Lagotto Romagnolo

Romagna Water Dog

The Lagotto Romagnolo is specialized in searching for truffles and also used as a retriever. The fact that he has lost his hunting instinct but retained his exceptional sense of smell makes him an excellent truffle dog. He is also an incomparable life companion. His qualities and extraordinary aptitudes make him man's best friend.

Height 41 to 48 cm
Weight 11 to 16 kg
Life expectancy 10 to 14 years
Home country Italy

Quick Overview of the Lagotto Romagnolo


  • Affectionate and faithful
  • Docile and vigilant
  • Good player
  • Smart and easy to educate


  • Hardy appearance
  • Woolly coat
  • Triangular hanging ears
  • Big round hazelnut eyes


  • No particular pathology
  • Rarely ill

Temperament of the Lagotto Romagnolo

Affectionate, loyal, docile, vigilant and good player, the Lagotto Romagnolo has a very keen sense of smell.

He is intelligent and easy to educate. He is compatible with everyone, even children, but rather reserved with strangers.

His education must still be firm and adequate.

This exceptional dog is appreciated as a game retriever and truffle hunter, but he is also much sought after as a companion dog. He is an excellent life companion with a very pleasant character.

He is compatible with all families. He loves children and likes to take part in their games.

He is patient, docile, affectionate, loyal and very vigilant, making him an excellent guard who is always alert and ready to warn when a stranger comes along. He loves everyone, but remains reserved with newcomers without being aggressive.

He likes to play with his master just as much as he likes to perform with liveliness, the tasks entrusted to him.

chien d'eau romagnol personnalité

Breed Appearance

Romansh water dog

Medium to small size, the Lagotto Romagnolo is very hardy looking, but he is also well proportioned.

His woolly coat gives him a special look, revealing his aptitude for work and company.


Between 43 and 48 cm (16.93 to 18.90 inches) for the male
Between 41 and 46 cm (16.14 to 18.11 inches) for the female


Between 13 and 16 kg (28.66 to 35.27 pounds) for the male
Between 11 and 14 kg (24.25 to 30.86 pounds) for the female


The color of his coat can vary between a single-colored off-white, brown, orange, white with orange or brown markings.


The hair of his coat is woolly and forms very tight curls. His hair is very rough on the surface.


His head, with a broad skull, has a slightly marked stop. His large round eyes are hazelnut or ochre, sometimes even dark brown.

His hanging and triangular ears are medium length. His nose is brown. His tail is carried high in action and shaped like a sword at rest.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 8, section 3 and is #298

Tips About this breed

His size allows him to live easily in an apartment as well as in a large house.

However, he prefers, by far, wide open spaces where he can run and exercise. Sedentary people should allow him to exercise plenty and city dwellers should offer him regular and frequent walks.

It is important to remember that he is a great nature lover who needs to live in the open air. Respecting these essential conditions will allow him to thrive.

Health of the Lagotto Romagnolo

With no health issues directly related to the breed, he is rarely ill.

This very robust dog is endowed with an strong constitution and a good life expectancy. No pathology affects this breed and no particular genetic defect is listed.


His woolly and rough coat requires daily brushing. It is recommended to brush it regularly in order to avoid wadding of his fur.

It is also essential to shear him completely at least once a year.

Nevertheless, he is relatively easy to maintain and requires little time on a daily basis. No other special maintenance is required.

History of this breed

Originally from Italy, the Lagotto Romagnolo, traditionally found in the marshes of Ravenna and the lowlands of Comacchio in the Po Delta, was mainly used to retrieve waterfowl.

Towards the end of the 19th century, unfortunately, he had to swap his water dog skills for those of a truffle dog after the marshes were drained.

The number of specimens almost completely disappeared after this. Fortunately, breed enthusiasts began to select the dogs.

After much sacrifice and work, the reconstitution of the race was a success. Using specimens that remained very close to the original type, they succeeded in recreating the original breed to perfection.

His recognition by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) was official in 1995. Since then, he has been used in the hills and plains of Romagna mainly as a truffle dog. But he is also apt to become an excellent life companion.

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