With a name as Italian as Nonna’s pasta, the Lagotto Romagnolo is an affectionate, energetic dog the whole family will love. By Lauren McKellar.
The Lagotto Romagnolo originated in Italy and dates back to the 1600s. Initially developed to retrieve water fowl from lakes and lagoons, the Lagotto was later trained in the art of truffle hunting thanks to its keen sense of smell and active nature. Even the Lagotto’s thick curly coat was useful in this endeavour as it protected the dog’s skin from scratches in some of the thorny woodland areas it was required to hunt in.
Many of these traits are retained by the Lagotto today, including its love of getting wet and its ability to fetch. “Lagottos love water, swimming and retrieving,” says Belinda Walker from Inanna Kennels. Belinda loves this breed, citing it as a strong performer when it comes to nose work, tracking, flyball, agility, obedience training and, of course, truffle hunting, an activity the dog still participates in today.
It’s not hard to be a little intimidated when it comes to maintaining this gorgeous dog’s coat. Regular clipping is required to keep the hair in check — but you don’t need to go all out with fancy Poodle-like cuts! The desired look for the breed is a little rustic and natural. A bath once a month or when dirty will suffi ce, and keeping an eye on the dog’s ears for excess wax build-up will help keep them infection-free.
Another plus for the Lagotto Romagnolo is its minimal shedding. “The coat is curly and does not shed, so they are excellent inside dogs,” says Belinda. This gives potential owners one more reason (aside from the loving personality and quick mind) to keep their pooch indoors with them.