Lagotto Romagnolo

25-30 lbs
Romagna Water Dog, Lagotto Romagnoli

The Lagotto Romagnolo is an early breed of Italian water dog that was extensively bred with dogs of other varieties to increase their agility and scenting ability. Because of the combination of this fact and waning interest in the breed, the Lagotto Romagnolo was nearly extinguished by the early 1900s, but an interested group of dog lovers, breeders and veterinarians were able to reassert the breed, and it was included in the FCI in 1995 and the AKC as recently as 2015. The Lagotto is on the smaller side of medium and sports a distinctive curled coat of hypoallergenic hair that easily sheds water, with a visible undercoat to keep them warm.

searching out truffles, water retriever
Date of Origin
ancient times
water dog

Lagotto Romagnolo Health

Sketch of Lagotto Romagnolo
Average Size
Male Lagotto Romagnolo size stats
Height: 17-19 inches Weight: 28-35 lbs
Female Lagotto Romagnolo size stats
Height: 14-18 inches Weight: 25-30 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
  • Lysosomal Storage Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy
Occasional Tests
  • Blood
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Lagotto Romagnolo Breed History

Ancient history describes the Lagotto Romagnolo as a curly haired water dog that was the companion and hunting partner to hunters of waterfowl on the marshlands of Romagna, in northern Italy. It was a job that they excelled at; they could retrieve for hours on end and thanks to their water-resistant, double layered coat, they could even retrieve the ducks and coots from icy cold water. Towards the end of the 19th century, the marshlands of the Romagna area were drained, and these little water dogs had to find a new job, and they began to specialize in the hunting of truffles instead. They excelled at that as well. Those that employed the dogs as truffle hunters often bred for results rather than breed purity, however, and combining this breed with other breeds caused the number of purebred Lagotto Romagnolo dogs to dwindle. In the 1970’s a group of breeders, veterinarians, and fans of the Lagotto Romagnolo breed worked together to develop a genetic reconstruction program to prevent the little dogs from dwindling out of existence altogether. By 1988 interest had risen enough that the Club Italiano Lagotto was formed and by 1992 the breed was recognized by the Ente Nazionale Cinofilia Italiana in 1992. Their smart and lively nature piqued the interest of dog fanciers in places like Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Scandinavia, and the United States, and they were recognized internationally by the FCI in 1995, and finally, in 2015 the breed was recognized as a member of the sporting group by the American Kennel Club. 

Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Appearance

These small to medium dogs are powerfully built with a square profile. If ideally conformed, the length of the Lagotto should be nearly the same as the height at the withers. The muzzle is wide and slightly shorter in length than the skull and sports a nose that can range in color from flesh tone to dark brown.  The eyes are round and large, but generally not pronounced and they can range from ochre to dark brown, occasionally even hazel. They also possess triangular ears that hang down almost to the jaw and a scimitar-shaped tail, which they hold erect when they are alert. Their coat is made up of a warm, soft undercoat covered by short, curly hair with a wooly texture, both of which easily shed water. They come in several colors, including 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.

Appearance of Lagotto Romagnolo
Eye Color Possibilities
hazel Lagotto Romagnolo eyes
brown Lagotto Romagnolo eyes
amber Lagotto Romagnolo eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Lagotto Romagnolo nose
brown Lagotto Romagnolo nose
isabella Lagotto Romagnolo nose
Coat Color Possibilities
brown Lagotto Romagnolo coat
brown Lagotto Romagnolo coat
cream Lagotto Romagnolo coat
fawn Lagotto Romagnolo coat
pied Lagotto Romagnolo coat
sable Lagotto Romagnolo coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Lagotto Romagnolo curly coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Maintenance

This breed is a clean breed with little to no shedding or smell, and bathing is typically only needed on a monthly basis. This dog looks its best when its coat is allowed to dry naturally rather than blow drying the fur or brushing it out. Regular clipping of the coat, typically three to four times a year, will help to prevent the tangling and matting of the wool-like coat. As the coat grows back out, it is important to examine it regularly to remove any mats, grass seeds, or burrs, particularly near the animal’s joints, in its beard, and behind its ears. The Lagotto Romagnolo also has a tendency to grow copious amounts of excess hair in their ear canal and to prevent dirt and wax build-up, this will also need to be removed on a regular basis. The Lagotto is also an active breed, both physically and mentally, and they require a great deal of mental stimulation and exercise to be at their best. Fortunately, they enjoy a number of different activities that can help meet these needs, including walks, puzzle toys, swimming sessions, and even agility training courses. Unfortunately, they also like to dig, and will require training to prevent them from digging up the yard.

Brushes for Lagotto Romagnolo
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Lagotto Romagnolo requires monthly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Lagotto Romagnolo Temperament

The Lagotto Romagnolo is an energetic, playful, and intelligent breed of dog that is highly trainable, and they should be both trained and socialized as early as possible (with the guidance of your veterinarian of course). This breed prefers to stick close to their family and can be very dedicated to them; however, they do tend to be wary of strangers and may bark at them.  They tend to be quite affectionate and playful with children, although they can get a bit too rambunctious for the very small or the shy, particularly when they are still young, and supervision is definitely required. They are also typically good with other pets, particularly if raised with other pets or when effectively socialized at an early age. Because of their high energy and exercise requirements combined with their tendency to bark, these dogs may not be well suited to an apartment lifestyle and are frequently more comfortable in a house with a yard to run in. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
12 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Lagotto Romagnolo Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.75 - $2.25
Monthly Cost
$52.50 - $67.50

