The Lagotto Romagnolo or the Italian Water Dog is known for its water-resistant fur, webbed paws, and active and curious mind. It is known by many names – Truffle Dog, Roman Water Dog, or the Cane Lagotto.
Whatever name you know it by – it is one of the few purebred dogs that has remained unchanged over the years. Today, the AKC recognizes this breed and its popularity ranking is 99 out of the 200 known purebred dogs.
Are you considering making the cute Truffle dog a part of your household? Do you want to know how much this puppy costs? Then you have come to the right place!
There are only 500 Lagotti registered in the United States today. However, the breed’s popularity is on the rise since they are small-to-medium-sized dogs and also have a hypoallergenic coat. These are desirable features in house pets and they have driven up the costs of Lagotti pups tremendously.
Finding a Lagotto Romagnolo breeder can also be quite challenging since there are very few of them in the US. If you do find a reliable one, the wait for a Lagotto puppy can run into several months or years. So, if you do not have to patience to wait that long, you could consider going in for other water dog breeds like the Portuguese Water Dog.
However, if you have your heart set on the Lagotti, then be prepared to spend between $3000 and $5000 on this gorgeous puppy. This is because the breeder may have to import one from abroad or might have spent a lot on starting their own line.
In addition to the buying or adoption cost, you will spend on your dog’s medical bills and food. It is a good idea to know how much you will pay for these so you can plan your finances and set aside a budget for your dog. The following guide will cover all the costs in detail, but just in case you’re in a hurry, we have a summary of costs for raising a Lagotto Romagnolo:
How Much Does a Lagotto Romagnolo Puppy Cost?
In Italy, the price of the Lagotto Romagnolo is about € 2000. In the United States, there are very few breeders working towards the development of this breed.
According to the website of the Lagotto Romagnolo Club of America, there are about 20 breeders of this special dog breed in the US. They all adhere to the code of ethics listed by the Club.
Breeders like AZ Lagotto have all their dogs tested for health checks like OFA and CHIC and some are even champion dogs. Another popular breeder of the Lagotto is Wilhaven Lagotto. You can contact them for the price. Both breeders need a deposit of around $500 which is refundable. They will have you fly to them once a puppy becomes available.
Here is a table showing the minimum and maximum prices of Lagotto:
|The minimum price of Lagotto Romagnolo||$1800|
|Maximum price of Lagotto Romagnolo||$5000|
|Price bracket||$1500 to $3000|
Factors Affecting the Cost of your Lagotto Romagnolo
There are always a lot of variables when it comes to the price of a dog. The biggest factor in the cost of your Lagotto is where you purchase your puppy from.
You can visit the reputed breeders mentioned above and fill in the inquiry forms. The breeders will tell you the exact wait times and the price of a pup. The cost depends on the following factors:
If the litters come from a champion stud then the puppy prices will be higher. Most breeders listed above have champion dogs and their puppies sell for over $2000. The price of a Lagotto puppy is usually higher because of their smaller litter sizes too.
All breeders listed on the official club website of the Lagotto pass their dogs through OFA tests for ensuring they won’t develop hip dysplasia and other bone-related issues. These checks increase the puppy’s price since they are expensive to conduct.
Most breeders refuse to ship their pups and expect you to fly out to their location. Some breeders that do fly their pets expect you to pay for the airline costs. This can increase your pup’s price considerably.
Basic Supplies for Lagotto Romagnolo
The exact supplies you need for your Italian water Dog will vary from home to home and dog to dog. However, the following is a standard list of supplies most dogs need. If you buy these supplies and keep them on hand, it will make your Lagotto’s stay more comfortable in its first few days at your home:
A wire or plastic crate is just what your little pup will need to create a secure, den-like atmosphere in your home. Add in plenty of warm blankets, toys, and some old rag with its dam(mother’s) scent on it. This will make your little Lagotto feel a little less lonely. The cost of a crate and blanket is about $50 to $75 for a medium-sized dog.
