Lagotto Ramagnolo

Breed History

Lagotto Ramagnolo

Lagotto Ramagnolo is a medium size water dog with a coat that gives them a wooly coat appearance. Powerful for their size, intelligent, and has the stamina to work all day and night working with their owner.

Their name, Lagotto, means Water Dog in their language and it is a description of what the dog does. Second part of the name is giving their geographic location of where they are from, which is Romagna in Italy.

As a water dog they jump into the water and retrieve other animals such as ducks and birds. Building a weather resistant and water resistance coat is something that all water dogs develop over time.

First documentation of the dog in Romagna comes from painting in the 15th century. Since that time, they have been one of the best truffle finders in the dog community.

Truffles are expensive edible fungi and has a rich taste. Locals love this food and seek it out in the wild. Grows underground and you need a dog to not only sniff it out but dig it out of the ground.

Whenever you need truffles in the area you would need a dog that could get them, and none was better than the Lagotto Ramagnolo. Pigs were the first to really do it and then they found these dogs to do it.

In addition to truffle hunting you can find them doing a lot of other activities. Those activities include obedience, tracking, therapy, nose work and many others.


In 2015, they would receive recognition from the American Kennel Club. Although they have been around for centuries, they made a late entrance into the United States.

Top 100 in popularity already and climbing there can easily be a great increase as the years pass. Dogs with intelligence, great appearance, and great pets normally do well in the states.

Sporting Group, or Gun Dog group, is the category every major kennel club puts them in. Here are the breed standards from every major kennel club.


Male Height: 17-19 inches

Female Height: 16-18 inches

Male Weight: 30-35 pounds

Female Weight: 25-30 pounds

Litter Size

5 puppies are the average litter size for the Lagotto Ramagnolo. Breeders should be aware of the number of puppies that will be coming into the home. Waiting for eight weeks before selling them to a responsible owner is the best practice.


Brown – Roan

White – Brown and Orange


Brown Mask

*Black is unacceptable for this breed*


$1,500-$3,000 is the average price for a Lagotto Ramagnolo. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand, and other factors that can change the price.

Getting a dog with papers will cost more money than a dog without papers. Tracking the bloodline from Italy until they came to your current country adhering strictly to the breed standards.

Without papers means that one, or both, parents were unable to get papers. Crossbreeding at some point is a real reality and can be the reason why the bloodline lost the ability to get papers.


Make sure you take the dog on a long run or walk before you start grooming. Doing this will start the session properly while keeping the dog calm and in a state of relaxation. Maintain this process until the dog sees the grooming session starting and goes into a calm state by themselves.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brush the coat multiple times per week to maintain the double coat that is wooly in nature. During shedding season, you will need to brush excess hair from the coat.

Combing the coat should happen multiple times per week as well. Shedding season again will speed up when you are removing hair at a normal rate.

Bathe the coat at least once a month or month and a half. Using the advice at the beginning of this section you want to get them tired first and then wash them using a leash if necessary.

Ears will get an infection if the owner doesn’t clean them out at least once a week. Head shaking, scratching, and a strong odor will develop when the ears are infected.

Trimming the nails should happen during exercise, which we recommend. If you don’t exercise, which we don’t recommend, take the time to cut them with clippers.

Professional help is a recommendation for this breed.

Life Span

15-16 years is the average lifespan for a Lagotto Ramagnolo. That’s a long time for a dog to live and owners should be aware of the time commitment they are making. Great adoption dog because of how long they live.

Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia – most dogs should get a hip check around 24 months of age. Noticing any limping or disinterest in exercise such as running or long walks should prompt you to get the examination earlier.

Seizures – rare in the dog community but they can start to get seizures at the age of 3 to 4 months of age. Understand the signs and symptoms of a seizures and what to do in case of emergency. DNA testing is the best way to figure out if dogs have this in their genetics.

Eye Exam – suffering from cherry eye, cataracts, glaucoma and other issues should be taken seriously for owners. Some problems aren’t too bad while others can lead to partial or complete blindness.

Breed Group

Proud members of the Sporting Group, or Gun Dog Group. These dogs specialize in either the water or land retrieving and some of them can do both. Lagotto Ramagnolo has a special distinction in the group with truffle hunting.

Birds, ducks, and other animals can be retrieved from a dog that doesn’t cause extra damage because they will grab the animal with a soft mouth.

Here are some of the dogs in the Sporting Group

Exercise Needs

Lagotto Ramagnolo needs a lot of exercise to find fulfillment. Plan on getting them out of the house at least once per day but twice for the best results.

Sporting dogs have been bred to hunt relentlessly for hours to find prey and to carry prey in their mouths that can be substantial size. Creating an atmosphere where the dog is exercising is ideal.

If you don’t exercise your dog bad behavior will be the result of it. Boredom is one of the worst places to find a dog in that you want to behave in a good manner.

Not getting enough exercise will result in digging, barking excessively, biting, nipping, and other activities that you will not find enjoyable. In addition, over excitement and jumping will persist.

When you start to meet the daily exercise needs all these behaviors will start to decrease and good behavior will increase instantly.

Here is a basic guideline everyone should start at when starting to exercise their dog.

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Younger dogs will need more exercise than at any other point in their life. Night and morning sessions will be something you might have to do while running will help with the over excitement. A lot of training will need to happen during this time as well.

Adult dogs will become less energetic and most of the training should be done at this point. Walking or running them once per day will start to happen around three years old if the energy is low.

Senior dogs don’t need a lot of exercise to find fulfillment and to stay calm. Walks around the corner will be the most they need in some cases.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Every home should be built on a solid foundation and no foundation is more solid than daily exercise. Let’s look at the differences you can make by put in some daily work. With one hour of exercise a day you can get the dog around 365 hours of exercise in one year. Two hours can get them 730 hours of exercise per day. Regardless of the dog this will make an effective on them as the year progresses. Instead of the dog exercising themselves with bad behavior they will be in the house or backyard recovering before their next exercise session.

Commands should be taught to the dog with repetition. Try different places with the same commands to teach them you want the same performance everywhere. Treats, toys, or life rewards can all work depending on the dog having prey drive, food drive, or either.

Socialize the dog after a long exercise session. Before vet visits, dog parks, parks, beaches, or car rides always remember to lead with a long run or walk. Doing this will make the dog calm and behave learning how to socialize in a calmer manner.

Correct the dog verbally on and off leash. Make sure the dog will listen to the correction off leash to continue to have a great dependable command over them. Timing is the best thing to learn first and secondly make the dog sit or lay afterwards.

Do Lagotto Ramagnolo Bark A lot?

No, we must understand that barking is a symptom and not the reason the dog is barking. The dog is barking because they are not getting enough exercise and using barking to express their frustration. Barking can be the only thing they do but it can turn into something more serious like aggression. Always get the dog a lot of exercise day and night if possible. Doing this will make the dog bark less and change the progression of bad behavior.

Additional Resources