Lagotto and his love for truffles.

The first time I met Lagotto in my vet clynic, I have been immediately fascinated by his cheerfulness and by the natural affection he showed in a situation which is usually unfriendly for the patients.
Before this occasion, I just heard about that breed, but I never had the chance to personally meet it.
The visit took place in a unique climate, with a dog that was not standing still, constantly trying to lick me, greeting me,  demanding caresses, cuddles and as soon as I stopped, he tried to draw my attention again. A hurricane of happiness!
So his owner began to tell me about his love for this little known breed and his passion for truffles and the visit became special.

I want to share with you the story of this curly dog starting from his origins, so you can know who the Lagotto is.




The Lagotto Romagnolo, also known as Lagotto, has been recognized in Italy by ENCI as a breed only in 1990, but it seems to be an ancient breed because it appears in some Italian paintings of 1400.
It is therefore deduced that this breed has Italian origins, particularly related to the swampy areas of Ravenna and Comacchio valleys where he was defined, in the local dialect, the "lake dog". Lagotto initially was a hunting dog, used as a retriver for waterfowl game. 
With the great reclamation of the valleys of the late '800, the Lagotto lost his active role in the economy of the territory, but his good character, his peculiar ease of learning and a developed smell made him soon a skilled truffle hunter.
In this way, he became the only breed in the world which is specialized in truffle hunting.
Obviously the man has made his hunting instinct gradually vanish to avoid distractions during his work.

In recent times, the knowledge of the breed has spread and the Civil Defense has also taken it into consideration to help in finding lost people thanks to his versatility and his easy adaptation to any type of environment.


Breed 's features and character


That day, I was immediately impressed by the hair of this dog: it was woolly, curly, thick; you could see the skin with difficulty and the hand sank into this soft mass. It seemed to touch a soft toy.
His blue eyes could hardly be seen. His coat was reddish brown. He was funny, he looked like a puppy despite he was 2 years old.
These are the distinguishing features of Lagotto. In particular the quality of the coat has made this breed suitable for any environment and situation.
Nothing stops him, he is able to look for truffles in the brambles, to withstand very low temperatures and to work in any type of environment, even for hours in the water; his coat is water repellent and it dries quickly. He does not have a real seasonal molt, but a minimum one and the hair, continuously growing, needs to be constantly cut. The recognized hair colors are: uniform white, white with brown spots, roan, brown liver uniform, orange and other various combinations of colors. Some white spots may appear during growth.
He is considered a small-medium size dog, the standards define him square in shape, since the height and length must correspond to shape a square.
He loves working, he considers everything as a game and this makes him unique in his being. The Lagotto can be easily trained and he can be a good truffle searcher even when is just 18 months old. His intelligence allows him to quickly learn what other breeds would learn in a much longer time.
This dog that loves to stay with his owner, but despite the fact that he loves sofa and cuddles, he needs to move and work in order to be happy. His work dog nature is perfectly expressed in his desire to play up to adulthood and this desire must be addressed and adequately exploited. Obviously this breed is not only appreciated by truffle searchers but also by dogs lovers.  If you are not fond of truffles you can still have fun with many sports such as agility, freestyle, disc dog, swimming, obedience.
He's a great playmate for children with whom he gets along very well and joins forces to make some pranks.
This dog can adapt himself to any situation, always seeing the positive side. He is calm and balanced, but, being a working dog, he needs incentives, goals, precise tasks to run near the man of whom he knows how to be a fun companion. He is not a conflicting dog, so it is enough to clearly teach him the rules to be followed since his early age and the life with him will be simple and pleasant.
In recent years, this breed has had a great success, worldwide. This dog's  working intelligence and excellent character make him a winning mix that will achieve great success in the coming future.

I hope this article has been useful and I invite you to get in touch with me in case of any curiosity you may have... you could rather propose the next topic to deal with, I will be happy to receive your suggestions!


Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine




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