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  • Temperament: Affectionate, Keen, Undemanding
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 114 of 194
  • Height: 17-19 inches (male), 16-18 inches (female)
  • Weight: 28.5-35 pounds (male), 24-31 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 15-17 years
  • Group: Sporting Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Lagotto Romagnolo lying in three-quarter view
Lagotto Romagnolo head and shoulders facing left
Lagotto Romagnolo standing in three-quarter view
Lagotto Romagnolo coat detail
Lagotto Romagnolo

Find a Puppy: Lagotto Romagnolo

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

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

HEAD

When viewed from above the head is trapezoidal in shape and moderately broad; the upper longitudinal axis of the skull and the muzzle diverge slightly. Cheeks flat. The eyes are large, but never exaggerated, rounded, filling the socket, set fairly apart. The ears are medium-sized in proportion to the head, triangular with rounded tips; their base is rather wide; they are set just above the zygomatic arches. Hanging at rest or slightly raised when the dog is attentive. The ears when pulled loosely forward across the cheeks towards the nose tip should cover ¼ of the length of the muzzle. Color will vary with coat color from flesh colored to dark brown. The nose should be fully pigmented.

BODY

The neck is strong, muscular, lean and oval in shape; well set off from the nape, and slightly arched. In males the perimeter of the neck can reach the double of its length. Short in appearance, it is less than the total length of the head. The topline – well pronounced withers, topline straight from behind the withers to the croup, which is slightly sloping. Body – compact and strong. The length of the dog, measured from the sternum to the ischium is nearly the same as the height.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulder – shoulder blades long (30 percent of the height at withers), well laid back (52 to 55 degrees), muscular, strong and closely attached to the chest, but moving freely. The angle formed between the shoulder blade and the upper arm should be 110 to 115 degrees. Upper Arm – muscular, of thin bone structure, as long as the shoulder blade; its inclination to the horizontal ranges from 58 to 60 degrees. Elbow – tucked firmly against the brisket; covered with thin skin.

HINDQUARTERS

Angulation – in balance with the forequarters. Legs powerful, upright seen from the rear, well proportioned to the size of the dog and parallel. Upper thigh – long (35 percent of the height at withers), with well defined muscles. The axis of the femur has a distinct inclination of 80 degrees to the horizontal. The coxo-femoral angle ranges from 105 to 110 degrees. The thigh is parallel to the median plane of the body. Stifle-the angle of the stifle ranges from 130 to 135 degrees. Second thigh-slightly longer than the upper thigh (36 percent of the height at withers), well boned and muscled, with marked muscular groove.

COAT

Hair – of woolly texture, never twisted to form thin cords, semi-rough on the surface, with tight, ringshaped curls, with visible undercoat. Curls must be evenly distributed all over the body and tail, except on the head, where the curls are not as tight forming abundant eyebrows, whiskers and beard. Even the cheeks are covered with thick hair. The topcoat and specially the undercoat are water-proof. The clipped coat must not be longer than a maximum of 1½ to 2 inches in a curled state (not brushed out) and it should be uniform with the silhouette of the dog.

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About the Lagotto Romagnolo

Italians have a word for it: “carino.” In English, we say “cute.” In any language, this breed is totally endearing. The Lagotto Romagnolo (plural: Lagotti Romagnoli) is known for wooly curls that cover the body head to tail, crowned by a lavish beard, eyebrows, and whiskers. Lagotti stand under 20 inches and weigh no more than 35 pounds. But don’t be fooled by their teddy-bear looks—these are rugged workers of true strength and endurance. The breed’s trademark curls feel and behave more like human hair than fur.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Lagotto Romagnolo

Find a Puppy: Lagotto Romagnolo

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Lagotto Romagnolo Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Lagotto should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Lagotto’s rough-looking, waterproof coat forms thick, tight curls that cover the entire body except for the head. They have a double coat of hair rather than fur and shed only minimally, although they may leave little tufts of hair once in a while. The coat needs to be trimmed on a regular basis. Some Lagotto coats mat more than others, and it is important to groom regularly to prevent this. The ears should be checked weekly for buildup of wax or debris, or any signs of infection.

EXERCISE

As with most sporting breeds, the Lagotto requires an active, engaged lifestyle to keep him happy. They are not hyper and do not require a great amount of exercise, but they do need both mental stimulation and physical activity. While a Lagotto will enjoy and benefit from time outside, the breed will not do well if left to live outdoors without family interaction. The Lagotto needs to spend time with his family in order to be well adjusted and content.

TRAINING

Lagottos are alert, intelligent, and lively. They love to learn and please their owners and excel in canine events such as agility and obedience, as well as other pursuits like dock diving (they naturally love water). With their excellent nose, they are perfect candidates for scent work, search-and-rescue, and detection of medical conditions. Early socialization and training are vital and help to ensure that the Lagotto grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion.

