Lagotto Breed Standard




F.C.I. Standard No 298 dated 2nd February, 1999 

Effective in Australia from 1st January 2000 

Country of Origin: Italy 

Amended May 2000 

Translated by - Antonio Morsiani, Renée Sporre-Willes, Dr J.M. Paschoud & 

Prof. R. Triquet. 

Note -Words placed in normal brackets (.......) are as in the Standard. 
Words placed in square brackets [......] are explanations or alternative translations.- Mrs Ann Mitchell, ANKC Breed Standards Co-Ordinator. 

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

GENERAL APPEARANCE – Small to medium sized dog, well proportioned, powerfully built, of a rustic [hardy] appearance, with a dense, curly coat of woolly texture 

Important proportions– The length of the head is 40% of the height at the withers. The dog is nearly as high as it is long (square). 

The length of the skull should be slightly more than 50% of the total length of the head. 

The length of the muzzle is 20% less than that of the skull (i.e. 44%:56%) 

The depth of the chest is less than 50% (about 44%) of the height at the withers. 

CHARACTERISTICS – [Not specified. ] 

Utilisation– Truffle Dog. 

TEMPERAMENT– A natural gift for searching and its very good nose has made the breed 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 watch dog. 

HEAD AND SKULL– Viewed from above, trapezoidal in shape [a four sided shape with no two sides parallel] and moderately broad; the upper longitudinal axes [planes] of the skull and of the muzzle diverge slightly [slightly down-faced]. 

Cranial region: 

Skull– The skull is wide at the level of the zygomatic arches [cheek bones] and is as long as it is wide. Viewed from the side, from occiput to stop, the skull should be longer than the muzzle. It is slightly convex [arched] and tends to flatten out at the back skull. The rounded bones of the forehead are well developed, well defined eyebrows, pronounced forehead furrow, occipital crest short and not very developed, slight depressions above the eye sockets. 

Stop– Not too pronounced. 

Facial region: 

Nose - 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 from the front edge 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 bridge of the nose is straight. 

Lips – The lips are not too thick; they are rather tight, so that the lower profile of the muzzle is determined by the lower jawbone. They are covered with a long and rather bristly moustache. Viewed from the front, the lips form a wide semi-circle. The colour of the edges ranges from light to dark brown. 

Cheeks – Flat 

EYES– Fairly large, rounded, filling the socket, set fairly well 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 is alert, expression keen and lively 

EARS– Medium sized in proportion to the head, triangular with rounded tips; their base is rather 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 1?4 of its length. On the ears, the hair tends to show looser curls, but remains very wavy. No short hair on the ears. The inner part of the ear-flap is also covered with hair. 

MOUTH– Jaw strong with almost straight branches and a relatively large lower jaw. Complete scissor or pincer bite with white and well developed teeth. Slightly undershot mouth acceptable. 

NECK– Strong, muscular, lean with oval section; well set off from the nape and absolutely free from dewlap. Topline slightly arched. In males, the circumference of the neck can be twice that of its length. The length of the neck is a little less than the total length of the head. 

FOREQUARTERS– General – Vertical, seen from the front and in profile. 

Shoulders –Shoulder blades long (30% of the height at the withers), well laid back (52-55 degrees), muscular, strong and closely attached to the chest, but moving freely. The angle between the shoulder blade and the upper arm ranges from 110 to 115 degrees. 

Upper Arm– Muscular, of fine bone structure, as long as the shoulder blade; its angle from the horizontal ranges from 58 – 60 degrees. 

Elbows– Well attached to the chest wall, but not too tightly; covered with fine skin; parallel to the median sagittal [central] plane of the body as are the upper arms. The point of the elbow is located on a vertical line lowered from the back end of the scapula to the ground. 

Forearm– Perfectly vertical, long (36% of the height at the 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 less thick and of finer bone compared with the forearm; mobile; seen in profile, it forms an angle of 75 to 80 degrees with the ground. 

BODY– Compact and strong; almost as long as the height at the withers. 

Topline– Straight from the withers to the croup. 

Withers –. They rise above the level of the croup; the highest points of the shoulder blades are not too close, but quite high set and well laid back. 

Back– Straight, very muscular. 

Loin– Short coupled, very strong, in profile slightly arched. Width is equal to or exceeds the length. 

Croup – Long, wide, muscular, slightly sloping; (slope of the hip bone ranges from 25 to 30 degrees). 

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. 

HINDQUARTERS– General – Hindquarters upright, powerful, well proportioned to the size of the dog. 

Upper Thigh– Long (35% of the height at withers), with clearly separated and visible muscles. The femur forms a sharp angle of 80 degrees from the horizontal. The angle between the hip bone and the femur ranges from 105 to 110 degrees. The thigh is parallel to the median plane of the body. 

Stifle– The angle of the stifle joint ranges from 130 to 150 degrees. 

Lower thigh – Slightly longer than the upper thigh (36% of the height at the withers), well boned and muscled, with marked muscular groove. Its angle on the horizontal ranges from 50 to 55 degrees. 

Hock-joint – Wide, thick, lean, with clearly defined bone; parallel to the median plane of the body; the angle between the lower thigh bone and the bones forming the hock is about 140 degrees. 

Hock(Metatarsus) – Thin, cylindrical, perpendicular to the ground. 

FEET– Forefeet – Slightly rounded, compact, with arched and tight toes. Nails strong and curved. Pads well pigmented. Webs between the toes very well developed. 

Hindfeet– Slightly more oval-shaped than the forefeet and toes slightly less arched. 

TAIL– Set on neither too high nor too low; tapering towards the end. When extended, it 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. 

GAIT/MOVEMENT– Walk is regular, trot energetic and brisk, will gallop for short periods. 

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

Coat – Of woolly texture, somewhat rough in surface, forming tightly curled, ring-shaped curls with the undercoat shining through. 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 dense hair. The topcoat and especially the undercoat are waterproof. If not clipped, the hair tends to become felted; therefore a complete clipping must be performed at least once a year. Felted topcoat and undercoat must be removed periodically. 

COLOUR – Off-white solid colour, white with brown or orange patches, brown roan, brown solid colour (indifferent shades), or orange solid colour. A brown to dark brown mask acceptable. 

SIZE- Height at withers: 

Dogs from 43 to 48 cm [17 – 19 ins] (Ideal height – 46 cm [ 18 ins] ) 

Bitches from 41 to 46 cm [ 16 – 18 ins] (Ideal height – 43 cm [17 ins] ) 

Weight: Dogs about 13 to 16 kg [ about 29 – 35 lbs] 

Bitches about 11 to 14 kg [ about 24.5 – 30 lbs] 

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 

Partially depigmented nose [Butterfly nose] 


Pronounced undershot mouth. 

Strabismus [squinting or cross-eyed] 

Docked tail 


Coat not curled or clipped short 

Black coat or black patches. 

Oversize or undersize 


Totally depigmented nose 

Overshot mouth 


Corded coat 

NOTE– Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. 





Contact Details
Nuala Leyton
South West, WA, Australia
Email : [email protected]

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