Grooming

The Lagotto has a thick, curly double coat which is non-shedding. The Lagotto should not be over groomed as this ruins the dog’s natural curl and rustic appearance. However because of the nature of the coat matts or felts can form close to the skin. For this reason Lagotto require clipping right down to remove any matts and allow the coat to start again. Here is an example of a coat that has been left to felt:

The coat is taken down to just a few millimetres in length. The head is usually left a little longer than the coat and is best trimmed down rather than clipped out as it takes longer to come back then the rest of the coat. Clipping improves the coat and it is recommended that the dog is first clipped at around 3 months of age. From then, depending on the individual coat and management between clips, clipping is usually required 3-4 times a year. If owners require a low maintenance coat then the coat can be clipped more regularly to suit, and the head can be taken shorter if required.

Here is a Lagotto puppy before and after her first clip at 10 weeks, you can see how the head has been left longer:

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For showing the coat will ideally need around 12 weeks after clipping to grow to a suitable length for the curls to be at their best. The coat should follow the lines of the body. The head may be left longer although the hair should not obscure the eyes.

Grooming Ears

The ears should be trimmed to the leather and the ear canals will need to be kept clear by plucking the hairs inside. Ear powder should be used to assist this but be cautious not to clog the canals by using too much. An example of how much hair can grow inside the ear of a Lagotto:

The tail is trimmed to be wider at the base and tapered towards the end. A Lagotto should never be seen with a feathered tail.

When a Lagotto is in full coat it is important to look out for anything the coat picks up such as burrs and grass seeds and any matts that might be forming. Common places for matts to form are around the joints and behind the ears. These can be teased apart with fingers or if they are more developed then grooming tools designed for removing matts can be used.  The beard can also get quite mucky and matted so attention must be paid to this.

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