Breed description

The Lagotto Romagnolo, also known as the Italian truffle dog, is an old breed that has not been recognized for very long. In 1995 the breed was provisionally recognized by the FCI, in 2005 the final recognition came.

Originally the Lagotto was used in the swamps around Ravenna for hunting small waterfowl. With the drying up of the marshes, they were increasingly used for truffle hunting in the adjacent hilly area in Emilia-Romagna.

The Lagotto is generally a fast and agile dog, which makes it very useful for work in hills and on uneven surfaces. They have a natural urge to search and are very focused on their owner. The Lagotto is intelligent, can be a little cautious/reserved with strangers and can be noisy. In the house they are calm and playful, outside they love to run and dig. The Lagotto is suitable for several forms of dog sports. They perform well in obedience, agility and flyball.

The Lagotto has a curly coat that will become felted if not trimmed. The Lagotto is brown, white or orange. With or without markings which are single-colored or gray. There are also dogs with tan markings. Most brown and orange dogs have a genetic greying factor and so do not stay as dark in color when they are born. Occasionally shorthairs and bobtails are born. This is the result of crossing with other breeds in the past.

The beautiful coat of the Lagotto requires a lot of maintenance. The coat does not shed, but the undercoat must come out. A good brushing every month and trimming at least four times a year is really necessary. The hairs in the opening of the ear canal should be partially removed if they come loose to avoid problems. When this is taught to young puppies, it will not cause any problems in the future.
Depending on the speed at which the nails are growing, they should be clipped weekly, biweekly or monthly.


As with any living creature, genetic defects also occur in the Lagotto Romagnolo. At the moment (September 2020) it is mandatory in the Netherlands to test the Lagotto on the following points; hip dysplasia, patella, hereditary eye disorders, Benign Familial Juvenile Epilepsy (BFJE), Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD) and HUU.

In addition, it is possible to check the elbows (ODC, LPC, LPA, incongruity) and to demonstrate via a DNA test whether or not the dog is a carrier of the short hair gene (Furnishing). For more detailed information about the health of the Lagotto, please refer to the Health page.