The Lagotto Romagnolo dog was recently recognized by the American Kennel Club and has been officially allowed to compete in AKC sports on July 15, 2015. He joins the many other dog breeds categorized under the sporting category. The Lagotto though boasts a special quality that separates him from all other dogs: he’s the only purebred dog specialized in hunting down precious truffles. Searching for this expensive, highly-prized tuber requires a dog that is frugal and capable of working on all kinds of terrain. Courtesy of his energetic trot and great sense of smell, the Lagotto Romagnolo searches with enthusiasm and is very efficient in his tracking skills.
A History as a Water Dog
The Lagotto is an ancient breed dating back to medieval times. One of the earliest paintings depicting this dog traces back to 1456. In the old days, Lagottos were utilized as water dogs for the goal of retrieving game in the Comacchio wetlands, by the Italian city of Ravenna in the Emilia Romagna region. His name “Lagotto Romagnolo” indeed means “Lake dog from Romagna.” Following various land reclamation projects, the breed was left jobless for some time, but according to the Lagotto Romagnolo Association, it is during this time that the Lagotto had the chance to evolve into the truffle hunting dog that we know today.
A Vivacious Companion
When he’s not out hunting for truffles, the Lagotto makes a wonderful companion. According to the American Kennel Club, he’s affectionate, easy to train and forms a strong attachment to his owners. He remains though a working dog at heart, who needs exercise and mental stimulation. Potential owners must be willing to spend some time ensuring this breed’s needs are met. If the needs for exercise and mental stimulation aren’t met, the Lagotto may invent his own forms of fun and they won’t likely be appealing to dog owners. Reminiscent of a past as water dogs and truffle hunters, Lagottos love to play in the water or mud and enjoy digging.
Dogs with an Appealing Coat
The Lagotto is a small-medium sized dog equipped with a curly coat that is waterproof. The coat comes in various colors including brown, brown and white, brown and roan, orange and off-white. One of the most appealing perks of the Lagotto’s coat is that it’s low shedding and therefore produces less dander. These qualities make the Lagotto a potentially good candidate for allergy sufferers. The coat requires regular brushing to prevent the formation of mats and the occasional trimming to keep it short and in order.
An Overall Healthy Dog
The Lagotto Romagnolo Club of New Zealand refers to this breed as being robust and healthy. Despite being an ancient breed, the Lagotto is prone to a few heath issues, but fortunately they aren’t much widespread. The conditions this breed is prone to are for the most part attributable to poor breeding practices. Of greatest importance to puppy buyers is finding reputable breeders who screen their breeding stock for hip dysplasia, hereditary eye conditions and occurrence of epilepsy which can now be identified by testing the DNA. The life expectancy of a Lagottto Romagnolo is estimated to roughly span between 10 and 15 years.