Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Magazine - Showsight


Dog Sport enthusiasts looking to try a new breed of dog should definitely check out this medium sized newcom- er! The Lagotto Romagnolo is perfectly suited to be your next partner in many dog sports from Agility, Obedience and Rally, Tracking, Nose Work, Barn Hunt, Lure Coursing or Dock Diving. Once a small water fowl retriever, this adapt- able breed has become the world’s fore- most truffle hunter. So you could say that the Lagotto combines the fun ener- gy and trainability of a sporting dog while also having the nose and scenting ability of a hound. AGILITY The Breed’s small size 16-18" for females, and 17-19" for males make it an ideal size for agility. A huge plus is the breed’s love of being up high, running and jumping with enthusiasm. This is a keen dog that is quite biddable and with high pack drive, a fast learning curve and the ability to work all day. This year despite the breed being a relative newcomer on the com- panion events scene we have seen the first MACH in the breed and a full slate of three invited to the National Championships. According to Kent Tsurumaru who handles “Monkey” (one of the three dogs invited to the Agility Invi- tational this year) it was obvious from the moment he met Monkey that she needed a job. And the more time he

Trial winner, and should have its first UD titleholder shortly. The breed’s ability to “take a mark” seems to be their only slight disadvan- tage in the obedience exercises. The breed does not seem to process visual information in the same way as most dogs. But by using movement in the cue to a stationary or dead retrieve, most dogs catch on, and this extra move- ment can be faded out fairly quickly. Teaching the dog to put focus on the handler, and put it on an object away from the handler is also a helpful foun- dation skill. You might think that the breed would have problems trying to sniff while heeling, but that hasn’t been my experience at all. Lagotto forms a strong bond with their owners, and while heel- ing can easily be taught to look at their handler. Most of the handlers showing in obedience report being in the place- ment ribbons on the way to completing their titles. SCENT WORK OF ALL KINDS! One of the intentions of the handful of breeders who banded together in the 1970s to save this breed from extinction was to create a very efficient “sniffing machine”, while hounds have their ears and their drool, Lagotto have a short, wide muzzle with short wide nasal pas- sages built for taking in information and delivering it quickly to the brain’s

spent with her, the more obvious it was that that job should be agility. With the blessing of her owners, Kent began agil- ity classes and trains her 4-5 times a week. She began competing in Novem- ber of 2016 and has already made her way to the Masters Level. Kent says that one of the things he enjoys about Monkey is her willingness to work hard and there she seems to understand some level of “perfection” for an exercise or piece of equipment. When she’s messed up weave poles, she will run back to the beginning of the poles barking. “I think she’s swearing at herself, to get it right this time!” he says. Because she is so fast and talented, Tsurumaru has found himself upping his game as well. I’ve joined Weight Watchers and lost 35# so far, I don’t want to let her down when she is trying so hard!” OBEDIENCE AND RALLY The breed can be intense in concen- tration and perform heeling exercises well, again love of jumping serves them well in the intermediate and advanced classes, while the Scent Articles in Util- ity classes really let them shine. I’ve done a number of Rottweiler UD titles and while it seems unbeliev- able the Lagotto could learn the exer- cise faster and in fewer sessions, this has certainly been my personal experience. The breed already has its first High in


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