Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Lagotto Romagnolo (plural: Lagotti Ramagnoli) means “lake dog from Romagna,” which is a good name for this breed, considering these dogs originally helped hunt waterfowl through the wet marshlands of Romagna in Italy.

They’re also known as Italian Water Dogs and Romagna Water Dogs. Today, with many of the marshlands of the breed’s homeland drained, these dogs have found a new purpose in truffle hunting. Humans can easily train them to use their super noses for scent work. Lagottos’ thick coats help them stay warm in fall and winter while protecting them from thorns and debris as they run through forests. 

Adult Lagotti Romagnoli stand 16 to19 inches tall and usually weigh between 24 and 36 pounds. The Romagna Water Dogs’ lifespan is 13 to 17 years. The females give birth to four to six puppies per litter. Lagotti Romagnoli are known by several names, including Romagna Water Dog (Water Dog of Romagna), Lagotti Romagnoli, Water Dog of Romagna, Romagna Water Dog, or Lagotto for short. 

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What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Lagotti Romagnoli?

The Lagotto Romagnolo descends from Italian water retrievers who were later used to seek out truffles. His thick, culy coat has a woolly texture and covers the entire body, including the face. He doesn’t shed much but requires regular trimming.

True to his heritage as a working dog, he’s highly energetic. Balancing out the Lagotto’s high activity level is an affectionate, tractable nature. He’s generally easy to train and is alert enough to make a good watchdog. True to his truffle-hunting heritage, the Lagotto loves to dig. Be prepared to have him “help” you with your landscaping efforts.

Thanks to his keen sense of smell, the Lagotto is well-suited to Dog sports, such as nose work and tracking. The Lagotti can also perform well in agility, flyball, obedience, and rally. It’s not unusual for him to enjoy swimming, as well. This energetic dog will thrive on a long daily walk or other physical activities.

To maintain the bright and happy disposition of the Lagotto as a canine companion, families must provide them with plenty of interaction, companionship, exercise, and training. Lagotti is loyal, preferring family members to strangers, but not typically shy or aggressive.

Lagotto Romagnolo Dog Breed Features

Lagotto Romagnolo Dog Breed information


Males 17 to 19 inches

Females 14 to 18 inches


Males 28 to 35 pounds

Females 25 to 30 pounds

Relation with family

Cheerful, Loyal, Trainable, Intelligent

Relation with children

excellent – if socialized

Relation with other dogs

Good, if socialized

Shedding level


Drooling level


Coat type 

Double coat: Outer layer is Wooly, Curly

The undercoat is short and water-resistant

Coat length


Coat grooming frequency

Daily Brushing, monthly Bathing, Quarterly Trimming 

Relation/Openness with strangers

Friendly but shy

Playfulness level


Adaptability level


Trainability level


Energy level


Barking level


Mental stimulation needs level



13 – 17 years 

How Does the Lagotto Romagnolo Interact with Family?

The Lagotto Romagnolo is best suited to a home that offers plenty of space to roam. Lagotti have a ton of stamina and love running and playing, so get those sneakers on. This breed is good with kids and can live happily with cats and other dogs as long as they’ve been well-socialized as a puppy. They like the routine of exercise and training, so make sure you have the time to indulge in both.

The Lagotto has a very sweet and affectionate nature. This breed thrives when it is around its family and flourishes with social interaction. The Lagotto bonds deeply to its family. The breed has a tendency towards shyness with strangers. Because of this, early socialization is imperative to help your Lagotto grow up to be more confident and social. Enroll your puppy in a socialization class as soon as possible and expose your pup to as many positive experiences as you can during its formative weeks.

How Does the Lagotto Romagnolo Interact with Other Dogs?

Lagotti are naturally shy in the company of strange people and dogs. With exposure to different social settings with walks in the park, visits with other people, and interactions with other dogs, you may be able to break down their natural shyness around strangers. Socialization from a young age can help Lagotti feel more comfortable in the presence of strange dogs.

How are Lagotti Romagnoli with Older People?

Lagotti Romagnoli are typically ideal companions for seniors. However, that might not apply before the Curly Companions reach adulthood. Young Lagotti’s rambunctious playing could knock older people over, especially if its owners are frail. 

How are Lagotti Romagnoli with Children?

Although Lagotti are known for their loving natures, they are not quite at ease in the company of small children. Sensitivity and the tendency to be anxious make them nervous when exposed to children too young to know how to treat dogs and respect them. Their only way to show their feelings when children pull their tail or ears or dish out unsolicited hugs is to growl or snap at the child.

However, early socialization of the Romagna Water Dog and the child could prevent unpleasant incidents when the Lagotto needs to protect itself. Therefore, very young children should not be left in the company of any dog without adult supervision.

