(Reproduced by kind permission of the Kennel Club)

Updated November 2020

Lagotto Romagnolo

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable, it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Squarely built, small to medium sized dog of rustic appearance; sturdy and robust with dense, curly coat of woolly texture. Measurement from ground to elbow greater than from elbow to withers. Noticeable difference between sexes.


Ancient Italian breed of duck retriever, also used as a truffle hunter. Excellent watch dog and family companion.


Lively, intelligent, affectionate.

Head and Skull

Head moderately broad. When viewed from above the widest point is at the zygomatic arch. When viewed from the side, planes of muzzle and skull diverge slightly. Skull slightly convex, as wide as it is long and flattening at occiput and with medial-frontal furrow. Length of skull from occiput to stop slightly longer than from stop to nose. Slight but evident stop. Well-developed eyebrow arches. Muzzle strong and wedge-shaped, rather blunt in profile. In depth, almost equal to length. Nasal bridge straight, with large nose protruding slightly with wide, open nostrils. Jaws wide, large and powerful. Lips tight forming a wide semi-circle when viewed from the front, covered with long, bristly whiskers.


Fairly large, nearly round, set fairly well apart. Close fitting eyelids with rims in various shades of brown. Well-developed eyelashes. Eye colour ranges from ochre to dark hazel and brown, depending on coat colour. Attentive, intelligent expression.


Moderately large in relation to the size of the head, triangular with slightly rounded tips, rather wide at the base and set slightly above the level of the eye. Hanging at rest, slightly raised when alert.


Well-developed teeth, set square to the jaws. Scissor or pincer bite. Complete dentition highly desirable. Reverse scissor bite permissible.


Relatively short, oval in section, slightly arched, muscular and powerful. Without dewlap.


Shoulders muscular, moderately well laid back, long in blade and equal in length to upper arm. Elbows fairly close fitting. Forearms straight with sturdy, oval bone. Wrist follows vertical line of forearm and is finer boned, robust and mobile. Pasterns sloping, elastic and slender compared to forearm.


Compact and strong. Length of back from point of shoulder to point of buttock equal to height at withers. Withers set slightly apart and placed just above the line of the back. Straight topline falls slightly from withers to croup. Loin short and wide. Croup long, wide, muscular and slopes gently. Well developed chest reaches down to the elbows. Chest rather narrow in front, broadening behind the elbows. Slight tuck up. Skin thin, close fitting and without wrinkles.


Powerful upper thigh long with well-developed musculature. Good bend of stifle; lower thigh slightly longer than upper. Broad hocks. Rear pasterns thin and upright. Angulation slightly greater than in forequarters but without exaggeration.


Compact with strong, curved nails. Webbing between toes well developed. Front feet almost round, toes tight and well arched, turning neither in nor out. Hind feet slightly more oval shaped and toes less arched.


Set on as a continuation of slightly sloping croup, tapering towards the end, just reaching the hock. Hangs in a scimitar position at rest and is markedly raised when alert. When working or excited may be carried over the back but never curled.


Free, smooth and tireless with plenty of drive.


Woolly and waterproof, rather rough on the surface forming very thick, ring shaped curls, with visible, waterproof undercoat. Curls evenly distributed all over the body except on the head where the curls are less tight, forming well-furnished eyebrows, whiskers and beard. Cheeks covered with thick hair. On the ears, curls tend to be open but very wavy. The inner ear flap is covered with hair. Tail covered with woolly, bristly hair. The coat should evenly follow the line of the dog. It may be longer on the head but must not obscure the eyes. The coat should be of a length that curls are evident and texture can be assessed. The correct presentation is natural, without styling, and in keeping with the rustic character of the breed.


Solid off-white, white with brown or orange markings, orange roan, brown roan, brown (in different shades), solid orange, brown with white markings, orange with white markings. Brown mask and tan markings permitted. Pigmentation ranges from light to very dark brown depending on coat colour.


Height: males 43-48 cms (17-19 ins), ideal height 46 cms (18 ins). Females 41-46 cms (16-18 ins), ideal height 43 cms (17 ins). Tolerance of one centimetre over or under.
Weight: males 13-16 kgs (28½ – 35 lbs); females 11-14 kgs (24-31 lbs).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.