Italians breeds

Romagna Water dog - Lagotto Romagnolo
Italian breeds of dogs

Origin, classification and brief historical summary

Origin: Italy.
Classification F.C.I. N. 298: Group 8 - Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs; Section 3 Water Dogs; without working trial.

This is an ancient retriever breed in water. It dates back to 1800 in the marshes around Ravenna and in the Comacchio plains. The land reclamation eliminated all marshes in Italy and the Lagotto Romagnolo had to start a new ‘job’ to help man, so little by little ha has specialized as a truffle-dog in the country and on the hills of Romagna. In fact this dog has become the only wordly recognized breed with this attitude. His smelling is infallible and it is really easy for this dog to find a truffle.

General appearance

A medium-small sized dog, very well-proportioned, strong and rustic at the same time, he is characterized by his curly woollen coat all over his body including the head; as he is rustic, he is suitable to work.

Behaviour and temperament

It is a small dog, always watchful, he pays attention to everything; very lively with the people he lives with, he is as friendly with unknown people as soon as he feels confident. Truffle hunting is meant to be a sort of game for him, in which he is passionately efficient and he feels he is highly gifted in this job: in fact he loves showing his excellent smelling. The previous hunting instinct has been slowly abolished so that he is not distracted by the wild. Incredibly loyal to his master, he is a reliable company dog , intelligent and obedient. This breed can be easily trained.

Romagna Water dog - Lagotto Romagnolo Romagna Water dog - Lagotto Romagnolo (photo www.agraria.org)

Romagna Water dog - Lagotto Romagnolo Romagna Water dog - Lagotto Romagnolo (photo www.agraria.org)

Standard

Size:
 - males  from 43 cm to 48 cm
 - females from 41 cm to 46 cm
Weight:
 - males from 13 kg to 16 kg
 - females from 11 kg to 14 kg

Head:
Viewed from above trapezoidal in shape and moderately broad; the upper longitudinal axes of the skull and the muzzle diverge slightly.

Cranial region:
Skull: wide at the level of the zygomatic arches, and 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 back skull. Frontal sinuses well developed, superciliary arches marked, medio-frontal furrow pronounced, occipital crest short and not very developed, supraorbital fossae slightly marked.
Stop: not too pronounced.

Facial region:
Nose: large with wide open and mobile nostrils. Naso-labial line 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%), its depth being only slightly less than the length. It is slightly wedge shaped, with a moderately flat front face. The nasal bridge has a straight profile.
Lips: the lips are not too thick, they are rather tight, so that the lower profile of the muzzle is determined by the mandible. 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.
Jaws/Teeth: jaws strong with almost straight branches and a relatively large mandibular body. Complete scissor or pincer bite with white and well developed teeth. Slightly undershot mouth acceptable.
Cheeks: flat.
Eyes: 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 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 auricle is also covered with hair.

Neck: strong, muscular, lean, of oval cross section; well set off from the nape and absolutely free from dewlap. Topline 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; 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 or exceeds their 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 hanging, 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.

Limbs:
Forequarters:
Vertical, seen from the front and 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 from 110° to 115°.
Upper arm: muscular, of thin bone structure, as long as the shoulder blade; its inclination to the horizontal ranges from 58-60°.
Elbows: well attached to the chest wall, but not too tightly; covered with thin skin; parallel to the median sagittal 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 withers), with compact, strong bone of oval cross-section).
Carpus: viewed from the front in a vertical line with the forearm; fine, robust and mobile; pisiform bone markedly protruding.
Pastern: ather less thick and of finer bone compared with the forearm, mobile; 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.

Hindquarters:
Vertical and parallel, 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 axis of the femur has a distinct inclination of 80° to the horizontal line. The coxo-femoral angle ranges from 105° to 110°. The thigh is paralell to the median plane of the body.
Stifle: the angle of the stifle joint ranges from 130° to 150°.
Lower thigh: slightly longer than the upper 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 than forefeet and toes slightly less arched.

Skin: close fitting all over the body, without wrinkles, thin, with sparse subcutaneous tissue. Pigmentation of mucous membranes and of pads ranges from light to dark and very dark brown.

Coat:
Hair: 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 specially the undercoat are water-proof. 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.

Coulor: off-white solid colour, white with brown or orange patches, brown roan, brown solid colour (in different shades), or orange solid colour. A brown to dark brown mask acceptable.

Faultas: 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.

by Vinattieri Federico www.difossombrone.it - Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana www.enci.it


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