The Lagotto’s role as gun dog meant that he was required to retrieve birds in the water, and he is an excellent swimmer. He will happily plunge into the water to join you and the kids for a swim. The Lagotto Romagnolo loves to be around children and other pets. Still, you must socialize and make proper introductions between all parties early.

How are Lagotti Romagnoli with Neighbors or Guests?

Lagotti are known for their friendly, lovable nature. Although they are shy when they encounter unfamiliar people, they will soon come out of their shells. Watching their owners for cues, These teddy bear-like canines will doon welcome neighbors and frequent guests into the home. Their loveable, friendly disposition would likely prevent them from reacting with more than a few barks before welcoming neighbors or guests. 

What are the Physical Traits of the Lagotti Romagnoli?

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a small to medium-sized, muscular water retriever and truffle hunter with curly hair and a great disposition. The triangular ears have rounded tips, and the large, round eyes are dark yellow or brown, depending on the coat color.

The waterproof double coat has thick, curly hair and hardly sheds, and many consider the breed to be hypoallergenic. Coat colors can include more than one color: brown, roan, off-white, white or orange.

Lagotti Romagnoli’s physical traits are summarized in the table below.


Trait information


Medium-sized registered as Gundogs with UKC and the U.K  Kennel Club, and as a sporting breed by the AKC


Males 28 to 35 pounds

Females 25 to 30 pounds


Males 17 to 19 inches

Females 14 to 18 inches

Skull/ Head

Skull – longer than the muzzle, and it is slightly convex

Head – Head moderately broad. 


Fairly large and round, set well apart, with tight-fitting lids.

Color ranges from ochre through hazel to dark brown, depending on coat color.


Medium-sized and triangular in shape, with rounded tips, the ears are set


Fairly broad and slightly wedge-shaped


The nose is large and slightly protruding, light to dark brown in color, depending on the color of the coat.


Jaws are wide, large, and powerful


Requires plenty of exercise


13 to 17 years


Wooly, curly, water-resistant double coat

Coat color

Coat colors can include more than one color of brown, roan, off-white, white, or orange. 


Set on as a continuation of slightly sloping croup, tapering towards the end, just reaching the hock.


Strong and robust

How to Feed a Lagotto Romagnolo?

Your Lagotto’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your Lagotto Romagnolo’s diet on a medium breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages. Lagotti Romagnoli fall in the medium-sized breed class. Most dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large, giant, and even toy breeds. 

It is always good to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you can deal with age-related issues as your Romagna Water Dog grows. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Lagotto from the table; all it does is add weight; instead, follow the advice below to ensure your furry friend’s optimal health.

The Lagotto Romagnolo is an active, athletic breed type that needs food containing animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

Your Lagotto Romagnolo’s daily food portion depends on life stage, health, metabolism, activity level, and, of course, the brand and formula of food it eats. For example, suppose your Lagotto Romagnolo, who weighs about 35 pounds, is reasonably active. In that case, you might need to feed your canine companion somewhere around 1225 calories per day. (Rule of thumb calculation is 30 to 40 calories per pound of the dog’s weight)

Feed your Lagotto Romagnolo a food formulated for active and medium to large active dog breeds. Choose a recipe for puppies, adults, and seniors, or look for a brand developed for all life stages. Feeding Lagotti Romagnoli several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. However, fresh drinking water must always be available for your furry friend. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

 An example of premium food for Lagotti and its benefits are listed below:

The best dog food for adult Lagotti Romagnoli is ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.

This scrumptious kibble features fresh or raw free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught or sustainably farmed fish, and cage-free chickens. Crafted with the most nutrient-dense and succulent parts of the prey, this recipe is also made with WholePrey animal ingredients, including organs and bone, delivering 85% quality animal ingredients. And this dog food is freeze-dried coated for the wag-worthy raw flavor dogs love.

Below is a list of the benefits offered by the ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food recipes in this range:

  • Crafted with 85% premium animal ingredients, including poultry and fish, for a strong source of essential protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • The first 5 ingredients are always fresh or raw animal protein.
  • Packed with WholePrey nutrition featuring nutrient-rich organs.
  • Made in the USA with the world’s finest ingredients.
  • Freeze-dried coated for a burst of raw flavor.

When Lagotti Romagnoli are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food recipes are crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should a Lagotto Romagnolo Puppy Eat? 

Growing puppies consume more calories than adult dogs and so do young adult dogs. A young Lagotti Romagnoli puppy, age 4-12 months and weighing 20 pounds, needs an estimated 733 calories per day. You always need to adjust your dog’s food intake based on his activity level and other factors.

It is essential not to feed puppies all their food at once, and they should have it spread over the day. When Romagna Water Dog puppies become three months old, owners can provide them with three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Lagotto Romagnolo puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for medium-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Lagotti Romagnoli should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow free feeding throughout the day.
  • The exceptions are Lagotti Romagnoli with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the Health Tests that a Lagotto Romagnolo Should Take?

