Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Information and Personality Traits


The Lagotto Ramagnolo is Italy’s favourite hunting dog – which also goes by the names Romagna Water Dog, Water Dog of Romagna, Truffle Dog, and Lagotto (or Lagotti for plural) – all of which hint at its working dog background over the centuries.

Lagotto Ramagnolos were originally bred in Romagna as enthusiastic, intelligent bird hunting dogs that have high endurance, agility and an ability to withstand icy waters.


Lagotto Romagnolo at a glance
The Lagotto Ramagnolo dog Breed


Weight Range:

Male: 13-16 kg
Female: 11-14 kg

Height at Withers:

Male: 43- 49 cm in height
Female: 40 - 46 cm in height


Physical characteristics: Small to medium size with woolly, tightly curled hair covering entire body. Square in stature with slightly more leg length to the body depth. Medium sized hanging ears that raise to attention. Have heightened sense of smell.

General pros: Very smart and obedient. Easy to train and affectionate family member. Undemanding and happy, as long as they get daily exercise and lots of love from their owners. Good guard dogs.

General cons: Can be diggers. Must get mental stimulation and exercise daily. High maintenance coat. High prey drive.


Exercise Requirements:  moderate to high.
Energy Level: High
Life expectancy: 12-14 years.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low - if trained well
Tendency to Dig: High – especially if left alone for long.
Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred for:

Retrieving waterfowl and truffle hunting.


Length: Medium
Characteristics: Double coat, tightly curled and more like human hair than fur. Low shedding and hypoallergenic. Water repellent.
Colours: Mixed colours/patterns in white, brown, ginger, sable, tan. Also flat colours.
Overall Grooming Needs: High. The curly coat can mat if not brushed weekly. Hair around ears and eyes requires regular attention. Coat requires regular clipping.

Club recognition:

AKC Classification: Sporting group
UKC Classification: Gun Dog group
Prevalence: Regrowing in popularity.

Romagna Water Dog, Truffle Dog, Lagotto: this breed lives up to all of its names.

The Lagotto Romagnolo carries many titles – thanks to its long working dog heritage. But once you get to know this pooch, you’re bound to see it as a well natured, fun loving family member.

This dog-breed is great for attentive, active people. It loves nothing more than going for a run with its owners or fetching a ball – especially since retrieving is in its DNA. The Lagotto Romagnolo is very affectionate, easy to train and thrives on lots of love and involvement with the family. An excellent choice for first time dog owners.


With its laid back, playful and affectionate nature, the Lagotto is almost a walking teddy bear that loves to please. It’s also good with other animals, pets and young children - especially when trained well.

The Lagotto is super smart, obedient and highly social as well. Its alertness and heightened intelligence make it a great guard dog that tends to bark only when necessary. However, it may bark more if left alone too long. That’s because it doesn’t like being cooped up by itself – so if you get too busy to provide adequate exercise and mental stimulation, you should consider another breed.

Living With:

Despite their high exercise needs, these dogs are happy to live in apartments – especially with a daily romp in the park. While outside, however, beware of the Logotto’s heightened sense of smell – and urge to to track down animals that have long vacated. Good early training can correct this issue.

On the flip side, training may not stop these ‘Water Dogs of Romagna’ from diving into the nearest bay or river: they absolutely love water. And because they also enjoy a good dig (being bred as ‘Truffle Dogs’), they won’t be the best pet for proud gardeners.

Recommended Diet:

The Logotto Romagnolo is prone to putting on weight if it overindulges with treats. Lots of water and a highly nutritious diet are recommended for optimum health:

Puppy: Hill's Science Diet Puppy Medium Breed Dry Dog Food

Adult: Hill's Science Diet Adult Medium Breed Dry Dog Food

Mature: Hill's Science Diet Adult 6+ Senior Medium Breed Senior Dry Dog Food


The Lagotto Romagnolo dates back to the 1300s. Originally, these dogs were bred for hunting and retrieving waterfowl from the marshes in Romagna, Italy. (‘Lago’ means Lake in Italian.) They excelled in this task – thanks to their exceptional sense of smell; thick woolly, water resistant/protective coats; agility and endurance to work long hours; unusual obedience; and outstanding powers of concentration.

By the 1800s, however, the marshlands were drained and hunting had stopped. But luckily, with the Lagotto’s advanced sense of smell, the breed was given a new job: Truffle hunting – which they still do today. Since the 1980s interest in ‘Water Dogs of Romagna/Truffle Dogs’ began to spread around the world – albeit, more as family companions and cherished pets than working dogs.

Health Concerns:

The Lagotto is a generally healthy breed, however, it is prone to a few inheritable conditions:

- Hip Dysplasia - a common orthopaedic condition which involves the abnormal formation of the hip joint, leading to mobility issues and arthritis. Breeding from tested parents with good hip scores can help reduce the risk of this condition.

Finding a breeder who provides history of their breed lines with examination by a veterinarian will give you the best chance of finding out about any potential genetic issues when choosing your dog.

It is advised that any prospective pet parents are aware of potential health challenges faced with this breed and that you do your own research before ownership.