AKC Meet the Breeds: Lagotto Romagnolo

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

A small to medium-sized breed, the Lagotto Ramagnolo is the only purebred dog in the world recognized as a specialized searcher of truffles, which are forms of edible fungi found in its homeland of Italy. Lagotti also possess striking coats, made up of thick, waterproof curls that cover their entire body. Coat colors include brown, brown road, off-white, orange, white and brown, or white and orange. The breed has been a part of AKC's Foundation Stock Service since 2001 under the Sporting group designation.

A Look Back
The Lagotto is an ancient breed of water retriever from the lowlands of Comacchio and marshlands of Ravenna, Italy, and is believed to be the founding breed from which all the water dogs descend. Extremely similar curly coated water dogs are portrayed in hunting and fishing scenes in the Etruscan necropolis of Spina and described by naturalists of the 18th century as being widespread in the Mediterranean Sea area. Between 1840 and 1890, as the marshes of its homeland were drained and reclaimed for farming, the Lagotto progressively lost its function as a water dog. At the same time it became more specialized as a truffle dog.

Right Breed for You?
Lagotti are working dogs with lots of energy, so owners must be prepared to exercise their new dog daily. The breed especially enjoys swimming and retrieving work. They are easy to train, affectionate and devoted to their families, but can be somewhat reserved around strangers. Since the breed has hair rather than fur, Lagotti don't shed much, but must be trimmed occasionally.

  • Foundation Stock Service; Sporting Group designation.
  • Ranging in size from 17-18 inches tall at the shoulder and 24 to 35 pounds.
  • Water retriever; truffle searcher.


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