The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) is a centralized voluntary informed consent canine health record database. Its primary purpose is to provide owners, breeders, and prospective puppy buyers with health information that will assist in managing a dog’s health and for breeding/buying healthy dogs. 

The Lagotto Romagnolo Club of America has determined the following tests must be performed in order for a dog to receive a CHIC number:

1)  Hip Dysplasia (OFA evaluation or PennHip evaluation).

2)  Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist each year, results registered with the OFA.

3)  Patellar Luxation (OFA evaluation).

4)  Benign Familial Juvenile Epilepsy (DNA-based test results from an approved lab registered with the OFA).

5)  Lagotto Storage Disease (DNA-based test results from an approved lab registered with the OFA).

6)  DNA Repository (Optional) (Participation in the OFA/CHICDNA Repository.

DNA Tests covering the 7 main categories

  • Musculoskeletal and Dental

  • Haemolymphatic

  • Skin and Immune

  • Urogenital

  • Metabolic and Endocrine

  • Ophthalmological

  • Neurological

Other tests and Xrays: Hip and Elbow Evaluation, Patella Check, General Health Check, including Heart, Vaccines, Fleas, and Worms.

What are the common health problems of Lagotti Romagnoli?

Lagotto Romagnolo is widely recognized as a healthy and hardy breed. However, this breed is predisposed to several hereditary diseases and health problems. Even healthy Romagna Water Dogs should have regular veterinarian checkups, and owners should ensure the following list of health conditions are monitored throughout the dog’s life.

  • Benign Familial Juvenile Epilepsy – Affected puppies usually show evidence of seizures from 5 to 9 weeks of age. These resolve spontaneously by 8 to 13 weeks of age. 
  • Storage Disease in Lagotto – Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD) is a severe neurodegenerative disease found in the Lagotto. The onset of symptoms can appear from 4 months of age to 4 years. It is a progressive disorder. Those dogs affected will deteriorate to the point they will need to be euthanized. 
  • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as Lagotti Romagnoli puppies grow. It results from joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Romagna Water Dog grows and becomes heavier. Although it could start in puppyhood, it usually only becomes evident in adult dogs, making annual medical examinations crucial throughout their lives.
  • Elbow Dysplasia – When the growth of the elbow is disturbed, a condition called elbow dysplasia may ensue. While this condition is generally inherited, other factors, such as nutrition and exercise, also play a role in its development. Most dogs will display symptoms before the age of one – though some may not show any signs until several years old.
  • Patellar Luxation is when the kneecap (in the rear legs) slips out of place and may not be present at birth. Still, the anatomical deformities that cause luxation are present at that time and are responsible for subsequent recurrent patellar luxation.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy– DM is the symptom of a genetic disease that prevents the manufacture of a particular enzyme needed for spinal cord health. DM is 100% fatal.
  • Juvenile Cataracts- This condition can be a problem for some relatively young (less than six years old) puppies. It is thought to be hereditary. When buying a purebred puppy, ask the breeder if the breeding stock is certified by the Canine Eye Registration Foundation and ask to see the certificates.

Are Lagotti Romagnoli Hypoallergenic?

As it’s sometimes called, the Romagna Water Dog has a dense coat of tight curls that is non-shedding and produces little dander. As a result, the Lagotto Romagnolo is known to be a hypoallergenic dog, so they are an excellent option for those who suffer from dog allergies. They also don’t drool very much.

What is the Exercise Need of a Lagotto Romagnolo?

The Lagotto is an energetic, curious dog. They need at least a half-hour of moderate exercise a day, as well as plenty of mental stimulation and socialization. Lagotti that are under-exercised, not challenged to use their intelligence, or are left alone for long periods of time may become destructive and ill-mannered. Since they are very versatile dogs, these pups take readily to new games and sports.

When outside, be prepared for your Lagotto to have a great love of water. Swimming can be a great way to help them burn off steam, so don’t be surprised if you find it hard to get them out of a river or pond once they have discovered it. Their water-repellant double coat and purpose-built body shape allow them to spend much time in the water.

Because they have been developed for their truffle hunting skills, they also have excellent scenting abilities and often a great love of digging. You may need to put in extra work to ensure that they do not start digging in undesired areas of your garden. Some Lagotto owners provide a dedicated sandpit and participate in scent trials and nose work games to give them an outlet for this desire.

What are the nutritional needs of Lagotti Romagnoli?

The nutritional needs of a Lagotto Romagnolo include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Romagna Water Dog are listed below.

  • Protein: Lagotto Romagnolo need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids essential for Romagna Water Dog’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Lagotto Romagnolo’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Lagotti Romagnoli need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Lagotti Romagnoli sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, that too many carbohydrates can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Lagotto Romagnolo puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging Romagna Water Dogs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of the Lagotti Romagnoli.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Lagotti Romagnoli are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for a Lagotto Romagnolo’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Romagna Water Dogs.

