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Italian Truffle Dog; Italian Water Dog;
Lagotto Romagnolo means "lake dog from Romagna," which is a good name for this breed, considering that these dogs originally helped hunt waterfowl in the wet marshlands of Romagna in Italy.
The history of the Lagotto Romagnolo goes back at least as far as the Renaissance in Italy, and probably even further back than that. Dogs of this breed were originally bred as hunting companions to help retrieve waterfowl in the marshlands of Romagna. Their water-repellent coat made them well-suited to diving in cold water. Towards the end of the 19th century, many marshlands in the region were drained, and these dogs would have been left without work, were it not for the fact that their super-nose makes them excellent truffle hunters. Lagotto Romagnolos were once again employed for this task, in which they excel to this day. They are the only breed in modern times bred specifically for truffle hunting. By the 1970s, interest in the Lagotto Romagnolo breed waned a bit, and these dogs might have disappeared altogether had it not been for enthusiasts expressing interest in preserving the breed by the late 1980s. Since then, interest in Lagotto Romagnolos has spread to countries around the world. Lagotto Romagnolos are still used for hunting truffles, but they are also valued as loyal family companions, and their hypoallergenic coat may make them more popular with allergy sufferers.
Lagotto Romagnolos were originally bred as hunting companions, and they haven't lost their ability to retrieve, even if they have to happily jump into the water to do so. Many Lagotto Romagnolos naturally take to the water, and even if you don't plan on hunting, they will still enjoy tracking down a toy and getting into a good game of fetch. With their high energy levels and active minds, they will certainly appreciate physical and mental stimulation.