Lagotto Romagnolo History

The Lagotto Romagnolo is the foundation dog to all water dogs such as Poodles, Portuguese Water Dogs, golden retrievers, Labradors, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retrievers to name but a few.

Since Etruscan times (7th Century BC) a little breed of duck retriever has existed as a distinct type of dog in the vast marshlands of Romagna in north-eastern Italy. The Lagotto Romagnolo is an ancient breed, being identifiable since the 15th century.

The name Lagotto Romagnolo is derived from its original occupation as a water dog. In the local dialect of the Romagna “Càn Lagòt” is synonymous with “water dog” or “wetland hunting dog with a crimped, curly coat”.

From mid to late 19th century the marshes of Comacchio and of Romagna greatly reduced in area and and with an unbeatable sense of smell the Lagotto Romagnolo was repurposed as an efficient truffle-hunter. Being a more niche use the numbers of Lagotto declined sharply and the breed was at risk of extinction.

In the 1970's a group of Romagna-based dog lovers decided to save the breed and a genetic reconstruction program was set in motion that would save the Lagotto Romagnolo as a breed.

The Club Italiano Lagotto (C.I.L.) was founded in Imola in 1988 and now many countries world wide have recognised the breed.


Rosa Casa Lagotti
822 Chester Road
RD 1
Carterton 5791, NZ

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