What is the Shedding Level of Lagotti Romagnoli?

Lagotti Romagnoli do not shed because their coats are hair and not fur, and the hair continues to grow and needs trimming every few months. Because they don’t shed, they require frequent brushing to prevent the hair from matting.

What is the Coat Grooming Frequency of Lagotti Romagnoli?

The Lagotto Romagnolo does not require as much upkeep as many dogs. Their curly, non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat does require regular brushing to avoid matted hair and maintain its anti-allergy qualities. Generally speaking, it’s good to brush these dogs at least once a week.

However, Lagotti that spend a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors may need more frequent brushing. Like all non-shedding dogs, the Lagotti will need regular trimming to maintain their coat, but taking these dogs to the groomers won’t break the bank as much as it might with other breeds.

Coat grooming is essential for various reasons, as listed below.

  • Grooming gives your dog a healthy look and promotes hygiene. 
  • Proper grooming lowers the risk of matting.
  • Your Lagotto Romagnolo smells nice through grooming, thus raising the hygiene conditions.
  • Grooming promotes the growth and development of a lustrous and shiny coat that makes your dog attractive.
  • Grooming allows you to check for fleas and take early preventive and treatment measures.
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of ear infections since you can check the ears and wipe them dry after grooming regularly.
  • While grooming, you can check for any skin problems and alert the vet before they worsen.
  • Grooming boosts the bond between you and your Lagotto Romagnolo.

To lower the grooming frequencies, you should keep your dog’s surroundings clean and the coat short. Your dog should be calm during grooming. Short walks before the grooming will calm your dog, thus ensuring they remain still during the grooming process. You can also give your Lagotti Romagnoli their favorite treas to munch on while you groom them. Grooming must be enjoyable and a stress-free process for your Lagotto Romagnolo.

What is the Drooling Level of Lagotti Romagnoli?

The drooling level of Lagotti Romagnoli is low to none. However, drooling is a natural process, and although your Lagotto canine companion should not drool, you can expect to see some drooling. The primary triggers of drooling are listed below:

  • The thought of delicious meals like a favorite treat or meat
  • Excessive heat, especially during summer
  • Mouth and throat problems like fractures in the mouth, throat, or esophagus. Plaque build-up can also irritate the mouth and cause excessive saliva. Moreover, a foreign object stuck in the throat prevents swallowing, thus causing drooling. Growth in the mouth also stimulates drooling.
  • Stomach upsets.
  • Excitement and agitation make dogs drool.
  • The main symptom of diseases like kidney disease, liver problems, seizures, botulism, and rabies is drooling.
  • Motion sickness and anxiety. Dogs who do not like traveling will get anxious whenever they board a car. Stress makes dogs pant and breathe with their mouths open, thus causing drooling.
  • Sexual excitement, like when a male Romagna Water Dog spots a female Romagna Water Dog in heat, causes drooling. Likewise, a female in her heat cycle might drool if she picks up the scent of a male.

If you suspect your Lagotto drools more than usual, it might indicate a health problem to report to your vet.

What is the Coat Type of the Lagotti Romagnoli?

The Lagotto Romagnolo’s coat is a warm, soft undercoat covered by short, curly hair with a wooly texture, both of which easily shed water. They come in several colors: brown, brown roan, off-white, orange, white and brown, and white and orange. These colors may be seen by themselves or may be accompanied by a brown mask.

What is the Coat Lenght of the Lagotti Romagnoli?  

Lagotti are covered in ringlets from head to paw. They are double-coated, their outer coat is woolly and somewhat rough to the touch, and their undercoat is dense and waterproof. Their coats are clipped along the natural lines of their bodies, giving them a rustic, unfussy look. The fur is kept longest on their head and faces, forming a full beard and mustache with a length of 1 ½ inch long. Coat colors are solid off-white, solid brown, off-white with brown or orange patches, brown with white patches, or brown roan.

What Colors do the Lagotto Romagnolo Have?

The Lagotti Romagnoli’s can have several colors and color combinations, including solid off-white solid color, white with brown or orange patches, brown roan, solid brown of varying shades, or solid orange. A brown face mask is acceptable. 

What are the Social Traits of the Lagotti Romagnoli Breed?

Lagotti aren’t typically excessive barkers, but their barking will tell you when the mail arrives or when someone’s at the door, so prepare your guests for a noisy welcome. On the other hand, they can be a little aloof with strangers or get anxious in unfamiliar situations, so start their socialization early by introducing them to new people and places like the park and family gatherings. It will prepare them for the new situations and unfamiliar faces that they will meet on their many adventures with you.

