Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Information and Buying advice

Lagotto Romagnolo

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Lagotto Romagnolo?

Quick Lagotto Romagnolo Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
14-16 years (6/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Gundog (1/8)
Yes (1/2)

Lagotto Romagnolo (Romagna Water Dog)


The Lagotto Romagnolo is a gundog that is native to Italy and was originally bred to retrieve game on land and water. Lagotto Romagnolo are highly prized for their keen sense of smell and retrieving skills. Thanks to their impressive nose, Lagotto have also been used for truffle hunting. Although rare in the UK, the Lagotto Romagnolo breed is common in Italy as both a working dog and a family dog. This breed thrives in a home environment and is loyal, devoted and friendly. Lagotto Romagnolos are great watchdogs and get on well with children of all ages. Lagotto Romagnolo is a small dog with a curly, wooly coat that does not shed. 

Physical Appearance 

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a good-looking dog that is small in size and has a square build. Lagotto Romagnolos look sturdy and there is a distinct difference in size between males and females with males being larger. Lagotto Romagnolos have broad heads with well-developed eyebrow arches, straight nasal bridges and large noses. The breed has powerful jaws and their muzzle is covered with whiskers. 

Lagotto Romagnolos always look alert, they have large eyes that can be brown, hazel, or ochre and they have well-developed eyelashes. The Lagotto Romagnolo has large, triangular ears that hang down by the dog’s face, the ears are wide at the base with rounded tips. Lagotto are powerful and muscular with a compact body. The breed has a streamlined appearance with slightly tucked bellies and well-developed chests. 

Lagotto Romagnolo is a breed that loves water and their compact feet with webbing between the toes helps make them strong swimmers. The Lagotto tail is medium in length and hangs down when resting and is carried over the back when excited. The Lagotto Romagnolo has a wooly waterproof coat that is thick and rough to touch. They have a softer undercoat and curls all over their body. Lagotto Romagnolos can be various shades of brown, orange, white, off-white or brown roan. Lagotto can also have a brown mask. 

How big do Lagotto Romagnolo dogs get?

  • Height - Males: 43 - 48cm. Females: 41 - 46cm.

  • Weight - Males: 12 - 16kg. FemalesL 11 - 14kg. 

Character Traits

Lagotto are active, intelligent dogs that can thrive in a home environment and a working environment. The breed has a lovely nature, they are friendly, outgoing and easy to train. As the Lagotto Romagnolo is a working dog they need a lot of exercise to keep them happy. This is a breed that loves to participate in agility, obedience training, obstacle courses and other sports and activities. The Lagotto Romagnolo is a dog that is well suited to guard duties as they tend to sleep with one eye open so are quick to notice strangers or suspicious activity. If you are looking for an active dog that is affectionate and easy to train, the Lagotto Romagnolo is a great choice. 

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs intelligent? Yes.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs affectionate? Yes.

Do Lagotto Romagnolo dogs have high or low energy levels? High energy levels.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs loyal? Yes.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs playful? Yes.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs aggressive? No.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs easy to train? Yes.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs good guard dogs? Yes.

Ability to Socialise 

The Lagotto Romagnolo is human-orientated so loves to be around their family. Lagotto are gentle, patient and good-natured when around children of all ages. The breed has a natural affinity with children. Lagotto Romagnolos will get along well with any animals they know and get along well with other dogs. They tend to be calm around other pets but they may chase cats and other animals that they do not know. The Lagotto Romagnolo is usually cautious around people they don’t know and they can be distrustful of them at first.  

Do Lagotto Romagnolo dogs get along with other pets? Yes, they get on well with pets they have grown up with but may chase animals they do not know. 

Do Lagotto Romagnolo dogs get along with other dogs? Yes.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs good with kids? Yes, they are excellent with children.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs good with strangers? They are naturally wary of strangers. 

Lifestyle Suitability

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a good choice for first-time owners as the breed is very people-orientated and eager to please. The Lagotto is hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for families with allergies. Lagotto Romagnolos are excellent with children and older people making them particularly well suited to family homes. Although high energy, the Lagotto Romagnolo can live in an apartment with a problem. The important thing is they get enough daily exercise and mental stimulation so they do not become bored or frustrated. You can leave a Lagotto Romagnolo at home while you pop to the local shop but this breed is not happy being left for long periods and they can suffer from separation anxiety so need to be in a household where someone is almost always at home with them. 

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs good for first-time owners? Yes.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs hypoallergenic? Yes.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs prone to drooling? No.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs a good breed for apartment living? Yes, if they get enough daily exercise. 

Do  Lagotto Romagnolo dogs shed a lot? No.

Do  Lagotto Romagnolo dogs bark a lot? No. 

Can Lagotto Romagnolo dogs be left alone at home? For short periods only. 

Can Lagotto Romagnolo dogs handle the heat? Yes.

Can Lagotto Romagnolo dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes.

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs sensitive to loud noises? No.

General Health & Health Issues

The Lagotto Romagnolo breed has an average life expectancy of 15 - 17 years. This is a long life expectancy and the breed is one of the healthier ones with very few hereditary health issues. However, Lagotto can suffer from the following conditions:

  • Hip dysplasia and Elbow dysplasia - This can cause pain, swelling and arthritis and can be treated using careful exercise, pain relief, weight control and, in severe cases, surgery. 

