Lagotto Romagnolo Breed Magazine - Showsight

Lagotto Romagnolo Q & A

climb with vets, food and health testing, the cost of properly raising pups is not cheep. As for the social climate—when people hear you are a breeder, they think of puppy mills, which couldn’t be farther from the truth, at least for the professional level breeders as we jump through so many hoops to produce quality dogs. And then, there is always the big debate about adopting from a shelter rather than purchased from a breeder. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I like to see them at around eight weeks old, sometimes sooner I know if I have a potential show prospect, it’s something you just know. They go through awkward growing spirits, so again at a year old, I feel as though I really know what I have based on build, move- ment and enthusiasm to be in the show ring. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Please read and understand the breed stan- dards. Also, if they get the opportunity to speak to some breeders, in fact several, to ask questions specific about the breed. My ultimate goal for the breed? Fantastic temperaments and health are a priority. To achieve the “perfect” Lagotto traits, you must study and understand bloodlines “Genetics” and where your desired traits are coming from and move forward generation after generation to create your desired line of Lagotto. New out-crosses are also vital to keep the breed strong. My favorite dog show memory? Not sure I really have one, all I know is when a handler is showing one of my dogs, I view from afar because if they spot me, its over. In addition to being extremely intelligent, they are sensitive and intuitive. They can read a humans moods without question, and can be skeptical of strangers. I have heard, that with no formal training, they have the ability to detect epileptic seizures coming on, or blood sugar levels—some lines seem to be more perceptive than others. They like being by their “humans”, they are quirky, funny and are most happy when they have a job to do. JUDITH MARTIN Judith Martin - exhibitor breeder

the “cuteness factor” the intelligence and trainability were going to make this breed skyrocket into the public consciousness. As care- fully as we progressed, the ready availability of puppies overseas that are sent without contracts, has given rise to a population of new breeders who know little more than this is a breed that is cute, and will sell quickly and easily. Rising to #99 in AKC breeds in such a few years is a bit of a concern. In my early years no one had any idea what the breed was, but today I find about half the people I meet either recognize the breed or have at least heard of the “truffle hunting dog”. Some folks will ask if they are doodles and my response is always, “No, this is a purebred of ancient lineage.” I have never forgotten my first trip to the International Lagotto Specialty in Italy in 2007 where I met a full time truffle hunter whose dogs would run in the forest for six hours a day. I always tell prospective owners that these dogs have been bred for this level of activity and they must provide their pups with sufficient physical and mental activity for them to be contented pets. It matters not if they live in an apartment or on a large estate, the owner must supply the opportunity for activity. Due to the sporting dog temperament and physique, the Lagotto is proving to be excellent in agility, dock diving and nose work, and some owners are exploring lure coursing and barn hunt. In the Pacific NorthWest there are a lot of Lagotti that are regularly hunt- ing and finding delicious native truffles, and also imported variet- ies that have been introduced. Last year, one of our club members’ Lagotto located the largest truffle found in the US. Pecan Truffles are also native from Texas up to Tennessee and places East. Truffle hunting Lagotti are not yet common in this region, but there is likely to be a growing awareness. I recently moved to Central Texas and there is almost no knowledge of local truffles but I am commit- ted to investigating that activity. We started training late this fall and my 3.5 year old female can find the Oregon truffle scent that I plant for her, but we have not found any native truffles. Due to the intelligence, devotion, and tractability of this breed, they are proving to be excellent Therapy Dogs, and some are being trained as detection dogs. Vando is 12.5 years old and

in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers since 1993. Imported first Lagotto Romagnolo from Croatia in 2005; first one in Arizona. We gathered a group of passionate owners to form our first breed club in May 2007. I served as Founding President. I con- tinued working on the newsletter and serving on various committees. I served as President again 2016 to 2018. I am currently serving as Cor-

has been a Therapy/comfort dog since 2013. While not typ- ical of all Lagotti, many in our breed are proving to be well suited for visitation in hospi- tals, schools and events. He is currently in a READ program in our local elementary (see

photo) and we make weekly visits to our Juvenile Justice Court where Vando sits with youth awaiting their court appearances. Size and non-shedding coat is a plus in public situations. Since we are retired, our outside activities tend to include our dogs. Traveling the country with our dogs, visiting folks in our breeds, and puppy owners keeps it fun. Grooming is one area that separates, show homes, working homes, and pet homes. In a recent simple Facebook survey on our club information page, the majority of folks wanted advice on grooming. The old Italians would tell us to trim the dog two times a year with a shave down. They said to shave a couple months before showing and let it grow into proper length. Many of the Italian breeders I met, kept their dogs separate from their household, and didn’t sleep with their dogs like many American families prefer. Now we hear owners who end up with frequent bathing and brush- ing which creates matting and thus requires shaving down the coat all the time.

responding Secretary of LRCA. After the first imported Lagotto, the next 3 were imported from Italy. Since that time, I have kept home bred Lagotti for my show/ pet dogs. I currently have 12.5 year old Vando and 3.5 year old Ori. I lived in SE Michigan when I began as an exhibitor breeder of Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. In 1993 I moved to central Arizona upon my husband’s retirement in 1997. In 2005, I imported the first Lagotto Romagnolo into the state of Arizona. At first there were just a couple of dedicated breeders who also imported Lagotti and we showed our dogs in available venues. In 2007, we found enough fans of the breed to start our breed club and once we had enough registrations to qualify for Miscel- laneous, folks started to note the many qualities of a medium size dog, that doesn’t shed, is smart, and very trainable. We knew when we started our parent club that protecting the breed would be important because of the visible qualities. The size,


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