Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a rare dog breed that originated during the Renaissance period in Italy and were bred to retrieve waterfowl. “Lago” translated, means lake in Italian. This dog breed was also used to sniff out truffles. Most water retrieving dog breeds are thought to have originated from this dog breed.

Brief History

The Lagotto dog breed goes back many centuries. The Lagotto Ramagnolo worked as waterfowl retrievers and were, for many years, used to sniff out truffles in the Italian countryside. This breed is thought to be the best in truffle sniffing. It is part of the Sporting Group, and was made part of the FSS program in 2001. This dog breed was recognized by the UKC in 2006.

Physical Features

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a small-to-medium-sized dog breed. It is powerfully built, and has a rustic, country feel. This dog breed has a distinctive, dense, curly coat with lots of woolly hair. Their eyes are large and round and can be eye hazel to dark brown. Their ears are medium-sized and triangular in shape. They are also known for having a wiry mustache. Their tails are woolly and their coats have tight, ring-shaped curls with a soft undercoat beneath. Curls are everywhere except on their heads, where they have abundant eyebrows, whiskers, and a beard. Color should be an off-white solid color, white with brown and orange patches, brown roan, different shades of brown, with or without white, orange with or without white.

Average Height:

16-19 inches

Average Weight:

24-35 pounds

Life Expectancy:

15-17 years


The Lagotto Romagnolo is an affectionate, and easy-to-train dog breed. It is undemanding, and keen, yet very attached to its dog parent. This dog breed is an excellent guard dog, but is not aggressive. They are famous for having wonderful sniffing abilities. The Lagotto are also known for their gentleness, and for being a great companion. They are good with children, and other animals. This is an indoor dog that needs companionship, and lots of TLC. It is very loyal, and energetic. This dog breed enjoys swimming.

Special Needs

The Lagotto Romagnolo needs an active family that enjoys long hikes, swimming, and plenty of outdoor fun. This dog breed is gentle, and positive dog training needs to be geared with that in mind. Socialization should begin during the first four weeks of puppyhood, and continue throughout a dog’s life. This breed needs plenty of mental stimulation, and does well with organized canine sporting activities like agility, trails, dock diving, and obedience.

These dogs do well with detection of medical conditions, and work well as therapy dogs. These are indoor dogs that benefit from lots of TLC. They need plenty of outdoor activity. That said, the Lagotto enjoys hanging out with the family on the couch at home.

Possible Health Concerns

  • Bloat. This breed is deep- chested, and thus more prone to bloat. Bloat is a life threatening emergency. It is caused by the twisting of the stomach, together with the accumulation of gas, with or without fluid. It is best to never elevate this dog’s water and food bowls. Stress is also a major factor in causing bloat. Never feed your dog a large meal, followed by exercise. At the first signs of dry vomiting, restlessness and discomfort, contact your emergency veterinarian. 
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a hereditary developmental disease. HD affects the Lagotto dog breed. HD occurs when the hip joint fails to develop properly. In the Lagotto with HD, the head of the thigh bone does not fall into the hip socket. The imperfect fit results in the joint becoming loose and unstable, and results in osteoarthritis.
  • Juvenile Epilepsy: This is a recessively inherited disease. In this dog breed, the symptoms occur from 5-9 weeks of age. The dog has seizures of the entire body with loss of consciousness. The seizures go away by 8-13 weeks of age.
The Lagotto Romagnolo dog breed


The Lagotto Romagnolo is an energetic dog breed that does well with plenty of regular exercise and canine sporting activities. Keep your Lagotto mentally stimulated when out exercising. Sports like obedience training, field trials, dock diving, tracking, and agility are good options for this dog breed. Swimming at the dog beach and pool at home are also fun activities for the family.


Dogs should be fed the highest-quality food that’s appropriate for their age, activity level and medical conditions. Consult with your veterinarian if you need advice about which food to feed your dog.

The Lagotto Romagnolo


The Lagotto Romagnolo has a waterproof coat that is curly. They have a double coat of hair, and shed rarely. Trimming needs to be done regularly on this dog breed. This dog breed is one of the best for allergy sufferers because they rarely shed.

Regular bathing is recommended with natural shampoos and conditioners to promote good skin and coat health. Daily tooth brushing is recommended to prevent gum disease. Twice yearly visits to the veterinarian for dental hygiene maintenance is required. Ears need to be regularly wiped out, and nails trimmed regularly to prevent pain when walking and running.

The Lagotto Romagnolo needs an active family that enjoys long hikes, swimming, and plenty of outdoor fun. This dog breed is gentle, and positive dog training needs to be geared with that in mind. This dog breed needs plenty of socialization, and positive dog training starting during puppyhood.

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