Lagotto Romagnolo

Canis lupus

Last updated: May 27, 2024
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only internationally recognized purebred truffle-hunting dog.


Lagotto Romagnolo Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Lagotto Romagnolo Conservation Status

Lagotto Romagnolo Locations

Lagotto Romagnolo Locations

Lagotto Romagnolo Facts

Name Of Young
Group Behavior
  • Pack
Fun Fact
The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only internationally recognized purebred truffle-hunting dog.
Most Distinctive Feature
The Lagotto has a thick, curly, hypoallergenic coat.
Other Name(s)
Romagna Water Dog
Gestation Period
63 weeks
Intelligent, keen, undemanding, affectionate, and versatile.
Litter Size
4-6 puppies
  • Pack

Lagotto Romagnolo Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Black
  • White
  • Cream
  • Orange
Skin Type
Top Speed
25 mph
15-17 years
Males, 28.5-35 pounds. Females, 24-31 pounds
Males, 17-19 inches. Females, 16-18 inches.

Lagotto Romagnolo as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
28-35 lbs
Female weight
24-31 lbs

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The Lagotto Romagnolo is an older breed, developed in Italy to hunt waterfowl in the 1600s (possibly dating back to Etruscan civilization before the 2nd century BC.) The breed was later trained to hunt truffles and is the only purebred recognized as a truffle hunter. The Lagotto even showed up in Renaissance paintings of daily Italian life.

A lively, energetic breed, the Lagotto still searches for truffles. Its truffle-hunting nose is also helpful for scent work, search and rescue operations, and sensing medical conditions.

Wooly, curly, and double-coated, the Lagotto makes an affectionate, playful, and loving family dog.

Lagotto Romagnolo Fun Fact 

  • The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only internationally recognized purebred truffle-hunting dog.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning Lagotto Romagnolo 

Their coat is hypoallergenic. It sheds very little and has little dander.This dog suffers from noise-induced anxiety, so loud noises are an issue. Provide an open crate with a blanket to dampen sounds or provide background noise with a television or stereo.
The breed was developed to hunt truffles, which could be a very lucrative or tasty hobby. The Lagotto is one of the few purebred breeds recognized to have this ability.They may develop territorial or possessive tendencies if they are not adequately trained and socialized early.
It has a long lifespan of 15-17 years.They are diggers with a lot of energy. If they are not mentally stimulated and occupied, they can become destructive.

The Best Dog Food for Lagotto Romagnolo

As a sporting dog, the Lagotto needs more than quick bursts of activity. They benefit from training, walking, and playing for more than 30 minutes a day. This activity requires sustained energy and muscle development based on a diet high in protein and fat. We at A-Z Animals recommend Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Chicken & Barley Recipe, 15 lb. Bag
  • This dog food made with natural ingredients uses high quality, easy-to-digest ingredients to fuel the specific energy needs of your full-grown dog.
  • Helps maintain a beautiful skin and a healthy coat by providing a precise balance of omega-6 and vitamin E.
  • Supports lean muscle growth and maintenance in your adult dog with a premium source of high quality protein.

Check Amazon

Lagotto Romagnolo Size and Weight

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a medium-sized dog that stands 16 to 19 inches at the shoulder and weighs 24 to 35 pounds, though their fluffy coats make them appear slightly larger. Males are larger than females.

Height (Male):17-19 inches
Height (Female):16-18 inches
Weight (Male):28.5-35 pounds
Weight (Female):24-31 pounds

Lagotto Romagnolo Common Health Issues

This breed is sturdy with a potentially ancient history, dating back to the 1600s, if not back to the Etruscan civilization in the 8th through 2nd centuries BC. As such, they are generally healthy dogs. There are, however, a few issues to check for. This is easier with a reputable breeder.

One such issue is juvenile epilepsy. This genetic condition can begin to show up at around five to nine weeks but generally resolves itself by about the 13th week. A responsible breeder will ensure that they only breed one canine parent carrying this gene.

Another genetic condition, limited to the Lagotto, is Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD). This is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that can ultimately result in the death of a dog. A reputable breeder will not breed carriers of this gene.

Apart from these two particular conditions, these dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. These traits are genetically inherited, and breeders should not breed dogs that carry them.

