Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Magazine - Showsight

receptors. In the changeover from water fowl retriever to truffle finder, breeders worked to breed out interest in game or birds as well, leaving us with a dog who stays on task to find things with his nose. One of the things I find most inter- esting is that in switching back and forth between obedience and tracking, I have not found that the dog has an independent desire to sniff the ground. When he is put on scent, he is efficient and task oriented; if asked to do some- thing other than scent, he is biddable enough to do that too! NOSE WORK Several of the breed have already earned Nose Work titles, even a Nose Work Elite title. The breed was bred for a number of years purely on their ability to find truffles, a task that means run- ning up and down the hills, scenting all the while, in search of ripe truffles, indicating the find, and being willing to “stand down” so that the human could complete the task of bringing the truffle from the earth unscathed. This is physi- cally exhausting mental work, process- ing scent information while running through the woods; a great background to bring to the many aspects of scent work, be it searching a room, through containers or through a parking lot of cars; the dog’s scenting ability, along with his physical ability to keep going until a find is made. TRACKING The lagotto’s desire to “go find” make him an easily trainable tracker. Depending on your part of the coun- try his coat may need to be cut down or protected to keep him from bring- ing home the leaves and brambles on the trail. While the coat is designed to protect the dog while running in the forest, truffle season in France and Italy is in the Fall during wet weather; dry and dead foliage will catch easily in his coat and you will need an advance plan to keep him from bringing the for- est home. Some handlers use coats or “pajamas” to cover hair, or apply a coat- ing of baby powder or silicone based coat spray to aid in brushing our stick- ers and dead leaves and sticks. If the weather is warm enough shaving the dog can be a big help as well. The breed has several TDs and TDXs already, and this past year a Lagotto

Club Italiano Lagotto (CIL) asked that the breed be made ineligible for hunt tests. This makes the breed unique in the Sporting Group. However, in some countries, Eng- land in particular, the dog has con- tinued to be shot over. The first dogs imported into England came from lines with strong hunting instinct, where they had been continuously used to hunt both waterfowl and truffles. Glob- ally, there has been agreement that in countries where there are not truffles to hunt that the breed should continue to be used in its original job, that of a water retriever. No matter what sport or activity you are interested in, the Lagotto Romag- nolo is a dog that most likely do it well. They are willing workers who love to please their owners.

achieved the Champion Tracker title after passing his Variable Surface Track- ing test as well. BARN HUNT Lagotto are beginning to appear in this new sport as well. Though not Terrier like, Lagotto can easily locate the rat by scenting. The other elements of climbing hay bales and searching through tunnels are a piece of cake for a dog hardwired to search demanding terrain. Digging through the straw to find the hidden tubes also utilizes the digging instinct used when locating truffles. FAST CAT COURSING Lagottos are enjoying this new all breed coursing event as well! Chasing after a plastic bag “lure” while staying on course is an exciting event some of our owners are pursuing. Denise Peters, who participates with several of her breed champion lagotti says “Fast CAT is fun and it is exhilarating to watch your dog dash to the finish line while focusing on the lure. Lagottos are not known for speed but they fool me every time. Impressive to say the least to watch my Lagottous run a coursing trail. Their drive to track and stay on course seem to drive them to the finish line. If you are interested in either Fast CAT or Lure Coursing events I recom- mend placing your dog's favorite toy in a white plastic bag and play with them. This will allow them to get famil- iar with the white bags they chase in either course.” DOCK DIVING Lagotto are at home in the water, whether it be swimming to retrieve, dog paddling, or jumping off a dock. Simply put dock diving is a great sport for them! This water loving dog is often owned by people who also enjoy water sports. Lagotto love to swim with you, they are the only dog I have ever seen that does not need some- thing to fetch in order to want to be in the water. HOW ABOUT HUNTING? As mentioned earlier, the breeders who helped establish and codify the breed in the 1970s, were adamant that the dogs no longer be used on game. When the Lagotto Club of America was establishing itself ten years ago, the


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