This sensitive dog breed will be very in-tune with their beloved pet parents’ feelings. If you are having an off day, they may well have one too, so take time for a cuddle to cheer you both up. The Lagotto Romagnolo is definitely a pet parent pleaser, so lavish them with love and cuddles and praise them eagerly when they do well in training sessions or dog sports. And you’ll always have company because this breed is a “velcro dog” type who’ll be stuck to your side day and night.

  • Elderly-friendly: Lagotti Romagnoli love interaction with the elderly. However, they are highly energetic and may exhaust the seniors if playtime is long. In addition, Romagna Water Dogs enjoy playing rough and can easily hurt the elderly, mainly those who are frail. Hence constant supervision is vital.
  • Children-friendly: Lagotti Romagnoli enjoys running around or chasing after children. Caution should be taken for younger children as Romagna Water Dogs play rough and could overwhelm or injure younger children. However, early socialization and adult supervision can prevent injuries.
  • Family-friendly: Lagotti Romagnoli are even-tempered dogs devoted to their family members and are amicable and affectionate. They have a great deal of energy and need plenty of exercise but tend to be laid back between play sessions. Spending time with their people is Lagotti’s favorite pastime. This loving, patient quality makes them excellent therapy dogs. They are alert to their surroundings and will loudly announce the arrival of visitors, but they are not a noisy breed as a rule.
  • Cat-friendly: Lagotti Romagnoli get along great with other animals, including cats. Of course, each dog and cat has its own preferences and temperament. Still, you can feel reasonably confident your Romagna Water Dog and other pets will get on just fine, especially if they were all raised together or socialized at a young age.
  • Dog-friendly: When socialized with other dogs and cats from an early age, Lagotti are perfectly amiable with other furry family members. The same holds true for strange dogs; Lagotti will be well mannered as long as they have plenty of experience with dogs they don’t know. 

How Do Lagotti Romagnoli Interact with Strangers?

Lagotto Romagnolo puppies have a reputation for being timid if they aren’t well-socialized, so it’s important to introduce them to different people and animals while they’re young. They can be slow to warm up to strangers, but they ultimately love those who earn their affection. They’re great with kids, and other dogs can be good additions to your Lagotto’s life, too-especially if introduced during puppyhood. 

Is the Lagotti Romagnoli Playful?

Yes, Lagotti are playful, and if there are no human playmates, they will be quite pleased playing with other dogs in the family. When a Lagotto happy, though, he loves to romp and play and will amuse his family by tearing through the house or running in circles around the yard for the sheer joy of it. Romagna Water Dogs usually get along well with other pets.

Are Lagotti Romagnoli Protective?

No, Lagotti are not typically very protective. Their friendly disposition creates the opposite, and instead of trying to scare away potential intruders, their barks will likely be welcoming instead of warning them. However, even their friendly or excited barking to see other people will warn you. 

What is the Adaptability Level of Lagotti Romagnoli?

Lagotti Romagnoli are highly adaptable. Even if they are relocated from a farm or a ranch to an apartment in the city, they will quickly adapt if the move does not separate them from their human families. People whose employment includes frequent relocation can be sure their canine companions will not suffer emotional trauma. They will be happy as long as Lagotti Romagnoli have their beloved human family with them and their new accommodation offers reasonable playspace in the backyard. 

What are the Personality Traits of Lagotti Romagnoli?

The Lagotto Romagnolo is an enchanting breed with an excess of energy and a charming personality. They are highly curious and need to be mentally challenged to be healthy. These dogs love doggy puzzle toys and are very much attached to their owners. Although they can be great with kids, they may have issues with aggression – so socialization is vital. Because the Lagotto is intelligent, energetic, and versatile. These dogs will be up for almost anything and are a sheer joy to play with.

Can Lagotti Romagnoli be Aggressive?

Lagotti Romagnoli is not typically aggressive, and they are tirelessly active and affectionate. Some Lagotti also tend towards aggression around other dogs, but only if they were not socialized early. Be consistent and firm with your Lagotto and use positive reinforcements.

Can Lagotti Romagnoli be Dangerous?

The Lagotto Romagnolo is not a dangerous dog, and they are often deemed over-friendly because they trust everybody.

Do Lagotti Romagnoli Ever Attack?

No Lagotti Romagnoli are not likely to attack. However, it depends on the way the dog was raised. Many non-aggressive breeds become excessively aggressive if they live in environments where they have to defend themselves from abusers or if they must attack to stay alive. Therefore, it is never wise to approach strange dogs before talking to the owner. Do not misjudge a dangerous situation by thinking it would be mostly a show of teeth and lots of barking, but it might not be.

Can Lagotti Romagnoli Kill Humans?

No, a Lagotto Romagnolo is not likely to kill a human. 

Do Lagotti Romagnoli cope with being left alone?

