Originally from Italy, this dog has been around since the 16th century. They were bred as a water retriever, though once the marshlands were drained in order to provide land for farming, they gained a reputation for hunting out a much more valuable prize - truffles. They have a great sense of smell, which is the main reason why they excel in this field.
This is an active dog that will fit right into an active family. They get along well with people, other dogs, other household pets and strangers, if properly socialised form a young age. They will like being close to you, but won’t always be under your feet like some breeds are. These dogs are not only active physically, but also mentally, meaning that they will always be seeking something to do. They are loyal and loving dogs, but not well suited to life in a kennel out in the back garden as they will want to be close to their family.
As mentioned before, with an active body comes an active mind and as a result of this the Lagotto will need firm, consistent training throughout their lives. They are fast learners, games and tricks are a good way of teaching them basic obedience. Recall in this breed is usually good, as they tend to focus more on their owners than other animals and scents when out and about. They will want to return and will often do so before you even call them. These dogs do well in agility, retrieval, obedience and search and rescue. Children hiding in the woods whilst out on a walk is also a great game that suits the breed. They like to use their minds and investigate their surroundings.
Being such an active breed, Lagottos will need a serious amount of exercise each day. A quick walk to the park and back won’t satisfy them. They can walk for miles on end and will be extremely active, almost hyperactive, the entire time. They love water and swimming is a good way to tire them out. Owners who work full time will have a hard time keeping up with this breed’s physical needs.
Again, agility, whether in the garden or at an actual competition, is another good way to tire them out. They enjoy digging, so investing in a sand-pit will be good for both the dog and your garden. If you do end up getting a sand-pit, be sure to teach them to use it from a young age, otherwise they’ll still destroy your garden. If given half a chance they can dig quite impressive holes.
Their coats require careful attention and should ideally be dealt with by professional groomers who are familiar with the breed. They don’t shed much hair, but their curly coat can collect debris and burrs when out and about. They’ll need grooming/stripping a couple times a year. The inside of their ears will also need attention, as they too are hairy.
In general this is a healthy breed and any issues that may arise are usually the fault of poor breeding. Canine Hip Dysplasia and Benign Juvenile Epilepsy can sometimes occur.
These dogs have an intelligent and willing temperament. They were bred as working dogs and as a result will need something to do in order to prevent boredom. Lagotto Romagnolos are easy to train and get on fine with other animals, making them good pets. To get the most out of them it is important to start socialising them from an early age, both with other dogs and strangers alike.
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and epilepsy are issues that can affect Lagotto Romagnolos.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 14 - 17 years
- Weight: 25 - 52 lbs
- Height: 14 - 19"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium - Hypoallergenic
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Gun Dog
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours
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