The Breed

  • Typical water dog
  • Medium to small in size
  • Squarely built
  • Rustic, strong and well proportioned
  • Attentive expression
  • Intelligent and lively
  • Aptitude for searching using his excellent sense of smell
  • Hunting instinct has been bred out (but not in all)
  • Affectionate, very close to his owner
  • Excellent companion dog
  • Very trainable

 

  • The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only breed in the world specialised in the search for truffles on any type of terrain. 

 

  • Originally this small, curly haired dog was used to carry game from the water, working for hours and sometimes breaking the ice and swimming underwater to retrieve birds.

 

  • In the Romagna dialect “Can Lagot” was synonymous with “water dog”. 

 

  • Lagotto were mostly found in the coastal strip from Ravenna, through the Commachio and Veneto valleys, up to Friuli and the Istrian coast. 

 

  • These little dogs were depicted in art, seen as far back as 1456.

 

  • Lagotto eventually lost their function as a water dog when, over decades, the immense marshlands of Como and Romagna were reclaimed.

 

  • The dogs gradually transitioned as a specialist truffle hunter.  The transition was around 1840 to 1890.

 

  • By 1920 the Lagotto was well known in the valleys of the Romagna apennines.

 

  • From the mid 1970’s onwards, due to the great efforts of a small group of dedicated and talented dog lovers, impetus was given to the genetic reconstruction of the Lagotto before it fell into extinction.  The breed was brought back to purity as the two parallel stories of the breed, the marshlands and the hills, were reunified.

 

  • The Italian Lagotto Club was formed in Imola in 1988, and the breed was recognised by the ENCI in 1992, then the FCI in 1995. The morphological breed standard was created using the years of biometric measurements that had been recorded.