The head should have a rounded shape with the ears sitting into the head nicely.
The fur should be longer than that on the body, and shaped using scissors.
The dog should be able to see so you need to make sure that enough fur is taken from just above the eyes.
Starting at the beginning.. you can see that when a Lagotto is born they already have the ‘template’ for a full-grown lagotto head of fur.
This is little Gibson and you can see that he has a nice wide skull and a broad muzzle.
You can see the fur grows into place quite nicely on little Inkling in this next picture. You can start to see the natural places to cut the fur so as to keep a similar look as the puppy grows up. At this age there isn’t much to be tidied up on the head except perhaps the ears.. it’s a good place to start though to get a baby puppy used to standing on a grooming table and being fussed at with scissors, combs and nail clippers.
This next pic is Mr Leroy at about 8 weeks old. He had just had a trim ready to go home. When you compare his face to Inkling in the previous picture you can see where the fur grew in. At this age all that needed doing was a very minor tidy up of the ears to take away the fluffy edges and encourage them to hang nicely against the face. A general tidy up over the top of the head to eliminate stray longer hairs and even out the look, as well as a similar process on the underside of the face and jaws. A little fur was taken from above the eyes so that the little guy could see (the angle of the pic makes it look like his eyes are covered, but he has his little chin up).
From this angle in the above picture of Leroy you can really see the round shape at the top of the head and the rounded shape under the jaw. The fur on the nose naturally grows outward into this circular shape that radiates out from the nose – it is this look that we continue to try and achieve on an adult lagotto. The fur will of course keep growing outward and get longer and longer as these dogs do not shed very much fur. Our aim when we are grooming is to bring it back to this lovely circle shape that frames the face and helps to give them their Lagotto look.
The next photo is a scruffy, prickly, sideways pic of Cassian eating my BBQ cleaning brush. You can see (despite his grubbiness and the fact he needed trimming) that the way that I have shaped his face is very similar to puppy Leroy above.
Another example below is a reasonably clean Pronto, you can see the circular fur around her nose and the rounded head.. again, she was in need of a trim but the lines are there to follow. You can see that the stray fur under her chin and across the top of her head needs to be trimmed away, preferably with curved scissors to help you maintain the face shape.
Next up is Bon, he is a son of Pronto. This photo was when he was only 17 weeks old – already the shape of the head can be achieved.
Below is Mimi, her colouring is brown roan. Notice how the head hair is left to splay out across the top of the ears – if you cut it away it changes the look of the head completely.
Mimi’s son, Cassian as a youngster at the Dog Lover’s Show in Sydney (same dog as at the very top of the page, and the one with prickles 🙂 )
Last one is Cassian’s daughter, Esky, at around 8 weeks..