The Lagotto originates from Italy where it was bred as a water retriever. It has been around since the 16th century, but when the great marshlands were drained to provide land for arable farming, it gained a reputation for hunting out a more valuable prize; truffles. It has a highly developed sense of smell and is very focused on it's role, making it the perfect truffle dog.
The Lagotto is a small to medium dog that is well suited to an active family. They are friendly with people, other dogs, pets and strangers if well socialised from an early age and like to be close to you, but not always under your feet. These dogs have an active mind and like to have something to do. They were bred to work and expecting your Lagotto to sleep all day is not going to happen. They are loyal and loving to those around them and not suited to life in a kennel in the back garden, they will want to be close to their family.
With an active body, comes an active mind and the Lagotto will need firm, consistent training to keep it in check. They learn quickly and like to play, so games and tricks are a good way of teaching them basic obedience. Recall is usually good, as they tend not to focus on animal or dog smells and are devoted to their owner. They will want to return. Agility, retrieval, obedience and search and rescue are all activities that the Lagotto does well in. Children hiding in the woods when out for a walk is also a great game that suits the breed. They like to use their minds and investigate.
The Lagotto needs a serious amount of exercise every day and will not be happy with a quick walk around the block. They can walk for miles and are active to the extreme. Giving them the chance to swim will help tire them out as they love the water. Owners who work full time will struggle to fulfil the exercise needs of the breed. As mentioned, agility is fun and helps tire the dog out, even if it is in the garden and not in competition. They love to dig, so it is best to provide them with a sandpit to dig in. Start from an early age and teach them to use it, rather than your borders to avoid a lunar landscape in your garden. They dig impressive holes when given free reign.
The coat needs careful attention as should be dealt with by a professional groomers familiar with the breed. They shed little hair, but the dense, curly, waterproof coat can collect debris and burrs when out walking. They need grooming/stripping a couple of times a year and attention should be given after each walk to remove bits and pieces to prevent matting. The inside of their ears will need attention, as they are so hairy.
The Lagotto is a healthy breed with any issues usually the result of poor breeding. Tests for Canine Hip Dysplasia should be checked as well as Benign Juvenile Epilepsy.
Lagotto Romagnolos have an intelligent and willing temperament. They are working dogs who need a lot of daily exercise to prevent them being restless at home. Lagotto Romagnolos are easy to train and get on fine with other animals which makes them good family pets. To get the best possible adult dog it is important that they are socialised early with a variety of other dogs and strangers.
Health problems that may affect Lagotto Romagnolos include canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and epilepsy.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 14 - 17 years
- Weight: 11 - 24 kg
- 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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