Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo
Lagotto Romagnolo pictures
Lagotto Romagnolo suitability

In my own words



I’m an Italian pooch who just loves scouring the Italian countryside on the hunt for truffles! My mouth waters at the sound of that word. Mmmm…. Truffles.  You’ve got to have skills about you to become such a master of detection.  Indeed, I am very intelligent. Like I said, I have to be.  My sense of smell is second to none! My hearing is astounding.

Sometimes my work necessitates me to dive into lakes. That’s fine by me as I very much enjoy a good swim. On top of my great work ethic, I’m a good old pooch to have around the house and love family time!


Lagotto. X

My ideal owner(s)


Active singles


Outdoorsy types

Apartment dwellers

What they say about me


Loves closeness and affection.

Forms a strong bond with all family members.

Gentle and playful with children

Excellent sense of hearing

Please read on, to find out more about me, and whether I will be someone you can be happy with for the next 12 years, or even longer!

Is this Lagotto Romagnolo for you?

Test your knowledge about the Lagotto Romagnolo

Information essential about the Lagotto Romagnolo


Kennel Club Group:

Breed Group:



Size: small to medium

Height: Male: 17-19; Female: 14-16 inches



They can make excellent domestic companions provided they have sufficient exercise. However they are originally bred for hunting truffles in Italy and they remain popular for this purpose.

Breed History:


Lagotto Romagnolo as far back as ancient Rome. The name means "lake dog from Romagna," coming from the Italian word lago, lake. All modern water-retrieving dog breeds are believed to have descended in part from the Lagotto Ramagnolo. Its traditional function is a gundog, specifically a water retriever. Used as a water dog for hunting through the marshes of Italy’s Romagna region. This breed is believed to be the foundation from which all water dogs have descended. Their most notable distinction, however, is for being the only purebred dog in the world selected to search for Truffles, which is an edible fungi. Today, the Lagotto still sniffs for truffles, but it’s also a favourite family pet.



In modern times the Lagotto has been bred primarily as a truffle-searching dog and not as a retriever or hunting dog. Their highly developed nose makes them excellent search dogs. They are well built, stocky, and vivacious. They exhibit an attentive, intelligent, and gentle expression.


Some Lagotto are excellent swimmers but some will only paddle. Some will retrieve from lakes, streams and other bodies of water without hesitation. They have a waterproof coat. Not all Lagotto are suitable as family companions. Puppies for families with children need to be carefully chosen



The Lagotto is made to work. They generally have sharp senses, though their eyesight is more sensitive to motion than detail. They are very loyal and loving, making them the perfect family companion. Some are easy to train. Many get along with other animals quite easily if socialized from a young age.

Lagotto vary in their need for exercise but should always be given stimulation to keep their intelligent brains occupied. Lagottos have a natural instinct for retrieving. The ENCI (Italian Kennel Club) Country of Origin standard indicates that the game hunting instinct has been bred out and Lagotto do not get distracted by game or other wildlife. This was untrue when it was written and is certainly untrue twenty years later. Lagotto have been hunting dogs for at least three thousand years and truffle dogs for maybe a hundred years if that. Whilst the instinct to hunt, swim and retrieve is inborn and does not have to be encouraged,






Lagotto Romagnolo has a square-built, medium-sized frame covered in thick, curly hair. Its somewhat large head has a square muzzle, wide nose, round eyes and hanging ears that are covered in curly hair. Its scimitar-shaped tail is usually carried high without curling over. The medium-sized Lagotto is hypoallergenic and they boast a woolly coat, which is very thick and curly.

In the United States, the coat should be shown in a rustic style with no fluffing or blowing out. The coat should match the lines of the dog and the curls should be evident. The dog should have the appearance of the working dog that it is. If clipped down, the coat will need about 3 months of growth to be ready to show. Otherwise, shaping can be performed before the shows.



The Lagotto Romagnolo usually comes in white, brown, orange or white with brown/orange patches. They may have a brown mask also. A Lagotto often displays white markings that grow out in adulthood.



Lagotto’s have to be trained from an early age if they are used to look for truffles. They are highly intelligent and eager to learn. Early socialization and obedience are recommended. They will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training must be done with positive reinforcement, fairness, patience, and consistency.



There are conflicting ideas on how to groom this breed. Some say they should be brushed regularly and others believe their coat should be allowed to grow naturally into a big fluff. The coat will get matted easily and the mats should be carefully pulled apart without tearing the coat. They must be cut down at least once every year.