  • Lysosomal storage disease - This is when there are defects in the function of lysosomes. This inherited disease can cause a variety of symptoms depending on what type of cell is malfunctioning and what is being stored. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for lysosomal storage diseases and they are fatal. They tend to manifest shortly after birth. 

  • Hereditary cataracts - This is cloudiness of the eye and can cause blindness. Cataracts cannot be reversed but can be removed. 

  • Juvenile epilepsy - This is a hereditary condition that impacts young dogs. Some dogs will recover completely by around 6 months old while others continue to show symptoms and experience issues for the rest of their lives. Juvenile epilepsy causes clumsiness, poor coordination, body tremors and a higher likelihood of walking into things. 

How long do Lagotto Romagnolo dogs live? 15 - 17 years

Exercise & Play Time

Give breed-specific advice on suitable exercise routines based on the info you already know from previous sections. For example, if the dog is friendly and social, going to city parks with a lot of foot traffic is good but if not - calm, countryside walks are better. 

The Lagotto Romagnolo has a lot of energy, they need at least 2 hours of exercise per day and ideally, a lot of this needs to be off lead. This means they are better walked in secure areas or if you go jogging the Lagotto can be an ideal running partner. In addition to walks, the Lagotto Romagnolo also needs vigorous play sessions. 

As the Lagotto breed has so much energy, if they are not working it is a good idea to enroll them in dog sports such as agility or nose work. Lagotto Romagnolo were bred as a water dogs so they adore being in the water, swimming is an excellent way to exercise this breed. This is not a breed for a sedentary lifestyle but after exercising, the Lagotto is happy to chill out with you on the sofa (although they may need to be dried/ cleaned with a towel first!).

How much exercise does a Lagotto Romagnolo dog need? At least 2 hours per day.

Do Lagotto Romagnolo dogs like water play? Yes, they love water and will swim at any opportunity. 

Nutrition & Feeding

The Lagotto Romagnolo needs to be fed high-quality dry food. The amount they need each day depends on a number of factors including their age, weight, build, and activity levels. As a rough guide, a Lagotto Romagnolo puppy needs between 120 - 370g per day depending on their age and build. As this is only an estimate and every dog is unique it is important to get a personal dietary plan made. 

Are Lagotto Romagnolo dogs prone to weight gain? No.

How much should I feed a Lagotto Romagnolo puppy? Between 120g - 370g of high-quality dry food per day depending on age and build.

How much should I feed an adult Lagotto Romagnolo dog? Between 145g - 260g of high-quality dry food per day depending on weight and activity. 

Care & Maintenance

Grooming: The dense non-shedding coat of a Lagotto Romagnolo needs a lot of attention. The Lagotto has a beautiful curly coat but they need to be trimmed regularly by a professional roomer to keep their coats tidy and easy to manage. Their faces need to be cleaned regularly as they can get messy after the Lagotto has eaten. The adult coat of a Lagotto Romagnolo only comes through after 2-3 years so they have a soft puppy coat for the first couple of years. The Lagotto’s ears also need to be checked regularly and cleaned when needed.

Emotional Care: The Lagotto Romagnolo is a people-oriented dog that wants to be around their owners as much as possible. To keep a Lagotto happy they need to be exercised daily, enjoy vigorous play sessions, and ideally have the opportunity to swim regularly. This is a high-energy breed that can quickly get bored. The Lagotto Romagnolo will exhibit destructive behaviours if they are not receiving enough physical or mental stimulation. 

History of the Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo is an impressive dog breed that has been around for centuries. In fact, the Lagotto Romagnolo is one of the oldest dog breeds. They were bred in Italy as water dogs and retrievers and Lagotto-like dogs have been depicted in paintings as far back as the 1400s. The name Lagotto translates roughly to “curly coated duck retriever” and has been described as the equivalent of an Irish Water Spaniel. 

At the end of the 19th century, the number of ducks decreased so the demand for the Lagotto Romagnolo breed declined. However, the amazing scenting abilities of the Lagotto Romagnolo meant they were used to search for truffles and this is now the primary use of the breed in Italy. Lagotto Romagnolo remains highly prized in Italy as family dogs and as working dogs. The breed is also popular elsewhere in the world but they are still quite rare so it can be hard to find a well-bred Lagotto Romagnolo in the UK. 

Interesting Facts About Lagotto Romagnolo Dogs

  • Lagotto means “curly coated duck retriever”

  • Lagotto Romagnolo are commonly used to find truffles

  • The Lagotto has a non-shedding coat

  • The Lagotto Romagnolo is also known as the Romagna Water Dog 

Getting a Lagotto Romagnolo Puppy

Buying a puppy is a big commitment, take a look at our buying guide for advice on finding and buying a new dog. As puppies can be quite expensive it is important to be aware of scams and bad practices, never pay a deposit for a puppy you have not seen. If this is the breed for you, take a look at our Lagotto Romagnolo puppy page to find available dogs in your area. All the breeders on Puppies have been vetted to ensure they are responsible. 

How much does a Lagotto Romagnolo cost to buy? £1400 - £3000

How much does a Lagotto Romagnolo cost to feed? £45 per month.

How much does insurance for a Lagotto Romagnolo cost? £35 per month.

Another option is to consider adopting a Lagotto Romagnolo. We’d recommend speaking to your local dog rescue centre or contacting the associations below:

Rehome a Lagotto Romagnolo with the Dogs Trust

Speak to The Lagotto Romagnolo Club of Great Britain about Rehoming