HEALTH

The breed is generally very healthy, and a responsible breeder screens breeding stock for health conditions such as  juvenile epilepsy, storage disease, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia. DNA testing aids breeding decisions aimed at avoiding the occurrence of disease.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Benign Familial Juvenile Epilepsy DNA Test
  • Lagotto Storage Disease DNA Test

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Lagotto Romagnolo
Lagotto Romagnolo
Lagotto Romagnolo

History

Lagotti go back to at least Renaissance Italy, where they were bred as waterfowl retrievers working the marshlands of Ravenna. (“Lago” is Italian for “lake.”) For many years, though, Lagotti, blessed with an exceptional nose, have been used in the Italian countryside to sniff out truffles, a tasty and expensive delicacy. Though many breeds can be trained on truffles, the Lagatto is generally considered the world’s finest truffle dog.

Did You Know?

The Lagotto Romagnolo has been assigned the Sporting Group designation. They were brought into the FSS program in 2001.
The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only purebred dog in the world recognized as a specialized truffle searcher.
The breed is also known as the Romagna Water Dog.
The Lagotto Romagnolo Club of America is the official parent club for the Lagotto Romagnolo and to accept the Lagotto Romagnolo into the AKC Stud Book on June 1, 2015. The breed will be eligible to compete in the Sporting Group beginning July 1, 2015.
From the June 2014 Board Meeting - The Lagotto Romagnolo Club of America is the official parent club for the Lagotto Romagnolo and to accept the Lagotto Romagnolo into the AKC Stud Book on June 1, 2015. The breed will be eligible to compete in the Sporting Group beginning July 1, 2015.
From the May 2007 Board Meeting - The Lagotto Romagnolo will be eligible to compete in Companion Events effective January 1, 2008.
The Lagotto is an ancient breed of water retriever from the lowlands of Comacchio and marshlands of Ravenna, Italy.
From the February 2012 Board Meeting - The Lagotto Romagnolo was approved to compete in the Miscellaneous Class effective January 1, 2013.
The Lagotto Romagnolo is believed to be the founding breed from which all the water dogs descend.
From the October 2011 Board Meeting - The Lagotto Club of America, Inc. will serve as the AKC Parent Club to represent the Lagotto Romagnolo.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

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

HEAD

When viewed from above the head is trapezoidal in shape and moderately broad; the upper longitudinal axis of the skull and the muzzle diverge slightly. Cheeks flat. The eyes are large, but never exaggerated, rounded, filling the socket, set fairly apart. The ears are medium-sized in proportion to the head, triangular with rounded tips; their base is rather wide; they are set just above the zygomatic arches. Hanging at rest or slightly raised when the dog is attentive. The ears when pulled loosely forward across the cheeks towards the nose tip should cover ¼ of the length of the muzzle. Color will vary with coat color from flesh colored to dark brown. The nose should be fully pigmented.

BODY

The neck is strong, muscular, lean and oval in shape; well set off from the nape, and slightly arched. In males the perimeter of the neck can reach the double of its length. Short in appearance, it is less than the total length of the head. The topline – well pronounced withers, topline straight from behind the withers to the croup, which is slightly sloping. Body – compact and strong. The length of the dog, measured from the sternum to the ischium is nearly the same as the height.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulder – shoulder blades long (30 percent of the height at withers), well laid back (52 to 55 degrees), muscular, strong and closely attached to the chest, but moving freely. The angle formed between the shoulder blade and the upper arm should be 110 to 115 degrees. Upper Arm – muscular, of thin bone structure, as long as the shoulder blade; its inclination to the horizontal ranges from 58 to 60 degrees. Elbow – tucked firmly against the brisket; covered with thin skin.

HINDQUARTERS

Angulation – in balance with the forequarters. Legs powerful, upright seen from the rear, well proportioned to the size of the dog and parallel. Upper thigh – long (35 percent of the height at withers), with well defined muscles. The axis of the femur has a distinct inclination of 80 degrees to the horizontal. The coxo-femoral angle ranges from 105 to 110 degrees. The thigh is parallel to the median plane of the body. Stifle-the angle of the stifle ranges from 130 to 135 degrees. Second thigh-slightly longer than the upper thigh (36 percent of the height at withers), well boned and muscled, with marked muscular groove.

COAT

Hair – of woolly texture, never twisted to form thin cords, semi-rough on the surface, with tight, ringshaped curls, with visible undercoat. Curls must be evenly distributed all over the body and tail, except on the head, where the curls are not as tight forming abundant eyebrows, whiskers and beard. Even the cheeks are covered with thick hair. The topcoat and specially the undercoat are water-proof. The clipped coat must not be longer than a maximum of 1½ to 2 inches in a curled state (not brushed out) and it should be uniform with the silhouette of the dog.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Brown Check Mark For Standard Color 061
Brown Roan Check Mark For Standard Color 462
Off-White Check Mark For Standard Color 461
Orange Check Mark For Standard Color 133
White & Brown Check Mark For Standard Color 204
White & Orange Check Mark For Standard Color 213

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Brown Mask Check Mark For Standard Mark 076
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