After the careful work carried out by the Lagotto Romagnolo kennel club, this breed can fully be considered a working breed.
Its excellent truffle seeking abilities are more and more safeguarded and enhanced by breeders, by professional and hobby truffle seekers and by dog breeding institutions. Being a perfect working dog means being man’s perfect auxiliary. Partner, friend, right hand and so much more.
The classic syllogism states that the man’s best friend is the dog that cooperates with him. Lagotto Romagnolo is a working dog par excellence. Hence, Lagotto cannot be but a man’s best friend.After having lived for years in between the mediatic oblivion and constant use and improvement of its truffle seeking attitude by truffle seekers of Romagna and other truffle-rich regions, our Lagotto is experiencing a well-deserved comeback. The dog-breeding authorities are celebrating him as the one and only, the best and irreplaceable truffle-seeking dog, but at the same time he is more and more appreciated for his unquestionable family-dog attitude.
Italian families, but also those all over Europe and even world-wide, are more and more enthusiastic about this breed in its role as a pet. More and more frequently Lagotto is considered and loved as a home dog, one to spend evenings with family at home with a fury friend that cuddles in your lap, one that is always happy to see you enter the room, funny but never intrusive.
The Lagotto is a small/medium-sized dog, well proportioned, squarely built and hardy muscled. The head is quite big and supported by its powerful neck. Its teeth should form a scissor, level or reverse scissor bite. The eyes are round and relatively big. They can be in any color between dark yellow and dark brown; it usually depends on the color of the coat. The coat can be off-white, solid white, white with brown or rust patches, different shades of brown, or rust solid color; a brown mask is acceptable. The Lagotto’s wooly coat is dense and curly.
The Lagotto is a working dog. It has a natural gift for searching and its very good nose has made this breed very efficient in searching for truffles. While on the search he is not usually distracted by the scent of wild animals or other dogs. The Lagotto is loyal, keen, affectionate, very attached to his owner and easy to train. It gets on well with other dogs and other pets if sufficiently socialized. It is an excellent family companion and a very good warning dog. The Lagotto is a good pet and loves people, but in addition to needing plenty of exercise, it needs to use its brain.This intelligent dog needs a job to do, something to keep its mind occupied. Tracking, games of searching for people in the woods or searching for mushrooms are some ideas. Obedience is also something they like and are good at, and agility is a favorite! As long as you let the dog use its brain,its won.
Its dense, curly coat needs regular care. When you buy a Lagotto you hear different stories from different people about how to care for the coat. Some say that you should only clip it down with clippers twice a year and nothing else. Some say you have to brush it sometimes. One owner says, “Well, I have learned the hard way that it is more difficult that it seems. The coat easily gets matted, and to prevent that, you have to comb through it on a regular basis.” You should not show a brushed Lagotto (like a Poodle) in show ring. It’s not a fur ball, it’s a working dog, and should be showed that way. This breed sheds little to no hair.
Lagotto as a family dog
Even though the purists of the breed may consider this statement a heresy, to define a Lagotto and to explain to a newbie how is this dog as a family dog, he is often compared to a poodle, but a much more sturdy one. It’s strange to think that the Italian dog breeding community and public have to draw examples from poodle, a dog that certainly is not Italian to describe an Italian breed, but never mind. However, this comparison, though rather tricky, is not without a reason.
Lagotto is a medium-small dog, just like a poodle. Both share a similar coat, sharp intelligence and training abilities, and even have the same ancestors – the French Barbet. But the similarieties end here.
Lagotto is a sturdy, strong, “true” dog, that fits perfectly the modern everyday life, very sociable and social. His owner will come to benefit the joys of having a playful dog that won’t destruct his house, but will be more than ready to unload his energies during playtime with other dogs in the city parks, at the seaside, on the river, in the mountains, always at the side of his master. Don’t forget that lagotto is a water dog that loves this element, and won’t hesitate taking a swim in the cool wet if possible.Lagotto owners do love another trait of this particular breed that derives directly from it being a truffle seeker dog.
A lagotto will hardly ever leave his owner during the walks to explore the area on his own, as some breeds tend to do. He will instead draw an imaginary line between you and him, just like a magic leash, that without actually limiting his freedom of moving, will always keep him within your eye’s and control’s reach. Last but not least, something that makes lagotto a perfect indoors dog is the fact that he doesn’t change coat, that moreover is hypoallergenic. It’s enough to have the dog groomed two or three times a year to have its coat picture-perfect.
The Lagotto as a working dog
What makes Lagotto Romagnolo an excellent working dog are his attitude and physical capacities. His temperament, his dedication and the infinite urge to satisfy his friend and guide, the truffle seeker. Lagotto offers excellent athletic performance that makes his almost never tired when exploring the bristly cliffs and deep Apennine valleys.
His great sense of smell, paired with his memory, makes him performing truly amazing searches. Even without a scientific proof, it comes naturally thinking about Lagotto roaming the woods and taking pictures of the environment with his nose rather than with his eyes, creating olfactive maps that make him so accurate and precise during his searches to be defined “The King of the Woods”. His dense, rough and curly coat that creates a natural protection against the pitfalls of the bush is an additional help.
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MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
To save time, before you send us a question, check if we have already covered it in our mini guide with useful tips for anyone planning or wanting to have a Lagotto Romagnolo dog. Owning a dog is a long-term investment and a lot of problems could be created which, hopefully, will be identified in advance, avoided and, in the worst case, solved, in order to avoid the stress of the owner and the dog. You should be aware that the lifespan of this breed lasts about 11 years and that the dog and its offspring never end up on the "street".