Jan. 03.2022 | Updated: January 4, 2022

Italian Water Dog or Lagotto Romagnolo: History, Personality, Health & Care

italian truffle dog

The Lagotto Romagnolo breed is an ancient dog from Italy, which has changed many professions over the centuries of its existence. It became famous for its achievements in the search for truffles. This dog can be characterized as balanced, friendly, and energetic, that is why it can do an excellent job as a companion and family dog. Its name means “lake dog from Romagna”, and the breed is also known as the Italian water dog.

Lagotto Romagnolo: Truffle Dog Info

  • Origin: Italy;
  • Height: 14-19 inches;
  • Weight: 24-35 pounds;
  • Coat: Brown, white, orange, and combos of those colors;
  • Temperament: Energetic, balanced, and friendly.
  • Group: Sport dog;
  • Lifespan: 13-17 years.

History of Italian Truffle Dog

Lagotto Romagnolo is an ancient Italian dog breed whose origin is unknown. But there is the theory that these dogs are descendants of ancient peat dogs, which gave birth to most modern breeds. Other dog experts consider this version unlikely and say that this type of dog comes from the Greyhound, which is the ancestor of many hunting breeds. In fact, the water dog was widespread in Italy in the 17th century, as evidenced by many paintings and written mentions of Italian artists. In the 18th century, Carl Linnaeus mentioned curly Italians in his works. Two researchers wrote that these are friendly dogs, mostly living in the Emilia-Romagna region. They are used for hunting, swimming, and training in the water. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Lagotto Romagnolo (Truffle) dog breeds began to be used as hunting dogs to feed birds from the water. It turns out that Lagottos have all the qualities necessary for dogs – sharp intuition, enthusiasm, and ability to handle. Lagotto began to be used to search for truffles, thanks to its energy and excellent smell dogs are able to do it very well. These dogs are suitable for all sports. Its club was founded only in 1988. In 1991, this breed was officially recognized by the FCI.

Lagotto Romagnolo: Characteristics

lagotto romagnolo size

This breed is small to medium, well-built, and stocky. The ears are rather large and triangular, set just above eye level, and have a wide base. And it does not allow water to pass through.

Lagotto Romagnolo: Colors

The color of the coat in a dog of this breed can change throughout its life, especially in the first 1-2 years. For example, puppies with brown coats are white-brown at birth, and darken after a few weeks, or may be born black. White puppies can remain white or turn light apricots. Also, the colors can range from chocolate to almost black. But as statistics have shown, a very small percentage of dogs remain with a dark black coat. Common colors include:

  • Solid White;
  • White with orange markings;
  • Orange;
  • White with brown markings;
  • Solid brown;
  • Brown with tan markings.

Lagotto Romagnolo: Temperament

This is a friendly and sociable dog that cannot stand loneliness and boredom. It is ready to follow the owner always and everywhere and take an active part in the life of the family. At home, these water dogs are calm. Of course, they are immensely happy about the return of the owner after a long parting, but even when left alone, they do not smash furniture and do not rush headlong. On the street they are very energetic, they can play tirelessly for a very long time and get acquainted with new places and smells with great pleasure. They can easily tolerate trips and quickly adapt to new conditions. Are Lagotto Romagnolo good family dogs? They are strongly attached to the family and would obey all family members, but they single out one owner among all. Suitable for families with children due to their loyalty to children’s pranks and playful disposition. Older children may become good friends and companions in games. They get along well with any other pets, peacefully coexist with cats, and learn to calmly respond to smaller animals. By its nature, this dog cannot be a guard, but it can warn the owner about everything suspicious by barking.

How to Train Lagotto Romagnolo?

Due to Lagotto Romagnolo’s intelligence, your pet can easily remember commands and understand what you want from it. Please note that the parenting process should be gentle, consistent, and without pressure on the dog. Even if this is your first dog, and you have practically no experience, then you should not have any difficulties with this breed.

Lagotto Romagnolo: Size

Dogs of this breed are most often of medium size. Lagotto Romagnolo’s weight is about 24-35

pounds and its height is 14-19 inches.

Lagotto Romagnolo: Health Issues

This Italian dog is a strong and healthy breed. The average Lagotto Romagnolo’s lifespan is 13-17 years. With good care and nutrition, any health problems are rare. Recently, due to a sharp increase in livestock, breeders are seeing a growing trend of hereditary diseases. The most common are:

  • Hip dysplasia and other orthopedic problems;
  • Juvenile epilepsy;
  • Ophthalmic diseases.

Occasionally there are various tribal marriages, such as malocclusion, non-breed hair type, non-standard coloring, and others. To keep it healthy and active, it is important to follow standard veterinary and preventive measures – treatment against external and internal parasites, vaccination.

Lagotto Romagnolo: Care

lagotto romagnolo truffle dog

Caring for such a dog breed includes brushing, trimming, and basic hygiene. Like other dogs, their coat sheds, but the overripe hair does not fall to the floor but remains on the dog. With regular brushing, it is removed with a comb and does not crumble at all. So is Lagotto Romagnolo hypoallergenic? Yes, such a feature makes the dog hypoallergenic. Brushing is also necessary to avoid tangling. Bathing is indicated as needed, usually once a month. Also, this breed is prescribed regular haircuts. If you are planning for your pet to take part in exhibitions, then be sure to read the rules (usually about 1.6 inches). If you trim even 0.4-0.8 inches shorter than what you should be, then the dog will not be allowed to take part. If you are not planning such a future for your dog, then cut as short as you like. This would make caring for the dog even easier. Other essential hygiene procedures include regular cleaning of the dog’s ears, teeth, and nail clipping. The appearance of the dog and health depends on the quality of the food. The owners choose the type of feeding themselves. This can be homemade or industrial food. Both options work equally well if all feeding rules are followed.
Which of the features of this dog breed do you remember the most? The Lagotto is truly an unusual and unique dog. And most importantly, it would be easy for you to establish contact with it. Therefore, if you are thinking of having such a friend, but you still have questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

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