Toys can help your Lagotto in two ways: they provide mental stimulation to your pet and also help it utilize its energy positively. Some toys like rope toys, teething rings, and artificial bones can also soothe a little puppy’s sore gums when teething. Make sure the toys you choose are sturdy and won’t harm your pet. High-quality toys cost about $50.
The regular maintenance of your Lagotto’s coat will require you to have a few grooming tools on hand. These include a slicker brush, a comb to remove mats, mild shampoo, a nail trimmer, ear-cleaning wipes, etc. Cost of basic grooming supplies – between $30 and $75.
Some of the most important training tools for puppies are potty pads and dog deterrent sprays. Sprays can deter your Lagotto from peeing or marking on your furniture and carpets. You also need a leash and collar set when you start taking your buddy on walks.
This is only after your vet gives the go-ahead – usually after all your pet’s first vaccinations are completed. You need to carry poop bags or a poop scooper on your walks to clean up after your dog. Cost of training tools (collar, leash, poop scooper, etc. included) – about $100.
Select ceramic, metal, or plastic food-grade bowls to feed your dog. Ensure that the bowls are heavy and won’t tip over. Cost – $20-$40.
Here is a table showing you the approximate costs of basic supplies:
|Bowls for water and food||$20- $40|
|Leash, collar, harness||$20-$30|
|Dog bed||$30 to $50|
|Crate, car carrier, car belt, crate pads, blanket||$50 to $75|
|Chews and fun toys||$20-$50|
Training Costs for Lagotto Romagnolo
There are different types of dog training available in most cities and their prices vary based on the dog trainer’s skills and your location. Here are some common dog training options:
Private sessions may be held on an hourly basis but some trainers also have a pre-set price for a fixed number of sessions. Most dog trainers charge between $15 and $60 per hour.
In the US, group training classes have a fairly standard structure and pricing in most cities. The average rate for an 8-week class is $80 which comes to $10 per week. In major cities, group classes vary between $10 and $20 per hour per dog.
You can even enroll your Lagotto in a boarding-plus-training facility. These are fairly expensive – most trainers charge a weekly amount of over $1250, and sometimes even more.
Service dog training
If you want your Lagotto to become a service dog, then there is special training for that. This is a fairly expensive and extensive program of over 18 months. It can cost anywhere over $10000.
|National average cost||$50|
|Dog boarding and training||$1250-$2000 per week|
Food Costs for Lagotto Romagnolo
The Lagotto is an active and energetic dog and needs healthy and balanced food to maintain that energy. You can always bring some food from the breeder and feed the same in your pup’s first few days. Later on, you can take your vet’s recommendations for the right food for your growing pet.
The major point to remember about food for your Lagotto is that: it should contain meat as the first ingredient and should be free from chemicals and preservatives.
You have several options when it comes to feeding ready-made food to your Truffle dog:
- Kibble or dry dog food – feed ½ a cup of high-quality puppy food twice daily or as recommended by the breeder or your vet. Increase this to 3/4th cup of food two times per day by the time your pet is 6 months old. Transition to adult food when your vet says so.
- If you choose to feed wet food or canned food, feed 25 oz. of food to your 25 lb. dog. You can divide this into two meals.
Here are the approximate costs of feeding your Lagotto
|Type of food||The quantity you will need per month||Cost/per month.|
|Dry food/kibble||50 lb.||$30|
|Wet or canned food||45 lb||$50-$75|
|Raw freeze-dried dog food||10 lb.||$40-$75|
|Raw food||15 lb.||$30|
Lagotto Romagnolo Dog Food Comparison
Lagottos need high-quality protein-rich foods and you can choose from chicken, beef, turkey, or fish. Stay away from processed foods and avoid ones with fillers like corn, soy, wheat, by-products, and artificial ingredients.
Remember that your Lagotto is primarily a carnivore. It needs meat but it also needs healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits in small quantities.
