of northern Italy. In mid 19th century when the marshlands were drained the Lagotto was used for their acute scenting ability to search for highly prized truffles. The Lagotto is unique in being the only purebred dog in the world officially recognised as a truffle dog.
The woolly, curly, double coat has made the Lagotto supreme in water as well as on land.
The Italian Kennel Club recognised the Lagotto Romagnolo as a pure breed in 1993. International recognition followed in October 1995. The Lagotto Romagnolo is on the Imported Breed Register at the UK Kennel Club.
The Lagotto Romagnolo is small to medium sized; dogs 43-48 cm, bitches 41 – 46 cm.
It is a hardy, rustic dog which is able to adapt to town life. Providing he is given correct training from the outset he will make an ideal companion, being highly intelligent with a particular marked sense of humour.
His acute sense of hearing makes him an ideal watchdog. Although he is not a particularly yappy dog, his guarding instincts kick in when strangers are in the vicinity of his home.
Although there are few opportunities in the UK for the traditional work of duck retrieving and truffling, he is a pretty adaptable to excel in Agility, Heelwork to Music and Obedience as well as Working Trials.
He is highly intelligent, adaptable and lively. Although you must remember that he is a small gundog and not a large toy dog who needs proper training to understand his place in the family group.
They have a thick, woolly, water-resistant curly coat. As the coat is non-shedding he is probably the best breed of all for allergy-sufferers. The coat needs to be clipped off periodically (twice a year) otherwise this will matt and felt. The colours are any shade of solid brown, solid orange, off white, brown roan, brown and white and orange and white. The coat colour changes throughout their life.
He is very adaptable on consideration to exercise – able to do 10 miles daily or just around the park.
Tireless as a puppy expect some like digging. They also make a superb swimmer.
Lagotti Romagnoli are generally hardy and healthy with very few inherited diseases.
Junior Epilepsy has been identified from imported dogs and now all breeding stock is tested.
Hip scoring and annual tests are required by breeding stock.
They are quite long-lived and can live up to 10-12 years on average though many live into their teens.