My name is Francesco Lucarelli and I have owned dogs since 1992, but the meeting with the breed that I happily breed today took place in 1998.
Initially the Lagotto was my auxiliary for the research of the precious White Truffle of Acqualagna, then I fell in love with this splendid breed and I started to breed it, over time more and more professionally, participating in courses organized by the Enci or other dog associations. .
I have long believed that breeding and selecting in a serious and accurate way is fundamental.
What is selection and why is it important?
I strongly believe that it is not enough to own a couple of purebred dogs and then mate them, I would say it seems too too easy. Of course it may appear provocative or difficult to understand, but dogs are not selected this way.
Breeding and selecting is a passion, but it involves commitment and knowledge upstream. And as in any sector, the concepts and skills to learn and deepen are never enough.
You shouldn’t breed by relying on chance. Selecting a purebred dog is fundamentally up to human activity. And this activity must be constructive, ameliorative and selective, that is, aimed at selecting the characteristics we want. Of course, nature also does it by itself, she too selects from a certain point of view, but with very long times and criteria that can sometimes be uninteresting for the activities carried out by man.
By relying solely on nature, we will probably obtain strong subjects, but not necessarily suitable for searching for truffles, precisely because going for truffles makes no sense in a purely naturalistic logic. This is just to give an example.
Races, which are the result of repeated crossbreeding, exist and survive thanks to human work. If you love a breed, this work must be done through knowledge and skills that are acquired over the years. As for me and my work, I have always tried to select healthy subjects, predisposed to the search for truffles, morphologically typical, but above all, and I think this is our strong point, very balanced in character.
I want every puppy of mine who finds himself living in a new and definitive family context in the future to be sociable, playful, joyful, nice and very sweet as a real lagotto can be.
The collaboration of the family, especially of my children, is important.
They help me to follow the new born from the very first and very delicate stages of socialization, which begins from the first days of life. These are puppies that are literally raised in a family and domestic environment.
I believe this is a big advantage in the future psychic development of these subjects. For me it is also important to maintain a character that is strong, decisive, willing and tenacious at the same time, essential for a “working” dog, but still well balanced and aware of his role.
The character and physical characteristics of the Lagotto make it perfect for carrying out other activities besides truffle hunting, for example searching for missing persons, pet therapy, agility … or simply a delightful domestic companion full of love for adults and children, which adapts to every lifestyle.
With the serious and careful selection, excellent results can be obtained, and about this I have had a great response, basically through the successes obtained, the positive judgments of the expert judges, but above all through the satisfaction that I find among the people who have bought a puppy of “Villa dei Gruccioni”. For the successes I have had, and still have, I must also thank friends / external collaborators, who with their expertise in Lagotto they really help me, and they give me input to do better and better in the targeted selection of subjects.
When I talk about selection I am referring not only to the aptitude for searching truffles, a fundamental concept because you do not have a “real lagotto” in your hand if it is not inclined to search, I am also and above all referring to health, which is why I carry out all the tests necessary to produce healthy subjects.
The Lagotto like other breeds is prone to hereditary diseases, such as LSD, juvenile epilepsy or Furnishing.
Furthermore, in my opinion, to breed a breed, which is our passion, we need a good knowledge of the standards: the morphological one, and the working one. Yes, because a lagotto must maintain a certain typicality, it must be representative of what the standard is, from the point of view of the coat, the sizes, the movement, and many other aspects. I would also like to underline that contrary to what many think, the “beauty” of the lagotto is not only aimed at exhibitions, events in which I constantly participate, but it is a “functional beauty” to carry out a “job”, in this case the search for truffles.
I wrote work in quotation marks as for the lagottos the search for truffles is actually a joy! Experiencing the thrill of being immersed in the woods, in silence, with only the company of your four-legged companion, who wagging his tail signals the presence of the truffle, is a mutual joy. An emotion that I want to continue to feed through my breeding activity!