The Romagna Water Dog is a breed of dog initially developed for hunting waterfowl, but has earned a prominent place as the best truffle dog in the world. Its waterproof, woolly coat is a distinguishing feature, as well as its affectionate and easily trained nature.
The dogs of the breed are medium sized and rustic in appearance. The weight ranges between 13 and 16 kilograms in males, and between 11 and 14 kilograms in females. Males measure between 43 and 48 centimeters, while the height of females varies between 41 and 46 centimeters. The life expectancy of this breed is 15 to 17 years. They belong to Group 8 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which includes retrievers, hunting dogs and water dogs.
Breed history in brief
The Romagna Water Dog is an ancient breed of retriever that originated in the lowlands of Comacchio and the marshes of Ravenna, in Renaissance Italy, where they were used for hunting waterfowl. When the marshes were drained and turned into farmland, the breed adapted and became an excellent truffle hunter in the plains and hills of Romagna. Thanks to its exceptional sense of smell, the Romagna Water Dog is considered the best truffle hunting dog in the world, although other breeds can also be trained for truffle hunting.
The Romagna Water Dog is a small to medium sized breed, with a compact and strong body. Its topline is straight from withers to croup, and its back is very muscular. The head is trapezoidal and moderately broad, with large, round eyes ranging from ochre to hazel and dark brown. The ears are medium-sized, pendulous and triangular, and the tail tapers toward the tip and is carried scimitar-shaped at rest and decidedly raised when excited.
The coat is woolly in texture, with tight curls and visible undercoat. On the head, the curls are not as tight, forming abundant eyebrows, whiskers and beard. The hair is waterproof and can become felt if not trimmed. The coat color is very diverse, including white, brown, orange or roan, and possible combinations between them. Tan markings are also permitted.
The Romagna Water Dog is a breed known for its excellent searching ability, especially in locating truffles thanks to its great sense of smell and innate talent. This breed is docile and passionate, which makes it easy to train. In addition, its loyalty and affection for its owner are remarkable.
Common health problems
The Romagna Water Dog, with optimal care and attention, can live a long healthy life, although it is predisposed to suffer from certain health problems. Among the most common diseases or disorders are coloboma, atopic dermatitis, dwarfism, epilepsy, hypoglycemia, melanoma, retinal detachment, shoulder dysplasia, muscular dystrophy, narcolepsy, osteochondrosis, atopy, cataracts, diabetes mellitus, ectropion, elbow dysplasia, entropion, hemophilia A and B, hip dysplasia, Addison's disease, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy and von Willebrand's disease.
In addition to the above conditions, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends an eye screening examination, as well as tests to assess diseases such as patellar luxation, benign familial juvenile juvenile epilepsy and lysosomal storage disease.
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