Lagotto Romagnolo Temperament

They are affectionate, family-loving dogs with intelligent and playful personalities. They love puzzles and challenges and are always up for a romp. Though Lagotti are not prone to severe separation anxiety, they are afraid of loud or unexpected noises. On the other hand, they are good with other dogs and with children as long as they are correctly socialized not to exhibit possessive or territorial behavior from a young age.

How To Take Care of Lagotto Romagnolo  

Lagotto Romagnolo Maintenance and Grooming 

Trim their waterproof double coat regularly. Only bathe the dog every one or two months. Brush the coat every week or two. All of this will keep the coat from matting.

Clip the nails every other week to prevent problems. Also, brush the dog’s teeth twice a week at least. Finally, check the dog’s ears frequently and clear them of wax and debris to avoid infection.

Lagotto Romagnolo Training

This breed is very intelligent and trainable; it thrives on pleasing its owner. The first stage of training should, of course, involve house training and socialization. Redirect the Lagotti away from territorial and possessive tendencies early to make for the best experience with this dog.

The Lagotto is a working dog that loves the mental stimulation of training. The dog’s love of water makes it ideal for dock diving competitions. Their excellent noses make them fit for scent work and search and rescue.

Try to make training sessions short and entertaining. Reward the pup with treats and plenty of praise.

Lagotto Romagnolo Exercise

Playful and energetic dogs that love work and other activities, Lagotti are intelligent and adept at learning new games. They need at least 30 minutes of exercise, like walking, playing, or training each day. They also love to spend time playing in the water.

Lagotto Romagnolo Puppies

Puppies are capable of learning from an early age. Begin socialization as soon as they get home and enroll them in doggy kindergarten as soon as their vaccination statuses allow. Lagotti are very trainable but can be territorial, so it’s essential to socialize them early on.

Lagotto Romagnolo And Children

Well-adjusted Lagotti are gentle with children. Socialize the dog early to avoid possessiveness and other issues. Teach children how to behave around dogs, as well as how to read the dog’s behavioral cues. Of course, a roughhousing dog can knock a small child over, even if it’s well-behaved. Never leave small children alone with a dog, trained or otherwise, and children of any size should not be left alone with an untrained dog.

Dogs Similar to Lagotto Romagnolo

Portuguese Water Dog: This medium-sized, curly-haired companion works and almost lives in the water. The Portuguese water dog was bred to do all kinds of water work, including herding fish into nets.

Spanish Water Dog: The Spanish Water Dog also has a tight coat of dense curls. Like the Lagotto, this dog was bred to hunt waterfowl.

Famous Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotti have been included in numerous works of Renaissance art. The ubiquity of the dog in Renaissance Italy meant that the dog was included in scenes of family life and daily public life in the Italian countryside and towns.

Popular Names for Lagotto Romagnolo

As this breed originates in Italy, it’s only appropriate to consider an Italian name for your Lagotto. Here are some of the more popular ones:

  • Cosimo
  • Dante
  • Nero
  • Benito
  • Cesare
  • Stella
  • Serena
  • Regina
  • Isabella
  • Cassandra

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

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Should they be Hypoallergenic?

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How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
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How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

Rob Amend is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily covering meteorology, geology, geography, and animal oddities. He attained a Master's Degree in Library Science in 2000 and served as reference librarian in an urban public library for 22 years. Rob lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, photography, woodworking, listening to classic rock, and watching classic films—his favorite animal is a six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey.

Lagotto Romagnolo FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is a Lagotto Romagnolo a good family dog?

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a lovable, obedient companion that bonds well with families. There are minor indications of aggression that should be socialized out of the dog beginning at a young age, but otherwise, they do well in a family environment.

Do Lagotti Romagnoli bark a lot?

Lagotti are not known to bark a lot.

Is the Lagotto Romagnolo rare?

Lagotti Romagnoli are fairly rare dogs.

Can Lagotti Romagnoli be left alone?

While the Lagotto Romagnolo isn’t prone to extreme separation anxiety, it is highly anxious concerning noise. Offer your dog refuge in a crate with sound insulation like a blanket, or provide an environment with background noise like music or television.

Are Lagotti Romagnoli hypoallergenic?

The thick, curly coat of the Lagotto does not shed and produces no dander. It is an excellent dog for allergy sufferers.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.


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