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Lagotto Romagnolo Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

lagotto romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

The Lagotto Romagnolo is an adorable water dog that originally lived in the Romagna region of Italy, where they were used to retrieve ducks and other waterfowl during hunting season. They have a water-resistant coat that’s curly and protective and a sturdy, agile body that enables them to effortlessly traverse many types of landscapes. This small to medium-sized dog can make a great pet!

Breed Overview


16–19 inches


25–35 pounds


15–17 years


White, brown, brown roan, orange, orange roan, off-white, white and chocolate, orange and white, sable

Suitable for:

Families of all sizes, adults, houses, apartments, farms


Smart, playful, loyal, affectionate, friendly, sociable

The Lagotto Romagnolo loves to swim and spend time engaging in outdoor activities. They’re robust in terms of physicality and personality, tend to see all the positive things that are going on in their life, and enjoy being the center of attention. Due to their love of water, they have no problem taking baths, and if you have a pool in the yard, you may have a hard time keeping them out of it.

Lagotto Romagnolo Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Lagotto Romagnolo Puppies

Lagotto Romagnolo
Image By: Ricantimages_Shutterstock

Lagotto Romagnoli are adorable when they are puppies. They have soft fur, cute button eyes, and floppy ears that tend to become extremely animated when they are feeling excited or adventurous. These are active dogs in general but even more so at a young age. Therefore, they need access to plenty of toys and activities so they don’t end up chewing on pillows and engaging in any other types of destructive behavior.

These dogs are intelligent, so they tend to learn quickly. If they are not trained at a young age, they are likely to develop their own behaviors and habits—a few of which you may not like much. They may also try to establish the pack order of your family rather than allowing you to do it. These puppies like to dig, so a small sandbox for the yard can be an excellent source of exercise and adventure.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Lagotto Romagnolo 🧠

The typical Lagotto Romagnolo is vivacious, lively, and fun-loving. They also happen to be sensitive and respond better to positive interactions than anything else. These dogs are laidback for the most part, so they prefer a quiet household environment over a boisterous one that has many people coming and going. That said, these sociable dogs have no trouble interacting kindly and safely with others in public settings, and they don’t mind the occasional visitor.

These dogs love spending time in and near water, and they enjoy getting muddy whenever they get a chance. They’ll swim to fetch sticks and water toys without thought at any time of the day, and they are usually willing to take on new adventurous opportunities. They have a great sense of smell and use their noses to find whatever snacks might be nearby, so trash cans must be sealed indoors, and food scraps should never be left on tables.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Yes, the Lagotto Romagnolo can be wonderful family pets. They tend to do well with kids of all ages, never taking the occasional teasing or tail-pulling to heart. They have no qualms about jumping in an empty lap whenever they feel like it, and they can spend hours in the yard playing whatever games the kids have in mind. They are also good for the single life, offering constant companionship and the encouragement to get outside for exercise every day.

Lagotto Romagnolo
Image By: Grapsole79_Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

This breed can get along with other household pets, but this depends on their learned socialization skills. If they grow up with pets, they shouldn’t have a problem getting along with new ones that might be introduced to the household along the way. If they are not exposed to other animals while puppies, they may not like the idea of sharing their space with another animal, let alone seeing one in a social setting. So, this pup should be introduced to homes that already have pets living there or to pets in public spaces or at friends’ houses at a young age.

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Things to Know When Owning a Lagotto Romagnolo

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Lagotto is a medium-sized dog that will likely eat anywhere from 1 to 3 cups of dry commercial food a day, depending on the formula and nutritional content. It’s best to choose a food that is designed specifically for medium-sized dogs and your pet’s appropriate age. You can find commercial foods formulated for puppies, adults, and seniors. Age-specific foods aim to provide the right amount of nutrients that a dog needs to thrive, as they require different amounts at different times in their lives.

Lagotto Romagnolo
Image By: Pixabay

Exercise 🐕

This sporty dog breed tends to be on the more active side, so they require daily exercise to stay happy and to stave off problems like depression and anxiety. Fortunately, they don’t need anything more than a daily 30-minute walk and a few minutes of gameplay to avoid becoming hyper indoors. Things like puzzle toys can help keep them busy when nobody is home to interact with them. While they don’t need much exercise, they will never pass down the chance to get more in through swimming, hiking, and camping excursions.

Training 🦮

These smart dogs like learning new tasks, tricks, and commands, so training can be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. They do well with obedience training and can excel in several training types, such as agility, dock diving, and even search and rescue. The only type of training that is crucial is obedience, as it helps ensure that a Lagotto matures into a well-mannered and mindful pup.

Lagotto Romagnolo playing in the green grass
Image By: Zandyz_Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The Lagotto has a thick coat of hair that curls up tightly for water protection, so they shed little throughout the year. However, they do require regular trims or haircuts to maintain a kempt look and avoid the risk of matting or tangling. Daily brushing is recommended, as are occasional baths to get gunk loose from those tight curls. Moisture can get trapped in their ears, so it’s a good idea to clean them with a dry cloth or cotton ball once a week or so to prevent infections from developing.

Health and Conditions ❤️

With quality breeding practices in place, these dogs are typically healthy and can go on to live up to 17 years of age. However, there are a few health conditions that they could be genetically predisposed to.

Minor Conditions
  • Storage disease
Serious Conditions
  • Patella luxation
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Juvenile epilepsy

Male vs. Female

There are a few differences between male and female Lagotto Romagnolo pups, though these are mostly anecdotal. The females seem to be harder to understand than the boys for some reason. Girls also tend to be more independent and don’t look for approval as much as their male counterparts might. Otherwise, both male and female Lagotto Romagnoli are smart, engaging, and well-rounded and make great pets.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Lagotto Romagnolo

1. They Can Hunt for Truffles

Due to their amazing sniffer, the Lagotto Romagnolo was utilized for truffle hunting for centuries throughout Italy. Today, they are still trained to hunt truffles in places like the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. If they can sniff out truffles, chances are that they can be taught to sniff out just about anything.

2. They’re Featured in Italian Art

Many different paintings created during the Renaissance era happened to feature the Lagotto Romagnolo, though a few of them can be open for interpretation. For example, some people believe that Andrea Mantegna’s painting called “The Meeting” has a Lagotto, while others think that the dog is a Spinone Italiano.

3. They Are Usually Quiet Dogs

The Lagotto Romagnolo is not a talkative breed. While they might bark or howl occasionally, especially when they get excited, they tend to stay quiet and communicate through other means. If they are barking frequently or making other noises regularly, it could be due to problems like health issues, anxiety, or depression.

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Final Thoughts

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a fun-loving dog breed that can get along well in a variety of different family environments. They are smart, lovable, loyal, and good with kids. They might not be big in size, but they are certainly big in personality. If you’re interested in adopting one of these dogs as a pet, find a reliable breeder to work with that makes quality of life a priority.

Featured Image Credit: Kristina Chizhmar, Shutterstock

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