Lagotto Romagnolo (Romagna Water Dog)

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white with brown or orange patches, brown roan, brown or orange with or without white
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The Lagotto Romagnolo (Romagna Water Dig) is a superb working dog native to the Romagna sub-region of Italy. This breed was originally bred to be a gundog and its speciality was retrieving the game from water. Nowadays its excellent nose is primarily used in search for Italian truffles. The Lagotto Romagnolo will also become a terrific family dog, good-natured and good with small children.


The Lagotto Romagnolo was developed and perfected over the centuries by Italian breeders. It’s believed that the dog arrived to this country with oriental merchants who actively and advantageously traded with Italy. They brought their water retrievers to the lowlands of Comacchio, the estuary of the rived Po and marshlands of Ravenna. The dog, which looks almost identical to the modern version of the breed, was depicted in the images of hunting that have been discovered in the necropolis of Etruscan Spina.

The first written reference of the Lagotto Romagnolo dates back to the XVI century and from that time there were plenty of depictions of this dog in books and various Italian masterpieces. The dog played number of roles including guardian of human dwellings and boats as well as a trusty companion. But the main reason why it was so treasured was its unparalleled ability to find and retrieve water fowl rain or shine, wet or fine. The name «Lagotto» can be translated from the local language as «water dog» or «marshland hunting dog with waved coat».

Gradually the regions of Comacchio and other parts of the Romagna were subjected to reclamation, which caused the on-going and sharp decrease in wetlands on these territories. It subsequently led to substantial decrease in the population of the Lagotto Romagnolo. In the following decades the dog was re-trained to become incredibly good truffle finder due to its strong inclination for searching, susceptibility to learn new things and perfect nose.

Initially the breeders were interested only in working qualities of the Lagotto Romagnolo and didn’t care how purebred it would be. They concentrated on creating dogs which would be highly robust, with good temperament and excellent health so they frequently resorted to cross-breeding. The resulting animals were outstanding truffle hunters at the cost of purity of the breed.

In the middle of the 70s of the XX century a team of the Lagotto Romagnolo’s fanciers finally recognised the need of revival true appearance and characteristics of the dog. They began joined efforts to re-establish the original Lagotto and their experience and commitment greatly contributed into successful outcome of this venture.
The Lagotto Romagnolo was granted a provisional recognition by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1995. In 2005 the breeders achieved their final goal and the breed was completely accepted by the FCI. However, it still remains rare.


The Lagotto Romagnolo is not only endowed with brilliant working abilities but it’s also known to be an affectionate and faithful family dog. Its high intelligence means that it should be occupied by some mental activities even if it’s kept solely as a pet. It is especially good at searching different stuff and can become an excellent gundog which will assist the hunter in retrieving game. This frisky dog will make an exceptional playmate for the child and it will gladly take part even in somewhat rough games.

The fanciers of the breed mark that the well-socialized Lagotto Romagnolo is generally friendly with strange people and won’t embarrass its owner with some improper behaviour. This kind and sociable creature will promptly accept a new person in its live and establish trust-based relationship with him or her. The dog seems to always stay on alert and it can be turned into a reasonable watchdog which is able to detect a possible threat at a moment notice. However, the Lagotto isn’t ferocious enough to become a good guard dog.

The Lagotto Romagnolo would prefer to live in the company of other canines since in most cases it lacks the strong inherent passion to assert its superior status among other dogs. The strange dog will also be greeted politely though some initial fight may erupt if the dogs aren’t properly supervised. The breed has been noticed to get on well with non-canine animals if they are correctly and timely introduced to each other. Having said that, it’s still better if the dog and other small home pet have been living together since puppyhood.
Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

• epilepsy;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• eye problems.


The Lagotto Romagnolo has thick and wavy coat that will require substantial attention on the part of its owner. It should be thoroughly brushed on the daily basis to prevent it from tangling and matting. Moreover the master should clip it with a special clipper twice a year. The good news is that the dog is no shedder and can be considered as suitable for allergic-sufferers.


The Lagotto Romagnolo is a highly trainable dog that will be happy to follow your commands and orders. It’s always eager to learn new tricks and enhance the old. The favourite tasks for this dog include searching component so the master should be aware of that and insert it in the training practice.

Thanks to its pleasant disposition the breed won’t require much coaxing to get it to work so the training methods based on the negative reinforcement are absolutely inappropriate for it. Certainly the Lagotto Romagnolo needs steadfast, calm and confident human leader who will use plenty of positive stimulus and verbal praise in its training regimen.


Being actively engaged in different kind of physical endeavours as a hunter, the Lagotto Romagnolo acquired a great deal of stamina and strength. The owner will have to devote a fair amount of time and effort to keep thшы dog healthy and fit. It should be walked for at least an hour each and every day.

This breed loves games involving searching, for example hide-and-seek. It’s also an avid swimmer and will greatly appreciate the opportunity to swim in the local pond. When provided enough exercise the Lagotto is well accommodated to the urban life and will become an ideal option for keeping in an apartment.