Lagotto Romagnolo Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Lagotto Romagnolo at six months
Male Lagotto Romagnolo size stats at six months
Height: 15.5 inches Weight: 21.5 lbs
Female Lagotto Romagnolo size stats at six months
Height: 13.5 inches Weight: 19.5 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Lagotto Romagnolo at 12 months
Male Lagotto Romagnolo size stats at 12 months
Height: 16.5 inches Weight: 26.0 lbs
Female Lagotto Romagnolo size stats at 12 months
Height: 15.0 inches Weight: 23.5 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Lagotto Romagnolo at 18 months
Male Lagotto Romagnolo size stats at 18 months
Height: 18.0 inches Weight: 31.5 lbs
Female Lagotto Romagnolo size stats at 18 months
Height: 16.0 inches Weight: 27.5 lbs

Top Lagotto Romagnolo Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Lagotto Romagnolo breeders of 2021.
Top Lagotto Romagnolo breeder SweetMeadows Kennel
SweetMeadows Kennel
Manito, Illinois
Top Lagotto Romagnolo breeder Bella Fiore Lagotto Romagnolos
Bella Fiore Lagotto Romagnolos
Port Angeles, Washington
Top Lagotto Romagnolo breeder The Well-Mannered Dog
The Well-Mannered Dog
Litchfield, Connecticut
Top Lagotto Romagnolo breeder Montagna del Mare
Montagna del Mare
Ferndale, Washington
Top Lagotto Romagnolo breeder Lagotto Lady Kennels
Lagotto Lady Kennels
Lindstrom, Minnesota

Lagotto Romagnolo Owner Experiences

Dog (no, really)
3 Years
2 People
Eating Snacks
fetch (if he's in the mood)
He's awesome - super smart and snuggly. Can be wary or strangers and does not like other dogs if he's on the leash. Does fine at Doggie Day Care though. He is attentive and works to communicate and understand our verbal commands. Super affectionate. Food motivated. Tracks and sniffs EVERYTHIG and will eat ANYTHING. This dog has coughed up all kinds of things from cigarette butts to bras. It's dangerous! But we do our best to watch him. He is so smart and sweet, has a bit of a mind of his own and requires authoritative leadership at times. Quick to endear himself with a good snuggle and sweet looks after being a bad dog. Eager to please for the most part. ACTIVE. He needs exercise but will sleep 12-14 hours a day if he gets it, which is great. Love Dog. But he needs attention and activity - thankfully his sweet demeanor makes that a labor of pure love.
1 month, 2 weeks ago
1 Year
3 People
House & Yard
Playing in the snow
Eating Snacks
Go Camping
Go to Beach
Coral is sweet.. when she wants to be. She is extremely stubborn and has extreme energy. My Lagotto Romagnolo barks literally constantly, and any possible thing that she can. She is very protective and very aggressive when it comes down to it. She is attached to your hip no matter how hard you try and is spoiled to say the least. She doesn’t like to please you but rather she likes to be pleased. We try our best with her but she’s practically impossible, I hope when she gets older she starts to calm down. If I get another dog, I will be sure not to make it this breed again.
3 months, 2 weeks ago
6 Months
3 People
Winnie is my world and constant companion. I take her with me anywhere dogs are allowed. She is shy with strangers and does not want to be touched until she has had time to sniff. However she loves other dogs, especially dogs bigger then her. Winnie is brilliant and amazingly agile. She can learn anything you want to teach her but may choose when she wants to listen. We are currently installing a swimming pool and I hope she will enjoy as much as has been suggested. My only concern with Winnie is that she will eat ANYTHING she finds outside. Our breeder recommends keeping the breed away from fish products and she seems to be sensitive to chicken and processed foods. We cook for her... a labor of love and cheaper then dog food anyway!!
2 years ago
11 Months
3 People
Our Gingi is a sweet and adorable member of our family. Very eager to learn and wants to be trained/played with. She can be a bit anxious around bigger dogs but she quickly warms up and starts playing with them. We had some health issues with her. She picks up everything from the ground and eats it so we had some tummy issues in the past. She needs a lot of walk but can be left alone for hours with no problem. Smart, sweet and easkly maintainable breed.
2 years ago
6 Months
2 People
Puzzle Toys
Agility training
Obedience classes
Truffle tracking
Very smart dog, also temperamental. Loves animals, people, children... Energetic and alert.
2 years, 11 months ago
9 months
4 People
Fetch and swimming
I Love my Sweet Meadow’s Lagotto, Buddy. He is sweet, friendly, and learns fast-especially with his with trainer’s guidance. He learned the Invisible Fence brand boundaries in less than a month at age 5 months old. He is great with all dogs he meets. He even plays well with a 95lb dog. He swims like crazy. He can jump in and out of a pool or a lake for an hour and still want to swim more. He is scared of my two year old nephew who has wielded a weapon or two at him in the past. Buddy just scoots away when he sees him. He is so amusing to watch when he runs as he reminds me of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. I have severe allergies and asthma. I have NO symptoms at all when I brush him or give him a big bear hug. Surprisingly, my toy poodle makes my nose itch if I do that with her. Buddy is a 10 month old intact male with Serious energy, all day long. He will relax when he is in his crate but open that door and his wants to play. Time and neutering will tell if his energy level persists into adulthood.
3 years, 2 months ago
12 Weeks
4 People
House & Yard
Sweetest dogs that are well mannered and highly trainable.
3 years, 3 months ago
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