If the coat is kept trimmed to approximately one and a half inches all over the body and slightly longer on the head, it will be easier to maintain and look neat. Hair on the ears should be trimmed around the edges to the leather. If the ear shows irritation and build up of dirt and earwax, the hairs from the ear canal should be gently plucked out regularly. Some coats matt more easily than others. Left untended, the Lagotto's hair will grow to cover the eyes and so the hair around their eyes should be periodically clipped to ensure that they can see.

In the United States, the coat should be shown in a rustic style with no fluffing or blowing out. The coat should match the lines of the dog and the curls should be evident. The dog should have the appearance of the working dog that it is. If clipped down, the coat will need about 3 months of growth to be ready to show. Otherwise, shaping can be performed before the shows.

The Lagotto Romagnolo is not recommended for apartment living or sedentary owners. They require an inordinate amount of exercise and mental stimulation. This breed does best with a job to do in a rural setting. If they become lonely or bored they will become destructive. They love to dig, so landscaping must be protected. They excel in tracking, agility, and obedience



Some Lagottos may develop hip dysplasia, and there have been a few cases of brain anomaly on record. However, incidences of this nature are few and far between.

Other issues include benign juvenile epilepsy: Lagotto puppies have been crucial in research into epilepsy. In July 2011, researchers in Finland reported the discovery of a mutation in a gene called Lgi2 that may be a new candidate gene for human benign childhood epilepsy. Lgi2 is the first gene that can be linked directly to the remission that sufferers experience after the age of ten. Lagotto breeders are now using a genetic test to screen for this mutation.

Lagotto Romagnolo can live as long as 16 years with relatively good health.

You may also like:

If you like Lagotto Romagnolos, you may be interested in breeds of the same size »

English Springer Spaniel American Cocker Spaniel Finnish Spitz Staffordshire Bull Terrier Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen

If you like Lagotto Romagnolos, you may like other breeds with similar characteristics »

Lurcher Pyrenean Mountain Dog Rough Collie Flat Coated Retriever Dalmatian

Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a Lagotto Romagnolo is waiting for a new home »


The following grid gives a fast track review, which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Lagotto is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog to make a good walking companion, look down the list under Activities, and you will see that Lagottos have lots of energy and are strong walkers, scoring 5. If you want a dog that is good for country living, look under Environment and you will see that Lagottos are suited to country living, scoring 5. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.

Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming5/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt5/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever5/5
Barks a lot3/5
Gets easily jealous2/5
Friendly with strangers5/5
Expensive to insure3/5
Expensive to feed3/5
Happy to sleep outside2/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment2/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate5/5
Prefers cold climate5/5
Moults a lot2/5
Requires lots of grooming4/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly5/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children5/5
Good watch dog4/5
Good guard dog4/5
Good with other pets4/5
Good with other dogs4/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs2/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs2/5
Requires lots of exercise4/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners2/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall5/5
Easy to train4/5
Good jogging companion__c_joggingcompanion__/5
Good walking companion__c_walkingcompanion__/5
Likes water/swimming__c_likeswater__/5
Likes learning new tricks__c_likesnewtricks__/5
Likes to hunt__c_likestohunt__/5
Likes to fetch__c_likestofetch__/5
Good gundog/retriever__c_gundog__/5
Barks a lot__c_barksalot__/5
Gets easily jealous__c_jealouseasy__/5
Friendly with strangers__c_friendlystrangers__/5
Expensive to insure__c_expensiveinsurance__/5
Expensive to feed__c_expensivefood__/5
Happy to sleep outside__c_sleepoutside__/5
Prefers countryside__c_countryliving__/5
Suits urban environment__c_urbanliving__/5
Prefers temperate climate__c_temperateclimate__/5
Prefers hot climate__c_hotclimate__/5
Prefers cold climate__c_coldclimate__/5
Moults a lot__c_moultsalot__/5
Requires lots of grooming__c_lotsgrooming__/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly__c_olderpeople__/5
Ideal for singles__c_singles__/5
Ideal for couples with no children__c_couplenochildren__/5
Ideal for family with children__c_familychildren__/5
Good watch dog__c_watchdog__/5
Good guard dog__c_guarddog__/5
Good with other pets__c_otherpets__/5
Good with other dogs__c_otherdogs__/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs__c_leftalone4hrs__/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs__c_leftalone2hrs__/5
Requires lots of exercise__c_lotsexercise__/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners__c_firstowner__/5
Good for experienced owners__c_experienceowner__/5
Good recall__c_goodrecall__/5
Easy to train__c_easytrain__/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

Take our breed compatibility test

Lagotto Romagnolo Pictures & Videos



barnaby noahs dogs