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Romagna Water dog
(Lagotto Romagnolo)




Antonio Morsiani, Renée Sporre-Wille, Dr. J.-M. Paschoud and Prof. R. Triquet.


July 24 1996


Truffle Hound.


Group 8 Retrievers-Flushing Dog-Water Dogs
Section 3 Water Dogs
Without Working Trial.



BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY - Ancient breed of water retrieving dogs in the lowlands of Comacchio and marshlands of Ravenna. During the centuries, the great marshlands were drained and turned into arable land. Subsequently the Lagotto changed from being a waterdog to an excellent truffle dog in the flat open country and in the hills of Romagna.

GENERAL APPEARANCE - Small to medium-sized dog, well proportioned, square, of a rustic appearance, sturdy and robust, with a dense, curly coat of woolly texture.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS - The length of the head is 4/10 of the height at the withers. The dog is nearly as high as long.
The length of the skull should be more than 50% of the total length of the head.
The length of the muzzle is 2/10 less than that of the skull (44% to 56%).
The dept of the chest is less than 50% (about 44%) of the height at the withers.

BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT - A natural gift for searching and its very good nose has made the breed a very efficient in truffle searching. The former hunting instinct has been eliminated, hence his work is not distracted by the scent of game. The Lagotto is tractable, undemanding, keen, affectionate, very attached to his owner and easy to train. He is a very good companion and also an excellent warning dog.

HEAD - Viewed from above trapezoidal in shape and moderately large; the upper longitudinal axes of the skull and the muzzle should diverge slightly.

-The skull is wide at the level of the zygomatic archesand is as long as wide. Viewed from the side, from occiput to stop, the skull should be longer than the muzzle. It is slightly convex and tends to flatten out at the occiput. Frontal sinuses well developed, superciliary arches marked, medio-frontal furrow pronounced, occipital crest short and not very developed, supraorbital fossae slightly marked.

Stop - The stop is not too pronounced.

- Large with wide open and mobile nostrils. Median groove strongly pronounced. Viewed in profile, the nose continues on the same level as the muzzle and protrudes very slightly form the front face of the lips. The colour ranges from light to dark brown, depending on the colour of the coat.
Muzzle - Fairly broad, a little shorter than the skull (ratio: skull 56%, muzzle 44%), the depth being only slightly less than the length. It is slightly "wedge shaped", with a moderately flat front face. The nasal bridge has a stright profile.
Lips - The lips are not too deep; they are rather tight, so that the lower profile of the muzzle is determined by the mandible. They are covered with long and rather bristly whiskers. Viewed from the front, the lips form a wide semi-circle. The colour of the edges ranges from light to dark brown.
Cheeks - Flat.
Jaw and teeth - Jaw strong with quite straight branches and a relatively large mandibular body. Complete scissors or pincer bite with white and well developed teth. Slightly undershot mouth acceptable.
Eye - Fairly large, rounded, filling the socket, set fairly apart. The colour of the iris ranges from ochre to hazel and dark brown depending on the colour of the coat. Close-fitting eyelids, the colour of the eye-rims ranges from light to dark brown. Eyelashes very well developed. Look alert, expression keen and lively.
Ears - Medium-sized in proportion to the head, triangular with rounded tips; their base is rater wide; they are set just above the zygomatic arches. Hanging at rest or slightly raised when the dog is attentive. If pulled towards the nose they should reach the muzzle at a 1/4 of its length. On the ears, the hair tends to show looser curls, but remains very wavy. No short hair on the ear. The inner part of the ear-flap is covered with hair.

NECK - Strong, muscular, lean, with oval section; well detached from the nape and absolutely free from dewlap. Top line slightly arched. In males the perimeter of the neck can reach the double of its length. The length of the neck is a little less than the total length of the head.

