Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo Breed description: Character & Co


The Italian dog breed Lagotto Romagnolo is classified in FCI group 8 and section 3, under the standard number 298. The Lagotto Romagnolo belongs to the group of water dogs without working test and is used in the north of Italy to search for truffles. As a truffle dog, this breed shows a high intelligence, a distinct sense of smell and a very good physical condition. The Water Dog can grow up to 48 cm tall and reach a weight of 16 kg. Its appearance is characterised by a strong and athletic physique and a white, curly coat. The playful and lively dog can reach an age of up to 14 years.

Origin and history of the Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a very old breed of dog and was already used as a hunting dog in the seventeenth century by the Romagna, natives of northern Italy. They were also called "Vallaroli", which means as much as"capricious hunter". As the water dog of the Romagna, it was used to track down and retrieve prey, mostly for hunting waterfowl. Since the swamps and marshes of northern Italy no longer exist to this extent, the Lagotto Romagnolo has been used as a truffle dog since. In the 19th and 20th century, this breed was bred exclusively for the purpose of hunting truffles. It was only later that the Lagotto Romagnolo was kept as a companion and family dog, which has continued until today. Moreover, the Italian Water Dog has distinguished itself throughout its history as an excellent watchdog and protection dog.

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Alternate Name Romagna Water Dog
Origin Italy
Life expectancy 12 - 14 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level average to high
FCI group Water Dogs
AKC group Sporting Group
KC group Gundog Group

Description and characteristics of Lagotto Romagnolo

The nature of the Lagotto Romagnolo is characterised by its high intelligence, alertness and loyalty. If you are thinking of buying a Lagotto Romagnolo, you will be delighted by its affectionate character and its joy to move. With this dog breed you will experience the perfect sports partner that will not be distracted by its almost extinct hunting instinct. No matter if you go for a run, when cycling or going for long walks, the Lagotto Romagnolo will always accompany you with great enthusiasm. They are also very playful and child-friendly. This breed is easy to integrate into a family and even the youngest children will love them. Aggressive behaviour is foreign to the Italian water dog.

Keeping and use of the Lagotto Romagnolo

The Italian water dog, as its name suggests, was formerly used for water hunting. Today this is no longer common and the hunting instinct of the breed is hardly present. However, the talented search dog is used as a truffle dog. Because of his fine nose and his above-average intelligence, he is perfectly suited to detect the fine mushrooms under the ground. If you keep a Lagotto Romagnolo, it is important that you challenge his primal and cultivated instincts. You should do tracking training with your dog or do a dog sport. If you don't have enough experience or time for this, you should also make sure you have enough exercise and play search games occasionally. Many pet shops have their own search games for dogs, which are certainly great fun for the water dog.

The Lagotto Romagnolo is also perfect as a beginner dog. He is very patient and forgives small mistakes or uncertainties on your part. However, if you want to buy a Lagotto Romagnolo, you should consider that this breed is quite hairy. Especially at times of seasonal change of coat, neither your couch nor other upholstered furniture will be spared. For this reason an annual visit to the groomer and regular grooming is very important. You should brush your dog thoroughly every day or at least every three days to counteract matting and high hair loss.

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Buying and training a Lagotto Romagnolo

If you buy or adopt a Lagotto Romagnolo puppy, you will be amazed how easy it is to raise this breed. Already at the breeder's you will notice how open and carefree the dogs approach strangers. This breed is very active and bright already at puppy age and likes to be challenged. The Lagotto Romagnolo quickly learns basic commands and can quickly be house-trained. Lagotto Romagnolo puppies get attached to you very quickly and feel comfortable in a new environment even after a short time.

Health of the Lagotto Romagnolo

Unfortunately, this breed of dog genetically inherited tendencies for developing

  • epilepsy.
  • About 32% of the bred dogs are affected by suffering seizures.

Although a genetic test can be done, it is never one hundred percent reliable. However, in most cases it can already be determined between the 5th and 9th week of life whether the puppy is affected by the autosomal recessive type of epilepsy. But it is to be recommended that you do not only buy healthy dogs from the breeder. Breeders often find no use for sick dogs and so many sick dogs end up in the shelter. Epilepsy in dogs is a disease that usually does not affect life with your dog.

Lagotto Romagnolo Italian Water Dog Breed Description

Males of this breed grow to a height between 43 and 48 cm, with bitches reaching a shoulder height of about 41 to 46 cm. With a weight of 11-16 kg, the Lagotto Romagnolo is considered a medium sized dog and you can find them on the list of domestic dogs. Its coat is of medium length, very fluffy and of a curly structure. It is very dense and has a thick and water-repellent undercoat.

The coat is constantly growing back, which is why they should be trimmed or even shorn completely once a year. Spring is a recommended time for this. The coat can take on different colours and shades, which underline the rustic appearance of the Lagotto Romagnolo. To be mentioned here:

  1. off-white
  2. brown with or without white markings
  3. orange with or without white markings
  4. silver grey
  5. brown or orange mould
  6. white with brown or orange markings
Fur length short
Fur curly
Ear shape Triangle
Tail short
Anatomy sporty
Size ♀ 40 - 48 cm
Weight ♀ 13 - 16 kg
Size ♂ 43 - 48 cm
Weight ♂ 13 - 16 kg
Suitable For Children


black white small dog with curls similar to poodle, Lagotto Romagnolo puppy
italian dog breed with curls, grey Lagotto dog with high visibility vest in forest
Lagotto Romagnolo dog used for truffle hunting in Italy, brown white dog with curls, dog similar to poodle, dog breed that looks very similar to Spanish Water Dog, Italian dog breed
  • Epilepsy

    Definition: Dog has epilepsy if, for example, at least two epileptic seizures occur more than 24 hours apart.

  • A Lagotto Romagnolo, also called a truffle dog, costs about 2000 Euros.

  • In principle the Lagotto is a hunting dog, but also as a family dog he can be used super.

  • Yes, a Lagotto Romagnolo can be clipped. However, most of the time it is only trimmed with scissors.

  • The Lagotto Romagnolo does not need any special food. However, he enjoys good health if he gets high-quality food or BARF food.

Sources and relevant links

Offizielle Seite der FCI

Accessed on 01.03.2023

Gabriele Lehari (2004). Ulmers Großes Lexikon der Hunderassen. Ulmer.


Accessed on 01.03.2023

Lagotto Romagnolo Züchtergemeinschaft e.V.

Accessed on 01.03.2023

Andrea Fischer, Konrad Jurina, Kai Rentmeister, Andrea Tipold, Thilo von Klopmann (2013). Die idiopathische Epilepsie des Hundes. Georg Thieme Verlag.

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