The Lagotto Ramgnolo (pronounced lag-oh-toe roman-yolo) is a small to medium-sized dog that is well proportioned and squarely built. The head is fairy large and supported by a muscular neck. The eyes are large, round and expressive. Eye color ranges from dark yellow to dark brown. The coat is wooly, dense and curly. Colors can be off-white, solid white, white with brown or rust patches, different shades of brown, or a solid rust color. The drop ears are triangular with rounded tips. The front legs must appear straight from any angle. The topline is even.
The Lagotto Ramgnolo was initially used as a water retrieving dog in the marshlands of Italy in the 1600's. As the land was drained for other purposes, the Lagotto's numbers decreased. Fortunately, the wooly, water-resistant coat and superior scenting ability were also found to be suitable in finding truffles. Their coats protecting the dogs from briers of the underbrush. The Lagotto is the only breed developed for this task. This breed is considered to be the ancestor of Poodles and Portuguese Water Dogs.
The Lagotto is made to work. They have sharp senses, with their eyesight being keen to motion in particular. They are a loyal and loving breed, making them the perfect companion for the active household. They are intelligent and easy to train with positive reinforcement. They often get along with other animals when socialized as puppies. Lagottos vary in their need for exercise, but should always be given stimulation to keep their intelligent minds occupied. Lagottos have a natural instinct for retrieving and swimming.
Breed Club Links: Lagotto Club of America
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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.