Labradoodles and Italian Water Dogs (aka Lagotto Romagnolo) are both great family dogs. They have many similarities, both externally and internally, although some differences can be seen. Many people choose a Labradoodle, but often only because they don’t know a Lagotto.
Purebred, coat and allergies
In fact, it all starts with racial purity. A Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle (and in some cases crossing other breeds, such as the Lagotto Romagnolo). A Lagotto is not a crossbreed and therefore a thoroughbred. Labradoodles are therefore a collective name for all crosses with Labradors and Poodles and are not recognized. The Lagotto Romagnolo is a recognized breed.
Why is this so important? In itself it is not so important, but it must be understood that a descendant can resemble his mother, his father, a combination of the two, or one/several of his predecessors. In a cross between a dog that does not shed (Poodle) and a dog that sheds (Labrador Retriever), there is even a very high chance of losing. With Labradoodles it is especially important as a breeder to focus on non-shedding in order to have a higher chance of not losing offspring. However, a 100% guarantee can never be given in advance. It can generally be assumed that a dog with a curly coat will not shed to a very limited extent, and a dog with short OR non-curly hair will shed. This is an important fact for anyone allergic to dog hair.
A Lagotto Romagnolo, also known as an Italian Water Dog, is purebred. A puppy of this breed is therefore descended from two other Lagottos and should shed little or nothing at all. It is most ideal for allergy sufferers.
A Labradoodle is less suitable for allergies as they can still shed. Some have curly or weaved hair and barely shed (and they’re bred for it), but others have short or straight hair and shed. A Lagotto Romagnolo is suitable for most allergies as this dog hardly sheds a shed. These dogs always have a curly coat.
Lagotto Romagnolo, or as mentioned above: Italian Water Dogs, are water dogs. Water dogs, also sometimes called ‘Gundogs’, were once used for hunting. Not so much for their nose, but for their excellent coat and build in the water and their talent for retrieving prey (after it has been shot, so also ‘Gundog’). Obedience is therefore a strong point of these dogs, with a small downside that they are also active dogs.
Labradoodles are descendants of the Labrador Retriever (Retriever comes from the English ‘to retrieve’, literally translated: to bring back). This descendant is similar to water dogs, ideal dogs for retrieving prey. And many of them were bred for the same purpose as water dogs. So they have the same gift. A poodle, on the other hand, is often thought of as a companion dog, but make no mistake about it. Poodles were also often used as circus dogs due to their obedience and ability to take on many different commands. Both ancestors provide both an active and obedient character.
A Labradoodle and a Lagotto Romagnolo are descended from ancestors who were used as a type of retrieval dog. Both dogs have the distinction of being obedient (provided they train of course) and having a good deal of action. Both breeds are therefore ideal as exercise partners for the whole family. Aggression and dominance are less common, at least not when the dog has enough free space. Boredom causes an active dog to be more rebellious and aggressive.
The most important has already been mentioned above. Both dogs are considered healthy sporting dogs in need of some freedom. It’s good that people take their dogs for walks every once in a while, but free roaming in a garden is the most important thing. When they get a little older, it is recommended to give them free rein for the day in the garden. A walk can be a complement, but if there is no free space, a short daily walk is not enough.
As both breeds are very obedient, they also like to be challenged in obedience. In other words, it’s a plus to go to school with them. Training for a dog is not so much dog school, but training (which can be both private training and dog school)
Do you want a dog that is as manageable as possible? Don’t give him enough space. Whether you choose a Labradoodle or a Lagotto Romagnolo.
The size disadvantage of a crossbreed (eg Labradoodle) is that there are more genetic differences between their ancestors. So we can’t say for sure what they will eventually look like or how big they are (hence also the division into different sizes). The big advantage is that the risk of hereditary malformations decreases. You take all possible inherited defects from your ancestors, but the risk of one of these problems decreases. There are more issues that can be included, but they come out less often.
The advantage of Lagotto’s is that it is a very strong strain. With the exception of hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and cerebral abnormality (a disease of the brain), no problems are included in the list of possible hereditary defects. We also limit the risk of any of the above issues by verifying parents. That doesn’t mean it can be avoided, just limited.
A Labradoodle therefore has a longer list of possible health problems, only the probability of a problem being lower in percentage. Lagottos, on the other hand, have a very limited list of known health issues. Both varieties are therefore considered healthy .