Rare Italian breeds: Lagotto Romagnolo & Bergamasco

June 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Sometimes there is a lot of behind-the-scenes wrangling to get dogs posed just right. Renzo, the Lagotto Romagnolo puppy, didn't particularly want to sit next to his new "brother," Ashby. Granted, the hairy Bergamasco might have seemed a little scary to the wee pup since they had just met the night before. Of course, we wanted a photo of the 9 pound Renzo next to Ashby to document how little he was when he first joined the family. 

Bergamasco photo shootBergamasco photo shootPhoto shoot of Lagotto Romagnolo puppy and Bergamasco dog in Denver Colorado

Next we tried keeping the puppy in place using a stick. Low tech methods usually work best! 

Lagotto Romagnolo puppy BergamascoLagotto Romagnolo puppy BergamascoLagotto Romagnolo puppy and Bergamasco dog

Sometimes the best way to get both dogs in the photo is to simply include the people!

Lagotto Romagnolo BergamascoLagotto Romagnolo BergamascoLagotto puppy and Bergamasco Renzo and Ashby are both rare Italian dog breeds. Renzo is a Lagotto Romagnolo and will weigh 35-40 pounds when he's full-grown. The breed was originally used to retrieve waterfowl but in modern times they search for truffles. Lagotto Romagnolo means "lake dog from Romagna." Lago is the Italian word for lake. I'm guessing that he would enjoy swimming in a mountain lake! His waterproof coat would protect him from icy water. Another interesting fact is that even though Lagottos have been around since the 7th Century BC, by the early 1970s there were only a dozen pure bred Lagottos left. A group of breeders, veterinarians and dog lovers spent the next 20 years rescuing this breed from extinction. 

Ashby is a Bergamasco Sheepdog and he definitely turns heads wherever he goes! His unique coat contains three types of hair - a fine undercoat, long goat-like hairs and a top wooly outer layer. The three types of hair weave together to form flocks which are surprisingly low-maintenance. Bergamascos were in danger of becoming extinct after WWII when sheep herding dogs weren't needed because wool production fell off. An Italian breeder carefully established reliable bloodlines over the next 40 years and the Bergamasco was introduced to the US about 20 years ago. The Bergamasco was officially recognized by the AKC in 2015. Ashby is 10 years old so his person knew he was an amazing breed far before that!


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