Frequently Asked Questions

We often get approached by people where we live or whenever we travel asking about the breed and what Lagotti are like. Here are some of questions we get asked:

Are Lagotti hypoallergenic?
Many people who are allergic to dogs find the Lagotto (and a few other breeds) are tolerated better than dogs than shed. My experience is that some people do well and others do not. No dog is truly hypoallergenic. I would encourage anyone with allergies to locate a dog of the breed you are interested in, and have an opportunity to handle the dog, be exposed to the saliva and if possible, also test yourself with a puppy. Since this breed is rare and not available in many areas of North America, this might be difficult. It is essential to test yourself if you plan to make the huge emotional and financial investment in this breed of dog. We encourage people to come visit our dogs before making the decision if this is the right breed for you and your allergies.

How did you first find out about this breed?
I have shown and bred Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers since the early 1990s. I always wondered what breed would have the same appeal. My preferences being a medium sized dog, that doesn’t shed much. I was on a raw-feeding list where I first heard of the name of Lagotto. I asked about the breed and then started researching on the internet. I searched every single website I could find on the internet and read everything I could about the breed.

How did you decide to get your first Lagotto?
I was happy to find a yahoogroup that was for those interested in the Lagotto and joined it for over a year. The more I learned, the more I felt this would be the right dog for me. My oldest Wheaten was nearing the end of her life and I felt I would have room in our lives for another dog. As a show/hobby breeder, I noted photos of dogs that had the look and conformation that I liked.

I wrote inquiries to all the breeders whose dogs looked like what I would want. I started learning pedigrees and checking for as much information about health as I could find. As I received replies, I questioned others about the credibility of the different breeders.

What questions should I ask a breeder?
You should always expect the breeder to health test their breeding stock regularly. Hips should be rated with OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) in the US after age 2 or with a preliminary before that age. PennHip is another rating system for dogs under age 2. Ask the breeder about eye testing. In the US we use CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation). Lagotti should also be tested for Benign Familial Juvenile Epilepsy (BFJE or JE) and Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD).  Potential breeding dogs should also be tested for Incorrect Coat (IC).   Additional testing for elbows and patella are also helpful. The following database is a good source for international pedigrees and health test scores:

I just want a pet, not a show dog. Does that make a difference?
A dog is entered into the show ring for others to judge if it has the qualities that would maintain or improve the breed. An experienced breeder can usually decide if the dog has good conformation and can do the job for which it was bred for. However, it is good to have the opinion of others well versed in proper conformation to adjudge our dogs. Show breeders place most of the litter as pets that will never be shown or bred from. Those dogs are neutered and make wonderful pets.

What is the temperament of a Lagotto like?
I have bred several litters and I find they are not as outgoing as my terriers were. They are more reserved with strangers and need a lot of intense socialization early on to get them comfortable with new people. They are devoted pets and very affectionate to their family.

How do you groom a Lagotto?
The Lagotto has very curly hair that has minimal shedding. They do not need frequent bathing. The hair looks best at about 1″- 1.5″ of length, slightly longer on the head. The hair under and on the edges of the ears is trimmed to the leather and the hair inside the ear canal can be plucked if they do not stay clean. The tail is trimmed to look like a slender carrot with no fluff.

The coat can be clipped down a couple times a year when it starts to mat. The show coat of a Lagotto should never be blown out or fluffed up in any way. The coat should fit the body of the dog with lots of natural curls. The coat is often scissored to keep it tidy and natural looking. You can always read the GROOMING page on this website as well.

How do I start my own research to find a Lagotti pup?
Well, for starters, be sure to check out this site, then go to the How to Find Puppies page for additional info. We can personally answer any questions you have, as well.