By Jags Goldie Last updated: 19th July 2023

Lagotto Romagnolo


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 19th July 2023

The Lagotto Romagnolo (pronunciation: Lagotto Rrrromanyolo), meaning “the lake dog from Romagna,” is a medium-sized dog bred initially as a gundog and water retriever. Because of its innate retrieving instinct, it is commonly used for hunting truffles. It is a well-proportioned, powerfully built dog with a moderately broad head, large, rounded eyes, medium-sized, floppy ears, strong, muscular, oval neck, well-developed chest, straight back, and a mid-sized tapering tail covered with woolly, bristly hair.

Lagotto Romagnolo Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesWater Dog of Romagna, Romagna Water Dog
CoatWoolly texture, semi-rough, ring-shaped curls, water-proof topcoat and undercoat
ColorOff-white, golden, brown, roan, white with brown or orange patches
Breed TypePurebred
CategoryGun Dog, Water Dog, Sporting
Lifespan15-17 years
WeightFemale: 24-32 lb
Male: 29-35 lb
HeightFemale: 16-18 in
Male: 17-19 in
SheddingLow, infrequent
TemperamentAffectionate, easygoing, loyal, active
Litter Size4-6 puppies
Good with ChildrenYes
BarkingBarks when necessary
Country Originated inRomagna, Italy
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationACR, AKC, APRI, CKC, DRA, FCI, ENCI, NAPR, LCA, NKC

Video: Lagotto Romagnolo Puppies Playing


Believed to be one of the most ancient and possibly the ancestor of all modern water dogs, the Romagna Water Dogs have been used for retrieving ducks in the marshlands of north-eastern Italy and the lowlands of Comacchio since the 7th century BC. Over the years, the flocks of ducks started disappearing, and the Lagotto was increasingly used for searching truffle.

Owing to its phenomenal agility and scenting ability, it was commonly crossed with some breeds to impart to the others its hunting abilities. Thus the number of purebred Lagottos decreased in Romagna by the 1970s. Fortunately, a group of dog lovers, vets, and breeders took measures to restore the purebred Lagotto population.

The breed was acknowledged by the FCI in October 1995 and by the AKC in June 2015.

Temperament and Behavior

A loving and devoted dog, the Lagotto Romagnolo remains close to its owner, always willing to please its people. It is an excellent family companion that is gentle and affectionate with kids.

It can live peacefully with other dogs if socialized when young. However, it may chase small animals and birds because of its strong hunting instincts. Being extremely watchful of its surroundings, it can alert its family of the presence of an intruder through barking.



Being an energetic working dog, it requires plenty of mentally and physically stimulating activities. It enjoys going for long, leashed walks with its owner and loves playing a game of fetch or hide and seek. It likes to swim and will enjoy a session of romp and play through the waters at the pool.


Its dense coat requires regular care including thorough brushing on a daily basis to prevent matting. You may cut its hairs three or four times a year using clippers and bathe it occasionally with a vet recommended shampoo to keep it clean.

Health Problems

Some Lagottos are prone to neurological disorders like neuroaxonal dystrophy and genetic diseases such as benign juvenile epilepsy, cerebral anomaly, hip dysplasia, and Lagotto storage disease.


Being an intelligent, tractable, and undemanding dog by nature, the Lagotto is easily trainable.

Expose your Lagotto to a variety of people (tall, short, fat, thin, dark or fair complexioned) and get it accustomed to people around it by taking it out for a walk in the public place.  Let it walk around the dog park and make some rounds. You may also arrange for playdates at your friend’s house with his dog.

Leash training
Teach your Lagotto Romagnolo to walk a few steps on a leash for short periods of time in a quiet room, during which you may play and give it treats. Then take it outside and test your dog’s walking skills outdoors. If it pulls, stand still and do not move until it returns to you. Make sure not to jerk the leash or drag your Lagotto along with you.


Give your Romagna Water Dog a quality dry dog food with chicken, beef, fruits, vegetables, and whole, unprocessed grains as its ingredients.

Interesting Facts

  • Lagotto Romagnolo puppies are used in research regarding benign childhood epilepsy in humans.

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