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Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo, or Lagotto for short, is a small to medium sized dog with a square build and rustic appearance. Under a curly, dense coat with a woolly texture, there is a robust and sturdy dog, well built for the job of waterfowl retrieval.

15 – 17 years
Between 13-16kg for males, and between 11-14kg for females
Between 43-48cm for males, and between 41-46cm for females
Coats come in solid off-white, white with brown or orange markings, orange roan, brown roan and brown (all shades)
UK Kennel Club Groups
The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Welcomes everyone happily
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Lagotto Romagnolo is prone to:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia 
- Juvenile epilepsy which is a condition affecting young dogs where abnormal brain function can lead to seizures which damage the brain. 
- Lagotto storage disease which can cause neurological symptoms.
- Cerebellar abiotrophy¹ which is an inherited condition that affects the brain and can neurological symptoms.
Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- DNA testing for juvenile epilepsy which tests whether or not a dog has the potential to develop this condition.

¹T. S. Jokinen et al, 'Cerebellar cortical abiotrophy in Lagotto Romagnolo dogs', 2007, Journal of Small Animal Practice


Although all Lagottos have the potential to make a working dog, they are also an excellent house dog and family companion, having always been bred to fulfil a dual role of home watchdog and outdoor working dog. Whilst not yappy, they are suspicious of strangers and take some time to warm to new people. They can be barky and vocal when alerting their owners to suspicious activity and the presence of a stranger. Out and about, the Lagotto loves to use their formidable nose, excellent swimming skills and of course their prowess at digging. Careful training is necessary to ensure your Lagotto is part of your team, doing what you want rather than what they want, but they are a loving and friendly family dog if you put in the work.

Did you know?

The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only dog that specialises in truffle hunting! Unlike a great many breeds who have evolved over time to look rather different than their early forebears, the Lagotto has remained almost indistinguishable from its ancestors. Paintings (Mantegna c. 1460, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri c. 1641) from the mid to late 1400’s onward depict the Lagotto as identical to today’s dog, in size, colour and coat type.

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