An Overview of our Breed

There is much information throughout our website that will help introduce our breed, as well as allowing any prospective owners to gauge the suitability of the Lagotto to individual family circumstances. Much more knowledge can be gained by speaking to us, and to other owners, as well as visiting some events and seeing and meeting our Lagotto.

Some key facts about Lagotto Romagnolo

  • Small to medium sized – Dogs 43-48cm (17-19") / 13-16kg ; Bitches 41-46cm (16-18") / 11-14kg
  • Gundog – Ancient breed of duck retriever
  • Dense curly coat – Non shedding
  • Coat colours - Solid off-white; white with brown or orange markings; brown roan; solid brown (in different shades); solid orange
  • Highly intelligent and trainable - But if you don’t train them they will train you!
  • Love swimming and digging
  • Versatile dogs that do well in a range of activities
  • Good watch dogs and family companions
  • Noisy and lively as a puppy, a Lagotto grows up to be a sensible, happy, affectionate, robust and agile little dog

Lagotto coat and human allergies

Most breeds that evolved to hunt for man have functional coats and the Lagotto is no exception. Being a non shedding breed, he is particularly suitable for families with allergy sufferers and his coat can be kept short by clipping a few times a year.

We appreciate that allergies come in many shapes and forms (possibly to dander or saliva – which may be more evident in a houseful of puppies). There are opportunities to meet Lagotto at some of our events, although some people prefer to visit a Lagotto-only home to test for an allergy response, and we can help with suggestions for this.

Coat maintenance

Whilst the Lagotto’s coat is non-shedding, it does require some maintenance. Please see our Grooming and Day to Day Maintenance pages for more information.

The Breed and natural characteristics

As is evident from the History of our Breed, the Lagotto developed as an ancient breed of duck retriever in the vast marshlands of north eastern Italy, a small to medium sized dog, robust and capable of working all day in and out of water from a punt with its master. A swimming Lagotto should move effortlessly through the water, with hardly any disturbance. A highly effective water dog: a chest that is narrow at the front (like the bow of a boat) with ribs broadening only from behind the front legs, a double coat providing insulation against cold water, hair inside the ears to provide the inner ear with some protection from water, a strong tail and of course webbed feet. With the draining of its natural hunting ground, the marshlands of Romagna, towards the end of the 19th Century, the Lagotto’s phenomenal nose meant that our ancient breed of duck retriever was able to easily and naturally transition to the new role adopted by its master, that of truffle dog. The Lagotto is in fact the only purebreed that is internationally recognised as a specialised truffle searcher. 

Most, but not all, Lagotto will display the two characteristics from which it has evolved naturally: enjoying water/swimming and digging (with or without the presence of truffle!)

A Lagotto will dive into water, completely submerging itself

WATER Diving

Find out more...

If you have read this page and other information on our website and would like to know more, it is a great idea to come to see us and our Lagotto

We have our Club stand at Discover Dogs twice a year – each year at Crufts in March and at ExCel in October.  We also run Club events throughout the year, both formal and informal, where you have the opportunity to meet us and our wonderful breed. We always look forward to meeting our prospective and new owners and helping with any questions and advice, so please do get in touch…