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The Lagotto Romagnolo’s name means “water dog from Romagna” which is a region of Italy.

Lagotto Romagnolo

A dog is better than I am, for he has love and does not judge. – Xanthias

Lagotto Romagnolo puppy Canada

Wheatnbrook puppies

An ancient breed of water retrieving dogs, the Lagotto Romagnolo breed was well known in the Romagnolo Mountains of Italy for centuries as a robust working dog. He worked in the lowlands of Comacchio and marshlands of Ravenna. Once the wet lands were drained for development into arable land, the Lagotto’s purpose changed from a waterdog to a hunting dog. His prey: the truffle!

He has been known since the 1500s in Italy, but is rarely seen in North America.

Photos displayed courtesy of Kristen Williams, Wheatnbrook Reg’d, Ontario

DNA testing has shown the Lagotto to be the founding breed of all the water dogs, including poodles, Portuguese Water Dogs, and Golden Retrievers to name a few.

A medium sized, hardy and robust dog, the Lagotto stands up to 18 inches (49 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 35 pounds (16 kg). His non-shedding coat is thick, wool-like, curly and warm. Ring-shaped curls form over a visible undercoat.  On the head, the curls are more loose, forming abundant eyebrows, whiskers, and beard. There may be a brown or dark brown mask on the face.The coat requires some care. If not cut, the hair becomes felted. This felted hair and the undercoat must be removed periodically. A complete clipping must be performed at least once a year.

As might be expected of a water dog, his coat is also waterproof. The colour can be off-white or solid white, solid orange, shades of solid liver-brown, liver-brown roan, or it may be white with liver-brown or orange markings. Chocolate coloured Lagottos fade in maturity, often returning to the deep chocolate after the taupe colouring of 2 years, depending on their breeding gene history.

Throughout modern times the Lagotto worked in the punt boats of the Ravenne, Italy, retrieving coots. Also called the Italian Gun Dog, the Lagotto has been recognized for having the most astonishing nose in the world. He now uses this impressive scenting ability to seek out white truffles, and is the only dog known to perform this function. Today he is called The Truffle Dog.

Lagotto Romagnolo Adult Canada

Coco of Wheatnbrook Kennels

Lagotto Romagnolo Adult Canada

Amadelia and Vado of Wheatnbrook Kennels

The Lagotto Romagnolo is gentle, affectionate, attentive, and very attached to his owner. He is intelligent, obedient and makes an excellent family companion who loves attention. He is also a very good watchdog.

As an active working dog, the Lagotto needs regular exercise. He has proven himself a keen, eager, and efficient worker when on the hunt. With his incredible nose and natural instinct to search, the Lagotto must have a home with a fenced yard.

As a Sporting breed, the Lagotto loves water and most are excellent swimmers. With their curious and clever minds, they also love to play games that involve them in searching for things. They also love to dig!  Many owners give them a sandbox, or have a special spot where they are allowed to dig. Lagottos excel in therapy work, service, and the show ring. With their will to please, they are very easily trained.

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