History and origin: an ancient sporting dog originating in Italy in the marshland area of the Delta del Po. Name means water dog. Originally used as gun dogs and water retrievers and later as truffle hunters. Breed has a long history from centuries ago when Italian traders travelled with cross bred dogs of Lagotto type. These dogs were strong, robust, and excellent hunters and boat dogs. Foreign blood from these cross breeds might have tainted the Lagotto type but the human truffle hunters of the time period (early 1900’s) set about to save the breed which suffered near extinction in the mid 1970’s. The breed is now successful as a pure breed all over Europe. It was accepted by FCI ( Federation Cynologique Internationale) in 2005. Recognized by AKC (American Kennel Club) in 2015. Crufts BIS winner in 2023.
General Appearance: of small to medium size, body and head covered with curly hair. Profuse beard, moustache and eyebrows. Squarely built with long tail. Drop ears and round hazel to brown eyes. Bone is strong but not heavy and neck is muscular. Back and Loin muscular and head is massive. Size: Males 16 ½ -19 ½ inches 28-35 pounds Females 15 ½ -18 ½ inches 24-31 pounds
Coat and Colour: unique double coat that is curly, thick and wooly textured like human hair. Body is covered in ring shaped curls but not frizzy. Coat is longer on head. Colours are solid off white with orange or brown patches, solid brown, brown or orange roan, sable. Trimmed to no more than 1 ½ inches. Must be combed regularly otherwise the coat will felt.(mat) Very little shedding and may be hypo allergenic.
Feeding: A good quality kibble fed twice daily.
Training and obedience: an intelligent dog. Trains easily and adapts quickly. Good in obedience, rally, agility, dock diving, tracking and various forms of nose work, therapy and medical detection dog. The only purebred truffle hunter.
Activity: active breed needs daily exercise, walking, jogging or cycling with owner, but settles nicely in the home. Loves water. Avid swimmer.
Temperament: sweet and loyal to family. Happy breed. Good with other dogs and children. Great house pet. Affectionate and loving. Sensitive and good natured.