BODY - Compact and strong; almost as long as the height at withers.
Top line - Straight from the withers to the croup.
Withers - They rise above the level of the croup; they are not too narrow, but quite high set and extended backwards.
Back - Straight, very muscular.
Loin - Short coupled, very strong, in profile slightly arched. Width is equal or exceeds the length.
Croup - Long, wide, muscular, slightly sloping (coxal inclination ranges from 25 to 30).
Chest - Well developed, reaching down to the elbows. Although fairly narrow in front, from the sixth rib the chest widens backwards.
Underline and belly - Long sternal section in form of a straight line; the following tuck-up is only slight.
Tail - Set on neither too high nor too low; tapering towards the end. When extended, its should barely reach the hocks. At rest carried scimitar like; when attentive decidedly raised. When working or excited can be carried over the back, but never curled.


General appearance
- Vertical, seen from the front or in profile.
Shoulder - Shoulder-blades long (30% of the height at withers), well laid back (52-55), muscular, strong and closely attached to the chest, but moving freely. The scapulo-humeral angle ranges between 110 to 115.
Upper arm - Muscular, of thin bone structure, as long as the shoulder-blade; its inclination on the horizontal ranges from 58-60.
Elbows - Close to the chest, but not too tightly; covered with thin skin; parallel to the sagittal plane of the body as the upper-arms are. The tip of the elbow is located on a vertical line lowered from the back angle of the scapula to the ground.
Forearm - Perfectly vertical, long (36% of the height at withers), with compact, strong bone of oval cross-section.
Wrist (carpus) - Viewed from the front in a vertical line with the forearm; fine, robust and mobile; pisiform bone markedly protruding.
Pastern - Rather smaller and thinly boned compared with the forearm, elastic; seen in profile, it forms an angle of 75 to 80 with the ground.
Forefeet - Slightly rounded, compact, with arched and tight toes. Nails strong and curved. Pads well pigmented. Interdigital membranes very well developed.

General appearance
- Hindquarters upright, powerful, well proportioned to the size of the dog.
Thigh - Long (35% of the height at withers), with clearly separated and visible muscles. The axis of the femur has a markedly inclination of 80 on the horizontal line. The coxo-femoral angle ranges from 105 to 110. The thigh is parallel to the median plane of the body.
Stifle - The angle of the stifle joint ranges form 130 to 150.
Lower thigh - Slightly longer than the thigh (36% of the height at withers), well boned and muscled, with marked muscular groove. Its inclination to the horizontal ranges from 50 to 55.
Hock joint - Wide, thick, lean, with clear-cut bone; parallel to the medium plane of the body; the tibio-metatarsal angle is ca. 140.
Metatarsal - Thin, cylindrical, perpendicular to the ground.
Hindfeet - Slightly more oval-shaped tha forefeet and toes not as arched.

GAIT/MOVEMENT - Walk regular, trot energic and brisk, gallop in short periods.

SKIN - Close fitting all over the body, without wrinkles, thin, with scarce subcutaneous tissue. Pigmentation of mucous membranes and of pads ranges from light to dark and very dark brown.

- Of woolly texture, a little rough in surface, forming very thick, ring-shaped curls with visible undercoat. Curls must be evenly distributed all over the body, except on the head, where the curls are less tight, forming well-furnished eyebrows, whiskers and beard. Even the cheeks are covered with thick hair. The coat with the undercoat are water-proof. If not cut, the hair tends to become felted; therefore a complete clipping must be performed at least once a year. Felted hair and undercoat must be removed periodically.
Colour - Off-white solid colour, white with brown or orange markings, brown roan, brown solid colour (in different shades), orange solid colour. Some dogs have a brown or dark brown mask.

Height at the withers:

Males : from 43 to 48 cm. (ideal height : 46 cm.).
Females : from 41 to 46 cm (ideal height: 43 cm).
Tolerance 1 cm more or less.
Males : about 13 to 16 kg.
Females : about 11 to 14 kg.

FAULTS - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
- Axes of the skull and the muzzle converging.
- Dish faced.
- Pronounced undershot mouth.
- Butterfly nose.
- Strabismus.
- Coat not curled or close shaven; black coat or black markings.
- Dewclaws.
- Docked tail.
- Oversize or undersize.

- Overshot mouth.
- Dudley nose.
- Wall-eye.
- Corded coat.

N.B. - Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


E.N.C.I. - Lagotto Romagnolo