Some Lagotto breeders recommend raw, dehydrated, or freeze-dried foods with meat, bones, and organs to provide growing puppies with calcium and protein. Here are some top food choices for Lagotti adults and puppies:
|Name||Features||Price per lb.|
|Stella & Chewy’s Raw Coated Kibble||Grain-free, legume-free, nutrition-dense dog food made in the USA||$6/lb.|
|Primal Pet Food Freeze-dried nuggets||100% human-grade ingredients, well-balanced, safe, wholesome raw diet||$2/lb.|
|Farmina Natural Dog Food||Contains ancestral grain, sourced and made in Italy||$2.83/lb.|
|Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food||Real chicken and duck, contains glucosamine for joint health||$1.69/lb.|
Lagotto Romagnolo Medical Costs
Often, people adopt or buy a dog without thinking about their future veterinary costs. But if you are planning your Lagotto’s future, then you must factor in its future medical costs.
Despite your best efforts and intentions, there could come a time when your pet needs medical assistance for an illness or injury. There may even arise a time when your pet needs emergency assistance. This can cause a considerable strain on your finances.
In the first year itself, your pet will need several vaccinations to protect it from canine diseases like distemper, parvovirus, para-influenza, etc. Some vets also recommend non-core or optional vaccines like leptospirosis, kennel cough, etc. depending on the area you are in.
Most vets charge between $50 and $100 for vaccinations, deworming, and routine exams. Some low-cost mom-and-pop establishments charge lower while veterinary practices with state-of-the-art machines and diagnostics tend to charge more.
Here are tables that show different medical costs one could incur over their lagotto’s lifetime:
Core vaccine costs
|Core vaccine||Age of Puppy||Cost|
|Distemper||At least 3 doses to be given between 6 and 16 weeks of age. (2 doses to be given 3-4 weeks apart)||$15 to $25|
|Parvovirus||Same as above|
|Adenovirus, type 1 (CAV-1, canine hepatitis)||Intranasal vaccine may be boostered at one year. Your Bull-pei will also need a booster at 1 year after completing the initial series, then again, every 3 years.||$15-$50|
|Adenovirus, type 2 (CAV-2, kennel cough)||Between 6 weeks to 16 weeks, at least 3 doses.||$15-$50|
|Rabies 1 and 3 years||Can be given as early as 3 months of age. States have laws about this core vaccine||$35 to $50|
Non-core vaccine costs
|Non-core vaccine||Age of puppy||Cost|
|Parainfluenza||Administered at 6-8 weeks of age, then every 3-4 weeks until 12-14 weeks old. Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation, a booster may be needed after a year and re-vaccination every 3 years.||$15-$35|
|Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)||2 doses of injection or one dose of intranasal vaccine given based on manufacturer recommendation||$15-$50|
|Lyme disease||Given at 9 weeks and repeated after 2-4 weeks||$20-$40|
|Leptospirosis||2 doses at least 2-4 weeks apart. First dose around 8 weeks.||$15-$35|
Total vaccination costs of DAPP and rabies can cost between $75 and $100 for most vet practices. These costs may or may not include flea and tick spot treatment, deworming medicine, and non-core vaccine costs.
Depending on your area, you’d also need flea and tick protection. The following table shows the approximate cost of different types of flea/tick medicines:
|Name||Cost per year|
|Shampoo + flea comb||$20-$40|
|Weekly flea dip + flea and tick collar||$40-$150|
|Additional costs like flea extermination of the house||$500|
Some more routine medical costs
|Name of test||Cost**|
|Routine checkup||$50 and $250|
|Spaying or neutering||$160-$200|
|Physical exam||$45 – $55|
Emergency care costs
|Name of test||Cost**|
|X-ray||Up to $200|
|USG||Up to $500|
|Emergency surgery||Up to $2000|
Inherited Diseases in Lagotto Romagnolo
Lysosomal storage disease/LSD
This is a serious neurodegenerative disease in the Italian Waterdog. It can cause debilitating symptoms which eventually lead the affected dogs to be euthanized. It is important to not breed such dogs. Good breeders conduct tests on dogs before breeding to prevent the disease from being passed to the litter.
