Road test: Lagotto Romagnolo

Date


Generally off-white, white or white with brown or rust coloured patches their dense coat protects them from prickles as they forage for truffles. They make a great family pet albeit need a job to do or will find something which inevitably is not something good!

 

The Lagotto is a small/medium sized dog with a curly, dense coat. Generally off-white, white or white with brown or rust coloured patches their dense coat protects them from prickles as they forage for truffles. They make a great family pet albeit need a job to do or will find something which inevitably is not something good!

History:

A working dog from Italy, they are an ancient breed originally used for water retrieving and known in Italy since the 16th century in the lowlands of Comacchio and the marshlands of Ravenne. Since the 19th century the breed has been used in searching for truffles in the Romagna area and with their focus and keen nose they have excelled.

Appearance:

The dense (poodle like coat) needs regular care as it can easily get matted but opinion is divided as to how to manage it. The fact it is a working dog, the purists say, means that it should be shown that way and not all brushed up like a poodle. They are on average around 40-45cm in height and weigh between 12 and 16kg so not a large dog by any means. They have flop ears, squarely built with a powerful neck.

Characteristics:

Keen, loyal and affectionate they become very attached to their owners and are easy to train. They get on well with other pets when properly socialised and are a good warning dog. They need plenty of exercise and innovative games to keep them interested so are great with kids playing hide and seek where they have to use their brain.

Blessed with a happy disposition, their intelligence and willingness to participate, plus having an allergy-friendly, low shedding  coat makes them a favourite with many prospective owners

Who should own one:

Due to its small size they are fine in apartments as long as they are exercised every day. Be sure to fence off your treasured flowers as they love to dig with their natural instinct to search and retrieve.

They love to swim and some have been known to upturn their water bowl and then paddle in the mess!

Great with children they have all the attributes of the perfect family pet and live between 12-14 years.

Veterinary Problems:

They have no major health problems and are free from know genetic defects. Their ears will need maintenance in Perth due to the poodle-like issues of hairy canals and floppy ears compounded by their attraction to water, and their coat will require attention particularly in the summer to keep fleas and the like at bay.

 

In summary this is a breed that is ideal for active, young families who concentrate on outdoor activities. Like most working dogs they need regular exercise and may get in to mischief if left to their own devices for long periods. They are fine for apartment living as they don’t shed hair as long as they get regular exercise.

This is a little known breed in Perth but interest is growing as they become more popular. With a name that sounds like an exotic Italian sportscar they are a hardier version of the ever popular poodle with all that breed’s appeal and a harder edge which many people find appealing.

Highly recommended.

 

 

 

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