Lagotto Romagnolo is a dog breed from the Romagna sub-region of Italy. Lagotto Romagnolo means lake dog from Romagna. Its traditional function is a gundog, specifically a water retriever. However, it is often used to hunt for truffles.
The Lagotto has been selected for the search for truffles on all kinds of ground: its the only breed recognised 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 utilised 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 and high ability to concentrate on the search.
The Lagotto is a small to 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 colour between dark yellow and dark brown, it usually depends on the colour of the coat. The coat can be off-white, solid white, white with brown or rust patches, different shades of brown, or rust solid colour, 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 top-line should be straight.
Lagotto Romagnolo dogs generally have sharp senses, though their eyesight is more sensitive to motion than detail. They are very loyal and loving, making them the perfect family companion. Some are easy to train. Many get along with other animals quite easily if socialised from a young age. Lagotto vary in their need for exercise but should always be given stimulation to keep their intelligent brains occupied.
Some Lagotto Romagnolo are excellent swimmers but some will only paddle. Some will retrieve from lakes, streams and other bodies of water without hesitation. They have a waterproof coat. Not all Lagotto Romagnolo are suitable as family companions – Lagotto Romagnolo puppies need to be carefully chosen.
Lagotto Romagnolo live for about 15-16 years.