This disease leads to the eventual deterioration of the hip joint and reduces the dog’s mobility. It is a very painful condition. Thankfully, there are tests that can tell which dogs could be affected and breeders can prevent it in their pups.
Juvenile epilepsy can cause seizures in puppies as young as 5 weeks old. DNA testing can show if the parent is a carrier. Ethical breeders can prevent this condition by preventing the breeding of carrier dogs.
Pet Insurance for your Lagotto
As can be seen above, a single trip to the vet can cost nearly $1000 and more if your Lagotto needs hospitalization or some complex diagnostic exams. With pet insurance, you would only pay a fraction of these costs. Pet insurance can help you provide your dog with routine and emergency medical care without putting a strain on your finances.
It is important to shop around for pet insurance before you click the ‘Buy’ button. Compare different plans and know exactly what is and isn’t covered.
Pet insurance also works differently than human insurance. You’d probably have to pay upfront and the company will then reimburse you. The good thing with this arrangement is that you can go to any vet while the bad thing is that there may be a long wait time before you receive the money.
Here are some popular insurance companies in the US and their approximate costs per month:
|Pumpkin Insurance||Up to 90% reimbursement, best in class for illness and accidents||Prices for certain dog breeds are higher||Plans from less than $30 a month|
|Healthy paws Insurance||Covers many alternative therapies, most claims reimbursed in 2 days||May not cover dental illness||Costs $39 a month|
|Lemonade Insurance||Covers prescription food for most conditions||Has additional monthly fees||Plans start from $10 a month|
Additional Costs of Raising your Lagotto Romagnolo
Microchipping and registration
It is good to have your Lagotto microchipped so you can find it quickly in the unfortunate event it gets lost. The cost of microchipping in the United States is mostly standard and does not vary based on the dog’s size. The small procedure costs about $45 and includes the cost of the procedure as well as the registration.
Lagotti have curly coats which need regular trims. Shorter coats are a lot easier to manage, so schedule a trim every few months. Basic grooming costs in most states are between $30 and $50. They include bath, hair and nail trim, and ear cleaning. Medicated baths and special cuts can cost more.
Lagotto Romagnolo dogs do not have extensive exercise needs but they are energetic and active dogs. You cannot expect them to be couch potatoes, nor can you place them in the yard and expect them to run around. They need 2-3 short walks a day to keep them mentally and physically happy. If you do not have time for this, you can hire the services of a dog walker. Most agencies charge between $10 and $30 per walk of 30-minutes.
If you have to travel for work or pleasure, you can either choose to take your Lagotto with you, board it, or hire a pet-sitter to watch your pet at home. These three options can cost different amounts of money. Dog boarding facilities charge up to $50 per day. Pet-sitters can also charge about $50 per day for services like walking your dog, changing its food/water, collecting your mail, etc. If you choose to take your pet with you, flight charges can be about $125 to $250 for one-way.
Key Takeaways – How Much does a Lagotto Romagnolo Cost?
The average cost of your Lagotto puppy in the first year is $4000. This includes its purchase price which averages at $2000 depending on the breeder. Dog supplies can cost about $200 and medical costs can range between $200-$400 on vaccination and spaying. You’d also spend about $100 on dog training. Don’t forget to factor in the costs of spay/neuter surgery, dog insurance, food and treats, medical checkups, basic supplies, dog walking, microchipping, and grooming.
Yearly and monthly costs of Lagotto Romagnolo
After the first year, the cost of owning your Lagotto will come down a little. Still, you must set aside at least $2000 per year as you’d spend on high-quality food and treats, grooming, dog walking, etc. You can expect the monthly cost to be between $80 and $200 -even more if you factor in unexpected medical costs.
Lagotto Romagnolo lives for up to 15 years. So the lifetime cost on ownership of this cute dog can come to about $15,000 to $30,000. On the conservative side, the average lifetime cost is of ownership of a Lagotto is about $22, 355.