Lagotti Romagnoli are reasonably independent, enabling them to keep themselves busy with toys for several hours. However, two to three hours should be the limit. Dog owners who have to spend hours away from their Lagotti frequently might want to consider a doggy daycare or a doggy sitter.

Can I leave my Lagotto Romagnolo at home?

Lagotti Romagnoli forms strong bonds with their human families, but they typically become closer to one person than others. They develop “Velcro” relationships, and their happiness depends on their favorite human’s presence. If that person has to run an errand, leaving the pup with other family members at home would be fine. Still, your curly canine will ensure you know what she thinks of being abandoned.

Can Lagotti Romagnoli be left alone for 8 hours?

Eight hours is a long time for any dog to be alone, and not even the most independent dog would thrive if such isolation happens every day. Therefore, leaving them alone for extended periods could be traumatizing. Lagotti are prone to separation anxiety, and leaving your canine companion alone for too long can be traumatizing. It can also lead to destructive behaviors, such as barking, digging, etc. You can train your Lagotto when they’re a puppy to be happy alone, but they’ll be happiest when they’re with you even with this training.

How to Train a Lagotto Romagnolo?

Lagotti Romagnoli are intelligent and are therefore considered easy to train. However, the owner would have to afford the time and effort to establish the pack status so the Lagotto will know its place in the household. Any dog owner must be firm enough to take the lead and teach the Romagna Water Dog how to behave. Only proper training and socialization can ensure the Lagotto reaches its full potential.

For the most part, Lagotti Romagnoli are eager to please, making training them much easier. This breed can be somewhat sensitive, so use positive dog training methods such as praise and rewards to ensure the best results. Stick to these methods, and you should have no trouble training your Lagotto Romagnolo.

How Frequently does a Lagotti Romagnoli Bark?

Lagotti aren’t typically excessive barkers but they will let you know when the mail arrives or when someone’s at the door, so prepare your guests for a noisy welcome. However, like other dogs, the only way your Lagotto can communicate is by barking. Many dog owners learn to understand the different ways their dogs bark, making their bond even stronger.

Below is a list of bark types that owners will learn to recognize. 

  • Lagotti Romagnoli hate being left alone, and one way of coping with loneliness is barking. 
  • A lack of exercise and anxiety can also trigger barking.
  • Alarm barking is when your Romagna Water Dog barks to alert you of approaching danger. Alarm barking can save you from danger; however, Lagotti may bark before ascertaining that there is a real danger.  
  • Another type of barking is demand barking, where a Romagna Water Dog feels entitled to something or your attention and would bark as a way of demanding their rights. This type can be lowered through proper training and ignoring the barking.
  • The Lagotti Romagnoli uses arousal barking to show their frustrations.
  • Boredom barking signals that your Lagotto Romagnolo is tired or bored due to being left alone or infrequent exercise. 
  • Frequent barking can be a nuisance to both the owner and neighbors. Some types of barking tend to be monotonous and continuous. 

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of a Lagotto Romagnolo?

The need for mental stimulation of a Lagotto Romagnolo is essential as it lowers the risks of destructive behaviors resulting from boredom. Lagotti are smart and learn fast, and they need regular mental stimulation. The playful and intelligent nature of Lagotti further calls for frequent mental activity. There are different ways of mentally stimulating your Romagna Water Dog, and some of them are listed below.

  • Playing with interactive games or toys, including dog puzzles and canine board games.
  • Encourage sniffing during regular evening walks.
  • Provide healthy chews like dehydrated sweet potato strips. Chewing for more extended periods calms the brain, thus lowering stress levels.
  • Hide and seek games
  • Drop and fetch games
  • Regular walks

These mental stimulation techniques should start at an early stage. Lagotti Romagnoli who are eight years and older tend to have problems with their thinking ability. The primary signs of mental disorientation are listed below.

  • Excessive anxiety.
  • Frequent accidents.
  • Failure to recall previously learned commands.
  • Changes in sleep and wake patterns.
  • Low interest in physical activities.
  • Poor social skills.

What are the Breed Standards of Lagotti Romagnoli?

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a small to medium-sized dog with thick curly hair and a bright, happy demeanor. The breed originates from Italy and was first used to hunt waterfowl. Since the 19th century, it has been specifically bred to hunt the underground tuber known as the truffle.

As a working breed, the Lagotto needs frequent mental stimulation and physical exercise to be happy and content. If properly socialized they get along well with dogs, children, and other small pets.  The breed comes in various shades of brown, with or without white, orange, with or without white, off-white, white with brown or orange patches, and brown roan. Tan markings are allowed.

Some of the breed standards of Lagotti Romagnoli are given in the table below.

Breed Standards 

Lagotti Romagnoli Breed Information 


Off white solid color, white with brown or orange patches, brown roan, solid brown of varying shades or solid orange. A brown face mask is acceptable.


