Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Magazine - Showsight

the breed is stable. Watching Lagotto at dog shows, as a judge and as a spectator, I think you can see some beautiful males and females. We know that Lagotto as a breed had been very blessed, because it was able to be reconstructed by masterful breeders and experts that took care of proper selection of breeding dogs. Being able to see Lagotto nowadays I can easily say that their efforts had not been wasted, and you can see that watching dogs winning at the prestigious shows. The Lagotto’s legacy is carried by people who are completely in love with the breed, smart and passionate and thanks to that we all can witness the beauty of this unique and old breed. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? NL: It’s difficult to say, but sometimes I witnessed that awarded dogs are too long in neck, with an over-devel- oped forechest and too short in body. JR: I think that the emphasis on generic soundness removes an understanding of the importance of coat and balance. VMSS: I can answer this question by remembering the advice of my mother and grandmother. You have to look at real dogs and use every opportunity to do it in the companion of experts and lovers of that breed. Watch the judges as they make their choice between a class of gorgeous specimens and between dogs of poorer quality. Sometimes what decides between the first four places are just details and placing dogs that have a lot of weaknesses pose a lot of challenge too. That is why just observing the dogs is so important; the more you observe, the more you notice. I believe in tradition of describing dogs in a very detailed manner, using a rich and vibrant language. I was always taught to describe dogs as they are (with their strengths and weaknesses), not what I wish they were “...WHEN THE BREED BECAME MORE POPULAR AND MORE NUMEROUS, I FOUND BETTER DOGS TO JUDGE WORLDWIDE— NOT ONLY IN OUR MEDITERRANEAN REGION.”

job of developing it. I think that size is still all over the place and I fear that some may resort to grooming and profuse hair as a substitute for structure, particularly in head type. I would encourage judges to get their hands into the coat and insist that the substance be there in order to be rewarded with a win. Unfortunately, the numbers in the breed are often just not there in order to have a real choice for comparison in judging them. JR: I am concerned that the overgrowing traits of the people involved will replace the proper coat and that an empha- sis on flash and dash will detract from the Sporting dog characteristics of the breed. VMSS: I have not met dogs that would be atypical and com- pletely different from the breed standard. Sometimes we meet dogs that have less quality built or modest beauty, but they still keep the basic the expression, feel and look of Lagotto, and that is important. I think it’s a question for experienced breeders who watch the changes and trends in their breed every day and know best what strengths and weakness Lagotti have. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? NL: Dogs are much better now, as the breed was full recognized in mid-90s; at the beginning we had differ- ent types, sizes and smaller pool and narrow regional distribution. Later, when the breed became more popular and more numerous, I found better dogs to judge world- wide—not only in our Mediterranean region. JR: This question really doesn’t have a lot of significance given the relative newness of the breed in the show ring. VMSS: It is absolutely true that there are more Lagotti nowadays and thanks to that we are able to encounter some absolutely beautiful dogs of that breed. In my homeland, Lagotto is still a very rare and unique breed, but the breed gets more and more fans, so quite possibly it might become more popular in the future. From travel- ing abroad, whether to Italy or Scandinavia, I think that “I WOULD ENCOURAGE JUDGES TO GET THEIR HANDS INTO THE COAT AND INSIST THAT THE SUBSTANCE BE THERE IN ORDER TO BE REWARDED WITH A WIN.”

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