(Rehomed) Ronnie – 2 year old male Lagotto Romagnolo

Ronnie is a 2 year old male Lagotto Romagnolo. The Lagotto Romagnolo is an ancient Italian breed of hunting dog believed to have originated back in the 1400’s and where a lot of modern day water retrieving and high energy sports dogs are descended from. Whilst it’s incredibly rare to see one in rescue we will not tolerate negative comments of any kind demanding this dog be placed with a breed specific rescue or accusations that his breeder was not contact.

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We can assure you there are no breed specific rescues set up to accommodate Ronnie’s aggression issues as they’ve all been contacted and his breeder has washed his hands of him after placing him in 3 incorrect homes so we are taking it from here. Contrary to some comments made there is nothing “off” about rare breed dogs coming into rescue because unfortunately it is the sad occurrence of owners having little support from unethical breeders. It quite simply means that owners are out of their depth with their pedigree dogs and other avenues cannot help so they have sought the experience and expertise of rescues that specialise in aggression. No judgement here, we are just glad that owners seek help to keep their dog’s safe.

As mentioned, the Lagotto is an incredibly strong willed dog that needs correct handling and firm boundaries. Ronnie’s breeder originally placed him with a couple who had a cockapoo which he took a dislike to and subsequently attacked twice around the neck. The couple persevered by splitting the house in two to micro manage the dogs. The wife took the cockapoo, the husband took Ronnie and each lived on respective sides of the house with them giving Ronnie little to limited exposure to the woman. We do believe this has led to him having dominance issues over what he perceives as weaker members of the pack. I will elaborate further shortly. It needs to be noted that Ronnie was unneutered in all 3 homes which would have been exacerbating his aggression issues.

Ronnie was returned to the breeder when the couple no longer felt able to micromanage the situation and was homed out again, this time to another couple. During a small family gathering Ronnie launched over a pram with a small child in to get to another dog that he took an instant dislike to, the family sent him to a trainer for respite and it was reported that Ronnie went for the trainer’s wife. During his time with the couple of his second placement he had also tried to attack the wife, showing a pattern of having clear behavioural problems of dominance aggression surrounding women. He was returned to the breeder who are a working gundog kennels and spent time in a kennel environment with other dogs. He was placed again in July of this year to first time dog owners with a teenage son.

In the 12 weeks they had owned him he went for the wife multiple times, growled at her from the top of the stairs and generally stalked her round the house. He would seek out attention from her but then launch very unpredictability at her, luring her into a false sense of security. At one point he made contact with a level 3 bite causing a puncture wound that has left significant scarring. There was another instance where the father and son were giving him a bath, the wife came along and offered to take over, as she came into the doorway Ronnie began growling at her. The continued dangerous situations that Ronnie presented towards the wife resulted in them feeling out of their depth and unable to continue, understandably for reasons of safety.

People need to be very clear that Lagottos are a pure, incredibly strong willed dog. Their gene pool is very small and their genetic instincts are true to type. The more you mess with a breed and a gene pool the less true to type it becomes. Because there are not a lot of lagottos in the UK the breed and the gene pool remains very small. This means their genetic desire to hunt and be a pack animal is very prevalent. Ronnie very much views his family unit as a pack and due to his early lack of exposure around women (and the fact that he was unneutered) he views them as much weaker, lower ranking pack members. He takes it upon himself to keep these “lower ranking pack members” firmly in their place by being a bit of a jerk to them. This is not solely to say that Ronnie will attack all women. He has been fine with us here in rescue, however we are confident, equally strong willed and experienced with dominant dogs so he knows his place with us. We do feel in a home environment he would attempt to pick on any female members, so single male applicants would be looked upon favourably to limit potential risk.

It needs to be said that we have now neutered Ronnie in rescue which will not necessarily change the behavior, but we do believe it will take an edge off of the aggression. This in turn will hopefully make him slightly less confrontational and limit his tendency to jump straight to attacking someone. This will hopefully give potential adopters an advantage at better managing the behavior. The rescue have tailored a training plan for new adopters with guidelines to follow to set Ronnie up to succeed. We will be here 24/7 for help and advice should it be needed.

In his previous home there was an incident where Ronnie escaped his lead during a countryside walk and ran around the corner. When his owner managed to catch up with him Ronnie was standing by a dead lamb. It is uncertain if Ronnie killed the lamb or it was already dead as no one was there to witness the event. The instance was reported with no following action but has put great uncertainty around Ronnie’s capability to be near livestock and to be offlead in agriculture environments.

Ronnie has been a good boy in our care, he feels happy to accept his place amongst ourselves and is a very active, outdoorsy dog. He has a high level of training, is very affectionate and loyal when he builds trust with a handler. He is housebroken, non destructive in the home and travels well in the car.

Ronnie needs an experienced home that understands strong willed working breeds and handles them correctly. He absolutely cannot be be babied and spoilt, he isn’t a cute fluffy teddy even though he may look like one. Ronnie is a working breed who has a strong desire to do just that. He will not be suitable for a first time dog owner or people with limited experience.

Pupcakes Rescue Lincolnshire
Pupcakes Rescue Lincolnshire

For further details regarding adopting a dog from Pupcakes Rescue in Spalding, please contact: Liz Callicott by emailing pupcakesrescue@gmail.com - all dogs from this rescue will be microchipped, spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Home checks and full post adoption support apply.

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