What does the breed standard say about pigmentation?
Taking Giovanni Morsiani’s book on Lagotto Romagnolo as a reference, it talks about pigmentation of skin and truffle nose in various points, let’s go through them together.
The lips must be pigmented from brown to grey.
The palm of the foot must also have pigmentation.
The eyes may have a more or less pronounced pigmentation, the yellow iris however shows an absence of pigment. Arriving to the gazelle eye is a defect.
The nose must be with total brown pigmentation. Partial depigmentations of the truffle are considered elimination defects.
The skin may instead have brown and black spot pigmentation.
Lagotto coat and pigmentation
Generally white colored Lagotto’s need longer time to develop to full pigmentation.
Very beautiful and less common are white Lagottos with a very dark pigmentation where required. Easy to appreciate especially on truffle and lips.
A dark brown eye on a completely white Lagotto is really beautiful.
For dogs with brown coat generally the pigmentation manifests itself quickly, in a complete way and it is very rare that it does not complete. More often, however, it can happen that the coloring of the iris takes longer to take on a more intense color and in any case not as dark as the brown coat of a puppy can be.
For the ragged Lagotto dogs we are obviously in an intermediate situation.
Pigmentation in the Lagotto Romagnolo puppy
A few weeks after the puppy’s birth, we see and appreciate mainly how the pigmentation of the truffle and the palms of the feet and lips begin to cover those parts of the skin that are often, almost always at birth, pink in color. The eyes are closed, and the evaluation of its coloration takes many weeks, the eyes finally open, but they certainly do not have the brightness and depth of a puppy.
Kind of like babies who are born and grow for months with clear eyes and often later turn brown or so.
Even the skin in a couple of weeks definitely starts to show changes in coloration. It is the dappled puppies that slowly make brown undercoat appear. Sometimes uniform such that it leads to adult Lagotto roans. Other times with spots, but this is mainly a matter of personal taste.
In the puppies born White it is the orange that after a few weeks of life goes to cover the ears and sometimes the body. Puppies that are born orange often have a nice intense pigmentation of the nose, lips and palms. With growth the orange on the coat very often lightens, but this is also true for puppies born brown.
Truffle nose Pigmentation
Two more words on the timing of truffle pigmentation.
Lagotto dogs with lighter coats can take a very long time to get full pigmentation on the truffle.
Sometimes more than a year, other times even if more rare two years are not enough. It depends of course also on the parents, if the genealogy is of light colored dogs with weak pigmentation.
A permanent depigmentation of the dog’s truffle nose is called vitiligo and as said before represents a defect not accepted by the breed standard of the Lagotto Romagnolo. macos/deepLFree.translatedWithDeepL.text