The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Lagotto Romagnolo

Information and Pictures

A curly brown and white Lagotto Romagnolo is sitting in grass and looking forward. Its mouth is open and tongue is out.

Scheffelfaltets Waldo Veloce (Waldo) the Lagotto Romagnolo at 1.5 years old was born in Sweden.

Other Names

Romagna Water Dog

Water Dog of Romagna



Lagotto Rrrromanyolo


The Lagotto is a small/medium-sized dog, well proportioned, squarely built and hardy muscled. The head is quite big and supported by its powerful neck. Its teeth should form a scissor, level or reverse scissor bite. The eyes are round and relatively big. They can be in any color between dark yellow and dark brown; it usually depends on the color of the coat. The coat can be off-white, solid white, white with brown or rust patches, different shades of brown, or rust solid color; a brown mask is acceptable. The Lagotto's wooly coat is dense and curly. This dense hair protects him from thorns he can find in the bushes while searching for truffles. Its drop ears are triangular with rounded tips; they are well proportioned to the head. The front legs must appear straight from any angle. The topline should be straight.


The Lagotto is a working dog. It has a natural gift for searching and its very good nose has made this breed very efficient in searching for truffles. While on the search he is not usually distracted by the scent of wild animals or other dogs. The Lagotto is loyal, keen, affectionate, very attached to his owner and easy to train. It gets on well with other dogs and other pets if sufficiently socialized. It is an excellent family companion and a very good warning dog. The Lagotto is a good pet and loves people, but in addition to needing plenty of exercise, it needs to use its brain. This intelligent dog needs a job to do, something to keep its mind occupied. Tracking, games of searching for people in the woods or searching for mushrooms are some ideas. Obedience is also something they like and are good at, and agility is a favorite! If you’re not interested in competition, you can always play hide-and-seek at home. As long as you let the dog use its brain, it won't have to find things to do on its own (that’s never anything good!) In Sweden the breed is very popular. For some this breed is perfect because of its allergy friendly, non-shedding coat, its medium size, its happy disposition, its intelligence and its willingness to work. Make sure you are this dog's firm, but calm, consistent pack leader. Proper human to canine communication is essential to ensure it gets along with other dogs and listens to human commands.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 17 - 19 inches (43 - 49 cm) Females 14 - 16 inches (36 - 41cm)
Weight: Males 28 - 35 pounds (13 - 16 kg) Females 24 - 31 pounds (11 - 14 kg)

Health Problems


Living Conditions

Thanks to its small size, the Lagotto would do fine in an apartment if properly exercised. Where you live doesn’t matter, as long as you can walk the dog and keep it active, at least 3-4 times a day. If you do have a yard, and like your flowers…well, then you have to fence in your flowers. In the Lagotto’s nature lies a desire to dig. It loves to dig big holes and then stick its head in the hole. These dogs can dig a big hole in matter of seconds!


The Lagotto needs plenty of exercise. It loves to search for things and it has a natural instinct for retrieving. This breed loves to walk next to its owner and needs to be taken on a daily long walk. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. The Lagotto loves to swim. Some are even known to make the kitchen floor into a puddle by tipping the water bowl over. They also love mud and other gooey stuff.

Life Expectancy

Has been known to live 16 or more years.

Litter Size

About 4 to 6 puppies


Its dense, curly coat needs regular care. When you buy a Lagotto you hear different stories from different people about how to care for the coat. Some say that you should only clip it down with clippers twice a year and nothing else. Some say you have to brush it sometimes. One owner says, "Well, I have learned the hard way that it is more difficult that it seems. The coat easily gets matted, and to prevent that, you have to comb through it on a regular basis." You should not show a brushed Lagotto (like a Poodle) in show ring. It’s not a fur ball, it’s a working dog, and should be showed that way. This breed sheds little to no hair.


The Lagotto has been selected for the search for truffles on all kinds of ground: it’s the only breed recognized for this purpose. The Lagotto is an ancient breed for water retrieving known in Italy since the 16th century in the lowlands of Comacchio and the marshlands of Ravenna. Over the centuries, the great marshlands were drained and turned into arable land. Since the 19th century this intelligent breed has been utilized as an excellent dog for searching truffles in the flat open country and the hills of Romagna, thanks to his very developed sense of smell and high ability to concentrate on the search.



  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc. (has opened registration as rare breed)
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • ENCI = Ente Nazionale Cinofilia Italiana
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • LCA = Lagotto Club of America
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
Close up head shot - a tan, brown and white curly coated dog with a brown nose and dark eyes that have hair coming down into them.

An adult Lagotto Romagnolo dog—Photo courtesy of David Hancock

A curly-coated brown and white Lagotto Romagnolo is laying in tall grass and it is wearing a green bandana. Its mouth is slightly open

Sirena the Lagotto Romagnolo at 5 years old—"Sirena was born in Sweden and lives in Ohio with her two cat sisters. She loves to swim, dig and especially run in the woods. She is patient and wonderful with children. She is very smart and easy to train. Sirena travels with us nearly everywhere we go."

A curly coated brown Lagotto Romagnolo is standing on a black top and it is looking up. Its mouth is open and it looks like it is smiling.

Hesiodos Rossi Di Zilu, a male Lagotto at 2 years old from Sweden

A curly brown Lagotto Romagnolo is laying on a white, green and brown rug in front of a bookshelf.

Hesiodos Rossi Di Zilu the Lagotto

A curly-coated brown Lagotto Romagnolo is wearing a green carrying harness standing in grass and it is looking forward.

Hesiodos Rossi Di Zilu the Lagotto on a walk carrying a backpack

A smiling, curly brown Lagotto Romagnolo is standing on a wooden deck and its mouth is open.

Hesiodos Rossi Di Zilu the Lagotto

A curly-coated brown Lagotto Romagnolo is standing outside in the sun on a wooden deck.

Hesiodos Rossi Di Zilu the Lagotto

A curly coated brown Lagotto Romagnolo is peeing on a tree.

Hesiodos Rossi Di Zilu the Lagotto peeing on a tree

A curly tan Lagotto Romagnolo puppy is laying on a floor and there are two dogs behind it. The Lagottos mouth is open and tongue is out.

Rudy the Lagotto as a puppy at 6 months old