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Lagotto Romagnolo means “Romagna lake dog”, which is a good name for this breed, considering that these dogs originally helped to hunt waterfowl in the wet marshes of Romagna in Italy. Today, with many of the marshes of the breed’s homeland drained, these dogs have found a new purpose in truffle hunting. Humans can easily train them to use their keen sense of smell in search work. The thick coat of the lagottos helps them keep warm in autumn and winter, while protecting them from thorns and debris as they run through the woods. Their keen sense of smell and natural tendency to dig make them experts at this task. The Lagotto Romagnolos can also be an affectionate, active, easy-going and undemanding pet. Its hypoallergenic coat is good for allergy sufferers, although it requires good maintenance. So if you can keep up with grooming and brushing and want a dedicated, easy-to-train companion – or someone to help you hunt for tasty truffles – this dog can fit right into your family.
The Lagotto Romagnolo is currently the only breed bred specifically for truffle hunting, although it was originally bred as a hunting companion.scientists have studied the genes of the Lagotto Romagnolos to better understand juvenile epilepsy and have applied this genetic research to the study of epilepsy in human children. Lagotto Romagnolos have a water-resistant coat that not only helps them swim, but keeps them warm when foraging for truffles in autumn and early winter, while protecting them from thorns and debris as they run through forests and fields.Although no breed is completely allergy-friendly, the Lagotto Romagnolo’s coat is considered hypoallergenic and rarely sheds. The Lagotto Romagnolo can be a good watchdog if trained to bark when appropriate. As a truffle hunting dog, the Lagotto Romagnolo is good at scent work, but they also have a natural tendency to dig. Some owners give these dogs litter boxes or dedicated digging areas to prevent unwanted behaviour around the house. The Lagotto Romagnolo was accepted into the sporting dog category by the American Kennel Club in 2015.
The history of the Lagotto Romagnolo goes back at least to the Renaissance in Italy, and probably even further. Dogs of this breed were originally bred as hunting companions to help retrieve waterfowl in the marshes of Romagna. Their water-resistant coat made them ideal for diving in cold water. However, towards the end of the 19th century, much of the region’s marshes were drained, and these dogs might have been out of work were it not for their super sense of smell that made them excellent truffle hunters. The Lagotto Romagnolos began to be reused for this task, at which they excel to this day. They are the only modern breed bred specifically for truffle hunting. In the 1970s, interest in the Lagotto Romagnolo breed waned somewhat, and these dogs might have disappeared altogether were it not for enthusiasts in the late 1980s who took an interest in preserving the breed. Since then, interest in the Lagotto Romagnolos has spread to countries all over the world, and in July 2015, the Lagotto Romagnolo was accepted into the sporting dog category by the American Kennel Club. Lagotto Romagnolos are still used for truffle hunting, but they are also valued as loyal family companions, and their hypoallergenic coat may make them more sought after by allergy sufferers.
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