Lagotti Romagnoli are classified as medium-sized gundogs/sporting dogs 

Eye Color 

Light to dark brown, and the expression is alert, keen, and lively.

Average Weight 

Males 28 to 35 pounds

Females 25 to 30 pounds

Average Height

Males 17 to 19 inches

Females 14 to 18 inches

Average lifespan 

Lagotti Romagnoli Dogs have a lifespan of 13 -17 years. 

What is the General Information about Lagotti Romagnoli?

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a powerful, rugged dog of medium build. They draw attention with their dense, curly coats and prominent beard. Their large eyes, which can be anywhere from hazel to dark brown, are alert, intelligent, and curious. Lagotti are in their element in conditions that other dogs (and many people) would consider “roughing it.” When viewed from the side, they have a square build and a muscular frame, from their deep chest to their strong legs.

The painting The Meeting, by Italian artist Andrea Mantegna in circa 1474, includes a curly-coated dog in the lower right corner, the spitting image of the modern Lagotto. Indeed, Lagotti are an ancient breed that helped hunters retrieve prey in the challenging, waterlogged terrain of Italian marshes for centuries. They are thought to hail specifically from the historic Romagna region known today as Emilia-Romagna.

At some point, Lagotti showed an aptitude for truffle hunting. Today they are recognized as the only purebred dog specializing in truffle hunting, giving female pigs a run for their fungi-finding money. Specialty schools are devoted to training dogs to sniff out truffles, which can garner upwards of $1,000 per pound.

Lagotto Romagnolo means “lake dog from Romagna.” A lull in the Lagotto’s popularity in the 1970s put them at risk of extinction. They are still an incredibly rare breed, especially in the United States, where there were only 500 reported in 2009. Still, the efforts of Italian dog fanciers rejuvenated the breed. They have since become beloved by a select few around the globe. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2015.

Where to Buy or Adopt a Lagotto Romagnolo?

A purebred Lagotto Romagnolo’s price can range between $1,800 and $2,500 and you’ll find reputable breeders offering puppies across the United States. For that price, you’ll typically get a dog who has been screened for potential health and behavioral issues. If you want papers from top breeders, the price could be considerably more. Lower prices are generally available from shelters and rescues, but puppies from top breeders can cost as much as $3,000. 

If you are looking to bring a Lagotto Romagnolo home, you might have to wait for some time for a pup, though, as they are rare. Don’t fall for ads promoting “purebreds” available upon request. It doesn’t work that way. Responsible breeders usually have names on waiting lists before the litters are born.

Finding a reputable breeder or rescue facility is crucial. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. They are more interested in placing pups in suitable homes than making big bucks. Do your homework before buying a Lagotto Romagnolo, and you’ll be well rewarded with one of the best family dogs out there.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Lagotto Romagnoli puppy from a breeder or a rescue organization is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed. Although this breed is reasonably rare, the Lagotti Romagnoli is recognized by the AKC, UKC, and FIC, listed below, along with other registered kennel clubs that might put potential Romagna Water Dog owners in touch with reputable breeders. 

  • Fédération Cynologique Internationale (International)
  • United Kennel Club (International)
  • The Kennel Club (United Kingdom)
  • The Lagotto Romagnolo Club of Great Britain


  • American Kennel Club
  • The Lagotti Romagnoli Club of America
  • Club Italiano Lagotto


  • Canadian Kennel Club
  • The Lagotto Romagnolo Club of Canada (LRCC)


  • Continental Kennel Club

If you manage to track down Lagotto Romagnolo breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Lagotto Romagnolo puppies are often peppy and playful—all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes.

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

Although you might find a Lagotto Romagnolo puppy or a rescued adult to adopt or buy from abroad, not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries will enable the importation of Lagotti Romagnoli may find the logistics challenging. 

Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Lagotto Romagnolo is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel. Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Lagotti Romagnoli?

There are millions of homeless dogs across the country; many are purebreds needing homes. Adopting a Lagotto Romagnolo can be life-changing, not only for the dog but also for the adopting parent. 

If you prefer adoption over purchasing a pup from a breeder, then your first stop should be the Lagotti Romagnoli Rescue Inc. website. A Lagotti Romagnoli rescue group is an excellent idea if you want to adopt an older dog or even a Lagotto Romagnolo mix. 

If you are looking for a purebred (or almost purebred) Lagotto Romagnolo, try a dedicated Lagotto Romagnolo rescue instead because they will, hands down, have the most varied selection. Rescues and shelters for Lagotti seem to be as rare as the breed itself. However, any of the recognized Lagotto Romagnolo Kennel Clubs will put people in touch with reputable shelters or rescue facilities.

You can also reach out to your local rescue organization or animal shelter and ask if they have any Lagotti Romagnoli available for adoption. If not, you can always put your name on a list so that when one comes in, you’re the first one they call.

