Temperament & Coat Care
First and foremost Lagotto's are a pleasant and social breed, who like to be with their family. They thrive being in the centre of what is happening. Lagotto's are easy to train and quick to learn. So if you are looking for an easy going, quick to learn, active dog then lagotto's are the perfect choice. They are excellent with children and enjoy their company. Lagottos are a very social dogs and get along with other family pets very well. In Italy they are kept in packs of ten or more, this is testiment to their wonderful stable temperaments.
As you would have noticed the quality and structure of a lagotto's coat varies between individuals. It also varies between, puppy to adolescent to adult dog. The Lagotto's coat is not fully developed in structure until the dog is approximately 2 or 3 years old.
Some people will tell you that a Lagotto coat doesn't require alot of care and a yearly clip will surfice, I personally haven't found this to be the case. I have broken the care down into three stages puppy, juvinielle, and adult.
Puppies have a soft coat it is often not curly at all, and only has waves, this is perfectly normal, eventually it will curl. If you keep your puppies coat shorter the curl will come faster. Puppies look cute with a long coat but we must consider the comfort of the puppy, a longer coat will keep the puppy to warm and it will hold to much moisture and dirt in it.
When you first take your puppy home it is time to begin clipping/cutting his coat, starting this early has two very important features. The first is the training for both owner and puppy. For the owner it gives them lots of paratice and mistakes will quickly grow out and for the puppy if teaches them to accept this ongoing part of their life. The second important feature is that it is very good to the puppies coat.
This is when the coat is at its most difficult. It will require a weekly comb to ensure that all of the felt/wool is removed from the coat. Otherwise the coat will matt at the skin and this isn't very pleasant for the dog. When combing the coat be sure to get right down to the skin. This is when it is best to keep the coat shorter too because this makes this job much easier. After a comb through like this some of the curls go but if you put some water is a squirty bottle and wet them down this will make the curl come back immediately.
Adult coats in Lagotto's can vary between dogs without any of them being incorrect. Some dogs have large open curls, others have fine curls with lots of coat and others have almost no curl, and some have something in between.
Please don't cut the coat on the head as short as the rest of the coat. Rather it should follow the outline of the dog, the ears need to be cut to the leather and follow the shape of the ear. The coat on the neck, front and sholders should be shorter than that on the rest of the body. It is best to have the coat scissored, if you use clippers you risk snagging the coat on the clippers which will pull the coat and make the dog feel uncomfortable.
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