#1 Lagotto Romagnolo
Although it is currently uncommon, the Lagotto Romagnolo is an ancient breed with a far more significant history. A significant part of that can be attributed to the water dog’s frequent depiction in Renaissance-era Italian art, which is partly attributable to its less specific usage and capacity for adaptability. The Lagotto Romagnola’s adorable curly coat has undoubtedly contributed to its rise to fame, yet it originally served an important purpose.
The densely curled hair on this medium- to large-sized dog assisted in protecting its body from the water and the cold while it was retrieving waterfowl for hunters. The fur of this breed added a new benefit by helping to protect the dogs from thorns and brambles when they foraged through the forest as water dogs became less popular. They then moved to truffle hunting.
Eventually, there was a sharp fall in public interest in this breed. In spite of the fact that there were only 500 Lagotto Romagnolo dogs in the U.S. as of 2009, a dedicated group of breeders is preserving the species.