Below is a few registered rescue centers

  • Canada Lagotti Romagnoli Dog Rescue Group
  • American Lagotti Romagnoli Rescue

What is the History of the Lagotto Romagnolo?

The name of the breed is very informative: Lagotto is an Italian dialect word for “curly coated duck retriever” and Romagne was the district in northern Italy where the breed was developed, a landscape of expansive marshes. This ancient dog breed has depictions in literary history in books dating to 1591 and 1630, and some literary references to the breed date to the 1400s. The location of the breed was determined to be Romagna, Italy, based on evidence from 1600.

The breed was used as a water retrieval dog in the marshes of Romagna. The marshes were drained in the 1800s, and the Lagotto lost its primary job. The dogs were retrained to find truffles and became famous for the job. Almost all truffle hunters used the breed for this purpose between World War I and II. The breed is said to be the ancestor of all water dogs and several other breeds.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) added the breed to its Foundation Stock Service in 2001, and the Lagotto was later reclassified into the Sporting Group.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Lagotti Romagnoli?

Lagotti Romagnoli are reasonably rare, even in their home country. The prices of Lagotti Romagnoli range between $1,800 to $2,500. The cost of a puppy from a registered breeder could vary, depending on the status of the breeder you select, the location, the sex of the puppy, and, of course, the demand for the breed at the time. The rarity of the Lagotti Romagnoli breed can further increase puppy prices.

The bloodline of the puppy and its parents could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price could be $300 to $400, based on the cost of care provided while keeping the Lagotto Romagnolo.

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to maintaining your Lagotto Romagnolo and its wellbeing before making the purchase. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, spaying or neutering, etc. You can expect to spend about $4,500 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $1,300 a year.  

The typical annual costs of having a medium-sized canine such as a Lagotto Romagnolo will not necessarily be much less than a larger dog. In fact, medical expenses throughout the Romagna Water Dogs life could be more than average because some smaller breeds are predisposed to more health problems than some larger dogs.

Except for the lower food volumes, vaccinations, microchips, and other expenses are the same, regardless of the dog’s size. Food and medical only, excluding toys, food and water bowls, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc., could cost an average of $650. The most regular annual expenses for dogs similar to the Lagotto Romagnolo are listed below.

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. Grooming would affect the maintenance costs of Lagotti Romagnoli, and the weekly grooming of both types of Lagotto is minimal. Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. Grooming would likely add to the maintenance costs of Lagotti Romagnoli because they need monthly bathing and quarterly trimming to prevent the matting of their hair.

How to Name a Lagotto Romagnolo?

Choosing a name for your Lagotto Romagnolo involves essential building blocks, including the significance of the sound. The Romagna Water Dog’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but as far as your canine companion goes, only the sound matters. Lagotti Romagnoli respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

It is always a good idea not to rush into choosing a name. Spend a week or so with your new Romagna Water Dog pup, and its character traits might be all the inspiration you need. Call out any name ideas, using different tones and sounds for the two syllables, and watch your puppy’s reaction to the sound. Remember, you must compose a sound that your Lagotti will recognize from a distance, among many other sounds. 

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction and yelling or calling your Lagotto Romagnolo. Below is a list of suggestions of names for your Lagotto Romagnolo. 

Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Names

Honoring their roots

Lagotto Romagnolo Boy Names

Lagotto Romagnolo Girl Names


You won’t find a more Italian name for your Lagotto


Feminine for beautiful


City in southern Italy


Means star in Italian


Ode to famous designer Gianni Versace 


Chiara Ferragni is a top influencer and a fashion entrepreneur


Donatello was an Italian Renaissance sculptor


Tuscany is a region in central Italy


Bagatti Valsecchi Museum is a historic museum in Milano


Francesca is an Italian given name

What are the Different Types of Lagotto Romagnolo?

The Lagotto Romagnolo is one of a kind, and you won’t find another type of this rare curly teddy-like canine companion.

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Lagotto Romagnolo?

Lagotti Romagnoli are not easy to find. Purebreds are expensive and involve long waiting lists. Finding a Romagna Water Dog at a rescue center might be an equally challenging process. However, below is a list of similar breeds that might be a good match for your family.

  • Kerry Blue Terrier: The Kerry Blue Terrier has similar grooming requirements as the Lagotti Romagnolo. Originally bred to control vermin including rats, rabbits, badgers, foxes, otters and hares, over time the Kerry became a general working dog used for a variety of jobs including herding cattle and sheep, and as a guard dog.
  • Barbet: The Barbet (pronounced bar-bay) is a medium-sized birding dog with a curly coat, beard and mustache similar to the Lagotto Romagnolo. The Barbet is also as rare with only about 500 across America. 
  • Portuguese Water Dogs: Bred as water dogs to work along with fishermen shares a similar hypoallergenic coat with the Lagotto Romagnolo.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.