They've had some of their hunting instinct bred out of them over the generations but they still retain an excellent sense of smell and have been used to search out truffles in more recent years.
This recent newcomer to dog shows has never been bred for his looks, despite being a very appealing dog. In the late 1800s, he was described as being ‘a Poodle with a dash of terrier’ and that was indeed what he looked like. Later, he was described as being ‘a special, yappy mongrel dog with a rustic appearance’ — and this was by someone who loved the breed!
This was a dog who was bred purely for his working ability and that ability was to hunt truffles, without allowing anything to distract him. The Lagotto Romagnolo has his ancestry in the water retriever dogs who worked in the Italian lagoons back in the 16th century (lagotto is a dialect word for ‘curly coated duck retriever’) and were then crossed with anything that had an exceptional nose!
The Poodle factor, however, has always remained dominant, and so the origins and characteristics of the original breed have remained and can be seen in the dog today.
This is an affectionate, lively dog with an inquisitive and curious mind, who is winning fans thanks to his trainability, joy of work, and intelligence. He can turn his paw to most dog sports but being a robust athlete, he needs plenty of exercise and a job to do. Lagotto Romagnolos will make excellent watchdogs, as they are very alert. His curly coat is non-shedding, but he does need plenty of grooming to keep him tidy and remove the undergrowth!
The Breed Standard states that males should measure 43-48cm and females between 41-46cm. For show dogs any height above the maximum is considered undesirable
Hip Dysplasia is a fairly common ailment amongst this breed.
Lagotto Romagnolos are a non-shedding breed and are considered hypoallergenic and may be suitable for people who have allergic reactions to animal hair.
Did you know? The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only specific truffle dog in the world (many other breeds have tried their nose at it but the Lagotto is the true expert). To truffle hunters, he is known as ‘the king of the woods’.
Remember! All breed profiles are general and every dog is an individual.