Lagotto History

The Lagotto Romagnolo (Lah-gah’-to Ro-man-yo’-lo) is an ancient Italian breed that was originally used as a hunting dog and water retriever.  The breed’s own name comes from the Italian word “Lago” which means “lake”.  Originating from the marshlands of Ravenna and the lowlands of Comacchio, which is in the sub-region of Romagna, Italy. The breed’s roots are thought to go back at least to 1474 A.D (Pre-Romans). When the marshlands were drained towards the end of the 19th century and turned into arable land, the vast Lagotto Breed – Historyflocks of waterfowl disappeared and the Lagotto needed to find a new purpose.  With their highly tuned nose for searching things out, their keen senses and natural agility they have proven to be very efficient in truffle hunting and are the only dog bred for this purpose.


Lagotto Romagnolo History

By the 1920’s the breed was diminishing, with little interest in renewing this ancient breed. In the 1970’s with just a few Lagotto’s remaining some Romagnan enthusiasts (Quintino Toschi, Prof. Francesco Ballotta, Dr. Antonio Morsiani and Lodovico Babini) decided to establish this dog as a recognized breed. In 1988 they established C.I.L (Club Italiano Lagotto), and in 1995 the breed was officially recognized by the F.C.I.


Lagotto Traits

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a small to medium-sized dog, well proportioned, powerfully built, of a rustic appearance, with a dense, double curly coat of woolly texture. The Lagotto should give the impression that he has the strength and endurance to work all day in difficult and challenging terrain.

Temperament: Affectionate, devoted, loyal and loving. Lagotti are a sporting dog requiring sufficient exercise. They are easy to train and eager to please. Working or playing, they have the ability to concentrate at the task at hand, not easily distracted by other scents or animals. Due to their alert nature they make good watch dogs, but not suitable guard dogs, as a non-aggressive breed. They enjoy the company of other dogs and pets and are good around children as long as they are socialized from an early age.

Traits: Dependable, clever, loving, loyal, affectionate, agile, obedient, happy & friendly.

Color: Solid white, solid off white, solid orange, solid brown, white with orange markings, white with brown markings, roan, brown with tan markings. While a brown puppy may be almost black when young, solid black or black markings are an unacceptable color.

Height: Males: 17 – 19 inches; Females: 14 – 18 inches

Weight: Males: 29 – 35 lbs.; Females: 24 – 32 lbs

Life Span: 11 – 16 years

Coat: Its double coat has a wooly texture, rough-surface, thick, ring-shaped curls evenly distributed all over the body except the head where the curls are less tight and form eyebrows, whiskers and a beard.

Grooming: The Lagotto has hair rather than fur (little shedding), a great choice for people with allergies. Their coat is best kept at about 1 to 1.5 ” in length. The signature look of the Lagotto are tight curls fitting the body. Lagotto are shown as natural and rustic (no blowing or fluffing), having the appearance of a working dog ready to work! The hairs from the ear canal should be gently plucked out regularly. Some coats matt easier than others. See below for detailed grooming insturctions.

Download:  Condensed Official FFS Breed Standards.

See below PDF documents on grooming, breed standards, understanding the Lagotto and a supply list of tips and supplies for our Lagotto puppy buyers.